The Man with the Golden Horse

From a Vietnamese Song There once was a young knight who rode a golden horse in many directions, looking for his lover. Early each morning, he mounted his horse and rode until sunset. He crossed rivers, forests, and mountains in his search. His mind was so anxious for the seeking, full of dreams about the date he met his lover. His clothes became tatters; the golden coat of his horse turned dingy and dull, but he continued to ride. Each day, the poor man rode until his body was exhausted. He rode through jungles and across rivers. But still, he could not find what he was looking for.

One day the knight came to a high mountain—so high that he could not see the top. A large river flowed at the foot of the mountain, blocking his way. It flowed slowly, peacefully, and beautifully. The knight sat down on a big rock beside the river. He looked at the water reflecting the blue sky, the white clouds, the rocks, and green trees. For the first time, he really saw the beauty of nature, and everything seemed new.

The young knight's desperate longing to search for his lover vanished. He looked at his golden horse. The horse shook itself, and transformed into the lover he had sought for so long. Suddenly, the young man realized that riding on reality, he was looking for reality, but only when he stopped seeking, could he truly encounter reality.

You are what you're looking for. —Thich Nhat Hanh

This story is shared by Dieu Lien, True Long Lasting Joy, who practices with the Mindfulness Practice Community in Toronto.

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