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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