The disciples wanted to know the different stages the master had to go through in his quest for enlightenment.
The master said, “Well, in the beginning, I was full of action. I thought enlightenment lay in doing kind and worthy deeds. Then I went through suffering and pain, and I stayed there until I could control my heart and stay unattached to anything. I learned to love, and my passion consumed my very core, burning away the self and all its petty desires. Then, I learned to be silent. In silence, I contemplated the mysteries of life and death and they gave up their secrets to me.”
The master paused to sip some tea.
“But finally,” he continued, “I learned the most precious secret of all.”
“And what is that?” asked the disciples.
“I learned to laugh,” replied the master as he howled with glee.