During the winter months, Sensei and the Monks retreated from the Monastery and stayed at the Puffy Cloud Lodge located on the eastern plains, below the mountains that faced the Sun.
Outside the Lodge was a large street that the Monks frequently needed to cross.
On the first day of their arrival at the Lodge, Sensei clapped twice and said, “When you meet Buddha crossing the street, let me know.”
The monks did not understand what Sensei meant and soon forgot his message.
A few days ago, Sensei clapped twice and again said, “When you meet Buddha crossing the street, let me know.”
This time, the monks realised that this was an important message for them, but they could not decipher what it meant.
Today morning, after sitting-still meditation, Head Monk bowed his head twice towards Sensei to seek permission to speak.
Sensei nodded once in return.
Head Monk bowed to Sensei, to the assembled monks and said, “Sensei, this morning I met Buddha while crossing the street.”
Sensei raised his eyebrows as a sign for Head Monk to continue speaking.
Head Monk said, “Buddha taught me three things. The first was about Awareness while crossing. He taught me how to acknowledge the street, the people around me, the faint zebra crossing and the fact that there was a small stretch on a long street to be used as a crossing.”
Sensei nodded in acknowledgement.
Head Monk continued, “Buddha taught me Mindfulness while crossing. He made me notice how my legs moved while I walked and how I reflexively looked in opposite directions to notice oncoming objects. Buddha made me count the steps I took and made me aware about my breath while I crossed. I realised that my breath changed a bit in the process.”
Sensei blinked at Head Monk and nodded.
Head Monk said, “Buddha taught me Thankfulness. He showed me how people stopped for me to cross. He made me realise that nothing obstructed my path while walking. He made me aware that there was a crossing on the street and how that was very helpful to me. Buddha made me thank the crossing for being there.”
Sensei smiled at Head Monk and asked “And who was Buddha?”
Head Monk bowed to Sensei and said, “Buddha was me. I was Buddha.”
Sensei clapped three times and said, “We need to develop Awareness, Mindfulness and Thankfulness in everything we do, no matter how insignificant. Then we become Buddha and meet him whenever we want.”
– Dedicated to Buddha.