Focus On The Bird’s Neck

John just said a prayer over our meal; something like, “…What a great day, it was good to be with friends, we always have plenty to eat and we like this food, thank you, amen.” Afterwards he laughed telling me, “Well, I just didn’t have anything to ask for.”
I told him his prayer reminded me of an East Indian story I just read. A great teacher gave seven brothers each a bow and arrow and took the oldest deep into the forest. The teacher pointed to a fake bird high in a tree and said, “Pull your bow aim your arrow as though you were going to shot off the bird’s head but don’t shoot.” When his pupil was in position he asked the boy, “What do you see?”
The oldest brother saw the tree, the bird, the tree, sky, the teacher and his own hand. The teacher did not let him shoot but took him to the others and brought out the second boy and basically he said the same thing and got very much the same answer. Finally the youngest, aimed then was asked but he answered, “I see the neck of the bird.” He was allowed to shoot.
I told John, “You’re focused on the present. You’re dying of cancer but all you can say is, I had a nice day.”

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