I’ve just returned from an inspiring weekend with Prakasha at the Brighton Buddhist Centre where we were looking at how we can move from our conditioned existence into higher states. Here are some of my musings…
We create our own reality from our perceptions. We are all unique and my view of the world is completely different from yours. Taking a simple example, when I lived in the Middle East I was taking my infant son for a walk in his buggy along the corniche. It was January or February and the temperature was about 20 degrees. He was dressed in a t shirt and I was stopped by some horrified Arab women who told me that he would catch cold. In their view it was cold. In the summer the temperatures out there were over 40 much of the time yet for me it was a comfortable summer temperature. Cold and hot is purely subjective.
Our greatest cause of unhappiness is wanting things to be different from the way they are. That does not mean that we should not change anything but we can get so caught up in the way we want things to be that we lose sight of our current reality. As a coach I know there is nothing to be gained by telling someone they are wrong however narrow their view of the world may be. I encourage people to question those views and work out for themselves which are helpful and which are hindering them. We can get so caught up in thinking that our opinions are facts that it can stop us from effecting real change. In Buddhist terms we just keep going round and round the wheel of life being led by our beliefs without ever taking a step back.
In the teaching profession I see so many teachers ‘fighting’ and that makes me so sad. It’s usually against the government who are generally following their own agenda. Perhaps it’s time for us teachers to do the same, to start a mindful revolution instead , to have the courage to ‘be in the gap’, to stop reacting and instigate change from within ourselves. Ministers and MPs are human too and like us they want to be happy and free from suffering. Their actions may be unskilful but they generally come from a lack of awareness rather than a deliberate intention to cause harm.
I know it’s an old cliche but as Gandhi said: Be the change you want to see in the world. I would add to that look at the language you are using to describe your reality and how would changing it alter your perceptions?