Not so long ago I had the chance to meet a Tibetan monk; I’m not really religious so I tend to tiptoe around people who are, especially if I’m expected to have close contact… this monk was living with me for two days.
Anyways, his purpose was to teach me and the people I was with what he had learned through years of meditation and spiritual life. He believed that what he had to teach were universal principles that could be applied to almost any situation the human mind and spirit are involved in.
His teachings were three:
- Calm your storm
- Pace yourself
- Drink lots of water
I learned them, because it struck me how simple they were. And I remember seeing him walking around while people were having lunch, hanging out or checking e-mails, looking for the one person that seemed the most stressed. He would put both palms on their shoulders and just say “Calm your storm”. At the time I didn’t get the meaning of these words, I kept imagining really dramatic scenarios or physical challenges (probably because of the water thing).
They came back to me yesterday, when I used them to advice someone else. And again this morning when everything was uphill, but I still had to deliver and do it gracefully: I calmed my storm and controlled my stress, I paced myself and focused on the task at hand, and I drank some tea, in order to avoid doing all of it on an empty stomach.
I realized that maybe, the “three words of advice” didn’t make sense to me before because I was trying to relate them to events around me, outside of me; when they’re as common and as necessary in my life as a glass of cold water. I consistently have to calm my storm, pace myself and have something drink.
Who would have known that those seemingly simple monk teachings would take months to process…