Once upon a time, long ago and far away (or perhaps, not that long ago, in a place much closer than you might imagine...) a spiritual pilgrim was travelling among various sacred sites when he came up a particularly remote and elegant Buddhist shrine located at the foot of a mountain. He was preparing to take off his shoes and enter the shrine to meditate in front of a statue of the Buddha on the altar, when he saw a small sign near the entrance which said, " This Way to the Most Beautiful Buddha in the Country," with an arrow pointing to a steep path up the nearby slope
MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE
His curiosity aroused, he began hiking up the trail, which proved to be quite arduous. He almost turned back several times, but was glad he'd persevered when he finally got to the top and encountered a vast, stunning vista, spread out below in all directions. And there, set on the highest point, was a simple stone pagoda, similar to the shrine below, except this time there was no altar and no Buddha inside. Instead, there was only an empty space, framing the breathtaking view of lush, green landscapes and sparkling blue skies. Entering the structure, he saw another sign on the floor, which said simply, "If you can't see the Buddha here, you had better go back down the mountain and practice some more."
HERE AND NOW
This story reminds me that wherever I am is a sacred site, if only I will climb up a little higher in consciousness, and take a wider view. If I'll just open the eyes of my heart, I can see Spirit manifesting in whoever or whatever is directly in front of me in that moment.
Even as I sit here, arranging words on my computer screen, I am stunned by the timeless, sacred light of the full moon, peeking through the treetops in our backyard, reminding me to breathe into the beauty and magnificence of this time, this place, however commonplace it may seem at first glance.
May you, too, feel blessed by this invitation to look around at your surroundings, wherever you may be, and see the Buddha, the Christ, the magnificence of Spirit, unfolding right before your eyes.