The following quote is taken from 'Heart Advice, Weekly Quotes From Pema Chodron'.
THE EMPTY BOAT
"There's a Zen story in which a man is enjoying himself on a river at dusk.
He sees another boat coming down the river toward him. At first it seems so nice to him
that someone else is also enjoying the river on a nice summer evening.
Then he realizes that the boat is coming right toward him,
faster and faster. He begins to yell, "Hey, hey, watch out!
For Pete's sake, turn aside!"
But the boat just comes right at him, faster and faster.
By this time he's standing up in his boat,
screaming and shaking his fist,
and then the boat smashes right into him. He sees that it's an empty boat.
This is the classic story of our whole life situation.
There are a lot of empty boats out there.
We're always screaming and shaking our fists at them.
Instead, we could let them stop our minds.
Even if they only stop our mind for 1.1 seconds, we can rest in that little gap.
When the story line starts, we can do the tonglen (**) practice
of exchanging ourselves for others.
In this way everything we meet has the potential to help us cultivate compassion
and reconnect with the spacious, open quality of our mind."
** tonglen.....'The tonglen practice is a method for connecting with suffering---ours and that which is all around us----everywhere we go. It is a method of overcoming fear of suffering and for dissolving the tightness of our heart. Primarily it is a method for awakening the compassion that is inherent in all of us, no matter how cruel or cold we might seem to be.'
(from Shambhala.org by Pema Chodron)