One evening, soon after the Buddha's enlightenment, a man named Dona was walking down a rural road in northern India when he saw the Buddha walking toward him. Dona knew nothing about the Buddha but was nevertheless struck by the radiance surrounding this individual. I've never seen a mortal being look so joyful and serene, he thought, so when the Buddha came close enough to converse, Dona couldn't resist asking, "Are you, by chance, a spirit?" 

"No," said the Buddha.

"Then are you an angel?" asked Dona.

"No," said the Buddha.

"Are you, perhaps, a god?" asked Dona.

"No," said the Buddha.

"Well, what are you?" asked Dona.

The Buddha replied. "I am awake."


Quoted in: Jack Maguire. (2001). Essential Buddhism. A Complete Guide to Beliefs and Practices. N.Y.: Pocket Books. P.1-2.

If you want to awaken all of humanity, then awaken all of yourself. (...) truly, the greatest gift you have to give is that of your own self-transformation. Hua Hu Ching, quoted after: Novak Philip, The World's Wisdom. P.170. One God Note #733, 2016-12-04.

The late Simone Weil, a profound chronicler of the spiritual life, at first kept herself at a distance from God.  But she had developed a habit, whenever afflicted by her violent headaches, of saying the verses of George Hervert's poem 'Love."  At the time, she thought only that it was a beautiful poem that helped her keep her mind off her pain.  But then something happened.  She was caught off guard by a presence.  'Without my knowing it,' she wrote to a friend, 'the recitation had the virtue of a prayer.  It was during one of these recitations that...Christ himself came down and took possession of me.' She continued, 'I had never seen the possibility of...a real contact, person to person, here below, between a human being and God.'  But then it happened.  Prayer became possible."  Jones, Timothy. The Art of Prayer:  A Simple Guide. P.61

Dreams (...) come to man for a reason; their purpose is to awaken in him a realization of the dream nature of the universe and of the method of its operation. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.237.

Difficulties come to us in order to awaken us to the realization that this life is a dream. This lesson we all have to learn. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.240.

When you are awake in God He will show you that you are unchanged, even though you have played countless parts in His earth drama. Paramahansa Yogananda, Man's Eternal Quest, P.241.

"What is serious to men is often very trivial in the sight of God.  What in God might appear to us as "play" is perhaps what He Himself takes most seriously.  At any rate the Lord plays and diverts Himself in the garden of His creation, and if we could let go of our own obsession with what we think is the meaning of it all, we might be able to hear His call and follow Him in His mysterious, cosmic dance.  We do not have to go very far to catch echoes of that game, and of that dancing.  When we are alone on a starlit night; when by change we see the migrating birds in autumn descending on a grove of junipers to rest and eat; when we see children in a moment when they are really children; when we know love in our own hearts; or when, like the Japanese pot Basho we hear an old frog land in a quiet pond with a solitary splash - at such times the awakening, the turning inside out of all values, the "newness," the emptiness and the purity of vision that make themselves evident, provide a glimpse of the cosmic dance." Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation. P.296. Submitted by Gary Horn.

Enlightenment is nothing but awakening. (...) You can wake up any moment. Osho, Autobiography of a Spiritually Incorrect Mystic, P.78.

The paramahamsa (awakened being) is like a five-year-old child. He sees everything filled with Consciousness. (...) he cannot distinguish between a stranger and a relative. He isn't particular about worldly relationships. (...) Sometimes the paramahamsa behaves like a madman. (...) Ramakrishna, quoted in: Harvey, Andrew (Ed). (2001). Teachings of the Hindu Mystics, P.105.

Last updated: 2016/12/04

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