At this point in the material, the author of The Tao of Daily Life, tells the story of a monk who had a issue with a spider. Each time he would meditate he would see a giant spider approach him. This prevented him from meditating. He told his Master about this and his Master told him to have ready a paintbrush. When next he meditated, if he saw the spider approach, he should paint a circle on it. The monk did so, and sure enough in meditation he saw the spider. He quickly painted the circle on it’s back and the giant spider vanished. The monk looked down and saw a circle painted on his own body.
The lesson here is that we must take responsibility for our lives. There are many problems we may face in life, but these problems are not “out there” because of “those people.” Our problems we face, are simply OUR problems. We created them. Each one. We are the cause of our own misfortunes.
It’s truly the concept of karma. Whether in this life or the past, we created the actions that are bearing fruit for us now. These results might be given to us from the hands of our family, friends, enemies, governments – but the true source of the action is our own self.