Breaking free


It was the last day at the monastery for the many novices that had joined the abbey so many years before. As young children the novices had entered the walls of the sacred enclosure and now it was time for them to venture out into the wider world. Much had been the learning and many had been the trials for the young masters, but now they had to re-enter the world and experience life outside of the confines of the monastery walls.

As the abbey master was seated upon his meditation chair, placidly watching his young charges prepare for their respective journeys, one of the novices approached the master,

"Master, I am so afraid of leaving the abbey," he said. "I have lived here for most of my life; I have learned many things and I would stay here to learn more if you would so permit."

"My son," said the Master, "the fear you feel is perfectly natural. If you did not feel such trepidation, I would be most surprised. But your divine purpose lies outside of this hallowed enclosure. What you are meant to do in your life cannot be found within the confines of these four walls. The experiences that await you are not to be feared, but rather to show you who you are and what you are meant to do in your life. Go forth, my son. Treat all that you fear as an adventure and you will discover that life is rich beyond measure. The key to every experience you have is to love every experience you have. Your fear will dissipate in the face of such abundance."

"But Master," said the novice, "can I not experience the same thing here within the monastery?"

"My son," said the master in reply, "you could spend the rest of your days here in the monastery, but at the end of your days on earth, you would never know what you were really capable of achieving."

"Thank you, Master," said the novice, "I will endeavour to make you proud of me."

"My son," said the Master, "for what you are about to do, I already am ... I already am." By

Stephen Chong M.Ed.
Excerpt from The Music of the Soul: A Pathway to a Rich and Fulfilling Life, 2011, p.116-117, Sid Harta Publishers Pty Ltd