replied, �I have lost my needle and I am looking for
it.� The man helped her search for quite sometime, all to
no avail. Finally,
he asked, �Mother, where exactly did you lose your
needle?� She replied, �I was sewing inside on the chair
and the needle was lost there.� The wise man queried,
�But Mother, if you lost your needle inside then why are
you searching outside for it?� The woman answered,
�Because inside it is dark and I cannot see. Here, with
the light of this lamp I can see easily and search for my
needle.� The wise man counseled her, �Mother, go back
inside. It may be dark and difficult to see, but your needle
is inside. Light a candle and search inside. You will never
find your needle out here.�
laugh at the silliness of the old woman who looked for her
needle outside even though it had been lost inside. Yet,
don�t we do the same thing in our lives? We look outside
for our happiness, for our fulfillment, for our joy. We look
to possessions to fulfill us. We think that if we have the
newest model car or a new CD or a new pair of shoes that we
will be happy. When
we feel depressed or stressed, what do we do? We go shopping,
or we go on a holiday to the beach.
we all know that it is not there. We are never truly happier
or more peaceful the day after buying something new than we
were before. In fact we frequently forget that we even
bought it! The new coat or pair of shoes or CD gets put in a
closet or store room and we forget about it.
We may have
a new coat, but it is still being worn by the same person.
We may have new shoes, but they are covering the same feet.
We may be driving a new car, but the driver is the same. We may be in Hawaii or Tahiti or on a cruise ship � but WE
are still there and the pain comes from within, not from
without. If the
dissatisfaction and the pain come from within then how can
the satisfaction and joy come from without?
cannot. The sooner we realize that the true answer lies
within - in our hearts, in our relationship to God, in our
inner selves -- the quicker we will find that answer. It is
a rare person, though, who pauses to look inward for
answers. Most of us are so busy searching shopping malls,
vacation catalogues and our relationships with other people
for the answers.
Why do we
look outside? Because it is lighter. It is easier. It is
easier to see things and other people than our own selves.
So we search these things and these other people for the
keys to our happiness. But, although the light is there, the
needle is not.
We must go
inward, even though it seems dark and even though it seems
that we may never find anything.
We must have faith and start searching. Meditation,
prayer, faith in God, a spiritual practice, a Guru,
introspection, silence � these are all things that light
the way for us to look inward, to find that needle.
may be dim at first, it might be hard to see . But slowly
that candle will get brighter and brighter and we will
eventually find the needle which we lost.
However, the longer we search outside, the longer our
needle will remain lost.
I pray that
at this divine time of the holiday season when we will all
be enjoying our families, our vacations and the exchange of
possessions, I pray you all to turn inward. I don't mean to
ignore your family and friends or not to buy gifts for your
children. Rather, as you are enjoying the time with your
family and as you are enjoying the gifts you receive, please
remember that nowhere - other than within your own heart -
lies the true answer to your happiness. Love your family
without expectation. Enjoy the material gifts without
expectation. Enjoy the holiday without expectation. When we
expect these external things, people and places to bring us
the ultimate bliss in life, that is when we will be
disappointed. When we love and appreciate them as they are,
but turn inward and to God for the true bliss, that is when
we will be satisfied both externally and internally.