Drop all ambition to be the first to become enlightened. There is no individual enlightenment. All individuals are joined together with the whole.

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 and bliss.

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 you.

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.

A Buddhist Tale
--- Sent in by Patricia Love --- California

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