Collaged altered book by Lani, image from PaperWhimsy
OK, so after walking the dogs, eating breakfast, I check emails and do a little surfing on the web. I stumbled on this wonderful story from two sources with the same wording (very odd). Anthony de Mello's "The Heart of the Enlightened" and Robert Allen Mitchell's "Buddha, His Life Retold" both used the same words. Hmmm. I'll tell it in my words.
Once upon a time the Buddha was being threatened with death by a bandit called Angulimal.
The Buddha calmly asked to have a dying wish. When the bandit agreed the Buddha said 'Cut off the branch of that tree.'
One slash of the bandit's sword, and the branch was off! The bandit asked what else the Buddha would like since that wasn't much of a last wish.
'Put it back again,' said the Buddha.
Now the bandit, Angulimal, laughed. That would be impossible, he said, you must be crazy!
On the contrary, said the Buddha, it is you who are crazy to think that you are mighty because you can wound and destroy. That is what children to feel powerful. The people who are truly strong are the ones who know how to create and heal.
Now isn't that good? So we should all be as creative and healing as possible. We should make lots of art, fix what is broken and alter what is begging to be altered!