Feeding the Wolf

This morning I was wakened early by a pair of Wood Pigeons clog dancing on the flat roof above my bedroom. Or so it sounded. Despite the hour I decided to get up and spend some ‘quiet time’ alone while the rest of the family slept.

There were any number of tasks I could have done to capitalise on the time the unruly pigeons had provided. Instead, I elected to use the unscheduled solitude for meditation. I’m pleased that I did.

The guided meditation I chose was ‘Making the Choice to Heal’ by Davidji. As is the case with many of his recordings, the content resonated with me and was perfect for the moment. Despite the early hour I was buoyed by its simple message and continued the day in high spirits.

The meditation begins with a story:

There’s a beautiful old Cherokee tale. It says an old Cherokee chief is teaching his grandson about life.

“A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.

“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil. He is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, self-doubt and ego.

The other is good. He is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.

“This same fight is going on inside you and inside every other person, too,” said the chief.

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather “Which wolf will win?”

The old chief simply replied, “The one you feed.”

This indispensable life-lesson is beautiful in its simplicity. Neither Freudian psychology nor mumbo-jumbo cognitive science is necessary to convey such uncomplicated wisdom.

The message is as clear as a mountain lake and revealed to me how I should proceed with my day. And my tomorrows, too.

I knew that both wolves would put in an appearance. They always do. Polar opposites, they are immediately recognisable. Whether my day was to be one of harmony or discord would depend almost entirely on which of the two wolves I chose to feed.

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