The Great Way Is Not Difficult
John Tarrant


There is a legend in which the Buddha comes upon the mind of not picking an choosing. On the edge of his own profound change of heart, the Buddha meditates all night under a fig tree, and an images comes to mind.

He remembers that, as a child, while his father plowed a filed in an annual ceremony, he was left in the shade of a rose apple tree. At this moment the boy has no minders around to distract him; he is under no one's gaze. His father is absorbed in plowing. The air is pleasant, the leaf light green, the shade cool,. With nothing in his mind, the child does not want or fear anything. The sun seems to stand still. It is delicious to be alive. He feels a happiness not born of desire. The boy moves his eyes over the whole field. He can find no resistance, no tension, no inner conflict; everything is sufficient. There is nothing to add, nothing to subtract.

And it occurred to him that exploring this approach, which he discovered in childhood, might be the direction in which enlightenment lies.

John Tarrant, The Great Way Is Not Difficult,
The Best Buddhist Writing 2005, Melvin McLeod, editor
Shambhala, 2005, page 3.

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Updated Thursday, December 15, 2005 8:36 PM
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