As master walked past the students quarters, he heard a sob from one of the rooms. He motioned to one of the monks in his party to go and investigate.
Soon a new student was standing in front of the master with his tear stained face.
Master looked at him and smiled. A radiance dazzled the company.
“Why do you cry my son”
“Master, I cannot bear it any longer. My mediatative practice is not proceeding well. I am just not able to concentrate. As soon as I sit in the lotus pose and close my eyes, all kind of fears, sensations crowd me out. Then I get lost in them. At other times I just do not feel the motivation to sit and practice. I am finding the whole regimen very difficult.” The frustration of the new monk poured out.
“You must learn from the cat my boy. Adopt it as your sigil”
“Cat my lord.” The young one was now thoroughly confused. Rest of the company merely smiled.
“Yes cat has nine lives. You have four. It is in balance of these four parallel lives, that you are able to mine maximum joy in your moments. If any of the dimensions of these four lives remain un-optimized, you will face the kind of difficulties you are facing. So you have to understand and balance your four dimensional living.”
“Pray master, do enlighten what are these dimensions of life”
“First is the length dimension of life. This is life of and in your body. As you take care of this dimension with nutritious food and adequate movement, it adds physical energy to your being. This dimension is more the hygienic dimension. This means its positive contribution to wellbeing is limited however in case if it is not taken care of and is unhealthy, life of none of the other dimensions will matter that much.
Then you have the height dimension or life of the mind. As you nurture your mind with new ideas and fresh perspectives, it starts to open up. More the mind opens up , less obstruction it presents to the other dimensions of living. Thus this dimension is also hygienic as its contribution to overall joy is marginal however the obstructions it can present, if not looked after are seismic. So as you cultivate your curiosity by reading books, listening to discourses or mining the world for ideas, remember a closed mind is like a diseased body which blocks unfolding of life in your living. “
“Sire, you have explained the dimensions of living which need to be tended to, so as to ensure they do not become impediments in path of pure living. Essentially you are saying that their deprecatory effect being far more powerful than their participatory contribution, should be consciously tackled by deliberate diets.“ One of the senior monks accompanying the party intoned.
The tinkle is Master’s eye, shone a little brighter.
“That is exactly right. Next up is depth dimension of living or life of heart. Heart left unattended brings up all kinds of subconscious forces and dark energies into play. To optimize the life of heart, you must open yourself up to experience pain and fear. As your relationship with those two predators improve and you do not go in denial, wear masks or shut down in their presence, you can then start to cultivate kindness. As you increasingly become softer, sensitive and empathetic towards yourself and others, deep portals open up to bring layered joys and inexperienced highs into your life.
Finally fourth life dimension is width of living or the life of your soul. The width like depth; is the dimension of joy. Nurtured by music, passion and meditation this dimension is your conduit for stepping outside of yourself to experience and explore other worlds. Travelling away from your narrow self, your connect with the wide unconscious, unlocking tremendous amount of creativity, energy and contentment.
So as you manage first two lives and maximize the other two, your portfolio of four lives, combine to give you the best returns that your living can secure. So son, wash your tears, lift your chin and practice to perfect your four dimensional living, If you do that I promise, you will never be short of either motivation or exultation .” Master concluded.