Perspectives: elephants

elephantYesterday I was caught in a shower of rain. And I was delighted! Why? The South-West of England where I live has had little rain over recent months – and I am now imagining the brown grass in my garden starting to green.

I know there have been many other times when it has rained. And my reaction has not been one of delight! So it all depends on perspective.

This is a well-known story associated with being mindful and I thought you would enjoy reading it, whether for the first or the tenth time.

Six blind people were asked to discover what an elephant looks like. Each of them was guided to an elephant and felt a different part.

One felt a leg and said the elephant was like a pillar. One felt the trunk and said the elephant was like the branch of a tree. One felt the tail and said the elephant was like rope. Another felt the ear and said the elephant was like a fan. The one who felt the belly thought the elephant felt like a wall. And the one who felt the tusk said the elephant was like a solid pipe.

They argued, insisting they each knew what an elephant was like.

A wise person overhead their argument and joined the conversation, suggesting they were all right to an extent. They simply had their own specific perspective – and had not yet experienced the perspectives of one another.

This is Mindful Monday from Essence Cheltenham.

If you live in or near Cheltenham, join Sara Shailer and Julie Hill on Tuesday 21 August 7-8.30 pm for an evening of mindfulness in the outdoors (weather permitting). The theme is the ‘gallery of the outdoors’. As usual all activities will the optional and there will be time for shared meditation as well as individual reflection. No charge and no donation. Contact us to confirm details of the venue.

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