The Long And Winding Path

Don't be a cog in the machineThe path to enlightenment involves a lot of learning, much of it about yourself.

Wisdom is rooted in the souls of human beings. The way to acquire it is to follow the simple advice of Socrates – ‘Know Thyself’.

This is the starting point for the establishment of a sense of human dignity, preventing the degradation of human beings into anonymous, interchangeable cogs in a machine.

The essence of true knowledge is self knowledge.

The process of improving self-awareness can be a long and sometimes painful one. But the benefits are continuous and ever increasing, so be strong, stay focussed and above all have the determination to keep on at the task. You, and all those around you, will be well rewarded.

Jumping To Conclusions

Jumping to ConclusionsWhen you start a new relationship, it’s very easy to get carried away by the wave of optimism that accompanies that first flush of excitement. Being a Buddhist doesn’t change that, it’s in my nature, and my family and friends can all see it happening before their very eyes.

What is different, is that because my Practice is now my Honzon, I’m not centring everything on my new partner, tempting as that might initially be. It is unfair on her to do so, and it would leave the path open to a world of pain and disappointment if, heaven forbid, it turns sour.

So I’m enjoying every minute of life right now, enjoying the opportunity to lavish my affections on her, but not allowing myself to be drawn into running before I can walk. Learning from our mistakes has to be one of the most important aspects of life. I like to think I’ve learned from mine, and now I’m making sure we both profit from those lessons as we start to build our new lives together.

Feeling Unwanted

Germany and FranceIs it just me, or is the way the Germans and French are talking about uniting Europe with or without the British a little worrying? Of course there needs to be tighter bonds and regulation within the Eurozone, in order to put a stop to the economic issues plaguing Greece, Portugal, Italy and Spain, but a unilateral change in the treaties governing such ties must be a bad thing.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are working together for the good of their respective countries, and that is to be encouraged, but this cannot be allowed to happen at the expense of the other European countries. In a statement today in Paris, they are saying that change will go ahead, with or without agreement from other European partners.

What is really needed at this point is more dialogue, to produce a consensus and a workable solution for all our economic neighbours. The fact that the UK is, and rightly so in my opinion, outside the Eurozone, should not be a reason for us to be left out of the discussions.

Economic strife has been the cause of so much conflict of the centuries, now is not the time to be talking about going it alone. or leaving out partners for the sake of individual countries. Germany and France have been at the forefront of the bailout negotiations with Greece and Italy, but that does not give them the right to bulldoze through legislation that will affect every European citizen for the foreseeable future.

Let’s hope that President Sarkozy and Chancellor Merkel have the wisdom, courage and compassion to come to the right decision over this, not just for themselves, but for everyone.

Busy, Busy, Busy

Caring HandsHaving my mate back in the office today was great, he’s been away looking after his wife and his new baby and we’ve missed him.

Not going into details, but he also has other problems going on, and it really makes you realise that although we have problems of our own, life isn’t so bad really.

Life is actually just a series of problems, or challenges, and our job is to face these situations and having solved them, come out of the other side, stronger and wiser. Today has been super busy, so it was a fine balance of being supportive and caring, while dealing with as much of the work without taking up any of his time.

While it is very laudable to confront problems in person, there is no shame in having a little help. The difficulty from the other side is offering support without being intrusive. So maybe the very epitome of Wisdom, Courage and Compassion.

Having the courage to offer support in the first place, the wisdom to know where to draw the line and the compassion to show sensitivity in delicate situations.

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