My journey of seeking the answer began at the university, and proceeded on to the library and then the seminary. I lived the devout life for many years. One day word came that the Buddha had been found. I traveled years more, over land and sea and trail, on foot and horse and by every vehicle, by day and night and in storm and fair weathers until finally I arrived at the place where the Buddha was. I waited at the gate, daily supplicating the guardian servants for admittance until, finally, many months later, I was granted an audience with the holy one.
I was conducted to a garden gate. I was instructed to enter when I was ready, and left there alone. I gathered myself, I centered myself, and when the holy Om resonated in my being I entered.
My first sight of the Buddha dissembled all my preparations and I was suddenly adrift. He was peeing in the garden.
The first odd thought, sprung unbidden into my suddenly unsettled mind, seemed irrelevant and nonsensical, a product of my derangement;
“My God, He has a bladder! He has urges he must satisfy! He is… he is… he is peeing!”
The Buddha saw me then and, arranging himself, beckoned to me and settled himself on a cushion beneath the Bodhi tree. Stupefied and frozen, absent of the presence of mind to even perform the simple act of courtesy and seat myself in his presence, I gaped like a fool before him as a question followed my first thought as if on a tether – a question I had previously held a thousand certain answers to: “What makes Him any different then from me?”
I had not spoken a word. Yet he focused his eyes upon me and said simply, “That is a very good question.”
He regarded me for a moment further and then signaled for a servant to show me out.
When the servant’s hand gently touched me on the shoulder it happened. The lotus bloomed; time disappeared; heaven arrived. I had my answer:
“Nothing. Nothing, nothing, nothing… nothing at all.”