THE CHALLENGE. A man (Captain Savage). A woman (Rose). A quest. To earn enough karmic points by Christmas to be reincarnated as Something Nice. I’m leaning to wombat, because they have nice warm burrows.
This week I did, you know, my good deeds, and Captain Savage kindly awarded me more points than I deserved for them. I just hope whoever’s up there keeping a record is as nice about it as he is!
For the record, I went to see elderly Mr L, my red cross visiting person (who calls me ‘dearie’ and seems to like that I wear bright clothes and pretend flowers in my hair) and the Cat Lady, with a ton of yummy frozen organic mince for the hundred and one orphan pussycats. Enough said.
I’d now like to turn this post over to my guru, Guru Fred, who’d like to say a few words on the subject of Karmic Courage. Take it away, Guru!
Greetings, my children.
Today I would like to share with you the story of a good friend of mine, who truly illustrates what it means to be courageous.
We humans don’t normally like to dwell on our failings and failures. We often think that if we admit weakness, other people will pounce on it and tear us to pieces (as indeed they often do, and that is why my right ear is missing – please do not feel embarrassed if you feel the need to stare).
But truly, even the most confident among us have many failings, it is just that we pretend that the reason we slipped on that banana skin was to generously provide amusement for our friends, not because we did not see it there before us on the gleaming floor of the mall.
In any case, my good friend has recently decided that he needs to re-examine his life, and in the course of this adventure, he has been incredibly honest and brave. He has confronted his boss and told him that he does not appreciate his patronising manner and also that he would like to reduce his work hours, take some leave and consider a different career. I – yes even I, Guru Fred – find myself in awe of this amazing feat of courage!
But there is more! My friend has given up two major life activities because he has realised that they are just a way – and not a particularly delightful way – of filling in his time after work. Further, he is about to take a week off to meditate upon what he would REALLY like to do and how he would REALLY like to spend his time after work. Many of us NEVER do that. Of course, he will not be travelling to India nor sitting under a bodhi tree – but one cannot have everything!
It sometimes seems to me that at best, as we go through life, we find out who we really are and if we are truly fortunate, we even get to like it. On the way there, we travel many wrong paths and try on many ill-fitting personas. On this journey, one must learn to recognise, forgive and accept oneself for being the fallable being (in layman’s terms, dumb dork) that one is.
So this is what I would like to tell my friend. My dear fellow seeker-after-enlightenment, I see that you think you are far behind the great ones of this earth (me for instance). You sometimes seem to believe that your mis-steps, your loneliness, your rejections and your inabilities, are somehow unique to you. You view them as pathetic and unworthy. They are not. Even the most outwardly confident of us – yes, even I, the great Guru Fred – have the same experiences, Perhaps even worse! But we hide it under a layer of bravado, and so you think that you are alone.
Your great karmic courage, my son, consists in the fact that you do NOT hide your true feelings – and so you leave yourself free to change into the kind of person you really are. And that, my friend, is a quietly heroic and deeply lovable person, who is – as someone once said to me back in the days when I was but a trembling temple groupie – absolutely PEACHY the way he is!
Donations can be left in the red bucket at the door, and I would like to inform you that my Ashram welcomes all who seek true enlightenment, for a comparatively cheap rate!
Yours in Buddha