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The Magic of the Mustard Seed

Melli O'Brien



Melli O'Brien



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The Magic of the Mustard Seed

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness.

Today, I'm going to talk about

dealing with heartache and grief.

There's a Buddhist parable about

a woman who's only son died and

she was beside herself with grief.

So she went to the village holy man,

and asked, "Please, can you help me?

What magic spell can you do

to bring my son back to life?"

The holy man replied, "Go and find

me a mustard seed from a home that

has never known grief or sorrow.

We're going to use this mustard seed

to draw the sorrow out of your life

and bring back love to your heart."

Now, back in those days, every

house had mustard seeds for cooking.

So this seemed like a fairly simple task.

So the woman began immediately to go

and search for that magic mustard seed.

At the first house she came to, she asked

for a mustard seed and it was immediately

offered to her by a woman her own age.

And she asked, "Has there been any

grief or sorrow in this house?"

The kind lady nodded and told

her a story about her own

losses and her own heartache.

So she went to the next house where

a man offered her a mustard seed, but

alas, he too had a story of suffering.

He had been heartbroken.

The same thing happened at the next

house and the next house and the next.

So finally she came to a beautiful

mansion and she thought to

herself, "Okay, here we go.

This is the place where

I'm going to find it."

So she knocked at the door and

an elderly man came to the door.

She said to him, "I'm looking for a house

that has never known any sorrow or grief.

Is this such a place?"

"Ah," the elderly man sweetly replied.

"I'm so sorry.

You've definitely come

to the wrong place."

And he described to her all the

times in his long life where he'd

grieved or felt sorrow or suffering.

And as he spoke, he began to weep

and the woman began to weep with him

and then she stayed to comfort him.

They had tea together, and that

day they became good friends.

And on that day, she also

had a realization that there

probably was no house that had

never known sorrow or grief.

Just like her, everyone suffered.

When she came to understand that grief

and sorrow are a part of everyone's life,

she also realized that she wasn't alone.

She felt connected to everyone and

was also filled with compassion.

After that day, the woman became involved

in helping other people find comfort

and support through their suffering.

And that brought more love,

meaning and purpose flooding

back into her heart and her life.

And that was the magic

of the mustard seed.

I love this story.

I love what it points to.

Because so often when we go through our

own suffering and sorrow, we have this

really irrational sense of isolation.

It's as if we're the only one in the world

who's going through this kind of pain and

it can feel like something's gone terribly

wrong, like it shouldn't be happening.

But the reality is that suffering really

is a part of our shared human experience.

And I think this realization, although

it's very, very tender, can also be a

catalyst for feelings of belonging, self

compassion and compassion for others.

So when you're hurting, when you're

suffering, just seeing if you can

remember that you're not alone.

We really are all in this together

and let that remembrance sow

the seeds of compassion, love

and comfort in your own heart.

As always, thank you for your practice.

And let's settle in

for today's meditation.

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