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The Obstacle is the Way.

The Obstacle in the Way is an old Zen Parable, the author of which is unknown.

A long time ago times, a wise King had had his men place a huge boulder on a roadway. 

Then he hid himself nearby in the trees along the road and watched to see what would happen and if anyone would remove the huge rock.

Some of the king’s wealthiest subjects, merchants and courtiers came along the road and as the boulder lay in the middle of that road it blocked their path.  If they could some managed to walk around the rock, and if they couldn’t get around the rock some people simply turned around and headed back the way they had come.

Many complained and loudly blamed the king for not keeping the roads clear, but none did anything about getting the rock out of the way.

Then a farmer came along in his cart which was full with ripe vegetables he was taking to market, and there was no way he could get his cart around the boulder which was in the middle of the road.

The farmer got off his cart and attempted to move the boulder to the side of the road so he could pass.

But after much pushing and straining the boulder just wouldn’t budge, so then the farmer went into the forest and later emerged with a large branch he had fashioned into a leaver, with this and much time and effort he finally managed to pry the boulder to the side.

After doing this whilst returning to his cart he noticed something lying under where the boulder had originally been.

He reached down and picked it up, it was a small box and inside were many gold coins and a letter from the king saying that the gold was for the person who removed the boulder from the roadway.