Posts Tagged 'Enlightenment'

The Pathless Path – We’re already here!


1 Giant Leap (IMDb) is a great CD and DVD of world music made by a couple of English guys, Duncan Bridgeman and Jamie Catto, who travelled the world with a laptop, a keyboard, some recording equipment and some basic rhythms and then recorded artists from all around the world.  

The DVD has a mixed bag of writers, thinkers and armchair philosophers mixed in with the great soundtrack. One of them is Tom Robbins, who tells this story, which relates well at any time, but especially to how we collectively view our current position in history as discussed in my last post:

The Bodhisattva decided he needed to go and see the Buddha.

So he set off on foot and somewhere along his journey he came upon a man who was sitting in the lotus position, meditating.  But he had made several mistakes, in that he hadn’t chosen a shady spot, so he was out in the sun and getting absolutely cooked by the sun – he was all sunburned and dehydrated.  He had also made the mistake of sitting on an anthill, so the ants were crawling all over him and eating his flesh and he was absolutely miserable.  And as the Bodhisattva went by he said, “When you see the Buddha, ask him how long it’s going to take for me to become enlightened.”  The Bodhisattva promised to do that and continued on his way.

A few days later he came across a second man who was dancing and laughing and singing – just in a state of exhilaration – just bopping around.  As the Bodhisattva went by this man said, “Hey, when you see the Buddha, ask him how long it’ll be before I’m enlightened.”  And the Bodhisattva promised.

So he went on, had his audience with the Buddha, and a few weeks later he came back along the way.  This time he came upon the first man first.  By now the ants had taken most of the flesh off of his body and he was blistered from the sun – and he was practically dead, absolutely miserable.  The Bodhisattva said, “The Buddha says it’s going to take six more lifetimes for you to become enlightened.”

The guy says, “Oh, no! No! I can’t stand it!”

The Bodhisattva goes on and comes up on the other man who was still laughing, still dancing, still singing – having his sips of wine and nice food out of a food bowl from time to time.  

As the Bodhisattva went by he said, “You see that bush over there?  You see that small tree – the one with all the leaves on it? The Buddha said for every leaf on that tree, that’s another lifetime you’re going to have to endure before you’re enlightened.”

And the man said, “Is that all!” and began dancing and laughing and singing even more exuberantly.

And at that moment, he became enlightened. 


Enjoy the moment!



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