Okra flower and pod photo by Bob Richmond
Imagine a gardener going to the farming supply store and buying seeds indiscriminately; he doesn’t even bother to look at the packs to see what vegetables he’s chosen. After planting the seeds and watering them for many weeks, the plants begin to produce flowers and then vegetables. But the gardener becomes upset and frustrated when he sees what has grown: “I didn’t want okra, peppers and peas! I wanted tomatoes, cucumbers and squash!” His friends question him as to why he didn’t look at the seed packets before planting the seeds. Mind training allows us to be aware of the seeds of emotions and thoughts before we plant them. The mind’s yield of words and actions are based on the seeds we’ve sown and watered there. The three gates are the virtues of the mind, speech and body, and we would be wise to be aware of what we allow to pass through them. What passes through those gates will likely wind up growing in our yard, whether we want it to or not.
Every act, word, and thought in our daily life has the power to bring forth a fruit.
~ Thich Nhat Hanh
For more information on the forty-seventh slogan, go here.