Excel At Being Tranquil
Written by Behram Ghista
Buddhist teacher Behram Ghista tells us that our innate wisdom will reveal solutions only when we learn to remain calm in the face of difficulties.
I believe the tragedy for most people lies not in their avoidance of the unpleasant aspects of life, but in their inability to give triumph a chance, through facing difficult conditions wholeheartedly.
Do you suffer from a hostile takeover of your body and mind, by stress hormones? Well, what if you simply decided, once and for all, to gain mastery of your life by maintaining your equipoise in the midst of life's challenges? How enjoyable would your life be then?
Do you long for a hassle free life and sometimes ask yourself if such a goal is attainable? Suppose you did achieve this impossible dream: wouldn't that achievement be the greatest hassle you could inflict upon yourself? How sturdy, innovative and clear-sighted would your responses to life's curve balls be if you existed within some kind of silken cocoon?
Dispel your desire for a "wrinklefree" life, because eventually you will have to embrace and gain mastery over the inevitability of dealing with abrasive realities. So don't put your wishbone where your backbone ought to be.
In most situations, it is not the challenges that are daunting. What immobilises you is the tightening feeling within you: your resistance and fear of facing something you believe is beyond your capability to transform in your favour. Be confident that you can learn to free yourself from such unwholesome responses to life's inevitable ebb and flow. How? By going through the experience with spirited curiosity as to how resourceful you can be in each particular "invitation" to better yourself. No challenge is a problem, unless you choose to make it so.
Apply diligence to learning how to excel at being tranquil, because this will facilitate your opening up to that which is difficult, frightening and unpleasant, through illuminating novel solutions awaiting your appraisal. Understand that life is constituted to be the way it is and you don't have to be perturbed about it. Accept this fact, and you will liberate yourself from the fatigue and frustration that comes from swimming against the current.
Amid life's vicissitudes, be wise: remain steady and centred in the fullness of your spiritual inheritance. If you are unable to do this, the daily biochemical baths of your emotional turbulence will constrict you, leaving your problems unsolved and joyous occasions unclaimed.
Instead of fleeing when things seem to overwhelm you, learn to seize the day and gather what treasures you can from it. It is not people or circumstances that cause you grief, or trepidation: it is your own estimation of these realities that creates turbulence in your life. Learning to relate with love, gentleness, appreciation and understanding for "those things" and "those people" that are part of your life, you will increase your skill in flowing gracefully through life's peaks and valleys and everything in-between.
Consequently, in all tasks you undertake - even if they are urgent and demand great care - consciously avoid allowing them to agitate you. Nothing is worth putting yourself through inner turbulence in your attempt to tackle the issue at hand. Maintain your equipoise; stay calm, regardless of what despite what the situation seems to be demanding. In a calm, more relaxed state, you can be in full cognizance of your strengths: you will be able to receive the clarity needed to deal with any faulty assumptions you may have, and you will move beyond them.
Choose to be impartial to your trials and tribulations, while at the same time celebrating life's persistence in perfecting you to the point of being the best you can be.
Giving full attention to the environment in which you exist and refining your actions daily will help you deal with the challenges of the moment in ways that will astound you.
There is really no greater joy than excelling at being tranquil, by taming your dragons and harnessing their power to be completely free. What would you be like, if you started today to really make the most of the rest of your life?