The Parable of the Raging River  

Once upon a time, in a land not unlike this one, there lived a seeker who had spent her life looking for Truth. The Way of her personal journey took her to many places and she met many people along the way. But always she tried to learn as much as she could about the Truth of Life. She was sometimes urged to move forward with an inner nudge, but usually it was a small voice that came to her with a simple bidding such as "Go, now." And so it was that on this particular day, LiBonDao received the call from the familiar inner voice which she had long ago learned to recognize and to trust. "Go now..."  

So LiBonDao packed up a few belongings and once again set foot on the Way, not knowing where it would lead her on this special day... special because she had once again heard the voice. After traveling on foot for a couple of days, only occasionally stopping to rest and to eat a small bite, she found herself drawn to the bank of a wide river. Now, sometimes rivers in this country were fairly quiet, more like a bubbling brook, but this was the Season of the Flood and this river was a raging rapids from shore to shore. The winter snow was melting and all of that water was trying to fit itself between the two banks. What now?  

LiBonDao could feel the urge to get to the other shore pulling at her gently. But she also knew it would not be easy. Someone, probably long ago, had strung a long rope across the river at this location, one she could use in a hand-over-hand manner to reach the other side, but the water was too deep to walk across so she would need some sort of boat. She could make a reed boat, of course, but she doubted it would survive the crossing - it would be torn apart in the raging water and she would most likely drown. No, there had to be another way.  

Perhaps she could compromise with the river. If she used a reed boat and paddled her way across, the river would get what it wanted since it was trying to move everything toward the sea. Trees, tumbling small rocks and other things were obligingly riding the flow seaward. She would get part of what she wanted - to get across the river - and the river would get at least part of what it wanted - to move her away from this spot. But LiBonDao knew that if she chose that way of crossing she would end up much farther down the bank on the other side and would have to walk all the way back to the spot she needed, directly across from where she now stood. She also knew that she might not be able to recognize the correct spot and her journey would come to an abrupt stop. No, there had to be another way.  

LiBonDao found a nice rock to sit on near the water. After meditating on her problem for a few minutes, she was reminded that this was the Season of the Flood and would be followed by the Season of Babbling Waters. Then most of the water would have made its way to the sea and a much smaller flow would be left behind, bubbling and babbling its way over the rocks, where small fish would laze in the shade under a warm sun. All she had to do was spend some time occupying herself with daily life - foraging for food, getting a cloth wet in the river so she could wash, and mending a few of her supplies. She could even spend part of her nights meditating and watching the brilliant stars overhead. Soon, with a little patience, she would be able to use the rope to support her as she walked across the rocks to the other side of the river.  

As LiBonDao set about making a small camp space, she thought about the Truth she had already learned: Patience was not always easy to achieve, but it was usually better to wait for the waters of a raging river to subside before attempting a crossing. After all, the Truth was always there, waiting for her.