One day, a woman was walking along the beach, something caught her eye. Looking down, she saw a tarnished lantern stuck in the sand, picking it up and rubbing it, “Poof!” When the smoke cleared, out popped a Genie. The Genie was willing to grant the woman anything she wished. Without giving it any thought, the woman began to wish for many things: a house, a loving relationship, a car, money, travel and the list went on endlessly.
Even when the woman felt saturated, the Genie pressed on and continued to ask her, “What more would you like, Master? Your wish is my command.” The woman couldn’t seem to get the Genie to stop pestering her. Finally, she had an idea and told the Genie to create a long, tall rope. Then she commanded the Genie to keep climbing up and down that rope until the woman summoned the Genie. The woman had found peace at last!
The Genie and the Rope
The Genie in our story represents the mind. The rope represents an object upon which to place one’s attention. The mind is incessantly creating problems and solving problems. This is what the mind does. However, when we give the mind something else to focus on, we may avoid unnecessary distress. We can create space within our awareness and cultivate a calm and resilient nervous system.
“If you correct your mind, the rest of your life will fall into place.”~ Lau Tzu
Meditation provides the mind with a soothing, healing focus. Through meditation, we learn to quiet the excess thinking and fluctuations of the mind. During meditation we give the mind a place to reorient its attention.
Forgiveness and Clear Light
A consistent practice of meditation allows the choice of a new thought, helping to release ‘old patterns and old behaviors.’ A ‘slip up,’ in a thought, emotion or behavior, doesn’t have to mean a ‘give up.’ Spiritually you may always call upon the grace of self-forgiveness to blanket you as you step into another new way of being and another beginning.
“If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.” ~Lau Tzu