Amy Jones had enough of her father, Reverend Jones. She decided to convert to Buddhism. One humid afternoon, she went to see Texas Buddha who was working on a blue ‘53 Ford. TB responded to her question from under the hood. “What makes you think I am a Buddhist?”

Amy tried to peer through the engine to find TB’s face. “But everyone calls you that.”

“And how is following me going to lead to your true self?”

Amy reflected for a moment, and then leaned further over the engine. “You are so wise and gentle, how can I get to be like you?”

“If you want to be wise and gentle, do not imitate another. Imitation leads only to foolishness and cruelty. Almost any religion can lead you to gentleness and wisdom if you do not allow beliefs to replace your perception nor rituals replace your creativity. Learn from others, but not to let them replace your own eyes and heart.“

“What if I don’t know my own heart?”

“For that very reason, you must stop trying to see through anyone else’s eyes. A teacher can remove obstacles, but only you can find your own heart. It is not so important which religion you pick so much as whether that religion leads to your own heart.”

“What happens after I find my heart?”

“Then you must give your heart to the world. Take whatever path you find yourself upon and widen it until it belongs to the whole world, then deepen it until it is your very life. Do this and you will be wise and gentle.”