He had striven for years to understand the nature of the mind, yet enlightenment eluded him, and recent personal tragedies had further clouded his path.
The elderly master led the young monk to a garden where a single tree stood. This tree, once vibrant and full of life, had been struck by lightning, leaving it scarred and half-destroyed.
The master pointed to the tree and asked, "What do you see?"
"A broken tree, master, damaged by misfortune," the young monk said.
"Look closer," said the master.
The monk stepped closer to the tree and examined the trunk. He noticed new shoots emerging from the scars, reaching delicately toward the sky.
"This tree, struck by lightning, faced its own form of tragedy," said the master. "Yet, it persists, finding a way to grow anew amidst its scars. Its branches may be fewer, but each leaf now basks in the sun's embrace with greater strength."
The young monk's eyes widened.
The master continued, "In life, every one of us encounters moments of tragedy and defeat that scar us deeply. Yet, like this tree, our true nature is not in the tragedy, but in how we rise and grow from the damage of our experiences. What we seek, young monk, is not to avoid all damage. Instead, we seek to embrace each tragedy and defeat as a chance to rise stronger."
The young monk was enlightened. He thanked the master and walked from the garden, contemplating the root, the internal strength, that would allow him to grow anew.