Silence filled the room as an old wise master sat in the middle of his chambers. The old wise master’s grandson peered through the crack in the door to get a glimpse of his grandfather in meditation. When the grandfather’s eyes opened, the grandson opened the door with curiosity and with one question on his mind. The old wise master told his grandson to sit down in front of him. Truthfully, the grandfather knew the question before his grandson asked it, but he allowed him to ask the question anyway because it’s a question we all must ask. The grandson asked his old wise master, “how do I obtain peace within myself?” The wise master instructed his grandson to get his knapsack and go to the tallest mountain in the town, and when he got to the base of the mountain, fill the bag up completely with small stones. The last instruction the wise master gave his grandson was with every step he took, take a stone out of the bag and drop it. Though perplexed by this response, the boy did as he was instructed and got the knapsack, went to the tallest mountain in town, and filled the bag to the top with small stones.
The sheer height of the mountain looked like it would take a lifetime to scale. The young man knew that this would take ages to finish but despite his confusion, he put the back-breaking bag full of stones on his back and took his first step up the side of the mountain. Each step he had to throw out a small stone. Hours passed as he moved his way up the mountain. The pain throughout his body made him want to quit, but anytime he felt like giving up he turned around to see how far he had gone. Though the mountain was getting steeper, his bag was getting lighter since he was tossing away stones with each step.
Halfway finished with half a bag full of stones left, he looked up and he could see the shining sun. It was almost like the sun was resting on the mountaintop and he was climbing right towards the light. The distance was getting shorter and the load was bearable and in some ways unnoticeable. Taking that last step, the young man turned around and threw the last stone which tumbled all the way to the bottom of the mountain. Now at the top of the mountain, the young man gazed at the beauty in front of him. He was almost eye level with the sun, the waves of the crystal blue waters below moved with such ease, and the trees at the top of the mountain danced as the calm winds blew. Exhausted from his long, backbreaking hike, the young man sat down with the light of the sun on him. Just like he saw his grandfather, the old wise master, do for so many years, he closed his eyes, took in a deep breath and let the silence consume him.
This story is a metaphor because we go through life carrying baggage with us and never letting it fall to the waste-side. While trying to obtain peace in our lives and climb new heights, the baggage weighs us down making each step a struggle. Obtaining peace within yourself is letting go of what holds you down just like how the young man was instructed to throw away each stone with each step. Each stone represented a problem, an issue, or a time in our life we can’t seem to throw away though we need to toss it to the side. Though he wanted to quit and turn back, he would have to return back to the base of the mountain with the rocks still inside the knapsack, i.e. the worries he still carried inside of him. Hours passed and each step seemed more painful than the previous step, but the young man’s load was actually getting lighter. At the top of the mountain and on the other side of the mountain, he was greeted with the light of the sun, the calming waters, and the wind that danced through the trees.
There is a light within us that we are seeking to reach, a sense of calming peace in our life, and a dream that dances inside our minds. The baggage that you carry with each step will only get harder if you do not take out the stones. But if you take out the stones with each step, the load will get the lighter.
Lessen your load because your mountaintop awaits you.
Photo Credit: “Productivity”: ThinkRadius.com