Hindu mystic, father of the modern Vedantic movement, Sri Ramakrishna of Dakshineswar, often shared stories with his devotees to illustrate principles important for understanding the nature of Reality, what Gandhi would call, Sat, or Truth with a capital T. The story of the woodcutter and the sage is one of my favorites:
There once lived a poor woodcutter. He could not earn a decent living because the trees available to him were not of a very good quality. A sage lived in that forest, and each day would sit under a banyan tree. One day, the woodcutter approached the sage, almost in desperation, and the sage looked at him. The woodcutter peered deeply into his eyes, which seemed to say to him “Go Deeper.” The woodcutter decided he would do just that, and he moved more deeply into the forest and came across sandalwood trees. These trees were very sought after, and the woodcutter only had to work once a week. But he thought about the sage again, and the words would not leave him, “Go Deeper.” So he decided to venture even deeper into the forest, and lo’ and behold, he came across a silver mine! Amazing he thought! His worries were truly over. And some time passed, but again, the sage’s eyes came to his mind with the message, “Go Deeper.” Once more he went in, this time even deeper, and what else would he find but a diamond mine! The humble woodcutter was overwhelmed and realized immediately that all of these gifts had come from the grace of the sage.
The story is told to illustrate that our inner resources are waiting to come to our aid, to offer us fulfillment, we simply need to take the time to “go deeper,” to access them. Nonviolence can be that voice inside, reminding us in every situation to go deeper and find more resources for courage and compassion than we knew we had, enabling us to claim our true wealth as human beings.
Take the time today to practice “going deeper” and see what inner resource you hit upon.
The Metta Center for Nonviolence, PO Box 98, Petaluma, California 94953 707-774-6299 firstname.lastname@example.org