A Cup of Tea (88)
Non-attachment is not concerned with things
but with thoughts.
Non-attachment is not related to the outside
but to the within.
Non-attachment is not to do with the world
but with oneself.
One day a beggar went to see a Sufi fakir
and found him seated on a velvet cushion
inside a beautiful tent
with its ropes tied to golden pegs.
Seeing all this the beggar cried: What is this!
Honourable Fakir, I have heard much about your
spirituality and non-attachment,
but I am completely disillusioned
by all this ostentation around you.
The fakir laughed, replying:
I am ready to leave all this behind
and come with you.
So saying, he immediately got up
and walked off with the beggar,
not even waiting to put his sandals on!
After a short while the beggar became distressed.
I left my begging bowl in your tent, he said.
What shall I do without it!
Please wait here while I go and fetch it.
The Sufi laughed. My friend, he said,
the gold pegs of my tent were stuck in the earth
not in my heart,
but your begging bowl is still chasing after you!
To be in the world is not attachment.
The presence of the world in the mind
is the attachment,
and when the world disappears from the mind –
this is non-attachment.