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Welcome to the April 22, 2016 Wesak and Earth Day Full Moon in Scorpio, Taurus Solar Festival edition of the Satya Center Cosmic Weather Forecast.

Warm greetings from your co-Editors, Curtis Lang and Jane Sherry.

Curtis and Jane’s Boca Garden Report

lightning bocaIt’s warm, balmy and beautiful in South Florida this week. That’s delightful after a winter “dry season” that brought us a series of severe tropical storms every couple of weeks. Hundreds of lightning strikes in just a couple of hours in our small city of Boca Raton, tennis ball size hail an hour north of us on several occasions in a region where hail normally just doesn’t happen, and a series of tornados. Two weeks ago, we had five inches of rain in two hours. Kind of scary to see the swimming pool fill to the top lip in ten minutes. Not a normal winter season for sure.

Jane and I are preparing a garden plan for our new homestead that will include a vegetable garden and an herb garden, much like what we had in upstate New York, but on a much much smaller scale.

In addition, we have discovered through conversations with local permaculture folk that this is the perfect location for a fruit garden and a spice garden, including cinnamon, cardamom, perennial ginger and turmeric (yum!!) to name just a few. There are also a variety of perennial vegetables that grow like crazy here in Florida and we intend to visit some nearby permaculture farms to sample these new edibles and decide if we want to include them in our new garden.

So it seems like an amazing cornucopia of goodies can be crammed into our small suburban homestead by the swimming pool. We have so much to learn here, and every day is a new adventure.

We are loving it, but there is a weird undercurrent of angst and anxiety in the air and we are hardly immune to it.

Just turn on the TV or surf your Facebook feed and you’ll tune into it. And I don’t mean reluctant sounding reports about how the global economy is sputtering and threatening to seize up, or lurid stories about Donald Trump.

Weather around the world is crazy. This week weather in New York has been a roller coaster of snow days and eighty degree insta-thaws. Houston is having the most rain they’ve ever experienced, with 1000 water rescues so far and more rain in the forecast. California has had rain this wet season, but not enough to really break the multi-year drought, even though this record-breaking El Nino system was supposed to do just that.

New York’s weather is instructive and ominous. Spring is no longer spring, but rather a see-saw transitional moment between winter and summer. Fall is truncated and winter can be a brutal snowstorm-freeze-thaw-flood-icestorm-thaw-flood cycle. The steady progression of the four seasons appears to be breaking down, all over the world.

Here at Satya Center we have celebrated the seasonal festivals that mark the transition points within the yearly seasonal wheel every year for the last 13 years, sharing Cosmic Weather Forecasts with you at each point along the way.

The historically predictable cycle of the seasons can be seen in the changing patterns of stars in the sky throughout the year.

Observations of these starscapes and of seasonal cycles in ancient Mesopotamia coalesced into the first known examples of mathematics, astronomy, astrology and accounting, and made possible the transition from a hunter-gatherer society to the age of heroic agriculture through massive irrigation projects, the creation of granaries, and so forth.

So what do the current topsy-turvy weather patterns in America and around the globe portend for human civilization as climate change unfolds?

A New Dark Age Looms, according to William Gail, past President of the American Meteorlogical Society. Gail writes in The New York Times today that we are in danger of losing the ability to predict weather patterns on a seasonal and year to year basis, and thus we are in danger of losing our ability to organize global agricultural outcomes successfully.

“IMAGINE a future in which humanity’s accumulated wisdom about Earth — our vast experience with weather trends, fish spawning and migration patterns, plant pollination and much more — turns increasingly obsolete,” says Gail. “As each decade passes, knowledge of Earth’s past becomes progressively less effective as a guide to the future. Civilization enters a dark age in its practical understanding of our planet.”

earth

“. . .As Earth warms, our historical understanding will turn obsolete faster than we can replace it with new knowledge. Some patterns will change significantly; others will be largely unaffected, though it will be difficult to say what will change, by how much, and when.”

“The list of possible disruptions is long and alarming,” Gail continues. “We could see changes to the prevalence of crop and human pests, like locust plagues set off by drought conditions; forest fire frequency; the dynamics of the predator-prey food chain; the identification and productivity of reliably arable land, and the predictability of agriculture output.”

“. . .Without substantial scientific breakthroughs, we will remain reliant on pattern-based methods for time periods between a month and a decade. The problem is, as the planet warms, these patterns will become increasingly difficult to discern. This will present a troubling issue for regions of the world subject to El Niño, monsoon cycles and other long-term weather variability.”

“Our grandchildren could grow up knowing less about the planet than we do today. This is not a legacy we want to leave them. Yet we are on the verge of ensuring this happens,” Gail concludes.

So for Satya Center the weird weather we’re experiencing is more than a little creepy. Jane and I are very connected to the traditional cycle of seasonal change and to the agricultural cycles that coincide with the spiritual festivals we mark in these monthly lunar newsletters.

I don’t mind saying that we’ve been a little anxious and worried about the future, despite our long years of spiritual practice and our abiding faith and trust in the Universe and in our spiritual guidance.

Because a growing mountain of unpleasant facts are staring us in the face every day.

Here's a challenge for you: See if you can read this short list of facts from the Collapse Data Cheat Sheet at Loki’s Revenge Blog without crying. Seriously. It might be good. It might open your heart. Buddha would approve.

"If we put all land vertebrate life on a weigh scale, humans and livestock would take up 97% of all that weight. Ten thousand years ago we were 0.01%. Consuming meat will kill all life on earth, cause the atmosphere to disappear and our oceans to slowly drift off into space. The earth will not be fine without us."

99% of Rhinos gone since 1914.
97% of Tigers gone since 1914.
90% of Lions gone since 1993.
90% of Sea Turtles gone since 1980.
90% of Monarch Butterflies gone since 1995.
90% of Big Ocean Fish gone since 1950.
80% of Antarctic Krill gone since 1975.
80% of Western Gorillas gone since 1955.
60% of Forest Elephants gone since 1970.
50% of Great Barrier Reef gone since 1985.
50% of Human Sperm Counts gone since 1950.
80% of Western Gorillas gone since 1955.
50% of Forest Bird Species will be gone in 50 years.
40% of Giraffes gone since 2000.
40% of ocean phytoplankton gone since 1950.
… http://www.scientificamerican.com/…/phytoplankton-populati…/
Ocean plankton declines of 1% per year means 50% gone in 70 years, more than 1% is likely.
Ocean acidification doubles by 2050, triples by 2100.
30% of Marine Birds gone since 1995.
70% of Marine Birds gone since 1950.
28% of Land Animals gone since 1970.
28% of All Marine Animals gone since 1970.
Humans and livestock are 97% of earth’s land-air vertebrate biomass.
Our crop and pasture lands caused 80% of all land vertebrate species extinctions.

Perhaps you think the previous article is simple hyperbole and there’s no way that human activities could render Earth unsuitable for all living things.

Well then, read Human Domination of the Biosphere: Rapid Discharge of the earth-space battery foretells the future of humankind, from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"Earth is a chemical battery where, over evolutionary time with a trickle-charge of photosynthesis using solar energy, billions of tons of living biomass were stored in forests and other ecosystems and in vast reserves of fossil fuels. In just the last few hundred years, humans extracted exploitable energy from these living and fossilized biomass fuels to build the modern industrial-technological-informational economy, to grow our population to more than 7 billion, and to transform the biogeochemical cycles and biodiversity of the earth.”

“This rapid discharge of the earth’s store of organic energy fuels the human domination of the biosphere, including conversion of natural habitats to agricultural fields and the resulting loss of native species, emission of carbon dioxide and the resulting climate and sea level change, and use of supplemental nuclear, hydro, wind, and solar energy sources. The laws of thermodynamics governing the trickle-charge and rapid discharge of the earth’s battery are universal and absolute; the earth is only temporarily poised a quantifiable distance from the thermodynamic equilibrium of outer space. Although this distance from equilibrium is comprised of all energy types, most critical for humans is the store of living biomass. With the rapid depletion of this chemical energy, the earth is shifting back toward the inhospitable equilibrium of outer space with fundamental ramifications for the biosphere and humanity. Because there is no substitute or replacement energy for living biomass, the remaining distance from equilibrium that will be required to support human life is unknown."

Nor is climate apocalypse something our great-grandchildren will have to face. Even Baby Boomers will get a chance to experience it first-hand.

"The apocalypse has a new date: 2048,” according to a story by CBS News entitled Salt Water Fish Extinction Seen by 2048.

"That's when the world's oceans will be empty of fish, predicts an international team of ecologists and economists. The cause: the disappearance of species due to overfishing, pollution, habitat loss, and climate change.”

The scientists say it's NOT too late if we take action NOW to implement sustainable fisheries management, pollution control, habitat maintenance, and the creation of more ocean reserves.

And it’s not too late for each one of us to take some simple steps to mitigate the worst effects of looming climate change beginning this week, on this Earth Day Wesak Festival.

A flexatarian diet that reduces meat consumption in the US to levels that are healthy for us will reduce the impact of climate change dramatically. Eliminating meat would be stellar. The wisdom of the ancient Vedas and of the Buddha, who recommended a vegetarian diet, may have been thousands of years ahead of its time! 

For more information on how significant an impact a global change of diet would be, read how The link between climate change and meat consumption is harrowingly realfrom Salon.com.

It turns out that being Cassandra is not a recipe for contentment or self-satisfaction. As long-time readers of the Satya Center newsletter know, we’ve predicted the slow-motion collapse of our global civilization for the last eight years. The current trends of increasing overpopulation, unsustainable agricultural practices and simmering global warfare over cheap hydrocarbons are simply not going to continue on a linear path into the future.

Jane and I are also subject to fears about our financial future, like so many others, since the economy has not been very good for business nor the stock market over the last two years.

And yes we are fearful about the collapse of the American political system and the emergence of a polarized society on the verge of civil war.

So we have been looking for guidance since coming to Florida, and the week of the Wesak festival is traditionally a time when we receive guidance concerning the next year of our lives.

rainbow boca ratonSo we were delighted when we walked to the door on a cloudy day yesterday, with no rain in our neighborhood, and saw the biggest horizon to horizon rainbow we’ve seen in many years.

The rainbow is a special sign from the Universe for us. Rainbows have marked many of our moves, and come in response to many questions we have asked the Universe over the years. So we are once again, renewing our faith in the future and setting our fears aside.

This is not the time for fear, but for renewed courage.

This is not the time for scapegoating and anger, but for building bridges and collaborating with loving kindness so we can find ways to gracefully manage this transition from an overpopulated, degraded world dominated by financial predators to a world of sustainable environmental practices and true democracy.

This Friday is the Buddha’s birthday and it is Earth Day.

Shakyamuni Buddha taught that the individual Self, experienced as the egoistic personality, is an illusion, and that each of us is indissolubly united with the vast web of life that interpenetrates the physical and spiritual realms, extending throughout the space-time continuum, encompassing past, present and future.

When we become fully conscious of that interdependent connection we have to the web of life, to Mother Earth and to the Heavens above us, that is the achievement of our spiritual goal in life. At that moment we are liberated and we achieve Nirvana.

We can take steps this week to move us more rapidly toward achieving the great goal. We can steps in our spiritual practice, in our personal lives, and as members of a larger community to reflect our inner awareness of our Oneness with all life on planet Earth and all Beings of Light on the inner spiritual planes.

This is a great week to make plans to plant a tree, change to a more eco-friendly diet, reduce your carbon footprint, and resolve to share your heightened environmental awareness with neighbors, relatives and friends.

The organizers of Earth Day have set a goal of planting 50,000 trees this year to help keep Mother Earth breathing properly. If you want to be part of the 50,000 tree project, or discover new ways to take action to mitigate climate change go to the Earth Day website.

It’s not too late. It’s not too hard. It’s time. Together, we know that we can. If we work together.

Together we can make a difference. Together we can focus our intent and our energy to manifest a new reality on planet Earth that will return the biosphere to the equilibrium that is necessary to support carbon-based oxygen breathing life forms far into the future.

Together we can createEarth Day 2016 Poster a political atmosphere that requires politicians and corporations to take serioussteps to prevent runaway climate change from destroying the biosphere and leaving Mother Earth a dead planet, unable to sustain any life as we know it.

Together we can meditate, pray and focus our crystals and our minds to heal the Earth’s wounds, raise awareness among all people, and transform fear into love, love into compassion for all living things, and compassion into community action that will be a bridge to a future new Garden of Eden.

The Feast of Wesak

The global spring spiritual Full Moon Festival of Wesak occurs this year on Friday, April 22nd, 2016, at 1:24 AM Eastern time, the day of the Scorpio Full Moon and the Taurus Solar Festival.

The Festival of Wesak is a Global Celebration of the work being done by the Ascended Master Teachers in Spiritual Worlds and by the New Group of World Servers, often known as Lightworkers, in the physical realm on planet Earth. 

In the East, Wesak is a yearly Festival commemorating the birth of Gautama Buddha, his spiritual enlightenment, and his transcendent journey beyond the manifested universe.

BuddhaOn Wesak, millions of Buddhists in thousands of temples across the world from Tokyo in the East to San Francisco in the West gather and pay homage to an Indian Prince who renounced the pleasures of his royal household to seek enlightenment for the purpose of ending human suffering, and to bring peace and happiness to mankind.

Those who practice a more individual approach to spirituality, especially in the West, celebrate this auspicious day by participating in a global group meditation

The true spiritual significance of Wesak is this. In the spiritual world, there is a Hierarchy of Ascended Master Guides and Teachers whose elevated consciousness constitutes a kind of collective hive-mind dedicated to the enlightenment of human beings and the acceleration of humanity’s spiritual evolution.

This Hierarchy honors all the various Wisdom Schools of the East and the West, and recognizes the validity of all true religious teachings of every lineage.

For those who have become conscious of their Guides and Teachers, the Enlightened Ones send a continuous energetic stream of intellectual inspiration, loving wisdom, compassion and will forces designed to strengthen the spiritual seeker, guide them toward golden opportunities to be of maximum service in the world, and unite them with like-minded souls from various walks of life with whom they can share the life of Spirit in a more conscious way.

Thus the Ascended Master Teachers seek to help the individual find and affiliate with a sympathetic group of spiritual aspirants, so that the individual may enjoy the enhanced energy levels available only in group spiritual practice.

The Ascended Master Teachers also seek to join the individual with spiritual teachers appropriate to each individual’s soul development, personality, cultural conditioning and karmic needs.

Finally, the Ascended Master Teachers seek to embrace the individual in the New Group of World Servers comprising all those spiritual aspirants worldwide from every lineage and religion who share a common vision of humanity’s essential Unity and of the essential Truth of Unity.

earth doveMuch of the work that the New Group of World Servers must accomplish in this New Age is to bring the activities of human beings into harmony with the myriad beings of the mineral, plant and animal realms on planet Earth, restoring a balance to the environment and preserving the lives of countless species during this period of global climate change and transition.

The New Group of World Servers strive to elevate human consciousness so that we will all recognize the existence of the many devas, elemental spirits and nature spirits active in the realms of nature, whose work equilibrates and optimizes the growth of all sentient beings on this garden planet.

Over the last hundred years, countless meditators, lightworkers, spiritual seekers and aspirants have told stories of dreams and meditative visions they have experienced on the Full Moon of May.

Over time, their stories have coalesced into a larger collective Story of Wesak, which has its foundation in the initial writings of the Theosophist and medium Alice Bailey.

For a complete rendering of the Wesak story and a guide to participating in the global Full Wesak Moon meditation on Friday read our article entitled The Global Festival of Wesak: Buddha's Birthday & the Shamballa Gathering.

During the Wesak Full Moon a gathering of incarnate and discarnate disciples, Guides and Teachers from every corner of the Earth gather in a valley high in the Himalayas for a yearly Festival in which the Christ and Buddha appear to bless the assembled gathering and all the faithful throughout the world.

In our article entitled Wesak Wisdom: The War Between the Ego and the Higher Self, we offer some of the teachings of Buddha concerning the path to overcoming the limitations of the human personality and the achievement of higher states of consciousness through communion with Source, along with some simple meditations on liberation, communion with the Higher Self and the loving wisdom of Christ and Buddha which are appropriate for this High Holy Festival of Wesak, when we celebrate the secret Unity that underlies the apparent duality of the Wisdom Teachings of East and West.

Full Moon in Scorpio, Taurus Solar Festival Cosmic Weather Forecast

The Full Moon occurs on Friday 22 April 2016 at 1:24 AM Eastern Time, at 2 degrees 30 minutes of Scorpio, opposed by the Sun at 2 degrees 30 minutes of Taurus.

In March the emergence of the Mutable Grand Cross dominated the stellar configurations that provide our map to the Cosmic Weather patterns that permeate the collective consciousness.

queen of heartsIn last month’s newsletter, we explained how the net effect of the Mutable Cross was to make us feel we’re all at an Alice in Wonderland party thrown by the Queen of Hearts who is explaining to us that “My dear, here we must run as fast as we can, just to stay in place. And if you wish to go anywhere you must run twice as fast as that.” 

This month on April 10, we have had another version of the same Mutable Grand Cross and this week features a slightly less intoxicating Mutable T-square, with Jupiter in Virgo square Mars in Sagittarius square Neptune in Pisces.

The Scorpio Full Moon is ruled by Mars, which is a major part of the Mutable Wonderland configurations now dominating the celestial weather patterns.

Plus Mars is retrograde in Sagittarius this Wesak weekend, square to Neptune in Pisces, spinner of illusions and delusions, astral glamours and revelations, and also square Jupiter in Virgo, indicating difficulties in manifesting our earthly desires.

In addition the red star Antares, located in the heart of the constellation of Scorpio, is conjunct retrograde Mars, doubling the Scorpionic power of the Full Moon.

Scorpio has three symbols, the scorpion, the snake and the eagle. In this month of Mutable Wonderland Madness, we must beware the sting of the scorpion. We must be ready to struggle to shed our skins like the snake. We must be wary of peddlers of snake oil. And we must know that to fly like the eagle we must be ready to put on our flack jackets, buckle up, and protect ourselves from a veritable shitstorm of interference.

This is a Full Moon configuration that sends waves of fear, anxiety, depression, frustration and misunderstandings throughout the collective consciousness. There’s a feeling that negative karma and powerful, negative collective thought-forms are holding us back from achieving our goals while social institutions threaten to crumble around us, creating a very limiting future.

So it’s a challenge to all of us to overcome these negative feelings and rise to the occasion on this Wesak weekend.

A tremendous outpouring of positive energy and clear spiritual guidance is available to us this weekend, when the entire Spiritual Hierarchy is focused on presenting diligent aspirants with a map of action to achieve their proposed highest and best good in the coming year.

Together, we can overcome the inclement Cosmic Weather pattern and celebrate the Buddha’s birthday and the spiritual gathering at Shamballa together, demonstrating our resolve and strength of purpose, further empowering one another in the process.

There is a tremendous power in collective meditation. Let there be no doubt about that.

Jane and I hope you will join us for Wesak global group meditations this week on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Any time you may set aside to participate in a meditation, either alone or with others will offer you and our Mother Earth many benefits, regardless of the time of day or night during this three day full moon window of opportunity.

Wesak Practices for the Scorpio Full Moon 2016 

Here are some ideas for those who would like to participate in this great Festival of Love and Light.

1.During the day prior to the full Moon, accelerate your spiritual practice as much as possible. Attempt to remain somewhat more quiet than normal. Listen to some uplifting spiritual music, chants or mantras, instead of watching TV if possible. Or simply make some silent time. Meditate. Pray. Ask for the grace and guidance you need to achieve your loftiest spiritual goals. Ask that you be ever more consciously connected to inner spiritual guidance. Ask that you be given golden opportunities to be of maximum service in the world. Give thanks. Perform random acts of kindness.

2.The evening just before the Full Moon, fill any crystal bowls or vases you may have available with water, and place them outside at sunset. Allow these containers to sit outside during the night, and bring them in the following morning after the full moon.

Put the water from the crystal containers into sealed glass bottles. You can use this holy water, infused with the magnetic energy of the Loving Wisdom embodied by Lord Buddha and the Cosmic Christ, to heal your environment, yourself, and others. Place the water in a crystal bowl on your altar, or by your bed, or on your mantelpiece, and simply allow the water to evaporate. Then replace the water as needed. This will elevate the energy within your living space.

Occasionally pour some of this enlivened water into your bath to purify your body and soul. Occasionally drink the water for self-healing. Offer the water to others who are in need of healing. Tell them what they are receiving. Pour this water upon the earth in areas where human beings have damaged the environment, and ask Grandmother Earth for forgiveness.

altar candle3.In the room where you meditate, place a crystal bowl full of water on the altar or nearby you. Light a candle and some incense if you have these available. Play some appropriate spiritual music the evening of the Wesak Full Moon. Meditate during the evening hours whenever you have the time to do so.

In 2016, the Wesak Full Moon occurs at 1:24 AM Eastern Time, or 10:24 PM Pacific Time.

Fifteen to thirty minutes prior to this time, at the latest, try to be sitting in meditation. Connect with your spiritual guides and teachers, and with inner spiritual guidance. Ask for help with any and all issues you are currently addressing. Ask to be graced with guidance that will help you understand what is to come in the next year, and how you can be of maximum service in the world.

If you are awake at that time, chant or pray as the Full Moon approaches. Five minutes before the Full Moon, simply enter into a deep meditative state. Try to visualize or hear or feel the presence of a vast energy grid surrounding the Earth, energized by the combined will and intent of the entire Spiritual Hierarchy and the New Group of World Servers around the world. Feel your own energy uniting with that vast collective outpouring of love and light.

However, all of those who wish to participate should feel free to simply tune in to this global meditation at any time during the evening prior to the Full Moon, and during the early morning hours, and to join in and participate. You may have some very interesting early morning dreams!

4.Sit in peace during the eight minutes of Buddha’s visitation, and when that is over, simply give thanks. Allow yourself time to feel the inpouring flow of Loving Wisdom from the Divine Source. Once again, if you are on the East Coast or in some other time zone such that you will be sleeping at the time of the Full Moon, just meditate during the evenings prior to, during and after the Full Moon, and be sure to keep a dream journal near your bed.

5.Join in the Wesak water ceremony of communion. When you have finished your meditations, and the next morning when you wake up after the Full Moon, take up the crystal bowl nearby you and see the light reflected within the liquid. Know that light is the Path of Spirit, and that as you partake of the water of light, that light will dwell within you, lighting your path during the coming year. Mentally dedicate yourself to selfless service and healing the Earth. If you have experience with scrying or want to try to ‘see’ pictures of your future, just gaze into the charged bowl of water and see what you can see.

6.Recite the Great Invocation after your Full Moon meditations and each day for the following seven days to receive the maximum benefits and energies available.

THE GREAT INVOCATION 

From the point of light within the Mind of God
Let Light stream forth into our minds
Let LIGHT descend on Earth.

From the point of love within the Heart of God
Let Love stream forth into our hearts
May LOVE increase on Earth.

From the center where the Will of God is known
Let purpose guide our wills
The PURPOSE which the masters know and serve.

From the center which we call Humanity
Let the Plan of Love and Light work out
And may it seal the door
where evil dwells.

Let Light and Love and Power restore the Plan on Earth.
Let Light and Love and Power restore the Plan on Earth.
Let LIGHT and LOVE and POWER
Restore the Planet Earth!

If you go to bed before the actual Full Moon moment, say the Great Invocation before retiring. The next morning you can get the crystal bowls you set outside, take and drink some of the collected water, and once again say the Great Invocation.

7.During the three days following Wesak, imbibe the holy water from your crystal containers. Try to maintain a high level of spiritual practice. Maintain a constant awareness of the energy that you received during Wesak, and be prepared to share that energy with all those you meet during this time. Keep an attitude of service uppermost in your mind.

Curtis and Jane

As you go about your day, listen to the people you meet, and honor them. Extend the energy of compassionate concern to them, and if you can help them, do so. In each encounter, you have the opportunity to share the living waters of life just as the Masters do in the Himalayan Valley Wesak night.

Remain watchful for coincidences, meaningful synchronistic events and chance encounters that could be your doorway to new spiritual pathways, new spiritual allies, new guides and teachers, new spiritual communities, and new opportunities for selfless service.

Jane and I pray that you will be granted strength, joy, clarity and guidance this weekend! Love and Light from both of us in the Garden in Boca Raton, Florida.

Meditation Moment: More Is Not Enough -- The Stone Cutter

There was once a stone cutter who was dissatisfied with himself and with his position in life.

One day he passed a wealthy merchant's house. Through the open gateway, he saw many fine possessions and important visitors. "How powerful that merchant must be!" thought the stone cutter. He became very envious and wished that he could be like the merchant.

To his great surprise, he suddenly became the merchant, enjoying more luxuries and power than he had ever imagined, but envied and detested by those less wealthy than himself. Soon a high official passed by, carried in a sedan chair, accompanied by attendants and escorted by soldiers beating gongs. Everyone, no matter how wealthy, had to bow low before the procession. "How powerful that official is!" he thought. "I wish that I could be a high official!"

Then he became the high official, carried everywhere in his embroidered sedan chair, feared and hated by the people all around. It was a hot summer day, so the official felt very uncomfortable in the sticky sedan chair. He looked up at the sun. It shone proudly in the sky, unaffected by his presence. "How powerful the sun is!" he thought. "I wish that I could be the sun!"

Stone Cutter

Then he became the sun, shining fiercely down on everyone, scorching the fields, cursed by the farmers and laborers. But a huge black cloud moved between him and the earth, so that his light could no longer shine on everything below. "How powerful that storm cloud is!" he thought. "I wish that I could be a cloud!"

Then he became the cloud, flooding the fields and villages, shouted at by everyone. But soon he found that he was being pushed away by some great force, and realized that it was the wind. "How powerful it is!" he thought. "I wish that I could be the wind!"

Then he became the wind, blowing tiles off the roofs of houses, uprooting trees, feared and hated by all below him. But after a while, he ran up against something that would not move, no matter how forcefully he blew against it - a huge, towering rock. "How powerful that rock is!" he thought. "I wish that I could be a rock!"

Then he became the rock, more powerful than anything else on earth. But as he stood there, he heard the sound of a hammer pounding a chisel into the hard surface, and felt himself being changed. "What could be more powerful than I, the rock?" he thought.

He looked down and saw far below him the figure of a stone cutter.

-- Zen (a Path to Wisdom) Daily Dharma