August 2, 1999
Drop all ambition to be the first to become enlightened. There is no
individual enlightenment. All individuals are joined together with the
--- A Buddhist Tale
Buddha reached the gate of heaven. Of course, the people there were
waiting. They opened the door, they welcomed him, but he turned his back
towards the door looked at the world - millions of souls on the same path,
struggling, in misery, in anguish, striving to reach this gate of heaven
The doorkeeper said, "Come in, please. We have been waiting for you."
And Buddha said, "How can I come when others have not reached? It
doesn't seem to be the right time. How can I enter when the whole has
not yet entered? I will have to wait. It is just as if my hand has reached
into the door and my feet have not reached yet. I will have to wait.
Just the hand cannot enter alone."
It is said in this beautiful story that Buddha is still waiting. He has
to wait - nobody is an island, we make a continent, we are together.
I may have stepped a little further than you, but I cannot be separate.
And now I know it deeply, now it is not a story for me - I am waiting for
Now it is not just a parable, now I know that there is no individual
enlightenment. Individuals can step a little ahead, that's all, but they
remain joined together with the whole.
--- Sent in by Patricia Love --- California