Monday 27 August 2012

Know what you want!

I feel let down and I shouldn't.
I spent time as a Samanera Monk in the Theravedan tradition in a Wat in northern Thailand earlier this year.
I was assisted by two wonderful foreign Monks who were full of knowledge and wisdom.
However both of the Monks who were assisting in my training at the time, have left the Wat.
One dis-robed and the other has left Thailand.
I am sure they had their reasons and I am also sure they both thought very hard about leaving.
This has left me wondering now about my own commitment, even though my  practice is going well.
The Buddha said 
"be a light unto thyself"
 and not to be bothered by external nonsense, but there still seems to be a void, as I was looking forward to seeing them both on my visits to Thailand.
The Buddha said that any kind of "desire leads to suffering."
So any form of attachment causes suffering and I am feeling an attachment 

How ironic that the one major setback to humanities future development is attachment and I feel attached to two monks.
 I am so lucky to have met them and am reminded of them daily in my practice 

The decision to start a new life last year was the cause of my problems and the main problem is not knowing what we want.

We can start our new life's resolutions, our wishes, our hopes and dreams, but the secret is to know what we want.
The Buddha said
 "when we give up what we desire, we will get what we desire."

Like the holy master who was dying and his disciples gathered around to hear his last words.
The holy master whispered 
"tell them desire is like a river."
One of the young monks said "what does he mean desire is like a river?"
The old master said, 
"Tell them desire is not like a river" and he died.
We all want words of wisdom about desire, about what we think we can't get.
The secret of a good life is to know what we want.
We then allow the universe to arrange it.
So what do we want:
To make a fortune this year?
Save the world ?
Wrestle a demon ?
Face a challenge?
Win a battle ?
Gain a new friend ?
Deepen an understanding ?Strengthen a commitment ?
Move a mountain? 
All possibilities 
All feasible
Here is the question;
What do we want?

Last year a lady rolled up to the shop on one of those electric chairs.
 I remember her, five years ago she was healthy, with full use of her legs. She fell and hurt her shoulder and needed an operation. The doctor made a mistake and severed a nerve and she lost the use of her legs, permanently.
She was at home having trouble coping, and for the next two years was looked after by a team of helpers.
She gained forty five kilos and developed a very bad opinion of herself and others.
A year ago she had to go to hospital and her helpers were not available to take her.
She had to catch the train by herself.
On the train she met a man in a wheelchair who was profoundly crippled, to the extent of having to use a stick to point to words on a computer to communicate.
She asked him where he was going and he told her the same hospital, but not for treatment, but to help others like himself cope with life.
He told her he was a volunteer and his life is great.
She felt ashamed, wallowing in her own suffering when there was a person much worse than her helping others.
This was the lesson she needed, this was the message from The Universe.
Over the next year and a half, she lost fifty kilos in weight, changed her attitude, started attending Temple, started being nice to everyone.
She started volunteering at the hospital three times a week, and here she is coming to the shop to wish me a happy new year
I asked her "what do you want this year?"
 "Do you want a cure?" 
I asked her.
"No" she replied, 
"I want the strengh to be able to go to hospital to help others overcome suffering."

The secret is to know what we want and The Universe will provide.