The Buddha was at Peace with all of his portly self. The Laughing Buddha. He was mightily pleased with No desires in him. He had turned into an observer. An observer of human behaviour. The Buddha had no likes and preferences. He was not judgmental. Ho could not be, when he had no preference and no desire. He saw himself as the culmination of every other human being who was striving. He had realized that there was nothing to strive for, except for the SPIRITUAL. An existence where the physical had to subserve the SPIRITUAL leaps.
The SPIRITUAL LEAP is not into another physical acquisition. It was a perception, through the windows of the physical perception which sparked a new spiritual elevation of the being of the Buddha. It was perceptible to him alone. He was existing in the physical world, but that was not final. That physical existence was a means to achieve that SPARK. The spark, which for spiritual reason i shall hereinafter call the SCINTILLA, was truly ELEVATING. The outsiders could see only the physical actions of the BUDDHA, but it was HE and HE alone who could SENSE that SCINTILLA.
Lily was one of the devotees of the Buddha. She was extremely fair, thin lips, high cheek-boned with un-batting eyelids, which gave her an austere but a dignified manner in her dealings. She was not one who inspired the BASER instincts in a male, even though she was beautiful. Her attitude and her willingness to be a part in the organizational activities of the commune of the Buddha, made her an adorable person. In fact, the other male and female commune members would seek her advice before doing something which involved the personal interest of the Budha.
The Buddha used to listen to the commune members and his replies to them was very short and mostly, reduced to giving the next task for the commune member to get out of the problem that he/she had narrated. It was not a formula, but the next step in the path of self-realization. Most of the commune members felt that when they followed the Buddha’s prescription, they were on a path that made them feel that they were progressing and at the same time observing themselves. The Buddha created a distance between the problem and the commune member. Each commune member was becoming perceptive of his/her own self, while still dealing with his/her issues. That creation of space in the consciousness, without the cluttering of the problems, duties, anxieties and fears led to the DAWNING of a PEACE ineffable. Like as a queen bee that allows the worker bees to taste the honey in the hive, the Buddha was letting the commune members to feed on the PEACE that was available in plenty with them, but seldom tasted.
Lily was also one who was an avid participant in those lectures of the Buddha.
But one night, she had a dream that shook her to the very foundations of her self. The dream showed something that she thought never existed. When she woke out of her sleep Lily felt as a woman who has been defiled. But the mind refused to obliterate the intense feelings that she experienced during the dream. She saw herself as a seductress, who was dancing sinuously before the Buddha, who was dressed in Regal robes in a harem. She was the only person in the presence of the Buddha. She heard gentle music flowing out of the louvered windows which could carry the sound waves, but let no man see what was on between the Buddha and herself in the room filled with the faint scent of cinnamon.
The Buddha was watching her with a child’s interest. A certain curiosity that Lily was expressing herself in a hitherto unimagined way brought a smile to the Buddha’s face. He was not judgmental, he was merely sympathizing with her expression of herself. The Buddha thought, I CANNOT UNDERSTAND THE WELLING UP OF HER EMOTIONS IN A WAY THAT I HAD NOT SEEN- that was the perception in her mind, when she saw that smile of the Buddha’s face. There was no fear in seeing the Buddha think that way. She was still dancing without faltering a step. Yet she was perceptive of everything that the BUDDHA was thinking. She was not missing a step, she noticed the Buddha’s child-like interest in her dance, the Buddha’s fluctuation in emotions and she even imagined a tinge of interest in her. But she was also aware that there was no expression on the Buddha’s face to suggest such interest. Seeing and observing the Buddha ceased and Lily pirouetted to the reclining Buddha and fell at his feet clutching the ankles of his feet. With this she awoke. Still smarting with the palpitations that she felt at his feet, ashamed at one level and anxious at the other.
Lily decided to make a clean breast of the dream that had occurred to her the previous night. But her poise was no more there. She felt that her innocence had been blown to smithereens and that she was contaminated by thoughts, deep in her subconscious which were the reflections of her true self. Nevertheless, she decided to boldly go ahead and meet the Buddha that day and tell him about the dream.
The Buddha was perceptive enough to see that Lily’s consciousness was troubled. He told her to meet him in the foyer of his apartments alone, that evening. She was demurely dressed and met the Buddha. The Buddha was silent and wanted her to open the conversation. Lily said, “I have something to confess. And i am ashamed to but have to. Otherwise, i shall be lost forever. “
The Buddha said, “I am surprised you are ashamed about something at all. Shame is something that is felt by a person with DISOBEDIENCE. And in this commune there is nothing to disobey. So why should anyone be ashamed?”
Lily was stunned. Yes, there is nothing to disobey and yet i feel a sense of shame- is it shame or something else. Maybe i am ashamed that i attempted to seduce the Buddha from his enlightened state and get him involved at a physical level. So my inner being is attempting something which is at cross purposes with the experiment of the commune.”
The silence was broken by the Buddha who said, “Go on and tell me what troubles you?”
Lily narrated what she saw the other day in the dream and the Buddha made her feel completely at rest during the narration. By the end of the narration Lily broke down with shame and did not have the guts to look up at the master.
The Buddha asked Lily, ” Did u miss a step while u were dancing and observing me at the same time, in your dream?”
Lily said, “I distinctly remember that i had not missed my step and yet i was aware of each of your expression and also my reaction at my thoughts about your perception of me. “
The Buddha said, ” Such is life. The dance beat goes on and one has to keep pace with the outer reality without missing a beat. But at the same time the mind’s awareness should not be cramped. The steps keep pace with practice but for the mind to be aware it has to be UNLOCKED and left open. Your dream is just the last stage of your process of the SCINTILLA happening. Just do your own thing but be aware of what is happening around you and that is ENLIGHTENMENT. And remember the day u realize that there are many things, like the dream, that happen to you for which you are not responsible and stop striving, u have opened up the flood gates of exalted perception. Go in Peace, and do not dwell in the dreams of your PAST and do not JUDGE that others are like this or that. Do not even try to figure out other people. Take them at their word and concentrate only to your inner voice and that is the spark. The SCINTILLA which is far precious than TIME or any material.”
Lily went back to her room. She shed something that she could not explain. But she felt lighter in her being. She is AWARE now but less SELF-CONSCIOUS.