Adventures : Zeph Tales (13)

Continued from

Stone Peace

1396486_local_pebble_beachRocks and stones are rather interesting objects to Zeph. From humongous ones like the Himalayan mountains to real puny ones like pebbles on the beach. He was an avid stone-collector for quite some time – not of precious stones (crystals, diamonds…!) actually, as they are too expensive! He used to look for ‘pet-rocks’ – any stone that seems interesting by itself, in shape, colour, texture… He used to take pride in his collection, thinking he was a rare appreciator of raw naked nature, being able to see stones as perfect sculptures of nature in themselves, not necessarily needing man’s further sculpting! He thought he was a real artsy guy till he realised, one evening, by the sea, that he had became so engrossed on stones by the seaside that he had lost mindfulness of the beauty of the sea and its unseen winds. To this lesson learnt, he penned the following in his journal, sitting by the sea, on a big rock made of many smaller ones – on a breakwater:

I pick up a piece of stone (rock) and appreciate it.
Lost in it, I forgot the world.
I see art and abstract beauty in it –
a forgotten “random” form (shaped by the cause and effect of nature).

But to see it alone as special
is to forget all the other stones,
and all other things wonderful of this great Earth.

When you pick up and hang on to a small rock,
you miss the big mother of all earthly rocks – planet Earth –
the third rock from the sun.

See art in more and more (rocks and such)
till you cannot pick them up anymore,
and you will have to let all go.
That is a real art –
seeing all as art,
without picking it up,
without attachment.

See all the flowers and rocks
as part of a great garden of the Earth,
without needing to pluck a single flower,
without wanting to possess a single stone.

We don’t need ‘to have and to hold’.
All each hand can only hold is a mere handful.
When you let go of everything,
what isn’t yours?
Why not let go of everything,
and become one with everything?

There is one world for you in its totality already.
Be one with it,
and you become total.
Be one with the wayward too –
one in compassion, so as to share your wisdom.

After realising this, Zeph decided to conduct a small ritual – that of releasing his stone collection back to nature. Nature, where they came from, where they can be appreciated by others instead of sitting at home in a box. It was a small lesson on becoming free of attachment as he realised it wasn’t probable that he would ever see his favourite stone again. It amazed him that it could be so difficult to let lifeless objects go… It would be so much more difficult to let loved ones go when they have to depart upon death.

On the same breakwater another evening, Zeph threw his stones off it, one by one. Some backwards to the sand behind the breakwater, and some forwards into the sea. While there was undeniably a feeling of gentle sadness, a liberating wave of release swept over him. No, no water hit him. It was the wind, it smelt of freedom – wild salty freedom that could be tasted for real. He was instantly reminded of a quote from the Buddha, that he had came across while surfing the net – ‘Just as in the great ocean there is but one taste – the taste of salt – so in this teaching (Dharma) and discipline there is but one taste – the taste of freedom’

This wind he realised, he could take a deep breath of, feel it in its whole essence, and let it go, exhaling it. The wind cannot be grasped; it is to be felt only. And this feeling of being at one with it is enough, even if it doesn’t lasts forever. What matters is being true to it, loving it in the moment as it comes by, and being willing to set it free when it has to go. That is nothing less than true love! Standing up, Zeph kissed his last and most beloved stone goodbye, and gave it a mighty hurl into the darkening waters…

He realised he never felt the wind in this way before. He knew it was the way he should feel, about all things great and small – all along – whether he loved them or not. Thank you, stone, for your strong and silent Dharma. As suddenly as it was apt, he remembered a saying by Stonepeace:

This setting you free…
has set me this free.

Continued at

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