Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Sanyasi and the Buddhist

It takes a special person to commit himself to the search for truth, set aside all worldly pleasures, and live a life of abstinence and meditation, surrounded by like minded evolved people. I know one such person, a sanyasi, and respect him tremendously.

But it takes a different type of person to commit her/him self to the search for truth, and continue to live in the real world, embracing all the pleasures and pains of an earthly existence- finding truth despite them and within them.

I read and think a lot about the principles of Buddhism. It is absolutely elevating and inspiring to think about how each one of us is a Buddha, how there is no God outside of us, how we have the power to change our karma, how the environment is a reflection of our own lives, and how there is abundance in the universe, waiting for us to tap into it. I often go into a trance, pondering over the beauty of this truth.

But I have a bigger task ahead, beyond the trance. As a Buddhist, I have to bring this view into my daily life, deal with issues like the effect of recession on the business, a hard-to-please customer, disgruntled employees, people who I have disappointed and people who disappoint me, my failures as a leader and my challenges as a mother.

Applying the Buddhist principles to these issues is way harder than contemplating upon them in meditation. Whereas the trance was magical, the application of these principles is scary. It requires courage to face up to my problems and to challenge each with conviction of one's own Buddhahood and faith. Each day I am faced with my weaknesses and doubts. Each day I have to counter negative defeatist thoughts and remind myself that I have the power to be whatever I desire to be regardless of who else is in my life. Each day I have to stop blaming others and take responsibility of my situation. Each day I have to stop myself from falling into my habitual escapism. Each day I have to reflect on my motives and correct them. Each day, I have to test the limits of my faith and commitment.

Who requires more courage, guts and faith- A sanyasi or a Buddhist?

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