The tale of the two farmers reminds me of when a friend asked me what is mindfulness? His question was so spontaneous that it caught me off guard. That day what spontaneously came to mind was practically the analogy of the two farmers.
Ploughing the field
Two farmers set out ploughing their field. While ploughing their field right in the middle of their field they find a rock jutting out of the soil.
On such an encounter one of the farmers abruptly stops. He starts to think, “how am I going to plough the field with such a huge rock set right in the middle.” He says to himself, “I know, I will remove it.” He positions himself grabs the rock with his bare hands trying to dislodge it out of the ground, to no avail. Frustrated by such thinking to himself he says, “I know, I will get a spade dig around it and when I reach the bottom, I will lever it out.” He starts digging around it to no avail and all the while the rock is just getting bigger.
Thinking again to himself he says, “I know, I will get a mechanical digger, sure that will do the trick.” He acquires a mechanical digger and starts removing the soil and chipping at the rock. Finally, he says with a smile on his face, “the rock is gone.” He gets out of the digger and dusts his clothes. Then looking around, he realises that by the time he had finished, there was no more “a field” to plough.
Cultivating the field
Likewise, while ploughing his field the second farmer also encounters “a rock” in the middle. He stops, looks at the rock, but never loses sight of the field. He dislodges the plough and continues ploughing the field. At the end of a hard day’s work. He looks at the field and sees the rock. He approaches it, sits on it and comes to the realisation of what a vantage point the rock is at giving him a view of the whole field. Such is the cultivation of mindfulness. Not only through the practice of meditation but also in our actions in everyday life.
Reflection – On two farmers
Likewise, in our everyday mindful endeavour’s our actions can reflect in one of two farmers.
Similarly, to the second farmer. The essence of mindful action lies in the fact of an appreciation of what we got. Coupled with genuine gratitude towards the fact that we’re alive. Further, such appreciating and gratitude that we are alive. Will help us make certain choices that not only affect our own lives in a positive manner. But also, the lives of countless others.
Reflect it is good to engage in a contemplative practice, whatever it is. But if such a practice does not go beyond the cushion and reflect in our actions. In helping, serving and an expressed loving compassion, not only for oneself but also for others. What would be the use and meaning behind our contemplative practices?
What are your thoughts comment below?