This Doctor's Patient Lost EVERYTHING After Saying 5 Words

In Skincare Advice & Articles by Dr Bollmann's 0 comments

Who is the Poorest Man in the World?

The exam rooms were sterile, the fluorescent lights harsh. But it wasn't the clinical atmosphere that made my patients reveal their deepest worries. As an OB/GYN, I saw women at their most vulnerable, and my question – "How is the world treating you?" – opened a floodgate of secrets, fears, and hidden desires.

That's where the wisdom of the Buddha resonated with me. "If you want anything, you suffer. If you don't want anything, you don't suffer." At first, it seemed like a recipe for apathy, but with time, it became a call to freedom. Freedom from the insatiable hunger for more, from the nagging voice that whispered 'never enough.'

India had opened my eyes to an existence stripped of relentless wanting. Yet, back in the whirlwind of my practice, everyone – myself included – was caught in the endless chase for an imagined ideal. Mike, a swaggering fellow doctor, was the embodiment of this. His tailored suits couldn't hide the hollowness in his eyes, the unspoken yearning beneath the bravado.

One sun-bleached afternoon, the weight of my India trip still lingering, I shared the Buddhist truths with Mike. His response slammed into me like a physical blow: "I want it all!" The universe, an ironic listener, delivered a cruel lesson not long after. Addiction hollowed him out. His pristine life shattered – practice gone, family vanished, handcuffs replacing cufflinks.

"If you want anything, you will suffer." The undeniable truth of his downfall carved itself into my mind. Over 30 years have faded, but Mike's audacious declaration haunts my quiet moments. Was he the poorest man in the world? Perhaps. But I couldn't escape my own reflection in his eyes. Had my desires for a successful practice, recognition, or even the perfect vacation kept me bound, just like him?

Sometimes, in the stillness of the night, the question echoes: who is truly free? Is it the monk with his empty bowl, or the doctor with a full appointment book and a quietly aching heart? Is freedom found in the relinquishing of wants, or in the relentless pursuit of a desire so pure it borders on divine?

The answers, I suspect, are as multifaceted as the patients I've seen over the decades. But Mike's ghost continues to linger, a somber teacher reminding me that the poorest man in the world isn't the one lacking possessions, but the one whose soul is a bottomless pit of longing.

How Do We Fix This? Just Let Go of the Ball: A Monkey's Lesson in Desire

Imagine a mischievous monkey swinging through the lush jungles of India. He spots a fascinating sight – a narrow-necked jar with a tempting ball nestled inside. Curiosity piqued, the monkey reaches his hand in, eagerly grasps the ball, but in that moment, disaster strikes. The ball is just big enough to fit through the opening, but too large for the monkey's fist to follow. He's trapped!

Panic sets in as the monkey tugs and pulls, the jar swinging precariously. This scenario perfectly illustrates our relationship with desires. The jar symbolizes our attachment to things, experiences, or even emotions. The ball represents the object of our desire, enticing and seemingly within reach. We reach out, grasp it tightly, and become entangled.

Just like the monkey, we fail to see the simple solution: letting go. The ball, though desirable, holds us captive. We suffer because we cling to the illusion that this object or experience will bring us lasting happiness. Yet, true freedom lies in releasing our grip.

Here's how this translates to our lives:

  • Identify the Jar: The first step is recognizing the "jars" in our lives – the things we crave and cling to. These could be material possessions, a specific relationship status, or even constant validation.
  • Examine the Grip: Once we identify the jar, we need to examine our attachment. Is it healthy? Does it bring more joy or suffering?
  • Release the Ball: The hardest part – choosing to let go. This doesn't mean giving up on dreams, but detaching from the outcome. Pursue passions, nurture relationships, but don't let them become a prison of desire.

Living with Open Hands

Letting go doesn't mean living a life devoid of desires. It means approaching them with open hands, appreciating experiences without clinging to them. It's about enjoying the journey, not just the destination.

Like the monkey who simply needs to release the ball, we too can break free from the cycle of desire and suffering. By learning to let go, we open ourselves to a life filled with unexpected joys and a newfound sense of inner peace. Remember, true freedom lies not in acquiring but in releasing.

The poorest man in the world is the one with the most desires.



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