This story hits home for me on many levels… It is an excerpt from The Four Agreements, a book by Don Miguel Ruiz. For me, one of the hardest things in life is learning how to balance things, and not to overdo it; I get very impatient sometimes… Here’s a reminder to try to take it a little bit easier:
There was a man who wanted to transcend his suffering, so he went to a Buddhist temple to find a master to help him. He went to the Master and asked, “Master, if I meditate four hours a day, how long will it take me to transcend?”
The Master looked at him and said, “If you meditate four hours a day, perhaps you will transcend in ten years.”
Thinking he could do better, the man then said, “Oh, what if I meditated eight hours a day, how long will it take me to transcend?”
The Master looked at him and said, “If you meditate eight hours a day, perhaps you will transcend in twenty years.”
“But why will it take me longer if I meditate more?” the man asked.
The Master replied, “You are not here to sacrifice your joy or your life. You are here to live, to be happy, and to love. If you can do your best in two hours of meditation, but you spend eight hours instead, you will only grow tired, miss the point, and you won’t enjoy your life. Do your best, and perhaps you will learn that no matter how long you meditate, you can live, love, and be happy.”