125. the mirage

after a couple of weeks in the desert, the guru was hungry and thirsty and incredibly bored. he wanted to go home. unfortunately, he had bragged very loudly to all of his students that he was going to spend an entire forty days in the wilderness.

he was wandering aimlessly when, in the distance, he made out the faint outlines of what seemed like an opulent hotel.

he ran across the sand to the hotel, but as he got closer, he began to fear it was a mirage, and that soon it would vanish in the heat. this was the way of the desert, desire and deception, and it was the way of the world, as well. you had to guard yourself against illusion so that you could perceive truth, and being seduced by such ephemeral temptations was the way that–

“welcome to the oasis hotel,” said the doorman, who seemed real.

baffled, the guru walked inside. the hotel was beautiful and luxurious and very expensive. the guru loved it. he checked himself in and spent the rest of the forty days relaxing in their spa while he wrote koans about the desert.