One day an arrogant and wealthy politician encountered a monk at the center of the town square. The monk, clad in a flowing orange robe with a begging cup in hand, did not pay the politician any notice. He just strolled slowly by the prominent man with eyes staring straight ahead absorbed in a walking meditation. Enraged at having not been acknowledged, the politician ran up behind the monk and aggressively grabbed him by the arm and said:
“Don’t you know who I am? Everyone bows down before me!”
The monk locked eyes with the politician for a few seconds and then suddenly began laughing hysterically out loud. Growing even more enraged, the powerful and famous man raised his fists in the air and threatened the monk with violence. He then demanded to know what was so funny. Still laughing, the monk pointed down at the politician’s feet. The politician looked embarrassingly down at his feet and saw that he was standing in a pile of fresh cow dung! As the politician bent down to clean the dung off his shoes, the monk stood over him and said:
“I think I remember who you are now. You are that former politician turned humble servant of his people. Now allow me to help you clean the cow dung off your shoes.”
At that moment it has been said that a great miracle took place. An arrogant and wealthy politician was transformed into a kind and humble servant for the poorest and most oppressed among his people.
One of the biggest misconceptions on the path is that you have to somehow add more not less to your life in order to spiritually evolve . For example, upon awakening, you might strive to incorporate meditation practice into your busy schedule, find the time to attend retreats and read sacred texts, make new spiritual friends or join a sangha and make time to engage in the spirit of service. In truth, all of these inspiring priorities should be seen as nothing more than valuable practices that help you simplify your life not acquire anything more. From where I am standing, the goal of all inner seeking is to become less by stripping away all the layers of egoic conditioning so you can be as free and simple as a child. Only then, can you truly be a perfect conduit for the will of the Divine to work through you.