Those Interstitial Moments — A Zen Story

Rahul S


Once upon a time, in a secluded mountain village, nestled among mist-laden valleys and shadowed by ancient trees, there lived a young boy named Akira.

Akira possessed a delicate sensibility which harmonized with the murmurs of Nature. His heart was attuned to the subtle rhythms of existence.

There was a banyan tree on the outskirts of the village. It stood tall and grand, with its sprawling branches making a little forest in its grove. And Akira would often find himself there — perhaps because of his sensitivity to Nature — immersed in the symphony of rustling leaves and the melodic whispers of birds.

It is there he sought solace.

It was a random evening. Nothing special. Nothing specific about the day. The sun was getting down the horizon to take its daily nap. Like a flickering march in the violet darkness it looked, and Akira was staring at it as if transfixed. And suddenly his lips moved and these words came out of him — “How can I discern my inner voice, truly? And that too amidst the myriad sounds and distractions of the world?”

This question was like a lone pebble tossed into the vast pond of his mind. It sent ripples of contemplation through his being. It kept him awake for nights. He was determined to find an answer to it.

So he embarked on a pilgrimage. He wanted to seek guidance from the well-known Master Ren, a Zen sage renowned for his arcane wisdom.

Master Ren lived atop the highest peak of the mountain. With the dawn of a new day, Akira set forth on his ascent. For long he traversed the winding mountain trails, their secrets hidden beneath a shroud of mist. His steps, like those of a wayward dreamer, carried him closer to the ethereal realm where Master Ren lived.

His soul was steeped in anticipation. After arduous hours of solitary wandering, he arrived at the monastery. It was perched upon the lofty summit. The air of the ambience was still, as if holding its breath in reverence for this sacred encounter.

Master Ren greeted Akira with a nod. His countenance was serenely shrouded in mystery. And his eyes reflected the enigmatic depths of the universe. Akira, humbled by the presence of the master, spoke with a voice as gentle as the…