Man and the Monks

A man was driving down the road one rainy day when his car suddenly broke down in front of a small monastery. To escape the rain he walked up to the monastery and knocked on the door.

The head monk answers the door and says "Ah, hello. How may I help you?"

"Um, hello." the man replies, "My car broke down and I was wondering if you had a phone or something for me to call for help."

"Well," the head monk says, "We do not have any phones here, however, we can send one of our monks to the city and get you help. In the meantime, you are allowed to stay here in the monastery."

The man thanked the head monk and went inside. The other monks graciously accepted him as one of their own. They fed him, proivded him with a bath, and gave him his own little bed. Then, later that night, the man heard a noise. A sound unlike anything he had ever heard before. He stayed up all night, tossing and turning, trying to think of what it could be.

The next morning, he walked up to the head monk and said "Hello, I was wondering if I could ask you a question..."

"Yes," the head monk said, "what is it you would like to know?"

"well, you see," the man said, "Yesterday I heard a strange noise... and I was wondering if you knew what it was..."

"Oh, I'm sorry," the head monk said in reply "I can not tell you for you are not a monk."

"Well, then how do I become a monk?" The man said, desperate to find out what the beautiful noise was.

"There is a test you must take." the head monk answered, "You must go all around the world and count all the blades of grass, and all the grains of sand, then come back here."

The man spent many years traveling the world, seeking out the answer to the monks test of faith, endurance, and bravery. The yearning to find out the noise pushing him forward.

Finally, ten years later, the man returned to the monastery. The head monk greeted him, and led him to a small room, filled with other monks. "Now," the head monk said, "How many blades of grass, and grains of sand are there?"

The man replied "By design, the world is in a state of perpetual change. Only God knows what you ask. All a man can know is himself, and only then if he is honest and reflective and willing to strip away self deception."

The monks shouted with glee. They congratulated him, they gave him gifts, and then the head monk handed him a small golden key.

"Take this." he said, "There is a small golden door on the other side of the monastery... This is the key to that door..."

The man went and unlocked the door. Behind it was a silver door, with a silver key in it. Behind that door was a ruby door, and behind that, a diamond door. The man stepped through many doors. Through platinum, sapphire, iron, steel, and finally, he came to a plain, wooden door, with a plain wooden key.

He turned the key, and upon opening the door, he heard the noise again... "How beautiful..." he thought to himself. He then thrust the door open and saw what it was that had made the noise. He falls to his knees in awe of what it was that had produced the amazing, seductive sound...











... But, of course, I can not tell you what it was for you are not a monk.
Uploaded 01/01/2009
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