Peace for the Soul

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Once upon a time there was a Buddhist monk who lived secluded in a small hut in the forest for many years. He meditated while sitting and lying down. He was always mindful of his thoughts, striving for the right knowledge, the right attitude, the right speech, the right action and the right pursuit. He read the spiritual scriptures everyday, awakening his spiritual energy through mantras, visualizations, and spiritual songs, walking in the forest three times a day, and doing good to all beings.

When he was old, he heard about the golden Buddha who lives in the west, behind the mountains, where the sun goes down. Whoever visits this Buddha and receives his blessing, comes to paradise after death.

The old monk set off immediately. He donated his money to the hungry and sick in Africa, grabbed a small bundle of the necessities of life, closed his hut and wandered in the direction of the setting sun.

When he reached the mountains, he met an old woman with a dog. The dog was very anxious, but the calm radiance of the old monk made him calm and develop confidence. The old man put a hand on the dog's head, stroking it and all fears disappeared. The dog became happy and peaceful.

The old woman felt lonely and asked the monk if he could take her along on his journey. So they went together for a while. They talked on the hike and had a lot of fun together. Time went by very quickly.

One evening, the old man sat on the top of a mountain and meditated on the setting sun. He looked at the yellow-red glowing sun, saw how it slowly disappeared behind the horizon, and became one with nature all around. He felt the wind, the mountains, the grass, the stars, and heard the sounds of the animals. He thought the name of the Buddha as a mantra and visualized it in his paradise.

At night he dreamed of the Buddha. And when he woke up in the morning, he felt the energy of the Buddha in him. He had become a Buddha. He opened his eyes and recognized his world as paradise. He had attained the Paradise Consciousness. The whole world around him radiated light. All things shone out of themselves. They radiated love, peace and happiness. The old man suddenly had light in him and light around him.

He lived in the light and radiated light. He passed this light on to all the people he met. Everyone was happy. He returned to his hut and taught the people who visited him the name of the Buddha. The name was "Amitabha". Whoever thinks of this name as a mantra and feels really connected to the Buddha, absorbs the energy of the Buddha and grows into the light. Whoever believes in paradise after death, also comes to paradise. And if he is constantly on his spiritual path, then his world is slowly turning more and more into a paradise and he becomes a happy Buddha.

(retold from a Vietnamese fairy tale)

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