Three monks decided to practice meditation together. They sat by the side of a shimmering lake and closed their eyes in concentration.
Suddenly, the first monk stood up and said, “I forgot my mat.” He steeped miraculously onto the water in front of him and walked across the lake to their hut on the other side. When he returned, the second monk stood up and said, “I forgot to put my other underwear to dry.” He too walked calmly across the water and returned the same way.
The third monk watched the first two carefully in what he decided must be the test of his own abilities. “Is your learning so superior to mine? I too can match any feat you two can perform,” he declared loudly and rushed to the water’s edge to walk across it. He promptly fell into the deep water.
Undeterred, the wet monk climbed out of the water and tried again, only to sink into the water. Yet again he climbed out and yet again he tried, each time sinking into the water. This went on for some time as the other two monks watched. After a while, the second monk turned to the first and said, “Do you think we should tell him where the stones are?”
Issue date: November 8–21, 2013