Meditation Stories: The inexperienced woodcutter

Once upon a time, an unemployed man approached a timber merchant for a job but he was neither much educated nor did he have much experience however he had a strong and robust physique. So the merchant kept him on probation as a woodcutter. The merchant was really generous so he offered very good pay and  working conditions were also such. Hence, the woodcutter was determined to do his best. The merchant gave him an axe and showed him the area where he supposed to work. The first day, the woodcutter cut and brought trunks of 18 trees.

Impressed by this the merchant offered him the permanent position on the very same day, “Congratulations and Keep it up!” the merchant complimented. Encouraged and pumped by such kind words, the woodcutter kept working harder and harder. The next week during a routine evaluation, the merchant found out he could only bring 15 trees. So the merchant was vaguely disappointed and asked him to work harder.

The following week he tried even harder, came an hour early and left an hour late but he could only bring 10 trees on an average per day. And day after day he kept bringing fewer and fewer trees. On noticing this the merchant called him to his office. “I must be losing my strength”, the woodcutter murmured in shame even before the merchant could speak. He apologized, exclaiming “Alas, I don’t understand what was going on!”. The woodcutter appeared even stronger than before and didn’t show any signs of disease or insincerity.

So after musing for a minute, the generous merchant asked: “When was the last time you sharpened your axe?”. “Sharpen?” The woodcutter asked in surprise. After a brief pause, he replied “I had no time to sharpen my axe. I have been very busy trying hard to cut more and more trees…” Listening to this the merchant laughed like a child and then asked a senior worker to give him proper training in his job. Thereafter his efficiency increased day by day.

You see friends, our lives are also like that. We constantly push our body and mind to their extremes, without giving them proper time to relax or without sharpening them by using rejuvenating and therapeutic activities such as Yoga, Tai Chi or Meditation. And we often keep on putting them down by saying “I am busy” and “I don’t have time to meditate or stretch”. And then we seem to wonder why our productivity and health seems to go down despite putting more time into our work. Expecting the body and mind to work properly without proper rest and rejuvenation is like expecting day without night or light without shadows.

So we should not get so busy that we neglect the things that are truly important in our lives such as family, friends and relationships, our health and wellbeing. And we all need leisure time to relax, to read, to enjoy, to listen to some good old music and to unwind, to meditate, to learn and to grow. Because if we don’t take the time to sharpen the “axe”, we will soon become dull and lose our effectiveness.

I hope this post serves you well. Feel free to contact me in case of any queries and your comments are always quite enlightening. Please Like, Share and Comment, it would be a great way to appreciate my hard work and very encouraging for my next post. Thank-You for Reading 🙂

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