Letting the shoots sprout…

…without pulling them prematurely out of the ground. This is a time of taking small steps in a consistent definite direction, and not expecting much return. Learning to relax takes time. Settling an agitated nervous system takes time. Everything takes its place without me pushing or pulling anything. This was shown to me last week. I went into a drama, and then the situation showed me there was no need.

Last week a new neighbour moved in downstairs and started playing very loud music. I also like very loud music, but MY music lol. And I like silence much of the time too. I got agitated and irritated, and my mind started its shenanigans. I thought I would either have to go and knock her door and complain, risking creating bad feeling or conflict if she refused…(and had a whole big emotional response to the thought of that) or discuss with our landlord, again creating bad feeling and social awkwardness, or even move out, (and had another emotional reaction to that, anger).

Then our mutual neighbour invited us all to a big dinner party next door at the weekend. I was kind of dreading it, as I had built up some resentment and been indulging feelings of hostility. One of the first things the new neighbour downstairs said to me was ‘Hope I am not playing my music too loud?’ I said ‘Yes you are’. And she said, ‘Okay I will stop that’. Problem solved. Just like that in an instant. And no loud music ever since. Excellent. No need for all that stress I put myself through. I am reminded of the following little story….

“The Zen Master Hakuin lived in a small town in Japan, and was held in high regard by all who knew him. Many came to him seeking guidance and spiritual advice. 
Then it came to pass that the teenage daughter of one of his closest neighbours became pregnant. The parents demanded to know who the father was, and after much shouting and arguing, she named Hakuin.

The parents were infuriated. They stormed over to the Zen Master’s home, pounding on the door and yelling accusations. “You scoundrel!” they hollered when he answered. “You got our daughter pregnant and now she is with child!”


“Is that so?” was all he would say.

News of the scandal quickly spread throughout the small town. No one came to Hakuin for guidance anymore. By this he was not bothered. After a time, the child was born, the parents bringing it immediately to Hakuin’s house.

“You did this,” they said. “Now you take responsibility for it.”

Hakuin accepted the tiny newborn with full willingness, bringing it into his home and taking care of it as if it were his own. He borrowed milk and provisions from his neighbours, along with everything else the little 
one needed.

Around a year later, the mother of the child lamented in a fit a remorse, admitting that Hakuin was not the father, and that it was in fact an errand boy who worked in the nearby market. The parents of the young girl went hurriedly to Hakuin’s house to ask his forgiveness.

“We are so very sorry! Our daughter has told us who the real father is, and we have come to take the baby back from you.”

Hakuin passed the child over to them with full willingness.

All he had to say was, “Is that so?“


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