Paulo Coelho

Stories & Reflections

The student and the horse

Author: Paulo Coelho

The master was an austere man, so the disciple decided to lead a life of sacrifice by sleeping on a bed made of straw.

After some time the master noticed a change in his disciple’s behaviour and decided to find out what was happening.

“I am climbing the steps of initiation,” was the answer.

“The white of my garments shows the simplicity of the search, the vegetarian food purifies my body, and the lack of comfort makes me think only of spiritual things.”

Smiling, the master took him to a field where a horse was grazing.

“Do you see that animal over there? His skin is white, he eats only herbs, and he sleeps in a barn with a floor covered in straw. Do you think that he looks like a saint, or that one day he will manage to become a true master?”

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