Skip to content

A farmer came to the Buddha and said,
“I have a major problem and I know only you can help me.
My good-for-nothing son is so ungrateful and my wife, she doesn’t love me like she used to.
Can you do something to change their minds, so they realize how much I’m doing for them?”

The Buddha replied: I can not help you get rid of that problem

The farmer was surprised but had faith in the powers of the Buddha, adding,
“Well… I lent some money to a friend, but can’t get it back.
And I also owe money to my lenders! Can you provide any remedy there?”

Buddha said: I can not help you with that problem either.

The farmer started to get impatient,
“How can it be that you are the perfectly Enlightened One, when you can’t even help people get rid of their problems?”

The Buddha answered,
“Everyone has 83 problems in their lives.
Sometimes a problem will go, but then another problem will come. I cannot help with that.
But you have an 84th problem, which I can help you get rid of.”

The farmer cried, “Please! But what is the 84th problem?”

“Your 84th problem is that you think you shouldn’t have any problems”

*I loved this story long before discovering IFS. Is it relevant?
Substitute the farmer’s external problems for internal ones.