A Western Buddhist's Travels

Sightseeing & detours on the path of enlightenment

So your life is a mess…

Almost everyone has felt that their live was in shambles at some point. Perhaps you forgot someone’s name, or worse called them by the wrong name. Or you ordered 10,000 widgets, when you meant to order 100. and now the boss is looking at you. Maybe you were driving down the road, and were day dreaming and now find you missed your turn off, 20km back. No matter what the reason is, for feeling this way, most of us can relate. The important part, is who is responsible. It’s human nature to blame someone or something else, rather than ourselves. The calling someone by the wrong name, you are cursed because one of your parents, dropped you on your head when you were a child. The 10,000 widgets, instead of 100, obviously it was a website problem, as no one in their right mind would order 10,000, daring your boss to contradict you. The missing the exit, well it was the dj on the radio station and that playlist that had you driving down the country road, like you were in West Virginia. Have you ever considered it might be you? Not being in the moment, letting your monkey mind wander around without a leash. When we make such obviously foolish mistakes, we come up with an excuse, regardless of how outrageous or feeble sounding. It takes backbone, courage, or guts, whatever you want to call it. Take responsibility for your mistake, own it, learn from it.There is a saying from P.T. Barnum, “you can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all the people all the time”. The one person you had better not fool is yourself. Buddha told us “The fool who does not admit he is a fool is the real fool”. So now that we have figured out who is responsible for this mess you are in, what do we do? Time to have a chat with the person in the mirror, you, yourself, the big I, or any other name you want for yourself.  You make your own destiny. Where you are now is the result of choices you made before, in this life or in previous ones. The choice you make now determines what you will experience in the future. You may face an immediate result of your action, as well as a karmic debt, which you will pay at some later point, or in the next life. Maybe you are saying, hold on here, I am a good person, I treat others the way I would like to be treated. So why is all this bad stuff happening to me? Past bad karma has ripened, and you are paying for your actions in a past life, or earlier in this one. The good news, just keep doing things with compassion, love, understanding and be honest about your mistakes. Sooner or later he bad will have been used up, and you will find yourself experiencing the fruits of good karma ripening. Others around us may influence us, however no person, or being can stop your practising the precepts you have undertaken, follow the Noble Eightfold Path, and develop wisdom. Keep following the path the Buddha gave us and you can and will achieve enlightenment.


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