The Mistress and the Novice:
And the novice spoke to the mistress as she was sitting on her meditation mat in contemplation of the beautiful surroundings of the abbey.
‘Mistress, what is my purpose in life? I have heard you speak so much about our being purpose-driven to accomplish things in our life, yet when I try to grasp what it is that I myself am meant to be doing, I am unable to gain any such concept of purpose in my mind.’
As the mistress pondered this conundrum, she inhaled a large breath of cool, fresh air and then slowly exhaled. As she did she said, ‘My young novice, our purpose in life is as individual as the fingerprints on our hands, but what it is for you I cannot tell you. However, I can tell you that the knowing of your purpose in this life is not found in your mind, but rather in your heart.’ She then added, ‘My son, I have a question for you. If you knew, right now, that you were going to die tomorrow, what would you most regret that you had not accomplished?’
‘Well, Mistress,’ said the novice, ‘I would certainly rue the fact that I had not learned how to become a master like you. I would also very much regret not being reconciled with my family for we have been in much acrimony these past years. Then, the fact that I have not realised my dream of forming my own abbey, would also be a great regret for me.’
‘Well,’ said the mistress, ‘it sounds as if you have identified the essential ingredients to your life purpose, it is now for you to make these things your reality.’
By Stephen Chong M.Ed.
Excerpt from The Music of the Soul: A pathway to a rich and fulfilling life, 2011, p.125, Sid Harta Publishers Pty Ltd