The Monk and The Pen
A Tibetan monk was asked, “what is the difference between detachment and non-attachment?”
He took a pen held it with his fingers and then let go. “This is detachment”, he said.
He then took the pen again, this time in his open palm. “This is non-attachment.”
When I have the pen, I want to hold onto it tight - but the only thing that does is to make my hand tired. And clammy. I also don’t like the pen as much as I did when I just had it casually in my hand.
But sometimes, we need to use the pen. And we do - without any struggle or grasping. We can use it and then comfortably go back to holding it. We don’t need to drop it, and we don’t need to clasp it tightly when we’re done. We simply hold it again.
We come back to balance. We come back to centre.
As I sit on my yoga mat writing, it’s very easy to write these words. When my child wakes up for what seems like the millionth time at night, it is harder to find that equanimity.
Stillness comes when the soul is in charge. We need to remind ourselves of that, again and again, so we that we remember to pause even when it feels like we’re being swept away in a skyscraper of a tsunami.
We pause, we regroup, we nestle the pen gently in our palm, and we go about business as normal.
We keep coming back to centre. We keep choosing not to drop the pen because, quite frankly, we can’t be bothered anymore, or it’s too hard.
Over and over, again and again.
Until one day, like a pendulum that barely moves, you are there, still, listening to the quiet whisper of your soul and you know the direction. your life is meant to take - even if it’s not the path you would have chosen for yourself.
You know this is the path of growth, of evolution. And you surrender to that because you know that is ultimately why you are here.