We were at a restaurant, waiting at the cash to pay for our meal. My 5 year old son notices on the counter the statue of a “funny” looking man, sitting with his legs crossed and his fat tummy exposed for the world to see. “Mommy, who’s that”? It’s Buddha, the Chinese “Fat Buddha” , answered my wife. “Who’s Boda?” he then responds.
As we were driving on our way back home, unsatisfied with our initial answer, our son kept asking questions about this strange man. Who is he, where is he from, what does he do, is he alive? And the questions kept coming. Unable to keep up with his questions, we changed course and headed to the bookstore to find a book that would have the proper answers. We headed for the “Religion” section at Indigo, started browsing through the books and eventually found Buddha, His Life and His Teaching, by Walter Henry Nelson. We weren’t looking for a spiritual guide, or a “western-washed” version of Budhism, but rather simply looking for a book that could help our son, and ourselves for that matter, better understand where he comes from and get a glimpse of the journey that lead to a man’s becoming of the Buddha.
In the end it turned out to be a wonderful book that has inspired me in many ways. I’ve always been an advocate for self-control, balance, and self-perfection, and this book has fueled my passion and desire to pursue the endless journey of self-perfection. It has also made me further realize the importance of living in the moment, of being aware of yourself, your environment and of others.