Notes on a Buddhist path

I won!

October 21, 2011 By | 4 Comments

I’m not sure what I won, but I’m a winner. Just check out Greetings from Coupeville, the highly successful and widely read blog authored by my dear friend, Michaelene, and you will see the proof for yourself. When I saw my name posted I actually heard a “yippee” jump from my lips.

It’s a funny, almost primal feeling that rises up inside of us when the offer of something for nothing lifts its rather attractive George Cloonesque head and smiles with a coy come hither look.  Just the mention of a prize was enough to hook me. No, I didn’t know what I would win and I still don’t know what I have won. Of course neither does Michaelene. Or does she…

Unspoken, and yet clearly understood, is that when the contest ended someone would receive a prize that no one else would have. And I must admit I wanted that someone to be me.

Craving, attachments, greed and suffering. All the tenements of the Buddha’s teachings wrapped up in a contest. Wanting what we don’t have, suffering if we don’t win, suffering from desire for more when we do win, separation from each other and a sense of not having enough. The same plot, just different players.

The contest, well, it was fun. It doesn’t matter what I won or if I get anything in the mail. I was a winner. Do you know the feeling of winning? For me it feels full and loving and accepting and enough. I felt touched by grace and it made me smile. To hold that space and that certainty amidst the adversities of all that is happening in the world, that is true winning.

Wouldn’t it be great if some blog, somewhere, posted everyone’s name, all 7 billion of us on this planet, as the winner, even for just a few seconds? Think of the grace that would blanket the earth.

It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell. ~ Buddha

Comments

  1. One year, when I was living in the US of A, I really got caught up in the Super Bowl. I made my plans months in advance to have my calendar cleared that day so I could watch the big game on TV. I dreamt of the fun I would have, sitting on the couch, eating junk food, and watching the Great American Game.

    One day, my friends invited me out to see a free comedy concert that they had heard was happening in just a few hours. Hey, I’m into comedy.! So I hopped in the car with them, and off we went to see the concert. I was happy! Then, halfway there (wait for it), I realized, “Hey, today is Sunday. Super Bowl Sunday! I’m about to miss the big game!”. And in that moment, I had a choice: I could beat myself up for not realizing that today was the big SB day, and have a miserable time *not* watching the game, or I could have fun at the concert. Lucky for me, I chose the latter. Funny thing is, I now remember neither which teams were to play in the game, or any of the jokes.

    We choose how we react to events. Sometimes, we are happy until we find out we missed something we didn’t even know about, then we’re miserable for having messed it. If only we hadn’t found out what we’d missed, we’d still be happy! Of course we’re actually miserable at the *thought* of having missed it, and not at missing it.

    Win or lose, it’s all in the mind. When I remember (!), I try to choose to win, whatever the circumstances. Sometimes, I can even do it!

    Maybe Charlie Sheen has it right after all.

    • So true, David. That choice can turn an event around 180 degrees depending upon how we choose to see it. It’s all arising and falling away and Charlie is undoubtedly suffering like the rest of us. He just seems to share his suffering with the world more than the most of us.

Trackbacks

  1. […] those of you who are regular readers of this blog, you will know that recently I was the lucky winner on the Greetings from Coupeville blog. By happenstance and fortuitous timing I sent in my comment […]

  2. […] | 7 Comments For those of you who are regular readers of this blog, you will know that recently I was the lucky winner on the Greetings from Coupeville blog. By happenstance and fortuitous timing I sent in my comment […]

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