DAY TWENTY-TWO: Sunday, 11th April 2010
My daughter said to me in all seriousness, “It is better NOT to have children then we can concentrate on work fully. I bet you would be a billionaire by now if you didn’t have me.”
I really cracked up laughing.
What on earth goes on in her mind, I wonder.
She says it’s true because children take too much time and effort.
So, I told her that I may become a billionaire, but I seriously doubt if I would be a good, loving and kind billionaire.
I added that she made me into a much better person and taught me how to care for others and I definitely much rather have that than a billion dollars.
So, off she went happily smiling to herself.
I guess, the one good thing about not having the maid around, I get to do things – every single thing – with my daughter myself, and get re-acquainted with my home.
Now, here is my DAY TWENTY-TWO :-
No. Of Prostrations: 35 (increased from 30)
Daily Sadhanas: Check and Done with Death Meditation and Dzambala Mantra.
Physical Exercise: 35 minutes
Daily Reflection from "IF NOT NOW, WHEN?" – Here we go. I close my eyes and I picked out page 019 .
Oh wow, I love this one!
“You want to be spiritual? Buy flowers for your wife. Stop nagging your husband. Take your wives out to eat. Don’t cheat on your husbands and wives, in any way.
You want the greatest practice? The greatest practice is getting behind a steering wheel and taking your mother and father out to eat.
You want the greatest mantra? The greatest mantra is, “How are you, mummy? How are you, daddy? What can I do for you?
You don’t give up your job, because you’re not rich. You keep working until you’re rich (whatever definition of rich is). It would be stupid to say, “I’m not rich, I give up”.
So how can you say, “Certain people don’t practise the Eight Verses of Transforming the Mind and therefore, I’m not going to do it”?
That’s all the more reason you should do it.
That’s all the more reason you should be involved.
That’s all the more reason you should practise”.
Personal Thoughts and Feelings:
I guess many people may have started out just like me, who bought all these great books and read them, but after reading them, I still remained the same.
I kept these great books by my bedside table, or shelves, neatly tucked like a library of greatness only to be absorbed when I have the time to take them out to read, and then after that, I would place them back where they belong, along with all the important lessons.
So, where is the real practice? What do I do for the rest of the time, when I am awake?
I sleep for about 4 hours.
But what do I do with my 20-odd hours in each day?
Do I use these waking hours to fully practise everything that I have heard, learnt and read? Or do they just remain tucked neatly into the recesses of my mind, never to see daylight?
So, what is the point of surrounding myself with great books, with wise Gurus and inspiring friends and individuals?
Did I seriously think that their tenacity, wisdom, inspiring ways and devotion would just rub off on me, without any effort coming from me? Or did I believe that just by reading them, and attending teachings, my mind would magically be ‘switched into an Enlightenment mode’?
Gosh, if there was such a thing and it worked – I would be so enlightened by now, I would not have chosen to be reincarnated as me, for sure!
Heck, I would have divorced myself too, if I were married to me!
So, what’s my point here?
We cannot get enlightened and wiser just by reading, attending classes or teachings, or just surrounding ourselves with inspiring everyday heroes.
Our real growth and improvement do not come from just hanging out with them.
Sad, but it’s true.
Yea, I know, because I just had tried about every which way just so I did not have to put in any real effort into any of it. And see where did it get me?
That’s right, nowhere.
The anger was still evident, the frustrations, the laziness and so forth.
Any real change would only come after I have begun activating everything that I have heard, studied, read and listened.
So, as painful as it may be, everything good must be cultivated and nurtured by myself, from within.
Otherwise, the books may be all well read, but inside me were all dusty and mouldy. Because I was literally rotting away from sheer inertness.
And I realised that when I was so bound and attached to my idleness, any movements at all, no matter how big or small, greatly distressed me.
And if any challenges or obstacles arose, I would be found kicking, screaming and punching the walls or furniture.
I hated any sort of disturbances to my state of complete stagnation with a vengeance.
So, the fact that I can still smile, and think of my maid’s well being instead, even when she is gone, then that's a good sign of real change taking place inside me.
I am no longer afraid of things happening to me, and that they would throw my carefully composed environment out of the window.
I can cope with it.
And that to me, is truly liberating.
I am no longer held ransom by my attachments to comforts, convenience and luxury.
They cannot make me into their slaves no more.
I remember Rinpoche always told me that the whole point of all this is to care, and always care about others. The others are always the reason why we continue to practise, and they are the very reason why we practise in the first place.
I never quite understood that.
Because every time something remotely bad or unpleasant happens to me, I’d forget caring about others, compassion and loving kindness faster than a speeding bullet.
I’d be totally and completely caught up with OH WOE IS ME! FUCK! Why the hell this has to happen to me? WHY ME?
Yes, things may have happened to me, but I made darn sure that others around me WOULD feel the after-shocks and tremors so much more than they need to.
Otherwise, I would have made sure that they also suffered the “earthquakes and storms” with me, not realising that I was, of course, the one causing all the big painful commotion for others to bear.
I was just so wrapped with myself - my suffering, my pain, my agony and my utter misery, that I became a walking natural disaster for all.
So, although I know I still have a long way to go, it is a relief to find myself not screaming, crying and dwelling in my self-piteous mode.
It is a great relief to find that I just picked up the mop, cleaned the toilets, wash and dried all my own things – without causing any ‘earthquakes and storms’ to anyone around me, not even to the walls or furniture in my home.
I guess, at the end of the day, how we cope, respond and continue is the very thing that makes us different.
We do not have to be unpleasant and make others feel just as unpleasant because we are having a bad day, or month, or even an unfortunate life.
We all have our own karma to deal with, so there is no need to add onto others’ karma.
But we can definitely help to make everyone’s journey along the way much more bearable, by starting with our own.
Practise + Practice + Consistency = Perfection!
And never give up - ever!
It is precisely because it is hard and painful that we learn, grow and develop.
Happy learning and growing, everyone!
p/s Oh by the way, if you really want to know what is the Eight Verses of Transforming The Mind? Please go into http://www.kechara.com/ or http://www.tsemtulku.com/
Yes, it is worth finding out. Believe me!