*Opens up her satchel, retrieving a particular worn scroll, which she unfurls carefully. A smile curls her lips as she remembers a particular instance with one of the masters when she was younger.*
"Come and walk a while with me, young one."
Hastily, I jumped to my feet from my lotus position and took my place at the master's side, half a step behind in respect. We walked outside the monastery, his face intent as I glanced at him.
We continued to walk until we reached the lakeside. The master gestured to the ground and we both assumed lotus position at its edge, facing the vast lake.
"What do you see?"
"Master, I see the wide waters. I see the clear sky. I see the ripple of the concentric waves and the shine of the beating sun on the water's surface."
The master smiled.
"Now then, close your eyes. Keep the image of the water in your mind."
I promptly did as he told me to do, taking a deep cleansing breath and clearing my mind of all but the water.
"Now, you see a speck in the horizon. See it? It comes closer. You squint to try and discern what it could be. Closer and closer it comes. Alas, it is a small rowboat. It comes closer still."
Indeed, I did see the rowboat quite clearly, its wooden structure swaying from side to side on the gentle waves, becoming bigger and bigger as it sailed close.
"Now, stop the rowboat in your mind."
At first, my instinct was to allow the rowboat to come ashore, curious I was to its contents. But just as soon as the master told me to stop the rowboat, it seemed to want to change direction. My breath quickened, my brow furrowed and all my energy was bent on making the rowboat stop in the middle of the waters. I then saw the waters calm and the rowboat rock to a gentle stop on the waves.
I smiled, eyes still closed.
"Very good. Remember this day and this experience. Now that you know how to stop the rowboat in your mind, apply it always."
*Rolls the worn scroll carefully, the smile of reminiscence still on her face as she returns it to her satchel and gets to her feet to wander to the next village.*
May The Teachings Provide Guidance,