Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The thirst for spirituality. Part IX

There is something spiritual and magic about old book stores and libraries.
Maybe is just the smell of old books bringing back forgotten childhood memories, or maybe there is a deeper spiritual connection I can’t explain, but every time I am in a library I feel connected to a higher wisdom and my creativity and inspiration take flight.
There was a public library by my apartment building where I would spend hours every day. I would take my stack of books go outside in the park, lay down under a majestic eucalyptus tree and read until my back start hurting.

In that park many days I would see this little old man meditating under a tree.
It was an intriguing little man with a strange smile on his face, like the cat that had swallowed a canary. It was a smile of total satisfaction coming from inside and it ticked me off with its serenity. One day I went and sat next to him in the shade. I said:
- Hi! Are you a Buddhist?
- Yes.
- What kind of Buddhist are you, what do you believe in?
- God.
- Which God?
He stopped for a moment and pierced me with his little biddy eyes.
- I don’t know… how many Gods are there?
- Well, uh, there is only one God.
- So, isn’t that a silly question to ask?
- No, not at all. There are thousand of religions and each one claims to represent the real God. So which one is the real one?
- Do you have a mother?
- Of course I have a mother. Isn’t that a silly question to ask?
- No, not really. There are millions of mothers out there. How do you know which one is your real mother.
So the little man is playing tough. I had to stop and think. Where is the catch? Ok. Lets play along and see where this goes.
- My mother is my mother because she made me.
- So, how come you don’t know who your father is?
I had this strange feeling that I was about to get a higher understanding, of something that had eluded me so many times before. I stood there my wheels spinning at hyper speed.
- You think, you can choose God like you choose a pair of shoes? …You choose the right one and you go straight to heaven, you choose the wrong one and you go straight to hell? …There is no choosing. Nobody has God. No religion, no country, no race no man has God. God has all of us, the Christians, the Buddhist, the Muslims, the Hindus and even the ones that don’t believe in God at all. We don’t make God, God made us. We don’t choose God, God chose us.
Well, I had to admit. That was something I never considered. There is no choice. God is my father and I couldn’t change that even if I wanted to. It is that it is and that’s all it is.
A question still remains. So I asked:
- So how does one relate to God?
- How do you relate to your mother?
- I love her more than anything in this world.
- Well if that’s good enough for your mother I believe it’s good enough for your father too.
- You don’t understand. It is not that simple… What should one think of God and how… how do you believe in God?
- It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter what you believe about God or if you believe in God. What matters is what God believes about you. The question is not do you believe in God. The question is, does God believe in you?
I had no idea, no clue, no answer. I felt like a piƱata after a Mexican birthday party.
My head, hurt, my heart ache. I stood up and stumble my way back home.
This little guy had just shattered my whole belief system in 5 minutes. I had to get some

I recouped really fast and went back to my new find teacher armed with even more
questions, battling over every argument, from philosophy to politics.
He was a hard cookie to break.
Many time I would find him meditate and out of respect I would sit down beside him and
pretend that I was meditating too, although I would just sit there with my eyes closed
waiting for him to start talking.
One of those days sitting there “meditating” I let my mind wonder and in a flash of
lightning I had the revelation of God. It was such a shock that my whole body reacted
and I believe I groan so loud that I wake him up. I stood there stoned looking at him,
tears rolling down my face. He smiled at me and I knew he knew. I smiled back and he
knew that I knew.

After a life time of searching, after crossing an ocean and thousand of miles, finally I
found God. Not in a church, not in a bible but right here in my hart. He was always there,
all I had to do is say:
- Hi God!


dextro said...

We often got confused by a silly question about where is god, how can I find god? while actually god is always with us. You don't need to look for him cause he will come and look for you. All you need is believe in Him.

This Brazen Teacher said...


Descartes said...

This is a good post. I Grok the whole God is inside you thing. Most people can't accept this concept-they think a church is building and god is a set of rituals.

Allan Tavarro said...

lol..veri nice post....i dont really understand why buddha always wearing those pajamas!...?but thanks for commenting my site..and nice layout too!

krzkrzkrz said...

Very enlightening post. I could never have a serious conversation with a stranger, like you did with the monk. I think im just too biased with my personal opinions.

madhollywood said...

I have had my spiritual thirst quenched, but now I have the hunger.

Lydia said...

A marvelous post. I loved the description of the little man, your enlightenment out in nature with him beside you although God came to you alone in that moment.

Churches that think they are the only route to God are the ones I detoured away from decades ago!

flight risk said...

At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.
Lao Tzu

Johannes said...

Thanks for your great thoughts!

This article is a must read for every confession, religion and believer!

There would be much more peace (of mind and between people) if everyone will discover the god inside.

All my best

bradacus said...

One of the most inspiring posts I ever read.

Isolde said...

"The question is not do you believe in God. The question is, does God believe in you?"

What a great question. I have never thought of it like this before, and I wonder how you can tell, is it through the life you lead, the people you meet, the things you get or don't get?

Wonderful and very thought provoking post - thanks for sharing

adminpn said...

where you from buddah?

Jason The Bald Guy said...

one word... whoa...

veggieinlove said...

Thank you for sharing such a wonderful encounter! My tears started rolling down when I read the lines:
"- I love her more than anything in this world."
"- Well if that’s good enough for your mother I believe it’s good enough for your father too."

This 'God' reminds me of the conversations I had with my friend who is a dedicated Zen Buddhist. He would correct me straight away when I used the word 'soul' saying "we don't use and believe in soul in Buddhism", not to mention his strong reaction to the word God. It makes me wonder how he would respond to this post!

Buddha said...

God is an experience not a dogma.
To try to capture God in words is like trying to capture the ocean in a bottle.
People get attached to words, icons and idols because it is simplistic and gives them the false illusion that they know the truth, that they are in control.
Your relationship with God is your relationship with God.
What you have is what you get!