I was recently told the following story about love. And not your usual kind of love story. This type of love goes beyond all that we think we know about love. And for most people, love is either of a romantic nature, or the kind of love a parent has to a child. In our everyday life that is exactly what we consider love to be. I think, every moment of our day, we can chose to meet a situation with love and compassion for ourself and the other, a love that goes beyond our sense of self preservation. However, for the most part, we forget we have a choice and react instead based on the stories we tell ourselves, our usual patterns of behavior and our survival strategies.
So it is said a long time ago, somewhere in Asia that a small village was about to become invaded by a violent and ill willed Samurai lord and his gang, who had been commissioned by a ruler to take a village of their liking as a reward for their bravery in battle.
As the village people discovered the imminent threat of their lives and the place they called home, they decided to flee instead of staying. As the village people began to pack their most essential belongings and were ready to leave the village, one man noticed that the Buddhist master of the village wasn’t getting ready to leave, he stood quietly in the middle of the town square.
“Aren’t you afraid for your life? Why are you still here?” the man asked the Master.
“I am very afraid, but I choose to stay,” the Master replied. “This is my home.”
The man left with his family and soon the Master was the only person left in the village. In the near distance, the Samurai and his people appeared. The Master remained where he was.
As the Samurai warrior rode into the village and came to the village town square, he nodded to the Buddhist Master with a grin.
“Why are you still here? Why haven’t you fled like the rest?” the Samurai warrior cried out.
“Don’t you know who I am?” the Samurai continued. “I am the person who will be your demise.”
The Buddhist Master looked at the Samurai warrior and said with the same determination in his voice.
“Don’t you know who I am? I am the person who will let you.”