Do you know what is better than charity and fasting and prayer?

It is keeping peace and good relations between people,

as quarrels and bad feelings destroy mankind.

- Prophet Mohammed


Day 30

So this what the finish line looks like, huh? Stronger legs and an empty stomach.

Well, I guess it's not the finish line at all really. I still have eleven laps to complete and it's bound to get harder. It's funny. When I began this a month ago, I wasn't sure what the direction was going to be. When you start this sort of thing, you never really know what's going to happen. I think I assumed it would reveal itself at one point or another, so I didn't bother too much. Just write what I felt; that was the plan. Now, a month later, I still don't know what the direction is and yet that's somehow reassuring. I don't think it really matters. Spirituality isn't something that can be defined by a book or one man. Even millions of followers don't define it because it takes each of us to different places. Some might end up landing in a monastery in Russia and others might find themselves on a crowded street corner in New York City. I don't know where I'll up end, but I can guarantee you that Buddha will be there in some form. And in all honesty, I'm sure a few other deities might show up to the party as well.

People all want the same thing. We want happiness. I'd like quote Buddha one last time. He sums up what he'd like the world to look like and from where I'm sitting, it sounds pretty great to me.
"When people are happy and satisfied, class differences disappear, good deeds are promoted, virtues are increased, and people come to respect one another. Then everyone becomes prosperous; the weather and temperature become normal; the sun and the moon and the stars shine naturally; rains and winds come timely; and all natural calamities disappear."
A little too perfect and near impossible, but it sounds nice. In fact, I dare say it's almost heavenly. Of course, none of this can happen without awareness. If we aren't aware of ourselves and those around us, then we don't stand a chance. My happiness, just as much as my anger, can't conflict with others. That seems simple enough, but to really make it work, I've got to allow myself to be satisfied with what I have. That doesn't mean I can't work towards a better life for my family, though. It just means that I need to accept my reality at any given moment. That is what true satisfaction is and today, I'm totally satisfied.

As I sit here on my last Friday evening of this Buddhist month, all I can think of is how thankful I am for being able to do it. It's been a quiet, pensive look into my own nature and while I guess I could credit Buddha, I know he wouldn't want me to. We all have Buddha within us. 

1 comment:

  1. A great picture to sum up this past month that you described as sort of a solitary experience.

    As a reader of The Pious One, I have learned a lot through your writings and experiences so thank you for that.