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Ed Rock

A Buddhist Fairy Tale – Chapter 3 – Broken Wings – Part 11

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“Your First Weapon of the Spirit is Concentration. Concentration sharpens your sword. After you master Concentration, your second weapon to master will be Investigation. Investigation teaches you how to cut through illusions with your sword that has been sharpened to a razor’s edge by Concentration.

“You must investigate your entire body and mind in detail so that you see them for what they are, and not what you suppose them to be. Otherwise, you will try to hang on to them and protect them - and that will distract you and prove fatal when you face the Dragon of Atta. You can’t worry about either of them when the time comes to wield your sharp sword during the bloody fight that lies ahead.

“But beware. Trying to investigate without first reaching the Four Great Calms of Concentration will be fruitless. Your sword will not be sharp enough, which means that your investigations will be shallow and meaningless.

“Your final assignment will be to acquire wisdom and insight. This involves unremitting investigation every waking moment, enabled by the concentration and the four great calms that you have mastered. This is the Insight that gives you the incredible power to locate this clever and dangerous dragon that conceals itself so cleverly in its secretive den.

“But beware. Wisdom is never anything you can strive for or practice. Wisdom is born from concentration and investigation.

“A concentrated mind is a result of stillness and calmness. Investigation is a result as well - a result of an absorbed, pliable, focused mind. Wisdom is a result of both concentration and investigation. It all begins with a still, calm, concentrated mind that becomes absorbed within itself, and a still, calm concentrated mind is born from virtue and contentment.

“Be forewarned that only a sharp sword and excellent skills will slay this monster. The Dragon of Atta is the most powerful being of all the worlds. You must work harder than you have ever thought possible and train hard, for when you finally face the dragon, there will be no time to come back and learn - at least not in this lifetime.”

“Sorcerer, you know me better than that! I do not train haphazardly and face combat unprepared! I was the most feared warrior on the battlefield, and I will be no less than that now! This poor dragon’s days are numbered!”

“Good. And since you have always been smart enough not to underestimate your enemy, don’t be foolish and miscalculate now. You have no idea what you will be facing.

“And another thing; don’t be surprised when you are called stupid and useless, and scorned by people of every walk of life. They do not understand this extraordinary inward quest. Do not become involved with those that ridicule, particularly the ones who think their way is the only way. Those kinds are the most confused and will hate you. They will call you rude and strange, and want to kill you because you will be a threat to their beliefs.

“What you are embarking upon requires insight and introspection, not beliefs and rituals. But few understand this. Only warriors of the heart understand. Do not argue with those that ridicule. Let them believe as they will. Others, who are more open-minded and don’t believe quite as blindly will merely laugh and consider you an ignorant fool.

“Remember, however, that there are the few whose eyes are closed but slightly and are almost ready to seek their key. They are the ones who will understand.”

“Your words ring true, sorcerer! I was hurt when Maradin’s fiancé ridiculed me for being a key ‘faker.’ Even more painful was when I found myself at a loss to explain to the fiancé what I was feeling in my heart for these last five years. I simply did not have the skills to communicate with him. Or perhaps, as you say, nothing can be said to some.”

“Your heart will break for those who will not listen, King. You can do little for them other than be what you are. You will know the suffering they will be faced with in their future lifetimes and be helpless to do anything about it. Be consoled that your contact with them will help them in spite of themselves, no matter the circumstances, and that someday every being will search for his or her key when their time is right.

“Never look back, never look forward; the key is not there. It is nowhere to be found except in this very moment. Do you understand, King? Only this very moment is infinite. I’m afraid that this far beyond your scope at this point.

“But understand this; be wary of any paths, for all paths lead to an objective, and an objective is an ending. The key cannot be found in a place that has an ending. The key is only found in this moment - a place beyond movement, yet a place that can never end.”

“But my quest for the key is a path! The key is my goal! You are talking in riddles again, Sorcerer.”

“MY quest.” MY goal.” “My, My, My,” said the sorcerer.”
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