It Is Still With You.

The old master walked up the temple mountain to visit his old friend, the sage. The sage was the holiest of holy men; so embraced by nature, so loved by all was he that as he sat atop his mountain, the birds would bring him gifts, and the deer would lay beside him for warmth. The master strolled up the path, each step on air, each breath light as a feather, and deep as the ocean. He came to his old friend's spot of meditation.

"Sage, may I sit?" The sage sat with his eyes closed, cut off from the world, each of his breaths an eternity. The bird's song drifted along the wind, and the softness of the trees whispered words of wisdom to those who would listen.

"Sit, and meditate with me." The sage motioned to a right patch of sunlight. The master sat, smiling comfortably and looked on at the wondrous view of the valley unfolding before him.

"It is a shame your eyes are closed dear sage. Your land is most beautiful." The sage laughed, eyes still closed.

"What lies within is much more beautiful." He answered. The master in this moment knew, the sage spoke but understood not. With pity he said nothing, and enjoyed the mountain air.

Unbeknownst to the master, a bear; a friend of the sage was trundling along the path. It startled the master, and so he screamed, as most would at the sight of a monstrous bear. The sage only laughed and said.

"I see it is still with you!" The master chuckled gently, a sound fresh as spring.

"I suppose so."

Later, after a long while of talking and laughter, the sage went into his cave to make dinner for himself and his guest. And the master, in a joke, took out his knife and carved the symbol for 'Buddha' on the sage's stone perch. When the sage returned, he went to sit, but hesitated when he saw the symbol on his seat.

"Ha! I see it is still with you!"

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