A Western Buddhist's Travels

Sightseeing & detours on the path of enlightenment


As his body regained strength, his mind became clearer.  He looked at the food the young lady offered him each day. The food came from a plant or tree. The tree was rooted in the earth, but needed rain and sunshine to grow. He noticed that places where animals left their droppings later had healthier crops then places without droppings. He started to see the whole world was interdependent; the circle of life was unending. Even human life was the same; we are all born, live and eventually die. He realized that the path to a fulfilling life was to live each moment to the fullest. He went to sleep knowing he was on the right path. That night while under the fig tree, he endured thunderstorms. It is said he was tempted by Mara (death incarnate, grim reaper). Mara peppered him with questions, challenged Siddharta to just ascend from this plane. Mocked him by saying even if you told anyone about this, who would believe you? Siddharta looked at Mara reached down and touched the ground with his right hand, taking all of creation as his witness, that he had found enlightenment. Mara admitted defeat. That night Siddharta realized the truth about life and suffering. Our life is not the ocean, but rather a wave that is part of the ocean, yet moves along its own path. That the rivers and raindrops that fed the ocean meant the flavor of live was always changing. By morning he was fully awake, or as we now say fully enlightened. Almost seven years after he started his journey he had arrived at his destination.


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