Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Target

Lobsang tells this story...
Lobsang was traveling on a train with other Buddhist monks. One monk was busy talking, expounding his knowledge, and showing off how much he knew about everything. His air of superiority and know-it-all-ness irritated Lobsang terribly. On and on this monk went, talking to anyone who would listen. Lobsang got more and more frustrated with this annoying monk and his endless puffery.
Later, Lobsang was sitting with another monk, having tea. He said "Wasn't that guy so annoying... going on and on as though he knew everythiing. It didn't seem to bother you though. Wasn't it awful?"  The other monk said "No, it really didn't bother me at all.  Lobsang, he likes to stand and shoot his arrows. It seems like you enjoyed putting your target in front of him."
So today, as I was irritated by the air of superiority of a fellow traveler, I realized that it was I who was putting my target there to be shot at. Once I moved my target, the condescending tone really didn't phase me anymore.

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