Cultivation Stories From the Dao School:The Chance Was Lost In One Thought

PureInsight | July 7, 2003

[] Li Yuan was a high-ranking counselor to the emperor. He once lived reclusively in a hut on Song Mountain, a famous mountain in China, to conduct cultivation. One cold winter night, he started a fire in his hut to warm himself. An elderly man with a huge hat came right into his hut for the warmth. After a long while, the old man asked Li Yuan, "Do you want to go with me? I know you are someone who has the will [to attain the Dao]." The old man continued, "I was a government official from the Qin Dynasty (the first dynasty in China). I was trying to run away from troubles, and I attained the Dao." He took off his hat, and long and elegant hair flowed forth. He had a special aura about him. He told Li Yuan, "I grew this hair and beard when I was on the mountain."

Li Yuan thought about what the old man told me for a long time, and replied, "There are some things with my family that need my attention.Will you give me a couple of days?" The old man stood up quickly and said, "This is how sincere you are!" He got up and left.

Li Yuan chased after the old man. He tugged the old man's sleeve, ashamed, and apologized over and over. But he couldn't make the old man stay. On the second day, Li Yuan went to search for the old man, but he was gone forever.

Source: Taiping Guanji (Extensive Records of the Taiping Era)

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