I read a wise story in Eckhart Tolle's A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose. I found the story appropriate to share with everyone today.
Zen master Hakuin lived in a small town in Japan. He was held in high regard and many people came to him for spiritual teching. Then it happened that the teenage daughter of his next-door neighbor became pregnant. When being questioned by her angry parents, she told them the identity of the father was Hakuin, the Zen Master. In great anger the parents rushed over to Hakuin and told him with much shouting that their daughter had confessed he was the father. He replied, "Is that so?"
The news spread throughout the small town and even beyond. The Master lost his reputation. This didn't trouble him. Nobody came to see him anymore. He remained unmoved. When the child was born, they brought the baby to Hakuin. "You are the father, so you look after him." The Master took loving care of the child. A year went by and the young mother confessed she had lied to her parents that the real father of the child was the young man who worked at the butcher shop. In great distress they went to see Hakuin to apologize and ask for forgiveness. "We are really sorry. We have come to takethe baby back. Our daughter confessed that you are not the father." "Is that so?" is all he said, as he handed the baby over to them.
Eckhart Tolle points out he allows the form of the moment, good or bad, to be as it is and so he does not become a participant in human drama.
He is so completely at one with what happens that what happens has no power over him anymore.
I absolutely love this story. It's very easy to fall victim to human drama. To want to defend your name and character. You're nobody's victim. Don't let the world determine your happiness and unhappiness. The Zen Master knew the truth. He didn't allow circumstance to change his mind-set. I admire his strength. I want to adopt his mentality into my life.
Just an added note...
The truth will always set you free.
If you're the one telling lies, they will eventually be revealed, or uncovered.