"So, where are we off to?” he asks with eagerness.
“That is part of the secret”. Despite the dismissive reply, he cannot stop, but be happy with joy over what is to come.
The two continue to walk the path out of their village, both with a brisk step to exaggerate the excitement of their journey, the master is also pleased for he is happy that he can pass on his greatest secret. They talk about all the times they have had together, from when he was a young boy struggling to lift more than one brick, to now the strong young man that knowing nearly every aspect of creating the finest structure. But still he knows there is something more. Something that he has not grasped, and so once again he asks, master is there no clue that you give me, on this journey, surely a day earlier will not change anything, but the master simply laughs and says “it seems our timing is perfect”.
After camping the night by a beautiful river they soon reach a meadow with two paths splitting of in the middle, one continues roughly in the same direction forward and the other takes a sharp turn to the right.
Above the trees at the far end they can see there final destination upon the top of the furthest peak, the master explains that that is where they are heading and that both paths will take them there. The younger apprentice quickly urges them to take the more direct path and heads straight forward, overcome with excitement he barely even notices the master slowly turning of the path to the right. But due to his absolute desire to look after the old man who has taught him so much he stops and shouts back.
But surely this path will take us there quicker. The master does not even waiver on his path for a second simply saying “quite right you are”, and yet he still continues on his path.
The young apprentice is of course dumbfounded but does not want to push his luck so he continues on following in his mentors’ footsteps and soon again they begin to discuss more happier things.
After a long hike up the mountain they reach the top exhausted and tired the young apprentice looks around a little unsure as he cannot see a thing in site that would make the place special,
The master turns to him and says, you have done it, you have studied under me for many years and finally you have become ready to learn my greatest secret, he turns to head over to the cliff edge where he picks up a rock and then places it in the hand of the apprentice. Not knowing what to do with the rock he says thanks, and after a slight awkward pause he says what am I suppose to do with it. The master simply says whatever you want,
The apprentice is of course confused “but Master we have travelled for three days to the top of this mountain, you have promised me the greatest secret of all time and all you simply do is a place a rock in my hand. What does it mean, is it something to do with having good foundations...., even the biggest mountains crumble....., we are all just a rock in this world...., the grey of stone has many shades......, am I suppose to eat it....., surely there is more to this.
A smile begins to form on the masters face, he says, always you have thought the secret will be on top of this mountain, the entire time you have been overcome with excitement and now you get here and you are disappointed. Thankyou for making this easy to explain, the journey we have taken has been grand and very enjoyable. For some reason we all think that the true joy will come at the end, when we have completed our task, reached the top. Our true joy is always the journey we take, the present and the now is always a gift that is greater than the end result. Had we of taken the straight path our journey would have been shorter, if we took a short cut we may of missed something.