Discover what I consider to be the greatest benefit of practicing Mindfulness and explore the inspiring “Legend of the Hermit and the Robber,” which highlights the importance of awareness, patience, and accepting your own path.


I have been running Mindfulness workshops since 2009, and without fail, one question always stands out:

“What is the biggest benefit you have personally gained from practicing Mindfulness?”

Answering this question isn’t easy because there is no area of life where Mindfulness hasn’t helped me become a better version of myself, at least a little bit.

However, if I had to pick one particular benefit, it would be this:

The biggest benefit I have gained from Mindfulness practice is that it has greatly helped me become aware of my “demons,” understand them, and make peace with them.

Of course, I do not mean mythical creatures with horns, fierce looks, big ears, and sharp teeth. Rather, I am referring to the various (mostly unconscious) deep inner conflicts that were inevitably present in me – conflicts we all bring into this world through the act of birth.

But why did I highlight this as the most important benefit?

Until we make at least relative peace with our “demons,” the unrest we feel within ourselves will be projected onto those around us – often under the guise of good intentions.

Only when we make at least relative peace with our “demons” will we truly be able to let others live their lives and stop trying to “save” the world from those who are doing something “wrong” or are simply different.

Only when we make at least relative peace with our “demons” will we more often and more clearly hear the voice of our soul and feel the direction in which it wants us to grow and evolve.

Only when we make at least relative peace with our “demons” will we stop making our happiness and fulfillment dependent on how we believe others should behave towards us.

Only when we make (at least relative) peace with our “demons” will we lose the need to forcibly convince others of the rightness of our views and waste time on unnecessary debates – online and in person – to that end.

Only when we make at least relative peace with our “demons” will we stop burdening others with our “shadows,” which we usually disguise as caring, concerned, and well-intentioned advice.

Only when we make at least relative peace with our “demons” will we realize that divine love, wisdom, and strength are always present within us, always available to us and that we do not need intermediaries to experience it.


I do not claim to have achieved complete peace with all my “demons.” I am doing well, but I am aware that I still have a long way to go on this path.

My goal is to reach a level where I can offer all my “demons” a warm shelter within myself when I encounter them and provide them with a lot of warmth, kindness, and love.

Maybe I will achieve this in this lifetime, or maybe I will need many more lifetimes to perfect this skill. To be honest, the time factor is not so important to me. What matters to me is having a clear direction in which I am heading and effective “tools” that I can use when I face my “demons.”


In moments when I get impatient, and it seems that the process has no end, I remind myself of how the “famous robber” reacted in the old legend of the hermit and the robber described in Advaita-Vedanta.

The Legend of the Hermit and the Robber

A long time ago, several devas (divine beings who resemble spirit guides, angels, or ascended masters) decided to visit the Earth to see what was new. First, they came across a hermit who was meditating. When they approached him, he asked how much longer he had to meditate and practice various spiritual disciplines to attain liberation. The devas replied that they could clearly see the significant progress he had made and that if he continued at this pace, he would attain liberation in just two to three more lifetimes.

For more than twenty years, he had led an ascetic life, meditating and practicing spiritual disciplines without interruption, and had completely renounced worldly life and all its associated pleasures. However, when he heard that he would need two to three more lifetimes to continue like this, he was overcome with immense anger and rage. He was no longer interested in conversation and considered giving up everything and returning to his old life.

The devas continued on their way and after some time came across the most notorious robber in that part of the country, lying under a tree with a large canopy. As they approached him, he asked them in a somewhat joking tone how long it would take for him to attain liberation. The devas replied that he should first count all the leaves on the tree under which he was lying. The number of leaves corresponded to the number of lifetimes he would still need to attain liberation.

When he heard this, the robber immediately became serious and said in amazement, “That’s nothing compared to eternity!”

According to legend, the heavens opened at that moment, and the lightning bolt of liberation struck him directly.


In my opinion, the “legend of the hermit and the robber” emphasizes the importance of awareness, patience and acceptance of one’s own path, regardless of whether it is easy or straightforward. The more we resist the path we must inevitably take and the lessons we must inevitably learn, the more we complicate our lives.

The hermit invested all his time and energy in the pursuit of liberation. But his inability to accept the path that awaited him and his clinging to his own ideas about the course of his journey led to anger, rage and the thought of giving up everything to return to his old way of life.

In contrast, the robber had a much longer road to liberation ahead of him. But through his perspective on the whole situation, the heavens opened up and granted him immediate liberation.


Keep in mind that our minds and all the mental concepts we have are too connected to a linear understanding of time. However, it is important to remember that linear time only exists in this 3D reality, and our ideas about how things should unfold are ultimately just that — ideas and not facts.

The “fact” is the path that unfolds and the events that take place along that path. The more we are willing to be at peace with all of these events and regularly work to distance ourselves from all of our mental constructs about our path and how it “should” unfold, the more meaningful and fulfilling our journey becomes.

The essence of this legend reminds me of a lesson from A Course in Miracles:

“Now you must learn that only infinite patience produces immediate effects.”


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