Once upon a time, a man reached that stage in life when he pondered its meaning. Why did he continuously slave for material gain at a job he detested? Why was materialism rampent in society and in his home. Gradually, these questions captivated so much of his attention that all the people and things in his life were ignored and slowly melted away. He lost his job, then his wife. He alienated his children and friends, all in his study of and search for the meaning of life.
And so it was, that when he had lost all but the ragged clothes on his back, he heard of a most learned guru hidden in a mountainous cave in India. He vowed and struggled to get to the guru, and, ultimately, when he was broken, bloody, and near death, he crawled into the entrance of the cave and came upon the meditating presence of the Great Guru.
"Oh, Great Guru," he said, "please share with this humble seeker. What is the meaning of life?"
The Great Guru smiled warmly and gently spoke, "Life is a flower."
"WHAT?" the seeker shouted! "I have lost everything precious to me - wife, family, all posessions. Many times I was near death in my struggle to find you, and you tell me 'Life is a flower'?"
The Great Guru's eyes flew open in astonishment, and he said, "You mean it isn't?"
The Old Monk