There’s still something missing

By Paulo Coelho

The yogi Paltrul Rinpoche heard about a hermit who was reputed to be a saint and who lived in the mountains. He went to meet him.
‘Where have you come from?’ asked the hermit.
‘I come from where my back is pointing and I am going towards where my face is turned,’ replied Rinpoche. ‘A wise man should know that.’
‘What a foolish, pseudo-philosophical answer,’ muttered the hermit.
‘And what do you do, sir?’
‘I have been meditating for the last twenty years on perfecting patience. I am close to being considered a saint.’
‘People already think you are a saint,’ remarked Rinpoche. ‘You’ve managed to deceive them all!’
The hermit leaped angrily to his feet.
‘How dare you come here bothering a man in search of sainthood?’ he cried.
‘You’ve got a long way to go yet,’ said Rinpoche. ‘If a silly joke can make you lose the patience for which you’ve been searching for so long, then the last twenty years have been a complete waste of time!’

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  1. tere616 says:

    So true … so true. Most of the time we think that we have master it. But the fact is, we didn’t. We always stumble because of the small hole that we didn’t see along the way.

  2. Sehra says:

    hey… i’ve been trying to become a cat…
    u c…!!

  3. Manish says:

    I have a different interpretation to this. All of us come from the Past and are going into the future. I wonder if the present is missing and creating all the troubles in our life. Have you tried to live in the present. try it will give a lot of peace

  4. Mara says:

    hahaha GOOD ONE :-)
    there is so much pseudo – spirituality around – so much feeding of the ego .

    thanks for sharing !


  5. Tania says:

    No matter how saintly or holy or who you are!
    One must remember to live ,LAUGH ,love ,if you cannot laugh at yourself then I say your defiantly too uptight and laughter is the soul made visable ,so the hermit although learning patience must have been blind …I think the yogi is a smart man ..coming from where his back is pointed and going where his face is turned …But is his face looking to all that is before him or is his face looking back ?? Tania

  6. Evespring says:

    heehee that was funny… sorry.

  7. Samya says:

    The saint Kabir learnt of a man who had spent his last forty years trying to learn to walk on water. He went to see this man. when Kabir came, the man finished walking across a river.
    “Do you know the price of ferry across the river, my friend?” Kabir asked.
    “No, why?” asked the holy man.
    “It’s five copper coins! That’s the price of your last twenty years!” replied Kabir.

  8. Kathleen says:

    Why is sitting alone, doing nothing for the world but keeping quiet saintly? I have never quite understood that.

    Also for someone to say they are close to being considered a saint isn’t quite humble is it lol.

    Kathleen xx

  9. Leaf says:

    No man is an island
    – we’d all be considered saintly if we were able to live in a cave far away from ‘bothersome’ people!!??
    Love to all

  10. agnieszka says:

    I wander, why so many people think that they’re perfect just by going to church?
    do they seek peace?
    do they seek love?
    I don’t think so, not always,
    and yet they talk about God, about being good,etc.
    Sometimes as You wrote Paulo, they’re simply deceiving everybody,
    but the most of all they’re deceiving themselves, they’re deceiving God,
    for God is truth, God is love,
    you should be humble before God.


  11. rainer says:

    The yogi sent a disrespectful you-message. You are… And the hermit was taken by surprise and felt kidded. He fights for how his image is perceived by the yogi. Attacker and defender.

    I don’t know how the story will end because both of them don’t behave according to my expectations. But I would prefer:

    The hermit laughed. “Hey Rinpoche you are completely right. I just tried to make you a present, by acting according to your view of me.”
    “Ah, I see, Thank you holy man”

    Thank you Paulo ;-)