A man was sitting by a lake. He was throwing small pebbles into it from time to time. A young boy happened to cross by. He was intrigued to see that after every few minutes or so, the man would toss a pebble into the lake.
The boy went up to the man and said, “Good pastime, this stone throwing, he?” “Hmmm,” said the man. He seemed to be deep in thought and obviously did not wish to be disturbed.
Sometime later, the man said softly, “Look at the water, it is absolutely still.”
The boy said, “Yeah, it is.”
The man tossed a pebble into the water and continued, “Only till I toss a pebble into it now do you see the ripples?”
“Yeah,” said the boy, “they spread further and further.”
“And soon, the water is still again,” offered the man.
The boy said, “Sure, it becomes quiet, after a while.”
The man continued, “What if we want to stop the ripples? The root cause of the ripples is the stone. Lets take the stone out. Go ahead and look for it.” The boy put his hand into the water and tried to take the stone out.
But he only succeeded in making more ripples. He was able to take the stone out, but the number of ripples that were made in the process were a lot more than before.
The wise man said, “It is not possible to stop the movement of the water once a pebble has been thrown into it. But if we can stop ourselves from throwing the pebble in the first place, the ripples can be avoided altogether! So too, it is with our minds. If a thought enters into it, it creates ripples. The only way to save the mind from getting disturbed is to block and ban the entry of every superfluous thought that could be a potential cause for disturbance.”
“If a disturbance has entered into the mind, it will take its own time to die down. Too many conflicting thoughts just cause more and more disturbances. Once the disturbance has been caused it takes time to ebb out. Even trying to forcibly remove the thought may further increase the turmoil in the mind. Time surely is a great healer, but prevention is always better than cure.”
Before you allow a thought or a piece of information to enter your mind, put it through the triple filter test of authenticity, goodness and value.
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