"Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself, and know that everything in life has purpose. There are no mistakes, no coincidences, all events are blessings given to us to learn from." - Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
A young man was coming to the end of his time as a monk in a monastery. He had been there a few years as a dutiful son following the path his older brothers had and was the custom in Thailand.
In the final weeks he became increasingly confused about what his next steps would be. So he decided to seek out who he felt was the wisest of the monks who and who had been at the monastery the longest to get advice.
While helping the elder monk carry some supplies the young monk asked respectfully. "How did you know it was your life purpose to be a monk." The elder monk replied "I don't and what makes you think that's my life purpose?"
"Well you have been at the monastery longer than any of the others and have been doing this for decades." said the young monk. "Oh I see, so because you have been doing something for a long time that must be your purpose in life?" replied the older monk.
The young monk fell silent to ponder this question "Ask me what you really want to know young man" said the elder monk.
"I want to know what my purpose is and follow my path. I like being a monk but I don't know if that is my path and I feel I have much to discover about life before making a decision. So I wanted to know how you knew your purpose."
The elder monk didn't answer and they both walked in silence and by the time they had arrived back at the monastery it was after dusk.
Walking in the courtyard the older monk paused and pointed to a moth fluttering around a lantern. "That moth knows not of its purpose other than to follow the moon light. it will get distracted by other lights as it is now that won't take it on its path. "
"But how does it know to follow the moonlight and now it is distracted, how does it know to seek its rightful purpose again?" said the young monk
"Blow out the flame in the lantern." said the elder monk
The young monk blew out the lantern and watched the moth settle on the wall next to the lantern in the darkness. Both monks stood and watched and after a short while the moth flew of into the night sky.
"You see like the light from the lantern, distractions will come and go, but the yearning to follow the light remains whether you can see the light or not. The question is, do you have the courage and presence of mind to follow your yearning into the unknown or like the masses be distracted by the bright lights?" said the elder monk.
The final day arrived for the young monk to leave and he sought out the elder monk and thanked him for his guidance over the years. As he was leaving he asked the elder monk with a smile "So have you found your purpose in life yet?"
Taking his time the Elder monk paused and looked out of the window as if reminiscing at the setting sun and said "The moth never arrives at the source of the light but that doesn't stop it from flying or being pulled to follow the light."