Once upon a time in China, a man went to Jiao Mountain in search of the Dao [or "Tao translated roughly to "way of the universe]. He sought the Dao for seven years before he finally met a Daoist deity called Most Exalted Lord Lao. Lord Lao gave him a drill made of wood and told him to drill a hole through a rock that was five-foot thick. Lord Lao said, “You will obtain the Tao as soon as you penetrate a hole through that rock.” It took the man forty years to finally drill a hole through the rock. After completing the task, he finally obtained the secret method of making dan using gathered medicinal herbs to produce the pill of immortality. [Dan is a cluster of energy collected from other dimensions in a cultivator’s body.]
The fact that someone was willing to spend seven years in the mountain seeking the Tao should be a convincing enough display of sincerity. But it was still not enough. His teacher still wanted him to drill a hole in the rock with a wooden drill. Do you have enough faith in your teacher to believe that you can drill a hole in a rock with a wooden drill? It was a critical test of whether or not he had unconditional faith in his teacher. He spent forty years drilling the rock. To someone who doesn't cultivate, he was wasting 40 years of his life trying to accomplish an impossible task. For a cultivator, it takes immense determination and perseverance to keep doing this! And how much hardship did have to endure! It is indeed true that throughout human history no one has been able to obtain the Dao without undergoing countless, formidable tribulations!
Source: Book about Finding Deities
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