Once there was a happy Buddha named Bobo. He loved to smile and laugh, and wherever he went he spread joy.
This was his job. As a result, he received whatever he needed, whenever he needed it, All he had to do was to
remember to be thankful.
However, as time went by, he began to take what he received for granted and forgot to be thankful. One day One
day he found himself before the throne of Most High.
“Well, Bobo,” said Most High, “you are forgetting to be thankful.”
“I’m so sorry,” Bobo replied. “I promise I’ll never do it again.”
“Well,” said Most High kindly, ”You’ll get another chance, but if you begin to forget again, the law of
reciprocity will have its way with you. There’s nothing I can do about that”
“Oh,” said Bobo, “Ah. Hum.”
“You remember, Bobo, reciprocity means that what goes around comes around. Sometimes it’s called the golden
rule,” Most High added.
“I won’t forget again,” said Bobo sincerely. And for some time he was extra careful to remember to be
thankful. But in spite of his good intentions, he began forgetting again. One day he forgot to say “Thank
you,” to the woman who was giving him some water to drink.
“Bobo, you have lost your awareness,” Most High said sadly. “You forgot to stay present in the moment. I am
sorry to say, you will completely forget you are a Buddha. That will continue only until such time as you
remember enough of what it means to be a Buddha again.”
“What does that mean?” Bobo asked, but already he was back where he had been. Now he wondered why he was there
and what he was supposed to be doing. He shook his head and sighed. “I must spend my days remembering
something, But I’m not sure what.”
With a vague feeling that something was missing from his life, Bobo wandered the streets. He had to rummage in
trash cans for bits of leftover food and clothing and huddle on street corners trying to stay warm. He grew
more and more miserable.
One day, he found a small grey alley cat. Starving and angry, she was even worse off than he was. She almost
bit his hand when he offered her some of the half eaten sandwich he’d found in the trash. He felt sorry for
her. His chest began to feel warm from the inside out. His heart was expanding. What could he do to help?
He spoke to her softly. Eventually she came closer. Finally she crawled into his coat for warmth. As time went
by, he nursed her back to health, sharing his food, talking to her and petting her when he felt lonely.
He found a bird with a broken wing fluttering on the sidewalk. Tenderly he picked it up. Somehow with very
little effort, the wing went back in place. He carried the pigeon in his picket until it could fly, but by
then it was used to his pocket and liked being there when it wasn’t aloft.
His collection of animals grew. He carried a mouse in another pocket, a small garter snake he’d found half
dead outside a pet shop coiled around his wrist. A mangy dog adopted him and grew progressively better looking
with feeding and brushing. It wasn’t always easy to find enough food, but he persevered. Sometimes he went
without food himself to feed them. He didn’t mind. He’d just pat his round belly and say, well, I have plenty
One day he found an abandoned hut in the woods. He filled it with guests that he fed, watered, and petted.
Some came and went, though his original few remained. He spent his time caring for those who came his way. By
now he had forgotten he was supposed to remember something. Still, he was content in his life.
Much to his surprise, one day he found himself in front of Most High. “Sometimes it helps to get practice in
what you forget,” Most High said. All at once Bobo remembered he was a Buddha. It made him very happy.
“Thank you,” he said. “Now can I go back and take care of my friends?”
Most High smiled and nodded.
Instantly Bobo was back in his hut with all the furred and feathered friends he loved. The only difference was
now he remembered why he was there. And that made him happier than ever.