A Zen master lay dying. His monks had gathered around his bed, from the most senior to the most novice monk. The senior monk leaned over to ask the dying master if he had any final words of advice for his monks. The old master slowly opened his eyes and in a weak voice whispered, "Tell them Truth is like a river.” The senior monk passed this piece of information in turn to the monk next to him, and it circulated around the room.
When the words reached the youngest monk he asked, "What does he mean, 'Truth is like a river'?"The question was passed back around the room to the senior monk who leaned over the bed and asked, "Master, what do you mean, 'Truth is like a river'?"
Slowly the master opened his eyes and in a weak voice whispered, "OK, Truth is not like a river."