Khanti Patient Endurance

Ajahn Jayasāro

Khanti  Patient Endurance

One of my favourite very short stories is of a seeker of some kind, coming across a wise man (in some versions it is a wise woman), and engaging him in conversation. At the end of their conversation the sage reveals from within a carefully folded piece of cloth a most incredible jewel.

The young man, the young traveller or seeker, is absolutely dazzled by the jewel, and says, ‘Can I have this jewel? Would you give it to me? It would make so much difference to my life’.

The old man says, ‘Sure’, and gives it to him.

The young man is very excited and afraid that the old wise man is going to change his mind, so he hastily says goodbye and sets off on his travels. But then an hour or two later the young man reappears, approaches the old sage with great humility and respect, lays the jewel down in front of him on the ground and says, ‘Excuse me, but I’d like to make a trade. I’d like to exchange this jewel.’

The sage says, ‘What for?’

‘I would like to exchange this jewel for knowledge of how to gain the sort of mind that could give up a jewel like that without a second thought.’

This reflection by Ajahn Jayasaro is from the series of talks, The Real Practice, p. 20.