When Your Boat Is Empty

A Taoist poet Chang Tzu tells of a man crossing a river in a small boat. If an empty boat collides with his own, he doesn’t react even though he might be a bad-tempered man. However, if he sees someone in the boat, he shouts at him to steer clear and pay attention to where he is going. He may even begin cursing. Only, because there is somebody in the boat.

We wait patiently in a very full parking lot for a parking space. OK. Maybe we are not so patient but we are also not upset… Then, noticing a person sitting in the driver seat of a parked car, we suddenly become quite irritated. Nothing really changes yet now there is somebody is in the car.

A wave of compassion for the Tsunami victims swept over the global community in 2004 uniting people of all faiths, nationalities and political affiliations. An outpouring of generosity softened hearts of people everywhere. It was natural to feel love, effortless to move into compassionate action and easy to collaborate. There was no enemy in sight, no weapons of mass destruction, no threat of violence or ambiguous perceptions of right or wrong. There was no one to blame. The boat was empty. The response, immediate and generous.

Imagine, how would your life be different if you could empty your own boat crossing the rivers of the world? If your thoughts were a luminous reflection of a spacious heart washed clean by the sweet waters of compassion; if love would make you her devoted servant and peace the ultimate master of your mind; if you could be completely present in each moment, embodying the God nature of your true being… How would your life be different? How would the world be different?

Today, choose to be forgiving. Seek first to understand. Be loving without expectations. Let go of needing to be right. Yield to the Truth. Breath deeply and consciously. Stay with in the present moment. Empty your boat and boldly sail toward the shore of true and real peace