The farmer and the spirit

There once was a poor farmer who lived outside a small rural village in India. He had a few acres of land where he grew crops, a milking cow and a small hut for his wife and 5 children. Also a great yogi, the farmer rose earlier than most farmers to practice to meditate. He developed his psychic powers so he could take control of the spirits of the land to help him grow large healthy crops. But the man was exhausted from too little sleep and so much physical labor, so he thought, “If only I could have a spirit to help me in the fields, I could get rest and get ahead.”


The man went deep into meditation and contacted a spirit, asking the spirit to help him with his labor. The spirit agreed on one condition, “You must always keep me busy. You must always give me something to do.” The farmer thought that would be easy! There is so much non-stop work around here, no problem.


Happily, the farmer agreed and immediately began to task the spirit with chores. “Till the soil, plant the seeds, water the crops, build a new hut, weed the gardens, etc. etc. etc.” The farmer was delighted to see so much getting accomplished and the farmer was able to sleep and rest and enjoy his life. But after a short time, the spirit would wake him up in the middle of the night. “Hey, I finished, give me something else, give me something more, you promised to keep me busy, give me something more…”


It didn’t take long before the man began to feel tortured by the spirit! All the chores were getting done but the spirit was now a constant pest, intruding all the time, waking him up, following him everywhere. He was beside himself and decided he must go seek help from the village wise man. The farmer explained what happen to the wise man who instructed him, “Build a 30-bamboo pole. Place it deep in the ground. Tell the spirit, climb up and down this pole, until I give you my next instruction.”


And with this, the farmer was saved.


This spirit is the true nature of our mind. The mind’s natural state is to be demanding, non-stop, active, impatient, rapid, fickle, moody and changeable.


Perhaps you’ve tried dozens of methods to tame your restless mind. You meditate. You exercise.

You recite positive affirmations and mantras. You process your feelings. You’re accountable and self-responsible. You’re on time. You pay your bills promptly. You return phone calls and emails. You have a therapist, a healer, a good family and loving friends. And sometime, no matter how much you do it right, you’re still not in control of your mind. Intellectually you get it, that, you’re human and its okay, but internally your stomach tightens and internal thoughts of self-condemnation, pop up out of the blue for no good reason!