The Buddha is a Wheel

Wonders were around her everyday and she found herself locked in contemplation of a mustard seed. She rolled it between the folds of her palm, pinched her fingers together and caught it in her life-line.

One of her students came near her. “What are you doing?” She encouraged familiarity, but even so this was a little brusque.

“I study,” she said. “Go you, and do likewise,” and the student went away, amazed and fretful.

Over the walls of her garden the silver bells of the city were ringing. It was the hour of evening prayers. Inside the house she could hear the floorboards creak as one by one her students sank to their knees, lifted their faces. Still she sat beneath her trees, still she watched the seed within her hand.

The housemaid came to the door. “Mistress, the prayers…”

“I pray,” she said.

“Outside?” said the maid, scandalized.

“Even here,” she said. “Go you, and think on salvation,” and the maid went away, shocked and angry.

Night fell and they came to watch her, singly and in groups, standing quiet on the porch. Their voices came to her like the bells, the soft plash of a water clock.