When I was younger, I looked for answers to a series of never ending life questions. My expectation at the time was that it was possible to uncover definitive answers to a set of core life altering questions. If I could only uncover these answers from an external source, that would directly lead to a series of profound “light bulb” moments of awareness and inner wisdom. Like many people, I wanted to know and be assured of the outcome before taking the journey; if I liked the outcome, then I would be open to engaging in the challenges inherent in the journey. Gratefully, I grew out of this mindset and am continually amused at my younger self. And then, the fun of jumping into the challenges and unknown aspects of each journey began to offer something remarkable. The greatest wisdom repeatedly showed up on the other side of almost quitting, along with the recognition that the answers were already there. The Zen tale below speaks to me in a subtle and powerful way. Perhaps it will say something to you.
THE OTHER SIDE
One day a young Buddhist on his journey home came to the banks of a wide river. Staring hopelessly at the great obstacle in front of him, he pondered for hours on just how to cross such a wide barrier. Just as he was about to give up his pursuit to continue his journey he saw a great teacher on the other side of the river. The young Buddhist yells over to the teacher, “Oh wise one, can you tell me how to get to the other side of this river”? The teacher ponders for a moment looks up and down the river and yells back, “My son, you are on the other side.”