A Blog A Day

It\’s a blog where I write about the extraordinary and the ordinary things going on in my life.

Stuffed Potatoes and Impermanence

potatoes

I spent a wonderful pre-Christmas dinner with my friend, Star. We’ve been friends since we were eleven years old. We went to the same school together. And we both shared the love for adventure. We became close in high school when we became classmates until we graduated.Star is still single at thirty. And she belongs to a family of doctors. All of her siblings are doctors. And she just recently became a doctor this year.

I went to her house to talk to her. And we ended up eating pizza and stuffed potatoes. The stuffed potatoes were delicious by the way. And I just have to write about it.

While I was sharing my life story, I munched on the most glorious stuffed potatoes ever. The potatoes were filled with meat and mozarella. It was topped with sour cream. It was oily but it was well worth the bite. I consumed about three halved potatoes. It was yummy.

My friend Star told me about what happened to her for the past few months. We’ve grown apart since we parted ways a year ago. She had to take a medical review. And I had to work. The separation was painful. We were very close and would spend hours chatting. But I thank the circumstances for keeping us apart. Because it meant that we both learned many things.

I finally told Star about my past. We’ve been friends for almost twenty years but I never told her about my past. But since I’ve been recently liberated from my past, I told her about it in the most nonchalant way.

” I was sexually abused when I was four years old. But I really do owe a lot to Buddhism for without it I wouldn’t have understood my life and my karma, ” I said.

She was taken aback though by my boldness. But I can’t change my past and I can’t change my history. I can only change the NOW.

” Do you still remember things at that age?” she asked.

” Of course you do. Especially since it was a very traumatic experience that changed my life,” I answered.

I proceeded to tell her everything using as little words as possible. Because I wasn’t trying to dwell on my past but rather on what I learned from my past.

” I’m so happy that I became a Buddhist. I now understand my life. I understand the concept of karma. And I don’t take it personally. I was just the unlucky recipient of a bad karma. And I accept that wholeheartedly.”

I discussed Buddhism to her. I discussed certain concepts. But what was most wonderful was when we started talking, I started to realize how much I’ve learned.

” You know what? Who would have thought that we’d still be friends at thirty?”

” Yes, we’ve been friends for almost all our lives,” Star added.

” And we’re so lucky you know.”

” Why?”

” Because we made mistakes and yet the mistakes that we made has gotten us where we are. You became a doctor. And I became a Buddhist.”

We talked about our batch mates in high school. Most of them are already married with kids. And we observed that almost all of them are already tired and spent.

” We are lucky. Our batch mates never had a choice. Most of them started a family early without a choice. They were burdened with responsibilities at such a young age. And here we are. We have the gift of choice, ” I pointed out.

” I can truly say that the things that we considered mistakes, are not mistakes at all. It was all necessary, ” she observed. ” Things are finally starting to make sense.”

” I know. Isn’t that wonderful? Our batch mates have already started a family. And they’re all tired and spent. And we are just starting to embark on that journey. And we know what we’re getting into. So we can truly say that we have the gift of choice.”

I shared to her my views on the impermanence of life.

” Life is truly short. We were just kids then. And look at us now. We’re thirty. And it truly is wonderful because we know our time on this earth is limited. And we are lucky because we can appreciate whatever comes our way since we know that the clock is ticking.”

I don’t remember how many Buddhist concepts I tried to introduce her to. I tried to cram in as many words of wisdom as I could in our three-hour conversation.

At the end of our enlightening talk I shared to her our Buddhist prayer. And I let her borrow my new favorite book, ” The Four Agreements.” I told her how similar it is to the Buddhist Eightfold Path.

I know I tend to put labels on concepts. I say, ” Buddhist this and Buddhist that.” But the thing is, labels or not, the truth is the truth. And there is such a thing called universal truths. I don’t believe that Buddha’s views are superior to others.It’s just that I really do admire the original Buddha and all the other Buddhas that came after him.

There is much to be learned from their words of wisdom. And what is so wonderful is that ordinary people like me, also possess that inherent wisdom. All I need to do is to look inside myself.

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