Monday, January 3, 2011

Zen Lessons.

At our last library excursion, Beanie picked up Zen Shorts by Jon J. Muth. As we were reading the story (which is a great one that I highly recommend) the moral of one of the Buddhist tales hit me. I am carrying a heavy load.

Have you heard the story of the two monks and the heavy load? It goes like this:

One day two traveling monks reached a town and saw a young woman waiting to step out of her sedan chair. There were deep, muddy puddles and she couldn’t step across without getting mud on her silk robes. She impatiently scolded her attendants, who were burdened with heavy packages.

The younger monk walked by the young woman without speaking. But the older monk stopped and picked her up on his back, carrying her across the mud. Not only did she not thank the monk, she shoved him out of her way when he put her down and scurried by him haughtily.

As the two monks continued on their way, the younger monk was brooding. After a long time, he finally spoke out. “That woman was so rude but you picked her up and carried her! She didn’t even thank you.”

“I set the woman down hours ago,” the older monk responded. “Why are you still carrying her?”

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have noticed my little rant the other day. It went like this:

Tweet 1: The old owners of the house are across the street at their rental.

Tweet 2: I hate them. I hate that they screwed us over.

Tweet 3: I hate that we trusted our craptastic realtor.

Tweet 4: Vent over.

You see, for the last twenty months I've been angry. Angry that the previous owners of this house didn't do the repairs they were obligated to. Angry that our realtor didn't have our best interests in mind. Angry that we signed the closing papers and trusted our realtor, even though it was apparent the sellers had a lot of work to do still. Angry that the realtor threw us a bone of a gift card to Home Depot when we approached him about the sellers breaching contract. Angry that we didn't do anything about it right away. Angry that the inspector said the water pressure was fine when it was so blatantly obvious the second we turned on the tub faucet that it wasn't. Angry that we had to re-pipe the house. Angry that we need to re-do the roof. Angry that the sellers also owned the house across the street and were living there. Angry, angry, angry.

Every time I saw them I got more angry. I got anxious, panicky, and just obsessed over every little detail that I hated about the situation and this house. Our house.

Last week I told Glenn that if we won the Lotto we could bulldoze the house and build a new one. He replied that that idea was silly, that we could rent this house out and build one elsewhere. I told him he won for being logical.

I can't carry this load any longer. I've got to let it go. This is our house, for better or for worse, and it's time I made it my home. I need to meditate on it and let the anger go. It's not helping anything. I haven't done any meditation in ages (minus during both of my labors), but maybe I should start incorporating it into my days.

I realize no one probably really wants to read about my house hatred, but I thought the overall message was a good one. It isn't the first time a children's book has taught me something. Remember Frog and Toad?

Are you carrying a heavy load? Is it time to let it go?


  1. I hope you are able to find happiness in your imperfect home. I strive to do that as well. I often feel regret at our purchase, but try to tell myself that we are lucky to have a home and re-frame my thoughts in a positive light. You certainly have reasons for the anger, but those feelings are a burden and no good can come from it.

  2. Oh I needed to hear that tale, too. Best of luck in letting it go.

  3. Ooh, good luck letting it all go...I have a long list of things I need to let go too. If you can't change it, it's best to deal with it and move on. Find a way to be happy. I'm still working on it :)

  4. I still kinda regret buying this place, and there were a lot of things the seller didn't disclose here too. Admittedly not as bad as having to re-pipe or re-roof though since I'm in a condo of course. This was supposed to be my 5 year home and lord knows when I'll be able to sell because of the market. But I'm trying to fix up the little things I can and just be happy that I have a roof over my head.

  5. Zen Ties is another good one. :)

    And while I harbor some resentment against my house too, getting everything into the place it belongs has been HUGELY helpful! Hubs has to get at least a couple more promotions and the market has to change before I can ditch this house.

  6. I just wanted you to know how much I love your blog! And I thought you deserved some props, so I nomintaed you for a blog award on my page. Just a little bit of fun for a blogtastic writer =)


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