When will you stop?
Reposted from My Zen Experience
Angulimala (literal meaning of this name is garland of fingers) was a bandit who used to cut his victim's pinkie finger and had made a garland for himself. Every one was afraid of him. When Buddha found out, he ventured into Anguliamala's territory by himself. Every one was worried for Buddha's safety. Angulimala saw Buddha moving through his territory and asked Buddha to stop. Buddha kept walking, he showed no trace of fear - Angualimala asked him to stop again and Buddha said - I stopped a long time ago, when will you stop? Angulimala did not understand and asked Buddha what he meant. Buddha said that he cast off violence towards other beings and Angulimala is unrestrained, that's how he has stopped and Angulimala didn't. And the story goes that he became a disciple of Buddha and attained arahatship.
This question - "When will you stop?" has a deep meaning. It is not just in terms of violence towards other beings. It is also our violence towards ourselves. We pushing ourselves to become something, to gain something, to achieve fame, power, money. We push our loved ones to do the same. When will we stop? When will we start teaching our children to be content, happy and aim for peace of mind? When will we stop preparing them for the rat race?