Thought for the Day

Wednesday 3 April

The Buddhas do but tell the way, it is for you to labor at the task.

— The Buddha

Eknath Easwaran's Commentary

Spiritual teachers are like signposts pointing the way to immortality, but it is we who must make the journey. This is quite reasonable. After all, when we pass a signpost on the freeway, we don’t expect it to get into the driver’s seat and do the driving while we lie down in the back to take a nap. On the first half of the spiritual journey, we cannot expect other people to pick us up and carry us along. It is up to us to meditate regularly, and practice the allied disciplines.

Sri Ramakrishna says that the first part of the trip is the “way of the monkey.” The little baby monkey has to hold on for dear life while his mother swings from tree to tree. If the little one loses his grip, he’ll fall and hurt himself. But the second half is the “way of the cat.” The little kitten just sits there on the road looking cute and helpless, saying, “mew, mew, mew,” and the mother cat picks it up by the scruff of its neck and takes it to safety. It is only on the second half of the journey that we are carried by a power higher than ourselves.

The Thought for the Day is today's entry from Eknath Easwaran's Words to Live By.