Moving Mountains

Recently, I heard an amazing Zen story for the first time.  I think it was related by author and teacher Rupert Spira.  The story goes:  There was a Zen monk living in a monastery who had read in the Bible that faith can move mountains.  He was very excited to hear this and went to the Abbot to ask if this was really true.   The Abbot replied, “Of course!” So the earnest monk asked if he could learn how to do it.  He was led by the Abbott to a spot on the grounds which offered a perfect view of a distant mountain range.  He told the monk to meditate at this spot for as long as necessary, focusing solely on the task of moving mountains.  As the weeks and months turned into years, the monk persisted in his efforts.

Eventually, after about three years had past, the Abbot decided to check in on his monk’s progress.  “You’ve been sitting here for about three years now, but the mountains do not appear to have moved a bit.  What seems to be the problem, if I may ask?”  “Well,” said the monk, “eventually I found that I was indeed able to move the mountains, but I also realized something far more incredible.”  “And what would that be?”, asked the Abbot. The monk explained, “I came to realize that I was the one who originally placed each of those mountains exactly where they are, and that that is exactly where they are supposed to be!  I would not move even one of them by so much as an inch.”

The events which compose the fabric of our lives can seem joyous or painful, wonderful or dreadful, ecstatic or horrific at the time they occur.  But often the most difficult and challenging to endure, seem on reflection to be the most significant and transformative and essential experiences we have ever known.  Nevertheless, so many people never cease striving for this, that or the other outcome, accomplishment, acquisition or relationship which will finally make their lives transformed, complete and perfect.  The Zen story above reflects the deepest truth that anything and everything in our lives and in the universe cannot, and is not, less than absolutely perfect, and exactly as it must be.  [Of course, our actions and responses to conditions that require remedies or corrections are also exactly as they must be, also.]   But in the end the final solution to a life filled with pain, fear, resistance, struggle and suffering, which is the experience of so many, lies in just a simple willingness to embrace whatever situation is confronting us in this moment, and love what is.

by Les Collins

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About Les Collins

Lifelong student of world spirituality, the perennial philosophy, and eastern religions. Facilitator of "There Is Only God" weekly non-duality discussion group which meets in Rochester, New York, USA. For more info on meetings, click on ABOUT section.
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One Response to Moving Mountains

  1. Dave Collins says:

    Great opening article – I always say if you’re suffering, it’s because you’re arguing with God [what is]… Can’t wait to see where you take this blog!

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