Five children were playing this Wishing Game. The first one was asked, “If you had a wish what would you want” and the child said, “If I had a wish I would want ice cream.” She liked ice cream. The second child who was a little bit older said, “If I had a wish I’d wish for an ice cream factory.” The first child thought that was really clever because if you had an ice cream factory you could get ice cream whenever you wanted one. Not just one ice cream but hundreds of ice creams. The third child was asked, “What’s your wish” and he said, “I’d like a billion dollars. Because with a billion dollars I can buy an ice cream factory, a cake factory, a fish and chip shop or whatever else I want, and I could do a lot more”. The first two kids thought, ‘wow! Aren’t we stupid? Why didn’t we have think of that?’ They thought that this young fellow who wished for a billion dollars was a genius. But the next child when asked what he wished did even better than wanting a billion dollars, he said, “I wish I had three wishes so that I could wish for an ice cream factory with my first wish, a billion dollars with my second wish, and with my third wish I could wish for another three wishes.” They thought, ‘wow! You can’t do better than that.’

Can you think of a wish that is even better than that – to have three wishes and the third wish is that you can wish for another three wishes? But the last child did surpass that, he was the Buddha to be, and said, “I wish I had no wishes.” Isn’t that interesting? Because when you have no more wishes it means that you are completely content. You’re free from all desires. You’re free from all that wanting. You’re free from all feeling of lack, the feeling that somewhere in your life, somewhere in your body, somewhere in your mind, something is missing. Imagine what it would be like if you had no more wishes, completely happy with whatever comes along, completely happy with this present moment. You don’t wish for it to be anything else. You look at your husband and he’s absolutely perfect. You don’t wish him to change at all. You look at your wife and she’s so beautiful. You don’t wish her to be anything different, neither better nor worse. No more wishing is going against the grain of modern society isn’t it? We want to have the freedom to have more wishes. We want the freedom to have more choices and more money to express our choices. We want more freedom to express our individuality. Buddhism says the cleverest child is the child who wishes for no more wishes.- Ajahn Brahm

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