The Heart of the Matter
February 10, 2019
The Old Yogi in the Forest


Once upon a timelessness there lived a great yogi, alone, deep in the forest of a faraway land. How long he had lived there, no one knew, not even him, living in the moment as he was.

The forest was his home, his sanctuary, his favorite place in all the world. Following nothing and no one, only his breath, he was free -- totally free. Like the birds overhead. Like the moss underfoot. Like the trees.

One day, after an especially long meditation, the Yogi opened his eyes and saw what seemed to be three people sitting before him.

"Oh Master," the eldest spoke, "we've been searching for you for many years and now we have found you. Praise God! Won't you teach us what you know?

The yogi just sat there. Motionless. Unmoving as the ground. Many years had passed since he had spoken. Words came slowly.

"I... am...." he said, looking at the sky, "not your teacher. I am just an old yogi in the woods. Won't you please return from where you came?"

And what that, he simply stood, gathered his blanket around him, and disappeared.

Five days he walked, stopping only to chant a few prayers, eat a few berries, and meditate.

When he opened his eyes, there were now ten people sitting before him, the three he had asked to return home and another seven.

"Oh Yogi supreme," the youngest one said, "we know you told us not to follow you, but something moved us here beyond our will. We were helpless not to follow. Please, kind sir, won't you teach us what you know?"

The Yogi just sat there, a few butterflies circling his head. A long time went by. And a longer time after that. Then, in a barely audible voice, he spoke.

"Sweet souls, I honor that which moved you here, but I am not your teacher. I have nothing to teach. Please respect my need for solitude and return from where you came."

And with that, he stood and simply walked away, moving deeper into the forest once again, a few deer now by his side.

Ten days passed, the old Yogi now having entered the absolute heart of the forest, a place no man had ever been before. How quiet it was! How still! How totally serene!

And there, he closed his eyes and entered into meditation once again.

Days passed. Maybe weeks. When he opened his eyes, there were 100 people sitting before him. Overhead? No sky. Just the ceiling of what appeared to be a Great Hall, freshly painted. Somehow, when the old Yogi was meditating, a beautiful ashram had been built around him.

He just sat there, marveling at what he saw -- finally understanding the message life had been trying to bring him. What he'd been running from would not be denied. It was time -- the perfect time to share what he knew.

"OK, my friends. Welcome. Now... who's got a question?"


Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at February 10, 2019 08:10 PM

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Welcome to Mitch Ditkoff's blog about what's really important in this life: Peace, gratitude, love, joy, clarity, and the effort required to wake up and smell the roses. Enjoy!

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