Releasing the Cows as told by Thich Naht Hahn
So one day the Buddha was sitting with a number of monks in the woods. They had just finished their mindful lunch and were about to start a Dharma discussion when a farmer came by. He was lost and said: “Dear Venerables did you see my cows passing by here?”, and the Buddha answered “No we have not seen any cows”.
“I have 3 cows, and this morning I don’t know why, all of them have run away. And this year the insects have eaten up all of our crops I think I’m going to die.” The farmer expressed his sufferings and worries.
The Buddha said “Dear friend, we have not seen your cows passing by here, you might try to look in the other direction.” The farmer thanked the Buddha and went away.
The Buddha turned to his monks smiling he looked at them and said “Dear Friends, do you know that you are happy people? Do you know that you are lucky people? You don’t have any cows to lose!”
So the practice here is to identify the cows that you have. The cows that you think you can not be separated from. The cows that you think are essential to your happiness but these cows actually cause you suffering.