From the Buddha i have yet to learn: there is a way out of suffering.
An eager disciple approached the Buddha one night in a dream: Master, i have meditated for 10 years; i take five breaths an hour, i contemplate the flow of my emotion unperturbed, and my desires i direct whichever way is best. But now i must let go of even this, must i not?
That is my teaching, replied the Buddha. But you mustn’t abandon your self as i did—continue climbing instead and find that which made you find your self.
What is this higher realm you speak of? asked the disciple, amazed.
I do not know, replied the Enlightened one.
Then the Buddha woke up, and the dream vanished.
An eager peasant journeyed from a distant land to hear the Buddha speak, but when e arrived 10,000 Bodhisattvas were already sitting at the Master’s feet, so e crouched down behind the last of the disciples, almost out of earshot. When the Buddha said “There is no self” the peasant heard “Know thyself!” and immediately left for the forest where e meditated 10 years long on every subtle movement within es soul.
When e returned, 100,000 Bodhisattvas had assembled around the Enlightened One and e could hear even less. So as the Buddha expounded on the causes of suffering, the peasant understood one ought to study the nature of causes, and returning to the forest, for 10 more years e examined the minutest transformations of es soul.
The third time e sought the Buddha, 1,000,000 Bodhisattvas surrounded the Teacher of Dharma, and so the peasant made out but two words: “loving kindness”, yet left in despair not knowing to which of es 100 different loves and 1000 forms of kindness the Buddha referred.
Many years later a travelling monk brought back news of a distant land where everyone from the youngest babe to the most hardened criminal had become perfectly happy saints because a simple peasant upon returning from a long trip had spoken a single word to one of the guards at the border.
An artist had been commissioned by the King to paint the Buddha. After many weeks of continuous work, the artist proudly presented es portrait to the King. The King exclaimed: “You haven’t painted anything!” The artist replied: “Indeed, the Buddha has no self.”
When the Buddha saw the portrait he smiled and then chided the artist: “I see your self all over the painting!” The artist replied: “Indeed, my self also is the Buddha!”