"It's not a spectator sport!"


who had three sons. They had all been trained by the finest of teachers, marksmen and statesmen. All three had grown into magnificent young men.

The oldest was the most brave. He had hunted for bears in the high mountain regions of the kingdom. He brought back hides for rugs and valuable claws and teeth for decorations. He could challenge any man in the king's army to a race of horses and win every time. He would charge fearlessly through the dense forest which surrounded the castle, leaving the more timid far behind.

The middle son was the strongest. He stood a head above the king himself and could wrestle any challenger to the ground. He was a master at strategy and often led the winter hunts into the forest.

The youngest son was a good marksman, and brave and strong, but he wasn't best at anything. Just an ordinary man. Perhaps this was because he would often spend his time singing songs and reciting poetry instead of practicing fighting with his brothers.

The king loved them all, and appreciated their talents, but he needed to choose one to rule the kingdom when he was gone. This king was a wise man who had lived a full and challenging life; he hit upon a strange test for the boys.

The king ordered his sons to come accompany him, with bows and arrows, on a ride into the country. Pausing at a spot beside the road, near an open field, the king pointed out a vulture sitting on a tree limb, within easy bow shot.

"I wish you to shoot at that vulture," said the king to his eldest son. This son was fearless and liked to show his bravery at all times. His spirited horse reared up as he grabbed an arrow and made ready his bow.

"But wait," said the king. "First tell me, what do you see?"

Wonderingly, the prince replied, "Why, I see grass, the clouds, the sky, the river, a tree, and..."

"Enough!" said the king, and beckoned the second son to make ready to shoot. This young man grabbed his huge bow. His muscles bulged as he leveled it towards the vulture. Suddenly his father stopped him, saying again, "Tell me first, what do you see?"

"Ah," said the strongest son, "I see the horses, the ground, a field of wheat, and an old dead tree with a vulture on it."

"Never mind shooting it," the king said, and turning to his youngest son, ordered him to hit the vulture. The prince lowered his arrow at the target. Again, the king stopped the arrow repeated the question, "First, what do you see?"

The youth replied deliberately, not taking his gaze from his intended victim, as he drew taut the bowstring and aimed the shaft, "I see," he said, "the point where the wings join the body..." and the young man let fly the arrow and the bird tumbled to the ground.

The third son became the king.

So wow. Great story. But what does it mean? Simple. It is a story of single pointedness. The person of awareness sees what he or she is looking at. A person of focus is master of themself, with also the talent to lead others. If you want to reach enlightenment, to discover your true nature, if you want to wake up, you must focus on a single point. If you are constantly distracted by the things all around, then you will never notice the center of your attention. But once you've moved from the center - then you are always aiming true