Finally completing his long self-discipline, the apprentice ties the monastery’s large, circular grinding stone to his body. It is emblematic of the Buddhist bhavachakra, the wheel of life and rebirth, and he takes a statue of the buddha-to-come, Maitreya from the monastery, and he goes to climb to the summit of the tallest of the surrounding mountains. As he climbs, dragging the stone wheel behind him and struggling to carry the statue, he reflects upon the fish, the frog, and the snake he tormented. Finally attaining the summit, he prays and leaves the statue seated on top of the circular grinding stone, overlooking the monastery in the lake far below.
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring