Ajahn Chah points to a big boulder and asks a disciple, “See that large rock over there?”
“Yes”, says the disciple.
“Do you think it’s heavy?” continues Ajahn Chah.
“Yes, it’s very heavy!” replies the student.
“Well… it’s not heavy if you don’t pick it up!” smiles Ajahn Chah.
This is a metaphor for the burdens that we’re carrying around with us. They’re like carrying huge boulders around on our shoulders as we carry on our everyday tasks – and yet, we may not even realize that we’re carrying them around. But once we recognize that, “Oh, we’re carrying this weight around unnecessarily”, we can just drop it, let go of it, put it down and let it be. In other words, you let go of those burdens and your heart will feel like a huge weight has lifted from your shoulders and you feel much more free.
And with those huge boulders, that we’ve set down, touch them, sit on them, stand on top of them, play games around them. We can even go around the other side of these boulders to see what they look like from a different perspective, from a different point of view, a different context – but they’re no longer heavy anymore.