A Tibetan monk found himself in exile on a main thoroughfare in New York, selling hotdogs from his mobile stall. As he busied himself setting up his stall for the day, he looked up and noticed his former abbot coming towards him on the sidewalk. The monk rushed to greet the abbot, bowing deeply as the two greeted each other.
After a brief catch-up conversation, the monk asked the abbot, “What can I get for you, Master?”
The abbot replied, “I want a hotdog, with all the trimmings!”
The monk scurried around assembling a superb hotdog with onion rings, mustard and ketchup, wrapped the hotdog in a paper napkin. The monk presented the snack to the abbot, who took out a ten-dollar note and handed it to the monk. The monk slipped the note into his pocket as the two stood in respectful silence.
The abbot slowly savoured the food as he ate, then wiped his fingers on the napkin, dropped it into a bin beside the hotdog stand, and turned to the monk.
The abbot spread his hands inquiringly and asked, “No Change?”
The monk shook his head. He said, “Ah Master, as you taught me—‘Change comes from within!”
Wisdom comes from within, as part of our experience.
Wisdom is different from knowledge about things, or how to do things—invaluable as they are. Wisdom’s concern is about choosing the right path in life: the right words to say when someone needs them, the right thoughts when our own thoughts go astray.
Wisdom discovers a new path, a path to Life, so that what we choose is truly meaningful for ourselves, and can also guide seekers on the Way.