“We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.”
— Mother Teresa
The ego needs constant consolation that it is significant, that it is important, and that what it’s doing here is purposeful. It can be very disconcerting for us to comprehend just how insignificant our blip of life here truly is. I don’t care if you’re an anonymous person in some village or the most powerful, beautiful, talented, successful person on the planet. From each one of our vantage points, everything revolves around us. We can pay lip service to the pain and misery others experience, but nothing is as painful as something not going my way.
So we are just a drop in the ocean. Yet someone is telling us we matter. That we would be missed if we were not here. And the ego feels bolstered and somewhat inspired to slog through another day.
But what if the heart couldn’t care less if its contribution was a mere drop? What if the heart was doing and being the ocean for the sheer joy of its drop-sized contribution? It could be merrily giving its all for the joy of giving its all — with no idea that there was any value or result to be derived from giving its all.
This makes me recall two tales:
One is the Starfish Story. In this allegory, two characters are walking toward each other along a beach. One is picking up and tossing the starfish that had washed ashore back out into the ocean to save them. The trouble was the shore was covered in hundreds, if not thousands of starfish, which caused the other person to ask, “What’s the point of saving these starfish, friend? Look at how many there are. What difference could you make?” The reply was simple, “I’m making a difference for this one,” and off it went flying into the ocean.
The other story is about an old man who was planting saplings. Again, a passerby noticed and commented, “Old man, what’s the point of planting these saplings? You’ll never see them become mature trees. You’ll never benefit from their shade, beauty, or wood.” The old man simply smiled and continued to plant the saplings.
The heart knows why it saves starfish and plants saplings. Your heart may know why you do what you do. If so, the point is clear.
P.S. Whenever you’re ready… here are 4 ways I can help you with your practice so you can live The Zen Life wherever you are:
1. Join The Zen Life mailing list.
You’ll get sample chapters from my books, weekly inspirational emails, and periodic updates. Click Here to subscribe.
2. Learn to meditate in less than 90 minutes.
Meditation is the key to staying in the foundation of a daily Zen practice. It will train you to keep your attention where you want it. My online workshop is the first step. Click Here to read more and get started today.
3. Download the syllabus for my 30-day online retreat.
Quiet the inner chatter and dispel your unhelpful, limiting beliefs. Discover the wisdom, clarity, and compassion that can guide you through life perfectly. Click Here to read more and get the syllabus for the program.
4. Work with me privately.
If you’d like to explore the possibility of receiving one-on-one guidance — so you can master the art of living The Zen Life… contact me. Tell me a little about what’s going on in your life, what you’d like to work on together, and I’ll get you all the details!
Originally published at www.zenlife.coach.
Read my previous article on Medium: