Ask the Horse

Reading today, Thich Nhat Hanh conveys this story, which seems to ring true in my life:

A person is speeding down the road on a galloping horse, apparently in a hurry to get somewhere important. A second person is walking down the road and yells out as the rider passes and speeds on: “Where are you going in such a hurry?” The second replies: “I don’t know. Ask the horse.”

“Ask the horse.” Life feels like that a lot, hurrying, working frantically to get to — well, I’m not quite sure where, or perhaps I have nominally identified a “where” but not really defined it well. Perhaps the destination is “success” or “enough,” or ….

The “horse” in the story, according to Thich Nhat Hanh, is named “habit energy,” after those mindless tendencies we follow without really thinking them through. But he also offers us the solution, the “reins” so to speak: “Mindfulness is the energy that allows us to recognize our habit energy and prevent it from dominating us.

“Where are you going in such a hurry?”

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