Thursday, February 23, 2012

A Buddha is Among You

The abbot of a once famous Buddhist monastery that had fallen into decline was deeply troubled. Monks were lax in their practice, novices were leaving and lay supporters deserting to other centers. He traveled far to a sage and recounted his tale of woe, of how much he desired to transform his monastery to the flourishing haven it had been in days of yore.

The sage looked him in the eye and said, "The reason your monastery has languished is that the Buddha is living among you in disguise, and you have not honored Him." The abbot hurried back, his mind in turmoil

The Selfless One was at his monastery! Who could He be? Brother Hua?...No, he was full of sloth. Brother Po?...No, he was too dull. But then the Tathagata was in disguise. What better disguise than sloth or dull- wittedness? He called his monks to him and revealed the sage's words. They, too, were taken aback and looked at each other with suspicion and awe.

Which one of them was the Chosen One?

The disguise was perfect. Not knowing who He was they took to treating everyone with the respect due to a Buddha. Their faces started shining with an inner radiance that attracted novices and then lay supporters.

In no time at all the monastery far surpassed its previous glory.


WilyBCool said...

Thank you. ;D

sally said...

I like this story.

Speaking of finding a teacher, my husband and I traveled to the Yucatan last summer. We had young Mexican guide who was quite inspiring. He told us: "Teachers are all around you. Everyone is my teacher--especially children."

Have you tried looking for a Buddhist sangha (community) near you? I found one near me by googling "sangha" and the names of nearby towns. It has really been beneficial for me to practice meditation within a community. I was nervous at first--what would it be like? But I felt very comfortable with the group right from the start. We meet in a suburban living room and spend an hour practicing various types of meditation--sitting, walking, guided, listening to Buddhist teaching. We never do one thing for more than 10-15 minutes, so it never feels overwhelming to me. Then we have tea and snacks at the end.

Sophia said...

Wily, you're welcome.

Sally, I was on the Yucatan in 2005. It was an amazing adventure. I'd love to go back there sometime!

I haven't looked for a sangha yet but a friend that lives nearby told me of a Buddhist man who is a teacher and I haven't looked into that yet. There may be a kind of sangha involved there. I do need to get involved in a spiritual community to give myself something worthwhile to do.

Anonymous said...

thank you

Sophia said...

You're welcome, Anonymous. Glad it meant something to you. :)