Shaoni looked at Aneola walking beside him but didn't utter a word. As so often before, the wizard had just started another one of his stories ... or at least, to Shaoni, it sure sounded like another story.
"As I sat there," the wizard continued, "I thought about how I had come to the decision to walk all the way to Izi Mazur, the city of the Sacred Temples, on a road thousands of pilgrims had walked before me. Before my departure, I had told myself that the answer would come to me as I went along but by then I had walked many hundreds of miles and the only thing that I had found so far, were an empty mind and a pair of sore feet.
The following morning, when I woke up, I remembered having had one of the most vivid dreams ever. In my dream, I was a young boy of maybe just 20 when suddenly a being of Light came to me and said:
"Your mission it is to pass a very important message to the world leaders so that they will not take the wrong decision on their next meeting starting tomorrow."
I felt honored to be the carrier of such important a message. When I asked about how this was to be done, the messenger told me not to worry and said that it would all be taken care off.
In my dream, I woke up the next morning and found myself to be a parking lot attendant, and all of the presidents, prime ministers and the like were to pass by my gate in order to park their cars before attending the meeting. I understood all this had been arranged by the Light messenger in order to allow me to pass 'the message' to the world leaders one by one.
Soon enough the first car arrived and stopped. The driver lowered his window, took the ticket I handed him and drove off, leaving me with a feeling of total disgust. I had missed it. Whoever was in the car, I hadn't spoken to him, didn't even know who he was ... and on top of it all, I realized that I didn't even know what I was supposed to be saying.
By that time, and still in shock from what just happened, a second car arrived, and right after that a third and a fourth, all with the same result, over and over again. I felt kind of sick with the idea of having missed out on the most important mission in my life.
When all the cars had passed the gate and the meeting had started, the Light messenger came back to me and I wondered how I was to explain what just happened. The Light messenger however, just smiled as he walked up to me and thanked me for a job well done.
I was out of words.
"A job well done?" I uttered, "I haven't done anything. I haven't even spoken a word. How could I have done what you asked me to do? I really don't understand."
"Still, you fulfilled your mission," the messenger replied, "... and you did well."
When he saw the look of disbelief in my eyes, he added,
"You may not yet be able to see and understand your life's path but that doesn't mean you are not walking it."
A few months later, after I had arrived in Izi Mazur, I came to understand the message of the dream. Looking back at that evening in the monastery, I realized how, at that very moment, I was living my mission too ... yet, whilst I was living it, I was wondering what it would be."
Aneola went silent after these last words and Shaoni thought it best not to say anything. Then suddenly the wizard continued:
"The drop of water went to the sea, where it was meant to go, yet it didn't know. It went with the flow, followed its path ... and fulfilled its life's mission."
"Easy for the drop," Shaoni muttered, "It only had to follow the river."
The wizard smiled as he looked at the boy.
"That's a nice way of putting it my boy." Aneola said, "The drop indeed just followed the river ... and the river was the easy road. How about you doing the same then?"
"What do you mean?" said Shaoni "I am not a drop nor do I have a river that I can follow."
"Are you sure?" Aneola replied. "What if I told you that you do indeed have a river. A river to guide you, just as the river that guided the drop. A river called 'the flow of life'."
Shaoni didn't know what to think.
"Where then can I find that flow of life?"
"Ah," Aneola said, "To find the flow, the first thing to do is to quiet the mind and learn to listen to your heart from within. Often the heart knows what the mind cannot even grasp. As you learn to quiet the mind, you will gradually start to feel and recognize the flow. The flow for you to follow."
Shaoni still thought it made no sense comparing his life to a drop of water.
"But then how would I know if I am following that 'flow'? How would I know I wasn't making the wrong choice?"
"First of all Shaoni, 'wrong choices' do not exist.
Still, the choices leading you to walk against the flow will often result in more difficult paths to follow. The path itself is not wrong however, nor is your decision to follow it. Remember the drop of water whose path it was to go to the ocean. Imagine that this drop decided not to follow its path and swim upstream instead. Would it be doing something 'wrong'? Surely for the drop of water, it would make its journey a lot harder but that would be its own choice ... and it would be free to do so. The river would never tell it what to do."
Shaoni mulled these last words over.
Aneola could see the boy's mind drifting off ... and within that mind resonated these wonderful thoughts ...
"A river is helping me to follow my path ... yet nobody is telling me what to do ... and I can choose to go wherever I want."
Later that evening, the wizard came up to the boy and said, "Let me show you how to follow the easy road my boy, the road that follows the river.
Whenever you have a choice to make, a major choice in life, first, with your mind, try to figure out the answer to the problem you have. Think about it, analyse it, weigh the pros and cons just as most people do. But rather than to stop there Shaoni, realize that you can go a step further still. Once your mind has come up with an answer ... or several answers even as it sometimes does, go to your center and then ...
"And if not?" Shaoni asked.
"If not Shaoni, then ask your wizard within to help you find an answer whilst you sleep, an answer which in turn, you can weigh ... first with your mind ... then from your center deep within."