You can’t hide in life, Riley! Life is joy; it’s beautiful…every moment. It’s filled with challenges that remind us to find grace in even the smallest moments. Think of life as a bell. If you take a passive approach to it, you’ll give it a tiny ping. In return, you will get a tiny ping back. That’s what victims do in life. Then they wonder why their world isn’t filled with music.
Willy from Is that so? A Modern Fable of Awakening
Many years ago I came across the Zen story called Is that so? I was fascinated with the simplicity and the core message of choosing life no matter the circumstance. Everyone on this planet is going through something. Some more than others, however, it is our context of what life brings our way that creates our being. Buddha tells us that life is suffering. His meaning is not that life is miserable but if we stay attached to life and the past or the way life is supposed to be in our minds then we suffer. It is flowing exactly in the NOW that we create freedom and happiness.
This was the story I wanted to tell in my new book, Is that so? A Modern Fable of Awakening that I am releasing April 16th 2014, choosing life no matter the circumstances. The central character is named Riley Porter. Riley means valiance and Porter means carrying, so he is someone carry valiance. It takes courage to live a life with authenticity, truth and love. Yet, this life is available to all of us. There is a Riley Porter in every being on this planet. We have the courage to walk a path of love, this is our home. Let us all walk the path of Riley.
Enjoy the book, I look forward to your feedback.
Here is the Zen story that the book is loosely based – Is that so?
The Zen master Hakuin was praised by his neighbors as one living a pure life.
A beautiful Japanese girl whose parents owned a food store lived near him. Suddenly, without any warning, her parents discovered she was with child.
This made her parents very angry. She would not confess who the man was, but after much harassment at last named Hakuin.
In great anger the parents went to the master. “Is that so?” was all he would say.
After the child was born it was brought to Hakuin. By this time he had lost his reputation, which did not trouble him, but he took very good care of the child. He obtained milk from his neighbors and everything else the little one needed.
A year later the girl-mother could stand it no longer. She told her parents the truth – that the real father of the child was a young man who worked in the fishmarket.
The mother and father of the girl at once went to Hakuin to ask his forgiveness, to apologize at length, and to get the child back again.
Hakuin was willing. In yielding the child, all he said was: “Is that so?”
Call to Action:
- Choose life no matter the circumstance. Life is beautiful in every moment.
- Create your life, your context is decisive. You choose your state of being.
- Be love
Thomas D. Craig
writer. seeker. Zen warrior
Author of A Cup of Buddha and Is That So?