The seeker and the sought

Even a small story can make the heart larger. Stories make one visit places inside and outside the mind that one never knew existed. Often they haunt and if you probe long and deep enough, you find a new perspective that might have escaped you despite having heard the story several times. One such story goes like this.
A sage was sitting under a tree from where he could see the courtyard of a house in the vicinity. A child’s laughter drew his attention; he saw a child running around the courtyard trying to catch his shadow as his mother watched indulgently. The child’s frantic attempts to catch his shadow and mirth as the shadow escaped him brought a smile to the sage’s face. No one can remain untouched by the innocence and gay abandon of a child. Soon, however, the mirth faded as the child grew increasingly frustrated at not being able to catch his shadow. The mother’s attempts to help were futile and soon the child broke down in tears. The sage who had enjoyed the child’s happiness could not remain unscathed by his sorrow. He got up from under the tree and walked into the courtyard of the house. He gently asked the child to put his hands on his own head and said: “Go catch your shadow. I’m positive you will capture it this time.” Emboldened by the words of the sage, the child tried once again and much to his delight he found that he was holding his shadow by the head. The mother smiled gratefully at the sage as he walked back to his place under the tree.
This little story is much larger in scope and dimension. We need to first get a grip of ourselves if we have a grip over what we seek. The only way to control or manipulate the external is internal. A musk deer has the fragrance within and yet runs throughout the forest trying to find it. Unlike the child and deer, we need to stop running around, pause and look inside for the answers we seek. Rumi said, “What you seek is seeking you” and at some point, you will find that the seeker and the sought will become one.