Weekly Food For Thought


When Buddha rose from the Bodhi tree, it is said that a monk approached him in utter amazement at his luminosity and asked, “O Holy One, what are you? You must be a God.”

Buddha, not thinking of himself as anything but present, answered. “No, not a God,” and kept walking.

But the dazzled monk persisted, “Then you must be a Deva,” and Buddha stopped and said, “No……not a Deva,” and kept walking.

Still, the monk pursued him, “Then you must be Brahma himself!”
At this, Buddha simply uttered, “No.”
The monk, confused, implored, “Then what are you – Tell me please – what are you?!” Buddha could not repress his joy and replied, “I am awake.”

So, underneath all our worries about careers, jobs, family and relationships, our purpose really comes down to living fully, being alight with who we are beneath all the names and titles we are given or aspire to. Can it be that our purpose, no matter whom we run into, no matter what we are told, is simply to be awake?

Excerpt from The Book of Awakening – Mark Nepo


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