A Blog A Day

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

The Paradox Of Life

“Live your questions now and perhaps even without knowing it, you will live along some distant day into your answers.”-Rainer Maria Rilke

Buddhism is part of my life now. The philosophy just completely changed me. Since I became a Buddhist, I’m never the same. I asked my friend, Soc, if she finds it boring that I talk about the Buddhist philosophy all the time.

” I like it when you talk about it. I learn so many things from you,” she said.

” It’s just that it’s so much a part of my life now. It’s just part of who I am,” I explained.

People who have never tried Buddhism would have far-fetched ideas about it. Even my sister, who briefly studied Buddhism, has the wrong idea about it. She believes that Buddhists are pacifists and people who rarely get angry.

” Just because I’m a Buddhist doesn’t mean I’m not human. Humans get angry, ” I elucidated her.

Buddhists are people. It’s just that Buddhists are more aware of themselves. They are aware of their weaknesses. They are aware of their flaws, negativities and imperfections. But with awareness there can never be despair or hopelessness. Buddhists are the most accepting people of all.

My friends would often say that I’m too positive. And I often question my own self. Am I bordering too close on optimism? Are Buddhists optimistic and not realistic?

” But what is realistic? What is the impossible? Are we not living the impossible today? One hundred years ago, no one would have imagined that airplanes would get built. People then, thought it was impossible for humans to fly. But with the advancement of technology we have made the impossible into the possible. The human mind is a very powerful thing, ” I told Soc over our meal at McDonald’s. Soc was having pancakes. I ate pie and bottled sweetened tea.

” We don’t know how powerful the human mind is, ” I continued. ” Scientists claim that we are only using 10 percent of our brains. The Buddhas since the beginning of time, are just normal human beings. It just so happens that they use more than 10 percent of their brain.”

While Soc and I were lining up for Batman tickets, I told her something that I didn’t know I knew all along.

” When you desire something, you will lead yourself to getting what you most desire,” I told her.

” But isn’t that too optimistic?” she queried.

” Not really. Because as long as you know what you want, you will find a way to get what you want. You will lead yourself to getting what you most desire.”

” I don’t know if I agree with that.” Soc expressed her doubt.

” Just know what you really want. Start with what you want. And then, you’ll lead yourself to achieving or getting what you most desire. Eight years ago, I was so envious of this fellow student at my art workshop. He boasted about his trip to Rome and to Italy. He showed us a picture of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. And I remember promising myself that I’ll go there. A few years later, I eventually went to Rome and saw the leaning tower. If you desire something, you will lead yourself to getting what you most desire.”

” That’s interesting.”

” It’s the truth. But first start with yourself. Start with what you really want.”

It’s when I share my insights to people like Soc that I come to realize, that I know so much. Sometimes, I even surprise myself.

” I used to be a closed person, Soc. I was never friendly. I never went out. I never befriended people. But I always had goals. But I never achieved any of them. Then one day, I started to say ‘yes’ to everything. And that’s when I started to get what I really wanted. It’s ironic isn’t it? One would think that by being a closed person, that by being disciplined, one would get what one wanted. But it’s not how things work. By saying ‘yes’ more often, you actually get what you want, and more. That’s the paradox of life.”

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