It was a cold and damp night, most unfit for traveling, yet Master Bodhisattva was, as it was usual for this time of year, on his way back to the ashram of Little Creek. Chill deep in his bone, he didn't even feel - it was nothing, compared to the task on which the survival during the harsh winter to come depended. A design most elegant bloomed like a lotus flower in Masters' head, yet he was not sure that even with all hands on the proverbial deck they would see it to fruition. In fact, he was pretty sure they would fail and starve, perhaps, even to death.
It was then, as the cold Master ruminated his darkest thoughts on the nihilistic principles of Buddhism, disregardful nature of the universe and the autosadistic nature of dukkha, when he saw a faint glimmer of a temple light in the deep forest outside the path. The light somehow meant hope and warmth and perhaps a warm cup of tea, barring the unlikely prospect of hot soup, and Master Bodhisattva strayed deeper into the darkness of the moonless night.
As he got closer to the temple, it became more and more apparent that even the hope of water was too brave: the temple (more of a wall-less shrine) was overgrown with vines and very apparently abandoned. What Master thought was a light, was a large flickering ember crystal hanging inside, just over a mummified body of a one-legged monk, clutching in one of their hands a kangling. The whole setting heavily implied that the femur-flute's origin was the same full-body sarira - an interesting juxtaposition, Master Bodhisattva noted, even more-so with the chöd damaru missing.
Behind the body there was a small altar-stone with a single scroll on it. The altar-stone was once inscribed, but ages were not as gentle to the stone as they were to the body, and the writings were illegible. It was only perfectly clear that the scroll was of the Importance and Not To Be Disturbed.
Black overcast sky grew even darker, and a single drop landed on the steps of the abandoned temple, followed by another and another and another and Master Bodhisattva, having briefly considered all the alternatives, decided with some reluctance, that he was less of a fan of pneumonia than spending nights in temples of dubious karma, and stepped inside.
It was considerably warmer and drier inside and the air smelled faintly of burnt incense, or, more fittingly, a memory of incense being burned; at a closer range the one-legged body even seemed somehow friendly, the mysterious crystal flickers were followed by crackles not unlike a fireplace, and the whole abandoned temple amongst the drenching autumn rain unexpectedly felt rather cozy. Master Boddhisatva relaxed a bit, and sat on a stone bench to the side of the full-body sarira, facing the reverend relic and allowed himself slip into a meditative state.
It is here that we should note a certain difference between the more traditional schools of meditating the noble eightfold path and the one practiced in ashrams like the one of Little Creek; very little traditional methods consisted of going from intents to requirements to data flows to component abstraction to interfaces to implementation itself and then going from this atomic level to high level system overview all while keeping the virtual ants carrying bits and nibblets and bytes within the minds' eye, even though that, at least some Masters felt, was not different from samādhi and prajñā, at all and, of course, was difficult, if at all possible, to attain mastery in without first cultivating a correct sīla.
In any case, just as Master began letting the lotus flower unfold, the demon of doubt, emboldened by karma of the temple, came breathing down the Masters' neck again. Instead of the systemic vipassana did Master Bodhisattva see the monks of his ashram in cold clarity: pale they were and they drew no breath, as they have frozen to death with quills in their hands, writing down the code that will never be run; Master shuddered. He knew it was his fault, and it was then that Master saw the claw of the demon clutching his human ego.
The Master was overcome by disgust and was about to begin a cleansing ritual, but instead opened his eyes to see the body of the one-legged monk, the femur-flute, and felt compassion towards the creature, so consumed by fear and doubt it just had to feed on others; It was its' own suffering that made others suffer like itself - and the Master suddenly clapped with a single hand; the cold autumn wind blew into the kangling, and the Ego was cut through once again - and as it bled, the demon fed upon it, becoming more and more placated until it slipped away, translucent, into the night.
Exhausted, Master fell on his side on a stone bench and fell asleep. He dreamed that the reverend monk had been alive and sitting by his side, smiling, as if to say - it is going to be fine, we, beings of enlightenment, have it all solved, and it's all laughably simple - and he laughed without making a sound - and I've got it all written down for everyone to read, and it will end all of suffering, everywhere, forever and free of charge - so Master got up and went to the altar-stone, and the writing on it shone in gold and sapphire and it spelled T-H-E T-R-U-T-H in beautiful ornate letters; He reached out for the scroll, and unrolled it, and cast his gaze on