Saturday, 20 March 2010

The Search For The Holy Man

In the days when people hungered after knowledge, the news went out that there was a wise and inspirational old sage lived in the high mountains. A traveller, on hearing this was determined to seek out this wise old sage and find the answers to some if not all of the many questions he had. He prepared for the journey knowing that many had gone before and never managed to find this old man.

He climbed high into the mountains travelling over many dangerous paths and edges at last he was in the region and area he had been told he would find the wise old sage. Sitting high perched on a ledge he saw a little cottage. He made his way towards it and noticed as he approached an old servant sitting at the door where you would expect to see such a servant. The traveller approached and said to him, “I have travelled many days over difficult terrain I wish to be taken to the wise and holy man.” The servant got up and led him through the house and out the back door where all that could be seen was the edge of the mountain and its deep abyss. “But I want to see the holy man,” he said, in an abrupt rude manner. “Take me to him now.”

"You already have," said the wise-old man. "Everyone you may meet in life, even if they appear plain and insignificant, see each of them as a Holy Man. If you do this, then whatever problem you brought here today will be solved."

Who might inspire us today? You will never know but if you are aware and ready to find it in the most unexpected of places you surely will. Be ready and willing to learn from whoever it is no matter what they look like.

A martial arts student went to his teacher and said earnestly, "I am devoted to studying your system. How long will it take me to master it?" The teacher's reply was casual, "Ten years." Impatiently, the student answered, "But I want to master it faster than that. I will work very hard. I will practice everyday, ten or more hours a day if I have to. How long will it take then?" The teacher thought for a moment, "20 years."

Impatience leads to nothing except the ongoing need to seek and to learn again and yet again. We need to see the big picture not this instant moment. Steady and mindful is the way of Tao.

This blog is linked to the story of the art used blog which can be seen at:-From a Distance


  1. Great parable, Ralph. I hope that I do this more often than I try to do this.

  2. wouldn't the world be such a better place if we all did this (thought of the people in our lives as "sage"?)--I just know that this would solve so many problems! I like the painting that accompanies this post. It's perfect.