When I first began meditating, Lee told me the story of the man who went to see a sage to learn about his life. The wise one told the man to pack up all his belongings, carry them on his back, and to follow him down into a deep canyon. In the canyon was a table and the teacher told the student to set all his belongings on the table, then to follow him back to the top of the canyon. When they stood at the top of the canyon, the sage said: Now look. What do you see on the table? From this perspective, the stuff of the man's life looked quite different.
Then, the sage said: Now, go back down to the canyon and retrieve what you left.