I just wanted to share a story tonight – it is an old Buddhist tale…

There was a monastery that had once been a thriving community, but had declined over the years. The monks were having trouble attracting new people into their fold, and the monks themselves had become lazy in their practice. Few people visited.

One of the monks went to see a sage for advice about how to save the monastery. When the monk shared his woes, the sage told him that the reason for the trouble was that the Buddha was actually living amongst the monks in disguise, and he was not being treated with respect and kindness.

Astounded by this, the monk went back and told the others what he had learned. They all eyed each other with a mixture of suspicion and awe –

Who among us is the Buddha? 

Is it you?

Is it me?

Not knowing who it was, they all began to treat each other (and themselves!) with great respect and kindness. The monks honored their practice, and found great joy in their days. Over time people took notice and were drawn to the beautiful energy of the monastery. They came from all over to visit, and many wanted to become monks themselves.

The monastery thrived forevermore.

I love this story so much. To me God is love, and love resides within each of us. Sometimes our own personal triggers or personality conflicts can make it harder to form a kind and respectful relationship with a person, but if we dig deeply we can usually find that spark of one-ness within each other.

I also love that the monks were faced to ponder the possibility that they too could be the Buddha. I think many of us have a hard time – maybe the hardest time – directing that same kindness and respect inward, toward ourselves.

Beautiful story, beautiful perspective…

Who among us is LOVE?

Is it you?

Is it me?

YES, it is.

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