Do You Have Too Many Cows?

Do You Have Too Many Cows? I know that I do!

Last night, I was having dinner with my daughter, Jessica, 28 years old and a world traveler!

Somehow, she picked up some wisdom beyond her years.

She said I was spending too much time on the computer!

This is not news!

When I was working as a software engineer, I spent most of my career working from home.

When I was making good money, I didn’t feel the need to work more than 40 hours a week, unless I was paid overtime (which happened quite frequently between 2004 and 2011).

Now, since starting Best Meditation Practices and Videos, I have been spending too much time on the computer.

I am changing that as of today!

Cows in India, 2000

Cows in India, 2000. Photo Jerome Freedman

During my chat with Jessica, I related the following story about the Buddha. Actually, I told the story in my own words, but Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh does a much better job. This is from one of the dharma talks, that you can find on the main menu, above called, Peace is Every Step; An Evening with Thich Nhat Hahn.

One day the Buddah was sitting with a number of monks, in the wood, near the city of Vajali.  Suddenly one person came by.  He looked very unhappy.  He was a farmer.

He asked the Buddha whether he had seen his cows, passing by.  The Buddha asked, “What cows?”  He said that he had twelve cows, and they have all run away.  “Monk, I am the most unhappy person on earth.  I think I am going to die.    I only have twelve cows, and they have gone, all of them.

And I also have two pieces of land where I cultivate sesame seed plants, and they are all eaten up by insects.  So I think I will die.”  The Buddha said he didn’t see any cows, and he suggested that the farmer go in the other direction in order to look for his cows.

And after the farmer was gone, the Buddha turned to his monks and said this:  “Monks, you are very lucky, you don’t have any cows.”

So, if we have any cows, either inside and outside, let them go.  Our happiness, our freedom, our peace depends very much on our capacity to release our cows.

When I heard this story back in 1991, I wrote in my pocket PC, “Too many cows!”

Do you have too many cows? What are they? How do you manage them? Please share your experience.

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