I want to find God

By Paulo Coelho

A man arrived, exhausted, at a monastery.

‘I have been looking for God for a long time,’ he said. ‘Perhaps you can teach me the right way to find Him.’

‘Come in and see our monastery,’ said the monk, taking his hand and leading him into the chapel. ‘Here you can see some of the finest works of art of the sixteenth century, portraying the life of the Lord and His glory amongst men.’

The man waited while the monk explained each of the beautiful paintings and sculptures adorning the chapel. Afterwards, he asked again:

‘Everything I have seen is very beautiful, but I would like to learn the right way to find God.’

‘Ah, God!’ exclaimed the monk. ‘You’re quite right, yes, God!’

And he led the man into the refectory, where the monks’ supper was being prepared.

‘Look around you. Supper will be served shortly, and you are invited to join us. You can listen to the reading of the Scriptures while you satisfy your hunger.’

‘But I’m not hungry and I have read all the Scriptures,’ insisted the man. ‘I want to learn. I came here to find God.’

The monk again took the stranger by the hand and they began strolling around the cloisters surrounding a lovely garden.

‘I ask my monks to keep the lawn well trimmed and to remove any dead leaves from the water in that fountain you can see in the middle. I think this is probably the cleanest monastery in the whole region.’

The stranger walked on a little way with the monk, then he excused himself, saying that he had to leave.

‘Aren’t you staying for supper?’ asked the monk.

While he was getting back on his horse, the stranger said:

‘Congratulations on your lovely chapel, your welcoming refectory and your impeccably clean courtyard. However, I have travelled many leagues in order to learn how to find God, not to be dazzled by efficiency, comfort and discipline.’

A lightning bolt fell from the sky, the horse neighed loudly, and the earth shook. Suddenly, the stranger tore off his disguise, and the monk found himself standing before Jesus.

‘God is wherever you allow Him to enter in,’ said Jesus. ‘But you closed the door of this monastery to him by using rules, pride, wealth and ostentation. The next time a stranger comes wanting to find God, do not show him what you have achieved in His name; listen to the question and try to answer it with love, charity and simplicity.’

And with that, he disappeared.

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  1. how to find god!
    do we really need to ask that question?
    who possess the knowledge to guide us?

    i think that monks, priests and sheik are the last to ask such a question… they know god by verses, words, rules they have to follow… but the true god can only be found in our hearts… using our mind, using our senses… feel his might, and mercy.

    very inspiring … thanks dear

  2. Violeta says:

    Hi B.L. and everybody, it’s good to see we are in a quest – eventually we’ll find what we are looking for, with open eyes and open hearts. “Be like the children, because theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven” – not easy today when ambition pursues us, but wasn’t easy in the olden times either, when hunger, slavery and death were threatening. Each time has its burden, but each time has its blessing as well. Choose to see the blessing.

    Rahul, this is for you: nobody said that the road is nice and the cross is easy to carry. But what you could do now is focus on one thing at a time: your studies when you study, your family when you celebrate…and enjoy all that.

    I have struggled a lot getting back on my road, we have ups and downs, time to fight and time to rest. I learned a lot from Paulo. And, I have friends by my side always when I need them. Thanks God for that!

    That’s why I write on this blog – can’t keep the love I receive, we need to give it away so that it multiplies. Unlike the earth laws, we can’t run out of love – the more we give, more is produced: the greatest alchemy :)

    Have a nice day friends, and don’t forget to smile today :)

  3. catherine forsley says:

    i am absolutely in love with your books- they have changed my life…..i am a writer/model/actress and one of my dreams is of one day meeting you…..
    i am truly Maria in ELEVEN MINUTES….how did you know? You have an incredible spritual presence over this world and i cherish each word you write…..
    you are my mentor and inspiration…..

    breathing is wishing….


  4. B.L. says:

    Dear Violeta,
    How right you are. I hope that most of the monks are like those you wrote about.
    However I’m convinced that the most beautiful thing is when one is opened to God. May it be a simple person, a monk or even a temple…
    When Heaven and Earth meet that is the true miracle on Earth..


  5. ragy says:

    i agree with the idea the God is present everywhere , but in my opinion ,God is most present in what we love the most , in our happiest moments , in our greatest memories , even in the music we love!!
    finding God is easy , and once you find him , you will experience a great deal of happiness and hope , but are you really ready to find God , and do what is worth to find him , even if this means forgoing things you like?

  6. aditya says:

    Hi ! yagna ! freinds ! warriors,

    God is not in everything, God is everything, good and bad too. But beware ! if God appears to u in the form of a mad elephant and ……… u have any doubt, trust your instincts which r also part of the same god. a liitle compassion, a little help, by us in our immediate environemnt will make this whole earth a peaceful and beautiful place.

    paluo – do u see any pattern in recent floodings of Mumbai, last year, London, new York, is it pay back time for us humans, for having mercilessly exploited ( developed ??? ha ha ) the nature. nature gave us brains so that we could ‘see’ and look what we have done.


  7. rahul says:

    i think that i have some work to do.it comes to my mind but later my interest in that work decreases.sometimes i think that my work is to do the academic studies only.
    but when i do some other work like celebrating any event with my family , a voice from inside that this is life. so i’m unable to find out what’s going on? please help me.sir,can i get your e-mail address to be in contact with u via e-mail?

  8. Leaf says:

    Hello, beautiful people all.
    This reminds me that my friendly Jehovah Witness, contests me to keep rules, to get to heaven…Peotr, I say, you are in my heaven, yet I am not in yours?
    My one rule is Love, and even I cannot judge who has loved and who has not.

    Jesus said to Peter, that when he (the church) is older, it will go where he doesn’t want to go.
    That was after three times being told to feed the lambs.

    I wish everyone here a lovely, ‘lucky’ day….and ask us all, with the love we have here, to feed a few lambs, with the godlight from our hearts today.
    Because we are the vision of a peaceful world.
    And only Love prevails.


  9. rahul says:

    Hello Sir,
    This is my first writing talk with u.I read ur article about finding god.I want to know whether it is possible to find god?
    Please answer to my question.

  10. Serene says:

    Is the monastery on exhibition? Hmm maybe Jesus didn’t stay for supper because he wasn’t into vegetables.

    Methinks there is only 1 path as at any moment in time we can only be doing what we are doing and thinking what we are thinking and feeling how we are feeling. When we think there are many available paths they may be available yes, but untrodden, and any path that is untrodden isn’t a path (it’s a pathway), and I am inspired by the path you took, even the prison parts and all, and the doing nothing parts, and the solitary parts.

    Lovely is the man who knows what he wants. Have a pleasant evening all.

  11. Alexander says:

    sometimes I think that is unnecessary to try to find God when God really is within us….Great History!!! I love it!

  12. Yajna says:

    Dearest paulo,

    i believe, that God is everywhere. In every plant, in every rock, in every particle in the air, but most of all, he lives inside of each and everyone of us. Lots of us, do get lost, and lose our path to God, and even though i know that every answer does reside within you, sometimes you do need help. Its also true that many people don’t listen.. They preach, about God, but they don’t listen. Which is not good at all. There’s no use saying you’ve done, this, this, and this in the name of God, if you don’t try to help a lost man in front of you. Just like how, there’s no point if you worship God all day, and then you treat other people terribly. I know many people like that. Who pray for ages, but they treat others so badly, and talk about how religious they are, so that society is pleased with them. Its horrible. Getting to God starts from within you.. God is an action.. He just is.. And anyone can start by being good. Doing the right thing and helping others.. And mostly, by just loving. Just love. :)
    God is everywhere.. You just have to look closely and you’l see it. Everywhere. I love God :)
    and i love you paulo :)

    Thank you for being.

  13. Alchem200 says:

    It is soooo…true.The divine power is so unpredictable,manifesting in the least thing
    we expected.But the so called the mr.righteous people tried to keep the power
    in the nice buildings of churches which have
    been suffocated by rules and regulations,
    self respect(or rather grandiosity) beliving
    they got all the keys that lead to heaven…
    And many things…
    But mercifuly Jesus is every where .Always there when we need him.Heis not to the few
    who read bible thousand times,but to all the humbles including the shepherds who belive in simplicity….Praise God.
    Thanx paulo.

  14. Violeta says:

    Dear B.L.,I have met different monks – ones who listen to you and spread happiness illuminating their surrounding. They don’t say they know everything, don’t offer answers to your questions but pray God to help you find your way and remind you to pray, too. I remember a woman who was living in a monastery (not sure she was a nun), she even prepared us coffee, let us smoke on the balcony overlooking the montains (we were very young and quite crazy) and chatted friendly with us. I don’t remember much of what she said but I still feel some calmness and joy whan I recall that visit.

    I wish you and other people find the joy and peace you are looking for, and remember – we choose what to see. I vote for your right choice.

  15. fLUXman says:

    well was Jesus so blind that he could not find himself in every action,deed,thoughts of the monks at the monastery ?
    my humble observation is that we all are energies resonating at different energies. GOD is the vibration that will make us one vibration.
    if GOd is everywhere then why look for him, have we become so insensitive???
    bo0om paulo

  16. jose says:

    cause people never learn when they’re told, …they have to find out themselves.. hehe. thanks for the inspiration paolo!!

  17. Maria says:

    I don’t believe anyone can LEARN how to find God, it’s a process…hopefully it comes when you start knowing yourself.

  18. B.L. says:

    That is the kind of a monk I met to most of the times.
    I belived so strongly that they can show me the way.
    I however found my way again in stars, in the sand at the seashore, in the rythm of the waves… and newly in my love.
    Thanks God Who appears in everything and we just have to be opened!


  19. vishesh says:

    a true message,but people never listen…