The Huntsman

A story for people who are compulsively competitive.

I meditated for a story for a friend who told me that she was annoyed with herself for being so competitive, especially with regard to riding horses. She said it was spoiling her enjoyment of her horse and her riding experience. She asked me if I could get a story to help her.

A gentleman wearing jodhpurs came into my meditation. He was from another era – probably the turn of the last century.

This is what he said:

Hunting is a thrilling pursuit. I spent half my life either thinking about it or doing it.It led me into all manner of difficulties. My horse had to be the very best and my garb immaculate. I had to gallop faster than anyone else, spy the fox before anyone else, and be in on the kill.

Hunting was my master. It ruled me and my enjoyment of life. I had children but they were naught to me when there was hunting to be had. My family could go hang. My old father observed my ways. He had been a huntsman himself. The antlers in the hall bore witness to that fact. In the beginning he encouraged me. He knew the thrill of the chase, the smell of the horses sweat, the sight of its steaming breath in the cold air. He loved the lunge and the leap – hedges and ditches – the risk of the roll, the joy of success. But what he saw in me was the pain of failure, the anger of not being first or of not having the proudest steed. He saw my disappointment.

“Son,” he said, “you are missing the point. You are missing the experience. Your goals are too narrow and cannot be hit, and if you hit one goal you may miss another and still be disappointed.

Feel the speed. Breathe the air. Talk to your beast. Enjoy the moment, that is the point. Forget the others. Allow them their experience. Whether they win or lose it matters not. Whether you win or lose is not the object. Being there is the whole purpose.

And taking this different viewpoint I found it was indeed so.


Does this story remind you of anything in your life?

Can you think of examples of where competition is a good thing?

Think of some examples of competitiveness causing problems for people.