Dialogue between a stream and the desert: Cross the barriers of life and don’t be afraid to change.
一、 前言 (Preface)
This article is written by a Sophie traveling monk. He uses the metaphor (fable) of “the dialogues between the desert and a stream” . The desert teaches a small river how to cross a vast desert. This metaphor contains a very deep life and enlightening philosophy. If you are able to understand this fable, every obstacle in life can be easily resolved. 此文是一位蘇菲遊方僧侶的 一首 <沙土之歌>。他以 “溪流與沙漠的對話” 的譬喻 (寓言)，教導小河流如何跨越大沙漠。如果能瞭解了其中的小道理，就可運用無窮，凡事迎刃而解。
In the same way, it also teaches practitioners how to transcend beyond all limits. Serious spiritual practitioners are then able to learn how to enter “the door without a door”, and become enlightened. 同理，它也教導修行人，如何百尺竿頭，更進一步。普賢行者，如何進入無門關，見性成佛。[ “無門”是如何進入 “空性”的法門，也是如何明心見性的法門]。
This article is written in English with Chinese translation. I hope it will be able to transform your life, and live happily everafter. 信堅在此以中英對照介紹此文，希望它能轉變你的 一生。
二、Dialogue between the stream and the desert溪流與沙漠的對話
A little stream flowed down from a high mountain far, far away through many villages and forests, until it reached a desert.
The stream then thought, “I’ve been through countless obstacles. I should have no problem crossing this desert!” 小溪流就想：「我既已能夠越過之前的重重障礙，這次穿越這沙漠應該沒問題吧。」
But when she decided to start her journey, she found herself gradually disappearing into the mud and sand. After numerous tries, she found it was all in vain and was very upset. “Maybe it’s my destiny! I’m not destined to reach the vast ocean in the legend,” she murmured dejectedly to herself.
At this time, a deep voice came, saying, “If a breeze can cross the desert, so can a river.” It was the voice of the desert. 此時，四周響起了一陣低沉的聲音：「如果風能跨越沙漠， 那麼溪流也可以。」這是沙漠的聲音。
Unconvinced, the little stream replied, “That’s because a breeze can fly, but I cannot.” 小溪流很不服氣的反駁的說: ” 當我努力地衝向沙土，卻只徒然被吸砂土吸乾而已。風能飛過沙漠， 而我卻不能飛”。
“That’s because you stick to what you are. If you’re willing to give it up, and let yourself evaporate into the breeze, it can take you across, and you can reach your destination,” said the desert in its deep voice. 沙漠用它低沉的聲音回答說:「因為你堅持你原來的樣子，所以你永遠無法跨越這個沙漠。用你自己慣常猛衝的方式是無法辦不到的，你不是消失，只是變成一片泥沼。只要你願意放棄你現在的樣子，讓自己蒸發到微風中，讓微風帶著你飛越沙漠。這樣你才能被帶到你 的目的地。」
The little stream had never heard of such a thing. “Give up what I am now and disappear into the breeze? No! No!” She could not accept this idea. After all, she had never experienced anything like it before. Wouldn’t it be self-destruction to give up what she was now? 小河流從來沒聽過這道理。「放棄我現在的樣子，然後消失在微風中？不！不！」 小河流無法接受這樣的概念，畢竟它從沒有讓自己被微風吸入過的經驗。叫它放棄自己現在的樣子，那麼不等於是自我毀滅了嗎？ [它不想喪失掉它所熟悉的體性。況且，我怎麼知道，我一旦喪失掉了現在這個體性，它還可以回復得來呢? ]
“How do I know if this is true?” asked the little stream.
“The breeze can carry the vapor across the desert and release it as rain at an appropriate site. The rain will form a river again to continue its course,” answered the desert very patiently.「微風可以把水蒸氣攜帶起來，然後飄過沙漠，到了適當的地點，再把這些水氣，變成了雨水降落下來。這些雨水又會重新匯聚形成一條河流，繼續向前進。 」沙漠很有耐心地回答。
“Will I still be what I am now?” asked the little stream.
小河流又問: 「那我還能保有我現在的 “原來樣子” 嗎？」
“Yes and no. Whether you’re a river or invisible vapor, your inner nature never changes. You stick to the fact that you’re a river because you don’t know your inner nature,” answered the desert. 沙漠回答說:「可以說是，也可以說不是。不管你是一條河流或是看不見的水蒸氣，你內在的本質從來沒有改變。你會堅持自己是一條河流，那是因為你從來不知道自己內在的本質。你的精華部分，永不改變。你被微風帶走之後，你的精華，會再形成一條溪流。」
Deep down, the stream vaguely remembered that before she became a river, it was perhaps also the breeze that had carried her halfway up a high mountain, where she turned into rain and fell onto the ground and became what she was now. 此時小河流的心中，隱隱約約地想起了自己在變成河流之前，似乎也是由微風帶著自己，飛到內陸某座高山的半山腰，然後變成雨水降落到地面後，才變成今日的河流。
Finally the little stream gathered her courage and rushed into the open arms of the breeze, which carried her to the next stage of her life. 於是小河流終於鼓起勇氣，讓自己變成了水蒸氣，投入了微風的懷抱中。微風溫柔地、輕鬆地攜帶著它上升前進， 而在抵達許多里外的山巔時， 讓它輕柔地降下。奔向它生命旅程中的下一個階段。
The course of our lives is like the experience of little stream. If you want to surpass the obstacles in your life in order to head for the destination of Truth, Virtue and beauty, you should also have the wisdom and courage to renounce your ego (attachment to yourself). 我們的生命歷程也像小河流一樣，若想要跨越生命中的障礙，達成某種程度的突破， 往真善美的目標邁進，也需要有「放下自我(執著)」的智慧與勇氣，邁向未知的領域。
Perhaps you can try asking yourself these questions: What is my inner nature? What is it that I cling to? and What is it that I really want? 也許你可以試著問自己：我的本質是什麼? 我緊抓不放的是什麼? 我要的究竟是什麼？
Surmounting Life’s Obstacles -Do You Cling to What You Were Before?
Sometimes, we are obsessively advancing toward our own goals. We firmly believe that as long as we work hard, we can clear the obstacles of the future; but we neglect that things are changing and developing.
People’s life course is like this small river. If we want to cross the obstacles in our lives, we must overcome a number of obstacles and achieve a certain degree of breakthrough. In the face of unknown obstacles, it is necessary to have the wisdom and courage to let go of attachments; at the right time, turn a corner, perhaps, then the new path ahead will become straight, leading to the desired goals of life.
Life is not necessarily having only one fixed form. When the environment cannot be changed, you must try to change yourself. As long as your essence remains the same, you are still you. 生命中不一定只有一種形式，當環境無法改變的時候，必須試著改變自己。只要本質不變，你依舊是你。
This is <the song of sand>, and it is also the song of life stream. When people are growing up, they always have to face different environments. Sometimes in order to reach the destination, we must be able to have flexibility, give up our stubbornness of maintaining in the same way, adapt to changes in the environment, learn to change thinking, and have flexibly cross the obstacles in life.
After you understand your true essences, the next time you encounter an environment that cannot be changed, you may want to change yourself instead.瞭解了自己的本來面目後，下次當碰到環境無法改變的時候，你不妨試著改變自己 (山不轉路轉，路不轉心轉，心不轉念轉)。