Leave Your Shoes In The Right Place

Leave Your Shoes In The Right Place


After many years of studying from books and attempting to master the esoteric arts on his own he became frustrated. Time was marching on and if he didn’t find a way to progress how would he ever achieve his life’s ambitions?


The time had come to seek a teacher and to learn directly from a master. Not an intellectual expert or a self-help guru, but from people who could clearly demonstrate abilities beyond that of other humans.

 Our seeker had travelled many miles to spend time with the teacher in the mountains. A master of esoteric Buddhism who he hoped would teach him special spiritual skills and abilities.


“Why have you travelled so far to learn from me?” asked the teacher.


“I have read the great teachings of your school and seek special knowledge and ability. I have studied the Siddhi and know it is my destiny to gain them.”


“What siddhi do you seek?”


 The student was surprised at this question and took a while to consider his response. He had dreamed about gaining spiritual powers since he was a child but didn’t expect be asked to present a wish list upon arrival!


“I wish to learn to guide and direct my own mind, to gain inner peace, destroy negative karma, master my inner self, and learn to see the hidden forces. 


I have heard of your order and know that you can transfer your consciousness into animals and other beings, that you can achieve higher states of consciousness so as to leave your body to heal others at a distance and visit higher realms.


Please be clear my intentions are pure, and I only wish to learn these skills, not for the sake of myself but to raise the consciousness of the human race, help all living creatures.


I know many of your training methods I am ready to sit under the waterfall, fast for days on end, walk any distance and undertake any form 


Please be clear: I wish to learn these arts so that I can better serve all living creatures and bring healing to the world.”


The teacher responded, “Your goals are clear and understood but we are not able to teach you yet. While things are made ready we would suggest that you stay with one of our students who also lives on this mountain. He runs a bamboo farm and this time of year the shoots are gathered from the mountains. You can pay your rent by working there until everything has been prepared.


Our tired adventurer was taken to his now lodging and greeted by the joyful rural folk. His comfortable room was very simple and contained a large poster with the following text.


Rules in a boarding house :


Leave your shoes in the right place.


Walk calmly and never run in the house.


Always tidy up behind yourself.


Pay attention when people talk to you. 


Take three breaths and think before you speak, consider what you say.


Sleep when the sun is down.


Never get drunk. Always keep control.


Wear your uniform – when working.


Gather 5 sacks of bamboo a day.


Upon reading the list the student felt they were all reasonable, but as the days went on things became increasingly hard to live with. In the end the seeker went to see his potential teacher.


“Master, my time in the farm was not useful. It was frustrating and the rules were unreasonable. Everytime I did anything slightly different from the list I was given, my fellow students corrected me.


This obsession with one specific place for each person is strange. I know it seems simple but when tired or when you need to go in and out of the hall quickly and often its a real pain to leave the shoes on the shelf every single time!


 I have always been an individual and never worn a suit, and I was more than capable of doing the work in my own clothing but constantly asked to wear the uniform. I do not believe people should be made to act like sheep. 


The farm owner takes too much care with his words. It’s frustrating talking to him, and his students are all the same. His idea of things is unbalanced in that it is too strict. How can someone really have a friendship with someone if they are always detached and in complete control? Is it not a sign of mental health that one can get drunk and relax fully? As for sleep, what are we, children? Why can’t we stay up and have some fun now and again? Why is this school so concurred about avoiding moments of relaxation?


Everyone walks about so slowly that when I move from one place to another, they are startled when I open a door or run down the stairs. I think this habit makes people docile and unresponsive to change. Yes, I do drift off when people talk to me sometimes, but often they talk too long and pointlessly. Why am I the one to be scolded? 


Why on earth are we aiming for so much bamboo? It’s back-breaking work on sloped mountains, and there are so many dangers to watch out for, including wild animals and sheer drops. It’s just too heavy.”


The Master paused for a few moments and then responded.


“You see this level of discipline as extreme, but you wish to achieve extreme ability, the edge of what is deemed possible in terms of human potential. The list of rules for your work was not produced by anyone at the farm. You made this list when you listed the abilities you wished to attain. You were sent to the farm to improve your consciousness and purify yourself to prepare for your training. This is the outer school you must master before you can progress further.


How can you master and direct your own mind if you are unable to put your shoes in the right place?  To find inner calmness first walk with calmness. How can you rid yourself of past karma if you are unable to tidy up behind yourself? It’s very important to pay attention to those who talk to you and honestly attempt to understand what they say. Before you can see what is hidden you must learn to see what is directly in front of you. 


Your speech is also very important, as your words are your thoughts made manifest. Only those who master their words can claim to be masters of the mind. If you can not let go of your sense of self enough to wear a uniform, then how can you become at one with a deer or a frog?


You claim it is hard for you to control when you sleep. If you cannot master this state of consciousness then you will not be able to reach the higher realms.


The weight of three sacks of bamboo a day is far less that the weight you wish to take on to heal and help others.


I would ask you to meditate on why you do not consider fasting in the mountain for long periods or sitting under a waterfal in winter as too extreme, but do consider putting your shoes in a specific place when coming home as so.


In order to achieve what you seek, your normal waking consciousness must become evolved to a degree that few have ever seen. Your standards on mundane matters must be higher that those of your fellow man. To do this you must cultivate a sense of joyful precision and caring dedication to the most trivial matters. With a serene detachment your good intentions must be allowed to shine out in all your undertakings. Your mind will become hardened, stong but flexible and dynamic. Your awareness will become like a blinding unceasing light that covers all things and your will like the heat of a furnace. You seek magic but please be aware that all things are one. Every word, thought and action is important.”

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