2608. Another year and a half went by, and finally the student began to have doubts. He wondered if the master was simply abusing his gullibility, or worse yet, taking advantage of his trusting nature to get his to create a tunnel through the mountain. Why the master would want a tunnel he could not imagine, but he could think of no other explanation.
2609. Then, for a second time, the master came up behind
the student with his bamboo pole and gave him another big helping of the
instruction he had administered before. Finally the student began to
put two beating plus two beating together, and formed an inkling of what
he was expected of him.
2610. Somehow or other, he thought to himself, I have to
manage to pay attention to every tiny aspect of my surroundings, so as
to somehow avoid another beating. No matter how monotonous this digging
is, and no matter how long it takes, I have to stay tuned to every
sound, shade and shadow around me.
2611. I have to pay attention to every little change, perhaps the flickering of the light, or the shadows, or something. He did not know exactly what it was he was supposed to be aware of, but this very question was the beginning of his transformation.