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Walking On Water

Once a monk approached the Buddha and stated that he had been meditating for over 30 years.

The Buddha asked, "What have you learned ?"

The monk replied, "I have mastered the jhanas and now I can walk on water." The monk proceeded to walk on water across a lake and then back.

The Buddha said, "Is there a boat that can take you across?" The monk said, "Yes." The Buddha asked, "What is the cost to take the boat to the other side ?" "One-and-a-half cents" replied the monk.

The Buddha replied, "Then the value of your miracles is one-and-a-half cents."

The Buddha continued, "You could have taken a boat across for one-and-a-half cents to the other side and spent your time developing vipassana [insight] instead; and by now you would have been enlightened."

The Buddha answers in a very practical and pragmatic way, for example what is the use of the miracle and is there a less time consuming alternative. Instead of being in awe at someone walking on water, like a naive person may have been, the Buddha just bluffs it off as nothing special.

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