Evan Sholle, age 7 
Ossining, New York
“The Buddha was a guy who sat under the Bodhi tree until he understood the meaning of life.”

Caroline Kornfield, age 8 
Woodacre, California 
“I think Buddha is light. In this light is a triangle of all-colored light, and inside the light is a human-animal-sea-creature-bird-Being.”

Jan Keddy, age 5 
Ontario, Canada 
“I don’t even know what Buddha is.”

Brooke Heinz, age 6 
Lexington, Kentucky
“He’s a good meditator. He’s the first Buddhist. He’s very special. He’s dead. He’s a person.”

Steven Whitacre, age 9 
Los Angeles, California
“Well, he was a prince in India who became enlightened. He sat under a tree and meditated and after meditating for a while, he became smart or wise, because he knew the Four Truths—is that what it’s called? And all his powers from his pretty dancers and musicians could not make up for all the bad things in the world.”

Bobby Franklin, age 6
Albuquerque, New Mexico
“Buddha’s a smoky incense thing my mom lights up and it smells good.”

Caitlin Heinz, age 9
Lexington, Kentucky
“It’s a man that lived a long time ago. He was kind of fat. He was nice and he taught people a lot of good things. He’s like our god. He’s like a grandpa because he was nice to children, like my grandpa. He was so special that when he died people burned him and put him to ashes. They put the ashes in special bottles and gave them to all the students. My mommy and daddy got some.”

Stephanie Newman, age 9 
Alexandria, Virginia
“That’s a person who meditates.”

Adam Baraz, age 7 
San Francisco, California 
“Buddha is to me like somebody who is pure. He’s not like a god, he has a good heart and he questions. I really think he’s just a man and he’s just natural, I mean, he’s just himself. People look up to him because he’s so talented in many ways.”

Kelvin Leong, age 8 
Rye, New York 
“He’s a Chinese god and he keeps the ghosts away.”

Silvie Senauke, age 3
Berkeley, California

“I don’t know. The Buddha is a Buddha.” When asked again she responded: “I don’t know and I already told you that.”

Tseten Zalichln, age 8
Takoma Park, Maryland
“Having kindness in everyone’s heart and gentleness to all.”

Sonia Shechet Epstein, age 7
New York, New York

“It’s a strange person that meditates a lot. It’s weird. You’d better not write all that. It meditates a lot. That’s the main thing.”