Thursday, March 5, 2015

Relinquishing What's Not Yours

From Anthony de Mello's book Song of The Bird:

The Diamond
When the sannyasi reached the outskirts of the village and settled under a tree for the night, a villager came running up to him and said, "The stone! The stone! Give me the precious stone!"

"What stone?" asked the sannyasi.

"Last night Lord Shiva told me in a dream that if I went to the outskirts of the village at dusk a sannyasi would give me a stone that would make me rich forever."

The sannyasi rummaged in his sack and, pulling out a stone, he said, "He probably meant this one. I found it in the forest yesterday. Here, it’s yours if you want it."

The man gazed at the stone in wonder. It was the largest diamond in the world — the size of a man’s head. All night he tossed about in bed. At the break of day he woke the sannyasi and said, "Give me the wealth that makes it possible for you to give this stone away."

Found myself today holding onto the stone, and although it was only worth a little less than $50, it took me the entire day before i could open my hand and relinquish it. Why? I'm actually shocked, and a little saddened. While certainly not a sanyasi, i thought i lived to higher standards than this. I, too, want the wealth, not the stone.