This story, a favorite of Thien An, and one that I’ve told to many clients and groups, is set in a valley in ancient China.
The next day the farmer and his son were working in the fields trying to recover what they could when the herd of wild horses, lured by their memories of the good grain, came back into the field. The farmer and his son, being good business men, decided to break the horses before they took them to market and thus make a larger sum. Well, when the neighbors heard of this additional turn of events they were truly concerned and distraught. Well, hardly a month passed before young man was up on his one leg with a crutch serving for the second when the army of the Khan came through the valley and took away all the young men, never to return, except one.
Personally in my own life it seems to take me at least ten years or even longer to assess the significance of major life events.

He ushered me through some bad times and was there to toast me when the sun was shinning bright. He studied Zen meditation with Thien-An and conscripted this Buddhist training as part of his psychotherapy practice. Well the farmer and his son, seeing this, hastily put up the fence rails and effectively corralled the entire herd. The son was riding the wild horses, in an attempt to gentle them, when the horse he was on, reared into the air, fell over on his side and crushed the young man’s leg. Each year none of them managed to store away more than just enough grain and other food stuff to make it through the winter.
One of the families consisted of just a farmer, his wife and son, and they each worked very hard just to maintain this subsistence level.

One night, at harvest time a herd of wild horses found an opening in a fence and broke into this family’s field. Thich Thien-An when Thien-AnĀ came to Southern California in the summer of 1966 as an exchange professor at UCLA. Thien-An saw his responsibility and helped the boat people and other refugees from his homeland. Thus, theĀ International Buddhist Meditation Center in Los Angeles, the first Vietnamese temple in the U.S, came to be.

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