A master and his student sat by the riverbank, contemplating the meaning of life. The student, eager to gain insight, asked the master, “What is the essence of life?”

The master picked up a small pebble from the ground and held it in his hand. He looked at the student and replied, “Consider this pebble. It is solid, unyielding, and finite. It exists in its own individuality.”

He then gestured towards the flowing river before them. “Now observe the river,” he said. “It is fluid, ever-changing, and boundless. It moves with grace, embracing everything along its path.”

The student puzzled, asked, “But what does this teach us about life?”

The master smiled and replied, “Life is like the interaction between the pebble and the river. The pebble represents our individual existence—our desires, fears, and attachments. It is important to recognize and honor our unique qualities. Yet, if we hold onto them tightly, we become rigid and stagnant, resistant to the flow of life.”

“The river symbolizes the dynamic nature of life—the constant flux, the interconnectedness of all things. To truly understand life’s essence, we must learn to embrace change, to adapt, and to flow with the currents of experience.”

He continued, “Just as the river shapes the pebble over time, life molds us through its challenges and experiences. We must remain open, receptive, and willing to be transformed.”

The student pondered these words, slowly comprehending their depth. In that moment, a shift occurred within him—a newfound understanding of the paradoxical nature of life.

And so, they sat by the riverbank, the pebble held in one hand and the wisdom of the flowing river in their hearts, contemplating the profound dance of existence.


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