There is a famous Sufi story: a man went in search of a Master. He was ready to go around the world, but he was determined to find the Master, the true Master, the Perfect Master.
Outside his village he met an old man, a nice fellow, sitting under a tree. He asked the old man, “Have you ever heard in your long life — you look like a wanderer…”
He said, “Yes, I am a wanderer. I wandered all over the earth.”
The man said, “That is the right kind of person. Can you suggest to me where I should go? I want to be a disciple of a Perfect Master.”
The old man suggested a few addresses to him, and the young man thanked him and went on.
After thirty years of wandering around the earth and finding nobody who was exactly fulfilling his expectations, he came back dejected, depressed. the moment he was entering his village he saw the old man who had become very old now, sitting under the tree. And suddenly he recognized that he is the Master! He fell at his feet and he said, “Why didn’t you say it to me, that you are the Master?”
The old man said, “But that was not time for you. You could not recognize me. You needed some experience. Wandering around the earth has given you a certain maturity, a certain understanding. Now you can see. Last time you had met me, but you had not seen me. You had missed. You were asking me about some Master. That was enough proof that you could not see me, you could not feel my presence, you could not smell the fragrance. You were utterly blind; hence I gave you some bogus addresses so you could go. But even to be with wrong people is good, because that is how one learns. Fol thirty years I have been waiting for you here, I have not left this tree.”
In fact the young man, who was not young anymore, looked at the tree and was even more surprised. Because in his dreams, in his visions he was always seeing that tree and there was always a feeling that he would find The Master sitting under this tree. Last time he had not seen the tree at all. The tree was there, the Master was there, EVERYthing was ready but HE was not ready.
Osho – “Guida Spirituale”