Hopes & Desires

by stewart

Turtle was very, very slowly, dragging around a large rock that was tied with rope to his leg.  When grasshopper approached, Turtle was sweating and breathing heavily; he had been doing this for hours. Puzzled grasshopper called out, “Friend what are you doing dragging that rock around. You are slow as molasses anyway; with that extra weight, surely you will never get any place on time. You might even get sick from all the exertion. Why don’t you just untie the rope?”

Turtle replied, “This rock represents my hopes and desires. I am waiting for one of the perfected ones to cut the rope with the scissor of Truth.  Until then, I am at the rock’s mercy and must continue on in this fashion.”

At this response, grasshopper just shook his head and continued on his way.


The Lesson

  • In this action teaching, Turtle is playing the part of all pond creatures.  While hopes and desires are an essential aspect to joyful, healthy living; when we hope too much or desire too much, we can loose our inner balance. Particularly, when hopes and desires are not met; often we become disappointed and the emotional sting can temporarily block us from moving further along our journey.
  • Often we are helped, when someone else or a teacher points this out to us. Hoping for something beyond a certain point, in a spiritual search can be severely limiting, and needs to be cut loose like Turtle’s rock. Then we can continue on our journey, traveling inward, without the  ‘inner noise’ of strong emotions.
  • Because grasshopper has not learned to shift his frame of reference, to limiting factors on a spiritual journey, he does not understand what Turtle is teaching.


Check-out my two new books: Sufism for Western Seekers: Path of the Spiritual Traveler in Everyday Life and The Ferryman’s Dream.  Both books are available through Amazon.com or local bookstore.


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