A dream story
Once upon a time, the residents of a small rural village emerged from their homes one morning to see a huge rock that had mysteriously appeared beside their village. It was very big and took up the space of several houses, the people gathered around guessing about how the rock might have appeared. It was far too big for anyone to move and probably weighed more than 1000 tons.
While all the villagers were bewildered, the family who owned the piece of land that it occupied were most upset because it interfered with their lifestyle. But as the word went around the district, people flocked to see this big rock and the affected family became wealthy by catering to tourists.
The villagers adapted to having a the big rock beside the village and it was a favourite place for the children to play. When the tourists became fewer, the fortune of the village declined and the people had to endure an unaccustomed level of poverty even though no one really went hungry.
The rock became an object of derision, the people remembered the good times and now that times weren't quite so good, they blamed the rock. People tried to work out how to remove it or even smash it to pieces, but the rock resisted all their efforts. Some people were so upset that they moved away, yet the rock remained the children's favourite playground.
Then one day a stranger came to town, he looked scruffy and different. He paid scant attention to the villagers and walked directly to the rock. The adults took little notice but the children found this man as entertaining as the rock. He told them stories and in the evening when the children had gone for dinner and sleep, he sat and became one with the rock.
The landowner having heard of the stranger went looking for him that evening but he was nowhere to be found. But he went again the next morning and he witnessed the stranger talking to the rock, but he couldn't hear the rock reply. Distracted from his conversation, the stranger turned to the landowner and after exchanging pleasantries, the landowner who was already suspicious began pressing stranger as to why he was there and his connection with the rock.
The stranger was pleasant in his reply and he explained briefly that the rock represented something that was missing in the villagers lives. The landowner couldn't understand this and went away. He shared the stranger's story with his wife and then other villagers, but the story he repeated was a little different to the stranger had actually said.
The people were confused and a little angry, here they were having this big rock imposed beside the village and an absolute stranger who claimed to know more about the rock than them. Throughout the day, tongues wagged and minds were overburdened with unfamiliar thoughts and emotions. So late in the afternoon the entire village congregated beside the rock, but the stranger was nowhere to be seen.
But the children knew where he was, he was sitting on top of the rock and that was something no one else had achieved due to its high smooth sides, some of the villagers had tried but even using their longest ladder, that feat been impossible. The stranger had seen them coming and when they cried out to him, he stood and as he walked toward them, it seemed he was walking down stairs and yet none except some of the children could see the stairs.
The villagers spoke over each other creating an indiscernible wave of sound so the stranger clapped his hands and that sharp sound caused everyone to become quiet. He said "this village has been here for a long time and you have all eaked out your lives without being particularly successful or happy. When you were children, you knew the joy of childhood, that when you grew up, you forgot how to be joyful.
This rock represents a possibility, a huge possibility that you have been overlooking even though it is right in front of you 24/7. This rock came to you as a gift from a great mountain far away so that you may invigorate your lives and become more prosperous, yet instead of seeing a possibility, you only see defeat. What you don't see is that you are part of life and even this great stone is alive, but more than that, it has been charged with a great potential to help you all find fulfilment. What I am telling you is beyond the ability of many peoples minds to understand, so now I am asking you to trust that the clothes you are wearing are not invisible, that the ground you are standing on is solid and the food that you have been eating is properly nourishing you. Now you see this great stone, you have walked around it, you have tried to climb it, some of you have even admired it, but for most it has been an unsolvable puzzle and become an object of derision. I know some of you have your beliefs, but beliefs are not provable and not necessarily real, so I am asking you to take a leap of faith, set aside your beliefs, and you may become aware of the life in this stone."
As he was speaking, the villagers examined their clothing and some even jumped up and down to test that the Earth was solid. Everything seemed normal, but after he had finished speaking, the stranger walked to one end of the rock. The villagers followed him and they were flabbergasted to see a flight of steps leading into the rock flanked by an ornately carved doorway featuring a powerful man on one side and a beautiful woman on the other, but the steps as far as the people could see went up to a solid rock wall.
The people were astounded, they'd all walked around the rock many times but none had seen this before, yet to the children, it seemed completely normal. But then everyone was totally perplexed when the man walked up the steps and disappeared into the wall.
All the adults examined the structure in great detail, the women were as impressed by the strong male figure as they felt a sense of lack beside the perfected female form. The men were similarly attracted to the female beauty and daunted by the sense of masculine competence. But there were chores to do and as the stranger had not reappeared, the adults returned to their chores.
Most of the children lost interest in the doorway and returned to play, but two children sat quietly on the steps, closed their eyes and sat still as they'd seen the stranger doing. When they finally opened their eyes, the stranger was sitting on the top step, and in the space where the villagers had seen a solid wall, they saw inside. The two children were respectful, their minds were quiet and the stranger invited them into the temple.
The children were amazed but remained humble, but when they got home later, they told their families what they'd seen. The families of course disbelieved, but the word quickly went around the village and after their evening meal the villagers again congregated by the steps leading into the stone. But all they could see was a solid wall.
The two children who were now being taunted and labelled as liars broke free of their parents, they rushed up the steps and disappeared into the rock. The people were both amazed and horrified, they spoke of powerful magic and that the rock had stolen the children. The parents banged against the rock with their fists and some tried to break open the doorway with sticks though neither worked.
A teenage girl tired of the nonsense but she had no solution to sat contemplatively for a time and then unperturbed by adult fuss, looked up and saw that the wall was open. Then calmly she squeezed past the jostling adults, walked up the steps and disappeared from view.
Again the adults were astounded and tried even harder to force their way in with no effect. But sometime later, the children stepped out from the seemingly solid stone to the relief of their families and most of the villagers. That evening before sleep, the children revealed some of what they'd seen inside. Despite all the parents fears, the children seemed unharmed although they were concerned that the children were unusually content.
Next morning the villagers all gathered around the rock and at the request of the teenage girl, they sat on the grass and did their best to quieten their minds. As a people began to settle, the stranger appeared and said "I know you are all very confused, how can such a big rock suddenly appear beside your village? How is it that I can climb up where you cannot? How is it that the rock changed shape almost before your eyes? How is it that your children can go inside the rock and yet you cannot even see the opening?
You are blinded by your beliefs, attachments and fears so I invite you to sit quietly, eyes closed and pay attention to what's going on within you. Don't take any notice of the person next to you or any sounds, simply sit quietly and pay attention to yourself.
An hour passed during which time some people became annoyed and left, some wrestled with their internal Demons and finally when they openned their eyes, a good number were able to see and enter the temple. Then over the next few weeks, the stranger talked to them about life and most villagers were able to enjoy the inspirational beauty of that secret place. Their lives became transformed, they came to know joy and freedom from suffering, and their community prospered.