One day a traveller climbed up on a mountain where he saw a hermit woman meditating with no one around her. Surprised to see her there all by herself, he asked: “What are you doing here alone in such a solitude place? You are not scared if something happens to you?” To which she replied: “I have lots of work.” He questioned her again: “And how can you have so much work? I do not see anything around you here. The mountain is completely barren.”
She patiently explained to him: “I have to train two hawks and two eagles, assure two rabbits, discipline one snake, motivate a donkey and tame a lion. He then said completely surprised, “And where have they gone that I do not see them?” She then said, “I have them all inside here within me. The two hawks stare on everything that is presented to me good or bad, I have to work on them to see only good things. They are my eyes.”
“The two eagles with their claws hurt and destroy, I have to train them not to hurt. They are my hands. The two rabbits want to go where they want, at the same time they do not want to face difficult situations, I have to teach them to be calm even if there is suffering or stumbling. They are my feet.
The donkey is always tired, stubborn and does not want to carry the load every time I walk. That is my body. The most difficult to take is the snake. Although it is locked in a strong cage with 32 bars, it is always ready to sting, bite and poison anyone nearby. I have to discipline it. That’s my tongue.
I also have another one, the lion. Oh! how proud, vain, he thinks that, he is the King. I have to tame him too. That’s my Ego. So, you see dear, I have lots of work to do on myself.
The traveller was amazed at her reply. He had never come across such a Zen Master in his life. He bowed down at her feet and left with profound and insightful knowledge that the outside world is not to be conquered but it is the inside world of ours that has to be thoroughly worked upon in order to understand who we REALLY ARE. We have to take responsibility of our life and respond to every situation in a positive and confident manner if we want to live a limitless life of bliss and joy.