It was a goldilocks weather. It wasn’t too hot where one could hear nothing but the constant buzzing of flies or mosquitos and it wasn’t that cold when one questions one’s own existence if required to leave the warmth of the bed in the morning. It was a beautiful morning and I had the time to enjoy it as I had woken an hour before my schedule expected.
The birds were chirping, there was a gentle breeze and then it happened. Just for a moment I want you to imagine, imagine a time when you are sitting in a car and your favorite song comes along and the moment you are ready to groove to the chorus, suddenly your co-passenger starts blaring the lyrics like a foghorn or imagine the time when you were getting into the car and your driver started to sing “Just chill, chill , just chill” as if Katrina had possessed his soul and throughout the day the ear worm kept wiggling in your brain chewing away all sanity when you had to think about deadlines but in your head there was a constant loop of just chill chill just chill.
Or better yet visualize the time when you had an itch in your Mooladhar and you were sitting in front of very important people, and all you wanted to do was itch but the situation did not allow. Now whatever emotions come to your mind thinking these situations multiply them with hundred that’s what I was feeling that morning.
What triggered the violent emotional volcano was nothing more then a humble jackass. Somehow a donkey had come near my quarters and started to bray as if it was paid to do so.
My pleasant morning became a horrendous nightmare.
The donkey didn’t stop, it continued for a long time. All I wanted to do was pick up a stick and chase that jackass like a madman. If I could I would. But alas! my position did not allow me to do so for I preach unconditional love.
To top it all, when I went for breakfast I saw the dumb donkey had my family divided, some people in my family didn’t care at all as they acted high and mighty. All I could wonder was that maybe age had given them wisdom or maybe age had them becoming deaf. Whatever the reason, I did not relate with them. Then there were the artsy people in my family, the art loving, chakra opening, incense smoking, philosophy preaching, garlic hating, so called hippies in my family.
They loved the donkey they said they could hear god’s own words in that jackass. I stood baffled by the weird, almost brain damaged gentry giving me their alien logic for how was this braying in any way divine or godsend. I wanted to debate but each time I came up with a sound interjection, the donkey would scream, compelling me to lose all sanity or cognition.
Yet, praise be to God for there were a few good people still left in my family who hated the donkey as much as I did. These were my people, the intelligent people, we sat together each day planning and plotting how to rid the world of these God forsaken jackasses.
We debated each day for hours over what were the psychological causes of the braying and each conversation had us howling like hyenas, united in our mania, laughing hysterically over what fate we would confer to the jackass if we had the chance. By this time, the donkey had made friends, with his clan growing each day.
The noise had become louder.
Sometimes in the night I would sneak out at night with the stealth of a ninja and try to chase away the donkeys. Yet, each morning the donkeys would gather in a group, looking at me with a mocking grin. The debates continued, the braying continued, the slip to insanity continued till one day my father came to me and suggested meditation.
I looked at him with as much exasperation and alarm with which one looks at the traffic police when stopped for speeding. My father calmly pointed his finger towards the donkey. Around the donkey there were almost a thousand flies, a constant, unanimous unsynchronized deafening buzzing noise, like a group of toddlers trying to sing a prayer in the morning assembly, surrounded the poor donkey. Yet, instead of jumping around, the donkey stood there in a zen like stupor. Eyes half-closed staring into the emptiness.
My father told me learn from the donkey. He is unfazed from your daily shenanigans as well as a million flies, all because the donkey seems to be meditating. So if the donkey can meditate why can’t you my son. It sounded logical enough to me. So that night, even I sat staring into the emptiness like the donkey. I calmed my breath, relaxed my body and lo! I woke up next morning happy and chirpy.
I felt like a jackass thinking on what I had been missing. It took me a few days to master the techniques to become as proficient as the donkey was at relaxation. The family still debated sometimes about the beast but the fact remained. The donkey still had his flies and I still had the donkey, yet we both were calm and relaxed. But to my surprise, meditation had calmed me in all situations. I was peaceful to all the pigs oinking, all the bulls bullying, crows crowing. As if all these noises had silenced just for me.
The next morning I woke up happy and as I had my green tea, I looked down and the donkey looked up. The jackass had made me less of a jackass. He had helped me become stronger and immune to any and all that was unwanted. I went down and hugged the donkey for I had learned my lesson. The donkey was very important in my growth for it led me to the doors of meditation.
To all the people reading this, I suggest thank the donkeys in your life. The loud jackasses which have made it their moral responsibility to bray in your proximity. For, each day they will help you become better. Gratitude to all the jackasses teaching us patience and acceptance and most of all forgiveness. If you can, go hug a donkey today