The Dog, the Stick and the Sufi

A man dressed as a Sufi was walking along one day when he saw a dog on the road, which he struck hard with his staff. The dog, yelping with pain, ran to the great sage Abu-Said. Throwing himself at his feet and holding up his injured paw, he called for justice against the Sufi who had maltreated him so cruelly.

The wise one called them together. To the Sufi, he said: “O heedless one! How is it possible for you to treat a dumb animal in this manner? Look at what you have done!”

The Sufi answered: “Far from its being my fault, it is that of the dog. I did not strike him from a mere whim, but for the reason that he had fouled my robe.”

But the dog persisted in his complaint.

Then the peerless one addressed the dog: “Rather than waiting for the Ultimate Compensation, allow me to give you a compensation for your pain.”

The dog said: “Great and wise done! When I saw this man garbed as a Sufi, I was able to conclude that he would do me no harm. Had I seen instead a man wearing ordinary dress, I would naturally have given him a wide berth. My real mistake was to assume that the outward appearance of a man of truth indicated safety. If you desire his punishment, take away from him the garment of the Elect. Deprive him of the costume of the People of Righteousness…”

Reflection Questions

  • When in your life have you been deceived by another person’s appearance?
  • What happened as a result of your incorrect assumption?
  • Why did you make that assumption?
  • If you made no assumptions about that person, how might your interaction with that person have been different?

I hope you’ve enjoyed this story.

The Real Meaning Of Peace

There once was a king who offered a prize to the artist who would paint the best picture of peace. Many artists tried. The king looked at all the pictures.

But there were only two he really liked, and he had to choose between them. One picture was of a calm lake. The lake was a perfect mirror for peaceful towering mountains all around it. Overhead was a blue sky with fluffy white clouds. All who saw this picture thought that it was a perfect picture of peace.

The other picture had mountains, too. But these were rugged and bare. Above was an angry sky, from which rain fell and in which lightning played. Down the side of the mountain tumbled a foaming waterfall. This did not look peaceful at all.

But when the king looked closely, he saw behind the waterfall a tiny bush growing in a crack in the rock. In the bush a mother bird had built her nest. There, in the midst of the rush of angry water, sat the mother bird on her nest – in perfect peace.

The king chose the second picture.

What do you think about this story?

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Bird-Dogging Through Life

Once upon a time there was a little dog who wanted to have a big impact in the world. He was a fast dog with quick wits, and he knew what it took to succeed in life. And though though was very proud of his papa for the way he always rounded up the sheep, this little dog had his sights set even higher.

See, every day the little dog looked up into the sky and saw an amazing eagle soaring above. He noticed how the eagle could go anywhere it wanted, it could dive and swoop as fast as a bullet, and was the pure expression of freedom.

Every day the little dog watched and studied the eagle because he wanted to become an eagle. The little dog already knew how to be courageous, fast, and fearless, just like the eagle. But in order to really live like an eagle, the little dog knew he should learn some new lessons and skills.

So each and every day, the little dog tried to teach himself a new lesson. Here are the lessons he knew he should diligently work on so he could become an eagle:

  • Lesson 1: “I should grow wings with feathers so that I can fly high in the sky.”
  • Lesson 2: “I should sharpen my vision so I can spot my prey from far away.”
  • Lesson 3: “I should be perfectly patient until the right prey is vulnerable to attack.”
  • Lesson 4: “I should sharpen my nails and teeth so I can hold onto my prey.”
  • Lesson 5: “I should live on top of rocks and alone so I can prove my independence.”

After practicing for months and months all alone in the wilderness, the little dog become extremely discouraged. Even though he had become much more patient and independent, he still became depressed and was losing his love for life.

Every time the little dog noticed he had no wings, he got sad. …

When the little dog saw that his vision wasn’t improving, he got sadder…

And when his nails and teeth didn’t get sharper, he became even sadder…

Eventually, the little dog returned home with his tail between his legs. He went to his papa, and the little dog just cried and cried because no matter how hard he tried, he could never become the eagle he felt he should be.

What the little dog didn’t know was that his papa was one of the wisest dogs in the world!

After the little dog had cried all his tears until he had no more, his papa knew it was the right time to share what he knew about the secret to living and loving life:

“Son, I know you had big dreams of being an eagle. Eagles are beautiful, wonderful creatures with amazing qualities we all can admire. You were even able to become more patient and independent like the eagles.

However, what you have come to realize is that no matter how hard you try, you are not an eagle… you are a dog. Telling yourself how you “should” be only results in pain and frustration because you lose sight of your true self… you forget about the amazing, beautiful, admirable qualities you already have!

You have become the best dog you can be, and I am proud of you for going after your dreams with all of your heart. I see how courageous, fast, fearless, patient, and independent you are, and I know many other animals – including dogs and eagles – will look upon you with admiration and a desire to learn how to be more like you.

Remember that you were brought into this world with a special set of unique talents and strengths, and you will find your passion and purpose in this life. Just like a bird can never become a dog, a dog can never become a bird… so next time you find yourself wishing you could be a different kind of animal, just remind yourself to “stop bird-dogging” and then reflect upon the amazing gifts you already have!”

After that, the little dog looked up with new hope in his eyes and slowly trotted out into the field… no longer was he looking at the sky wishing he were an eagle, but rather, he looked directly at the eagle with gratitude for the new qualities he learned that would help him become a more fully-realized and present dog…

He became a dog that truly loves his life.

The Thief (Spiritual Story by Osho)


theft (Photo credit:

There was one great master, a Buddhist master, Nagarjuna. A thief came to him. The thief had fallen in love with the master because he had never seen such a beautiful person, such infinite grace. The thief asked Nagarjuna, “Is there some possibility of my growth also? But one thing I must make clear to you: I am a thief. And another thing: I cannot leave it, so please don’t make it a condition. I will do whatsoever you say, but I cannot stop being a thief. That I have tried many times–it never works, so I have left the whole sport. I have accepted my destiny, that I am going to be a thief and remain a thief, so don’t talk about it. From the very beginning let it be clear.”

Nagarjuna said, “Why are you afraid? Who is going to talk about your being a thief?”

The thief said, “But whenever I go to a monk, to a religious priest, or to a religious saint, they always say, ‘First stop stealing.’”

Nagarjuna laughed and said, “Then you must have gone to thieves; otherwise, why? Why should they be concerned? I am not concerned!”

The thief was very happy. He said, “Then it is okay. It seems that now I can become a disciple. You are the right master.”

Nagarjuna accepted him and said, “Now you can go and do whatsoever you like. Only one condition has to be followed: be aware! Go, break into houses, enter, take things, steal; do whatsoever you like, that is of no concern to me, I am not a thief–but do it with full awareness.”

The thief couldn’t understand that he was falling into the trap. He said, “Then everything is okay. I will try.” After three weeks he came back and said, “You are tricky–because if I become aware, I cannot steal. If I steal, awareness disappears. I am in a fix.”

Nagarjuna said, “No more talk about your being a thief and stealing. I am not concerned; I am not a thief. Now, you decide! If you want awareness, then you decide. If you don’t want it, then too you decide.”

The man said, “But now it is difficult. I have tasted it a little, and it is so beautiful–I will leave anything, whatsoever you say. Just the other night for the first time I was able to enter the palace of the king. I opened the treasure. I could have become the richest man in the world–but you were following me and I had to be aware. When I became aware, diamonds looked just like stones, ordinary stones. When I lost awareness, the treasure was there. And I waited and did this many times. I would become aware and I became like a buddha, and I could not even touch it because the whole thing looked foolish, stupid–just stones, what am I doing? Losing myself over stones? But then I would lose awareness; they would become again beautiful, the whole illusion. But finally I decided that they were not worth it.”

The Land Of Truth :: Spiritual Story by Idries Shah

A certain man believed that the ordinary waking life, as people know it, could not possibly be complete. He sought the real Teacher of the Age. He read many books and joined many circles, and he heard the words and witnessed the deeds of one master after another. He carried out the commands and spiritual exercises which seemed to him to be most attractive.

He became elated with some of his experiences. At other times he was confused; and he had no idea at all of what his stage was, or where and when his search might end.

This man was reviewing his behavior one day when he suddenly found himself near the house of a certain sage of high repute. In the garden of that house, he encountered Khidr, the secret guide who shows the way to truth.

Khidr took hihm to a place where he saw people in great distress and woe, and he asked who they were. “We are those who did not follow real teachings, who were not true to our undertakings, who revered self-appointed teachers,” they said.

Then the man was taken by Khidr to a place where everyone was attractive and full of joy. He asked who they were. “We are those who did not follow the real Signs of the Way,” they said.

“But if you have ignored the Signs, how can you be happy?” asked the traveler.

“Because we chose happiness instead of Truth,” said the people, “just as those who chose the self-appointed chose also misery.”

“But is happiness not the ideal of man?” asked the man.

“The goal of man is Truth. Truth is more than happiness. The man who has Truth can have whatever mood he wishes, or none,” they told him. “We have pretended that Truth is happiness, and happiness Truth, and people have believed us, therefore you, too, have until now imagined that happiness must be the same as Truth. But happiness makes you its prisoner, as does woe.”

Then the man found himself back in the garden with Khidr beside him.

“I will grant you one desire,” said Khidr.

“I wish to know why I have failed in my search and how I can succeed in it,” said the man. “You have all but wasted your life,” said Khidr, “because you have been a liar. Your lie has been in seeking personal gratification when you could have been seeking Truth.”

“And yet I came to the point where I found you,” said the man, ” and that is something which happens to hardly anyone at all.”

“And you met me,” said Khidr, “because you had sufficient sincerity to desire Truth for its own sake, just for an instant. It was that sincerity, in that single instant, which made me answer your call.”

Now the man felt an overwhelming desire to find Truth, even if he lost himself.

Khidr, however, was starting to walk away, and the man began to run after him.

“You may not follow me,” said Khidr, “because I am returning to the ordinary world, the world of lies, for that is where I have to be, if I am to do my work.”

And when the man looked around him again, he realized that he was no longer n the garden of the sage, but standing in the Land of Truth.

– Spiritual Story by Idries Shah,