The Little Monk

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The little monk was delighted and said good-bye to his dolphin friend.
The dolphin waved and squealed a sad good-bye. Saying good-byes are always difficult, dear readers, especially if you are saying good-bye to a close friend. The little monk remembered the good advice of the dolphin and stepped aboard the rickety little boat. Once aboard, the little monk asked the fisherman: "Dear Fisherman, Sir, why have you not caught any fish in this spot and why do you stay here so long if it is not fruitful?"
The fisherman cast a strange glance at the little monk. "Don't you understand? I fish here because there is always the chance that my luck might change. Every day I steer my little boat to this spot and anchor it firmly. This is my sole goal in life. It gives me a reason for living." The fisherman
ended his discourse with a slight sneeze.
The little monk was annoyed by this answer, but was beginning to get used to such strange discourses. The more he expected less, the easier it soon became to discover new and exciting things. Indeed, this new and strange process of letting things fall away was something to look forward to. It wasa gift of sorts.
As the fisherman turned the boat around and started to steer home, the little monk listened to the song of the waves. He tried to blend with them as they gently hugged the fisherman's boat. Many times, while sleeping in the monastery, something would disturb the little monk. Something invisible and untouchable. Dear readers, we all seem to be disturbed in our sleep from time to time. Somehow an ocean of unknown waves pulsates within us all. These waves whisper to us about the future, yet we often fail to listen to them. Humans are sometimes terribly timid!
The little monk asked the fisherman: "Do you listen to the waves when you are fishing?"
"Yes, I do," said the fisherman. "They are my friends, every time I leave shore and come over here they welcome me back. We've known each other for so long. We have these long conversations."
"What do they say?" asked the little monk.
"They tell me to be free," answered the fisherman.
"Are we near shore now?" asked the little monk.
"Yes, I think so," said the fisherman.
"How far is it?" asked the little monk.
"Not too far," answered the fisherman, as he pulled on the fishing net.

The little monk could now see the shore. There was sand on it. This was quite normal, but beyond the beach seemed to lie even more sand. "Could this be a desert?" asked the little monk to himself. Indeed, it was starting to look like one. Who could possibly live in such an unfortunate place? The little monk became suddenly destitute. Would he ever discover the meaning of
life in such a forsaken place? Where did the fisherman live? Al these questions buzzed inside his head.
The boat finally reached shore. It seemed to have taken quite a bit of time. But, at last the little monk was able to step on solid ground again. He had not done so for quite a long time. He looked at the fisherman, who was now walking straight ahead into the desert sands. With little warning, he seemed to fade away. Now, the little monk had no intention of being left alone in this lonely and desolate place, so he quickly began to run after his new companion. As I told you before, dear readers, good friends are most hard to find. Perhaps this fisherman was one of them!
The little monk followed him from a distance. The fisherman was walking at a very brisk pace and it was not easy going. Especially since the flat land was now giving way to huge sand dunes made of sand so fine that each step made one sink deeper and deeper into them. The fine particles had a way of getting into the eyes, which made the journey most unpleasant to the little monk. Indeed, everything in this environment seemed to get fuzzier and fuzzier, the closer one inspected things. Nothing seemed solid at all.
"Could the mindheart be also like this?" thought the little monk to himself. "How can one possibly control anything in this environment? The little monk's heart began to feel like a tight knot when he thought things like this. Indeed, readers, we always seem to be tying knots of many kinds when we want to control things that cannot be controlled. We seem to control our
Universe with silly knots. This is a peculiar habit of humans and even of monks, so entrenched are we in our ways ....

The sun was beginning to set. The fisherman reached a small little lake and sat down beside a rock. He motioned to the little monk. "Would you like something to eat?" he asked.
"Yes, please," answered the little monk.
Out of nowhere the fisherman took out a huge apple from his pocket and gave it to the little monk. The little monk was quite startled. Not only did he have a new friend, he had also found a magician.
"How did you do that?" asked the little monk.
"Oh, it's not so hard," retorted the fisherman. "In matters of the heart, everything is magic. For the heart lives on this spirit island, where the laws of space and time do not operate. Matter and energy can take on any form. Have you ever seen the law of gravity actually operate in a dream?" asked the fisherman to the little monk.
"I don't remember my dreams very well," muttered the little monk, almost ashamed to admit such a dark secret to his newly found friend.
"You should learn how to talk to the heart," said the fisherman. "It needs to be constantly reassured that all is all right. It is sometimes afraid. When you are on the edge of a fear, this is when the gap between the heart and your mind becomes the most noticeable. People are so funny. They always want to measure things. Is something higher or lower? Is that thing better or worse? These are not affairs of the heart. Do you understand?" asked the fisherman, looking quite serenely into the distance.
The little monk was not quite sure how to answer this question. Life to him seemed too complicated at times. There were so many things he didn't understand.
"Where do we go when we die?" asked the little monk to his new found friend.
"We return to the spirit island," answered the fisherman. "Where else can we possibly go?" This all seemed so basic to the fisherman, but the little monk was not completely satisfied with this answer.
"Does the heart live in this spirit island?" asked the little monk.
"But of course!" shouted the fisherman. He was now beginning to get a little annoyed. He continued: "We go back to the heart. It does not understand space or time. Look at this wall."

"But of course!" shouted the fisherman. He was now beginning to get a little annoyed. He continued: "We go back to the heart. It does not understand space or time. Look at this wall."
"What wall?" asked the little monk.
"This one," said the fisherman, and out of his pocket he picked a pebble which he threw into the lake. It soon blossomed into a wall. The little monk was startled. This was such a strange way to live!
"This wall is just four lines and some angles. This is how the mind sees it, but the heart might see it differently. The mind and the heart are often fighting with each other. When the mind fights the heart, the heart can become a monster. We must learn to treat the mind gently. When hunger
and fear stalk the heart, this is the time to sit still and listen to it. When anger squeezes the heart, it is time to tame the heart. The mind never wants to understand the heart, for to do so would be quite catastrophic. The experience would be ...." The fisherman's voice trailed off. It was now evening and darkness had descended on their little camp. The little monk was getting sleepy.

When the little monk woke up, the fisherman was gone. This made the little monk fearful. To be stranded out in the middle of nowhere was a truly frightening experience. To comfort himself, the little monk took out some paper and drew a picture with his right hand. This was what he drew:

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