The key needed to be filed in just such a way so that a slight movement inwards and to the left enabled the tumblers to fall into place. In line with the teaching of interdependent origination, that which is before creates that which comes next. Just so...
His mind knew a clarity hence before unknown. There were fasts limited to twenty fours hours that were performed with little to no understanding. There were several for three days that matched the incentive of the first; that is, to do what the others were doing.
The Buddha had spent his time as an ascetic before his enlightenment and learned from the process that that was not the way. That was not to say that it did not possess merit. Merit is so often misunderstood when discussed within Buddhist teachings. You see a disciple place his prayer-held hands above the crown of the head, moving to the forehead, to the throat and the heart, before he lies in full prostration, only to repeat the process over and over again. The merit of such an act of devotion, like a long fast, is in the placement of the mind and the alignment of the emotions; if the act is performed in the correct manner.
Likewise, through repeated and prolonged fasts, he learned a discipline that echoed the turning of that finely filed key....inwards and a little to the left and......
In a prolonged period of prayer and meditation he felt himself rise slowly above his body and hover for several minutes. The evening became the noonday sun and his eyes focused on an approaching man far in the distance. He was aware of his chanting self, seated below his present mind, but his focus remained on his approaching guest.
Ponds of clear water formed on his left and right and reflected the heavens above. The noonday light shined bright while the ponds reflected stars and constellations. Clouds formed halfway between the bright light of day and the ponds reflection of night. They moved faster and faster as the man in the distance moved forward.
Laughing seemed so inappropriate a response but that was all he could do. The approaching stranger broke into a run and displayed a face of fierce hatred and murderous intention breaking the laughter into abject terror.
Breaking concentration, he felt himself beginning to slide downward into his chanting body and the light, the ponds and the stranger began to recede. At that last moment, before full withdrawal was complete, the stranger latched onto his hair that was tightly formed into a braid and followed him through.
A struggle ensued until their bodies parted. The stranger made his intentions known with a severe blow to his opponents face knocking him to the floor. It was then that his intuition, forced on by fear, caused his mind to shift into complete surrender. Not to his opponent but to his intuition.
He moved his right hand in a circular motion to his right and jabbed with his left. His opponent, ever slightly, moved his center of balance towards his heel. The jab was joined, a milisecond later, with a sweeping leg meant to further unbalance his opponent. His attacker teetered backwards with the sweep. The sweep was followed by a full body pounce while driving his elbow deep within the attacker's groin.
The attack was over, the attacker was gone. Replaced with darkness and a sense of falling, he landed with a hard thud and the dog licking his face.
"God dammit," he groaned. "Thats the last time I eat that tofu turkey."