The story is about a young girl’s search for a rock, and what the search taught her.
A long time ago, a 14-year-old girl named Lakan lived in a kingdom. Unlike other kingdoms, the successor to the throne did not inherit the kingdom from the king and queen when the time came. The successor would be an ordinary girl chosen from the people living in the kingdom. But there was one condition that the girl had to fulfill to be chosen as successor: she would have to find the rock of wisdom and bring it to the king and queen. The task was not easy, as no one had seen the rock and no one knew what it looked like or even where it could be found.
As the queen and king grew older, they decided that the time had come to commence with the challenge of finding the rock of wisdom. As word spread about the challenge, many young girls tried to bring rocks and convince the queen that they were the rocks of wisdom, but they failed. The queen told each one of the girls that the rock she had brought was not the one. She knew what the rock of wisdom really was.
Lakan went to her grandfather and asked him, “How can one find something when one does not know what it looks like or where it can be found?” Her grandfather told her that anyone in search of something had to go on a journey of discovery and learn in-depth from the experiences he/she undergoes while traveling across wide lands. He recommended that she take that road; such a journey would take her to places far and near and she would discover and learn new things. He explained to her that she should reflect each night about what she had seen throughout the day before going to sleep. He added that this would give meaning to her journey and help her find what she was looking for.
Lakan decided to take her grandfather’s advice. She set out on a long and arduous journey in search of the rock of wisdom. After a few days, she came upon a wetland with tall reeds and buzzing flies. Twigs snapped beneath her feet at every step. The muddy ground soiled her clothes. Most of the time, all she could hear was the sound of frogs croaking and the slurp of mud in the forested area. She continued walking and, by the end of the day, she reached the other side of the swamp. As advised by her grandfather, she sat down before going to sleep and reflected on what she had seen during the day. The next day, she continued walking; and that morning, she chanced upon a grassy meadow with beautiful flowers. Butterflies were flitting amongst the flowers and a gentle breeze was blowing. Tall oak trees provided shade from the bright sun. The meadow looked like a green carpet spread over a hillock. Lakan’s heart was filled with happiness at the sight before her eyes. Soon, dusk fell and it was time for her to reflect before retiring for the night. This time when she closed her eyes, she saw the beautiful flowers and a sea of green before her eyes. Before long, she fell asleep.
As Lakan traveled for days on end, she saw lofty mountains, arid deserts, dense forests, and deep rivers. She met many people on her way. Some were rich, while others had a tough time trying to make ends meet. Some people were healthy, while others were fighting to win the battle against illness. She met people who were not so friendly, whereas some welcomed her into their homes and hearts with open arms. A journey can be very enjoyable, but sometimes it can be difficult and even dangerous. She saw friendly squirrels and rabbits as well as deadly snakes and wild animals. At one point, in the middle of the night, Lakan was threatened by a tiger. She was afraid, but standing face to face with the animal, she sensed that the fear was shared by both of them. At the end of each day, she would contemplate her day’s experiences.
As she traveled far and wide, she had a different experience each day. Not only did she see different lands, but she also met new people and observed their ways of life, customs, and habits. She learned about wildlife and saw how humans and nature comprised one entity. Her journey was long, and she slowly started to realize that the rock of wisdom is nowhere to be found; it was within her mind and all around her. It cannot be found in a single place or a particular object. It is like space — one can feel it but cannot touch it or see it.
Lakan turned back and headed for home. Upon her return, she told the king and queen of her travels and what she had discovered during her journey. The queen hugged her and declared her the new princess. When she became queen, Lakan ruled her kingdom wisely. She was just and kind-hearted in leading her people.
Wind down, relax and increase awareness of the body and breathing.
Lie down on your back, relax your entire body, and make sure you are making no special effort. Scan your body from head to toes and observe the weight you apply on the bed with each part of your body.
[Do this for 15 seconds, in silence]
Now close your eyes and put two palms on your eyes, do not apply pressure on your eyes. It should be a light touch; feel that air can easily flow between your face and hands.
Now inhale through your nose and feel the air flowing in and filling up your body, and exhale through the nose, again noticing the air flowing out through the nostrils. Do this 3 times.
[Wait 15 seconds]
Now put your palms over your heart, letting your palms gently touch your chest.
Again, inhale through your nose, feel the air flowing in and filling up your body, then exhale through the nose, noticing the air flowing out through the nostrils. Do this 3 times.
[Wait 15 seconds]
Now put your palms over your belly; let your palms touch your belly lightly.
Again, inhale through your nose and feel the air flowing in and making your belly rise; now exhale through the nose, again noticing the air flowing out through the nostrils. Do this 3 times.
[Breathe 3 times like this]
Now, we shall begin our story…
Focus awareness on how the story resonates within us. There are no right or wrong answers here, you can also just throw the questions into the air.
“Irrigators channel waters; fletchers straighten arrows; carpenters bend wood; the wise master themselves”
Would you like to set out on a journey to find something?
Do you think Lakan enjoyed the journey?
What would you look for if you set out on a journey?
What would you take with you on the journey?
When Lakan became queen, what do you think people liked the most about her?
Create awareness, clarity and calm. This practice is related to the story so as to make the practice easier for kids.
Imagine that you have set out on a journey to find the rock of wisdom. You have taken a dirt road and started walking on it.
Look around you. You are at a riverbank, the river is quietly following, and when you look a bit downstream you see a small waterfall so there is a pleasant background noise of water falling.
You start walking down the road as it bends into a forest. You are walking downhill from where you are and, in the distance, you see a big valley stretching out beneath you.
Imagine how you are walking down looking at the stream on your left, the road in the middle, and the tall forest trees on your right.
Walk slowly and breath in the fresh air…. Now just keep walking, try to focus your attention on the road and how your feet are touching the ground with each step.
There will come a point when you feel you are distracted, your thoughts will have wandered off to another place. When this happens, stop, pick up a rock, and put your thought on it; now roll it gently into the water, then return your focus to the road….
[Keep this up for 30-60 seconds]
Now return you focus to where you are – to yourself – and have a good night’s sleep