Nah, srsly. Troopers the lot of ya.
I know you’re like, “but I don’t know anything?” or “what’s a ‘buddhism’ anyways?” or “but why is bhante talking so funny?”
But there’s like a gazillion people on this planet, and we’re all just looking to be happy, right? Strewth! The world is so weird and everyone is so weird and I’m so weird. Wait—is weird normal? Is being lost, like, life or something?
Perhaps if we smell a path, it’s enough. When you go for a walk in the aussie bush, it’s kind of intimidating. There’s like, a lot of trees and stuff, and it’s not obvious where you’ll end up. You can’t really see a path, you just reckon there’s probly one there somewhere.
It’s not uncommon to find the path just … peters out. You thought it was going somewhere, but nah. And it’s all pretty and stuff, flowers and clear sky. But there’s flies and the sun is getting hotter and everything scratches. Oh yeah, and we don’t like to say it out loud, but every step there just might be one of those friendly critters Oz is so loved for. You know, like our local death adder. Huh, I wonder why they call it that?
It goes on and on. It never seems to stop. Life, right? It’s so weird, no-one ever says, well, how about we all just take a nice little holiday from existence. Nope, there it is, one breath after another. And it’s all the same.
Except it isn’t.
You’re like stuck in the deepest quagmire, and you can’t see a way forwards or back.
But you’re there, you know there was a path, and you really don’t want to go back. So you commit: pushing through the agony. Believe it, you know you can! It’s only pain! Roar your lion’s roar! Vanquish your doubts and become more than you possibly imagined!
But the strangest thing about the path: it really does take you somewhere. For whatever reason, there is some kind of meaning, some pattern in all the madness. Why is it there? I don’t know. But crikey, it’s nice.
You step out of the bush and all of a sudden there is peace. Who knew? (The Buddha. The Buddha knew.) And it is nothing that you can explain or communicate, you can only live it.
And all those small strange things about the world that made you so mad, so confused, so upset. They’re all quite lovely in their own way. All part of the tapestry. They’re still there, they still matter; but other things matter more.
So yeah. Youse are all really great. Don’t forget it. You’re all on this path. It’s weird and winding and wise. And who knows, one day, lost in the deepest wilderness, you might come across a pair of mad monks.