Sunday, July 12, 2009

can i go to india to become a buddha?

settled well in to dissertation writing here in my hideout in southern california (in the town from which this photo here was taken). my hosts have a four-year-old daughter, for whom my robes, shaved head and life in general are a source of ongoing fascination. my first day here, unsolicited and out of the blue, she looked at me quietly for a moment and said, "i want to go to india to become a buddha. can i go to india and become a buddha?" this, despite the fact that i had told her nothing of life in india, and certainly nothing of buddhist theories of enlightenment.

she later peppered me with other questions - are there little girls like her in india with those kind of clothes, indicating my robes? do they go to school? would she have to cut off her hair?

i told her she could definitely become a buddha if she wanted to, but maybe better to try when she was a little bigger... what i did not say, but might have, was that i too want to go to india to see about becoming a buddha, but first have to finish this dissertation ...

and a little PS for anyone wondering, southern california is indeed rather warm in the summer.