A wheat farmer grew their grain but also ground their own flour.
They kept their grain in silos to store before bringing it to the mill for it to be ground.
This farmer was known to be a bit of a curmudgeon, but they had their reasons to be.
The worst sin a person could commit in their eyes was being shiftless.
When they noticed mice chewing their way through the silo walls and getting into the bags of flour, they lined the silos with double layers of plywood and packing the flour in thicker burlap bags.
Not to stop the mice from getting to the grain completely but just to make them work hard to get their fill.
Absolutely delighted and enthralled with their new found knowledge, they could not get to the sage fast enough to tell them the answer.
Busting in through his bedroom they started to blurt out
“I’ve found the…”
...but the sage was not there.
They checked all of the rooms, the kitchen, the garden, the rest of the grounds, but they were nowhere to be found.
“...probably getting groceries.”
Anxiously waiting for his arrival they at first could not sit down more than a few minutes, but eventually, they grew tired.
In the evening, the sage came back home and found the enlightened individual sound asleep on the couch.
Gently waking them up, they asked of their progress.
“Have you found the answer?”
The enlightened individual, remembered their eye opening experience,
...but could not for the life of them remember what they found out.
An individual was going through an existential crisis.
No matter how much help they sought, nothing got them out of their funk.
But it was passed on to them through the grapevine of someone that had “answers.”
Upon meeting this person, they immediately asked that most pertinent of questions…
...the question which has thwarted sages, saints, and sinners since the beginning…
“What is the meaning of life?”
This sage however, was ready with an answer.
“I have something for you to meditate on, and if you do, the answer will be given to you.”
With this, the downtrodden individual felt some excitement for the first time in a long while.
“What is it?”
“I want you to figure out how can something be true and not true at the same time.”
“How can an illusion also be reality?”
With this, the sage provided them with a room on their grounds so they could contemplate this question in as much ease as possible.
But the individual was having no luck, and told the sage such.
“No worries, take another week to meditate on it.”
The next week passed but still with no result.
“That is fine, just one more week and I am sure you will get it.”
This extra week came and went with the individual no more enlightened than when they first came.
“I want you to take three more days,” said the sage.
“...and if you still don’t find the answer, burn down your house and throw away your wallet as punishment for not seeing the answer right in front of your face.”
The very next day they found the answer…
Continued in Part II
Wrapping up holiday gifts, they realize that they left the scissors in the other room.
Not wanting to get up, they instead ask one of their young kids to go get it.
“...it’s in the drawer to the left…”
After a few seconds, the child running in as fast as they can with the pair of scissors up blade first.
The parent understandably being horrified with all this, admonished the child.
“Don’t run with scissors…
...now hand me them with the handle first.”
The child spoke up:
“What can you do with the handle?”
Be soft in your practice. Think of the method as a fine silvery stream, not a raging waterfall. Follow the stream, have faith in its course. It will go on its own way, meandering here, trickling there. It will find the grooves, the cracks, the crevices. Just follow it. Never let it out of your sight. It will take you.
A child grew up in an old-fashioned household, and likewise, they held traditional values.
And of course, the children were to be held to the same standard.
However, the children were taught at public school where there are children who come from every background imaginable.
Yet, most of the children who went were brought up in more modern and progressive households that encouraged various explorations and phases that adolescents go through.
This child was more of the odd man out than one would think, and unfortunately…
...he was picked on for it.
Nothing too harsh, but he brushed up against many cold shoulders.
But he had a good friend that was in fact very different from him.
While the kid from the traditional family wore dress pants and his shirt tucked in, his friend wore colorful basketball shoes and ripped shorts.
While the traditional kid kept his hair trimmed short, his friend wore it long to the shoulders with one side shaved off.
The hair is really what his friend took to when he considered giving his square friend “cool lessons.”
“Let it all hang out.”
“Don’t be so uptight…”
While the traditional kid did not think he was any more uptight than the average kid, and that his parents made sure to tell him of his uniqueness, he nevertheless had enough respect for his friend to push him on his claims.
“Why do ‘you’ have to show your uniqueness so wild and crazily?”
“...doesn’t ‘your’ style also turn people off?”
“Why do you want to change who I am?”
And with this conversation between these two friends, both considered each others advice and remade themselves for the better.