Taoist Wisdom – Maybe, Maybe Not

Mar 10, 2024 | Blog, Global Peace, Meditation, Mindfulness with the Mystics, Small Acts


Tao Image Maybe, Maybe Not


Today I share a  a well-known Taoist tale I call,  “Maybe, Maybe Not.” Many variations of this story have been passed down through oral tradition and written texts,  each embodying timeless wisdom about the ever-changing nature of life. The story reflects the Taoist principle of living in harmony with the natural flow of the universe and the importance of maintaining perspective amidst uncertainty.

Many of you have likely heard this story. I offer it today with an invitation to listen as though you are hearing it for the first time. Present, in this moment, bringing a beginner’s mind, a child-like awareness. From a place of inner stillness bring your imagination and curiosity as these ideas greet your awareness.

Maybe, Maybe Not
Once, in a humble village nestled amidst rolling hills, there lived a wise farmer renowned for his serene demeanor and deep understanding of life’s mysteries.

One day, his only horse broke free from its pen and galloped into the forest, leaving the farmer’s neighbors to lament his misfortune. “What terrible luck!” they cried, offering their sympathies to the farmer.

The farmer simply replied, “Maybe, maybe not.”

Days passed, and to the villagers’ amazement, the horse returned, leading a magnificent herd of wild horses back to the farm. The neighbors rejoiced at the farmer’s newfound prosperity, exclaiming, “What wonderful fortune!”

Yet again, the farmer responded, “Maybe, maybe not.”

Soon after, the farmer’s son attempted to tame one of the wild horses, only to be thrown from its back and break his leg. The neighbors shook their heads in pity, declaring, “What a tragedy!”

Unfazed, the farmer calmly remarked, “Maybe, maybe not.”

Not long after the son’s accident, a war broke out, and soldiers from the kingdom came to conscript able-bodied young men. Due to his injury, the farmer’s son was deemed unfit for service, sparing him from the horrors of battle. Once more, the neighbors approached the farmer, marveling at his good fortune.

But the farmer, ever wise, offered his familiar refrain, “Maybe, maybe not.”

And so, the cycle continued, with each twist and turn of fate prompting the villagers to pass judgment; this is good, this is bad. Yet the farmer’s heart was peaceful, he remained at ease, steadfast in his acceptance of the eb and flow of life.

Living the principles of the Tao, the farmer knew events are neither inherently good nor bad; only our perceptions and judgments make it so.

On this continuing journey of self-discovery and inner reflection, take a few moments to rest in silence, fully present in this moment, open, relaxed. Allow the story to rest in your awareness.

And as you move through your day, I invite you to contemplate the concept of acceptance and non-attachment in your own lives. Consider the areas where you may be resisting or clinging to specific outcomes, and explore the possibility of embracing the natural ebb and flow of life with open hearts and minds.

May you walk in peace fully present in this moment.

Please let me know how I can support you on your journey.  Learn more here.

Find more inspiration here at SheyGlobal and enjoy more content from Mindful March 2024, inspired by ancient and contemporary mystics here at the Feast for the Soul blog. 






This story reflects the Taoist principle of non-attachment to outcomes and the recognition that events are not inherently good or bad; rather, our perceptions and judgments shape our experiences.

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