The original source of musk fragrance is the male musk deer, which produces the famous scent from a gland in its body.
The story goes, that when the deer first becomes aware of this fragrance, it becomes enchanted, and starts to follow it, seeking its source. The deer walks around in search of this alluring wonder. No matter which way it turns, the fragrance remains always slightly out of reach. It cannot locate the source. Obsessed, the deer starts to run and run, madly pursuing the elusive unattainable.
Finally, exhausted, the deer collapses … and dies.
We are that deer.
The true source of all that appeals, all that beckons us, all that enchants and entertains, all that promises fulfilment and a better, richer, happier life – all is within. Yet we spend all of our time, energy and effort in desperately pursuing its reflections all around us – here, there and everywhere else except precisely the place where fulfilment is to be found: within.
Like the deer, we too sense the presence of something extraordinary, something pure, fine and high. This something seems so close, and yet so maddeningly remote. We too become obsessed with attaining this something and start to run and run in every direction, searching in this place, in that activity, in this book, in that relationship, in this substance, in that pretence, in this club, in that discipline, in this hobby, in that fashion, in this passion, in that mission, in this vocation, in that conviction.
Like the deer, we spend and ultimately give up our life in pursuit of the seemingly unattainable.
The deer’s story is sad, for it follows only its instinct. Our story is tragic, for we know the musk – our soul – is within and our own, yet we meditate not.