This afternoon (at 2:18 PM to be precise) I thought about the Buddha sitting under the Bodhi tree for 48 days straight. I was driving back from grocery shopping at Price Choppers, which I doubt had anything to do with it, and this weird question popped into my head, made weirder still by the fact that I don’t ordinarily associate shopping at Price Choppers with spiritual questions, least of all with the Buddha.
Here is a transcript.
Maybe the Buddha sat under the Bodhi tree for 48 days not to seek enlightenment but because he had nothing better to do and no reason to do it. Perhaps he was clinically depressed like me. Maybe having looked in vain for every conceivable purpose for life under the sun, he hoped to find it in the shade. Who knows, maybe he was just sick and tired of running around so he sat down until something better came along, and nothing did.
Imagine, 48 days!
Sometime during those interminable 48 days it must have occurred to him that he in fact he had the right answer all along, before he ever sat down under that goddamn tree; there really was no point to ANYTHING. I mean, if sitting under a tree for 48 days doing nothing doesn’t teach you the meaninglessness of life, what does?
Having had this brilliant realization, he got up.
Big mistake! Right away some spiritual groupies attached themselves to him, he became a busy sage, he started a big-ass religion, he became god. Busy, busy, busy. Oh for those blissful quiet days under that tree…
Poor Buddha -- had it all right when he sat down, got it all wrong when he got up.
The Kvetching Factory
"Start every day with a smile and get it over with" (W.C. Fields)