Driving and being driven

September 23rd 2012. I was in conversation with her. Grabbed my coffee for the morning. A text message beeps. Hung up the phone and I was on the road. I had an appointment on the road to get my Kindle. I have it now. Oh yea! I was suppose to rush to yet another event at YDF. My watch said I am already late.

Am I not late? “you are never too late” I was told. Drove fast to get the glimpse of what turned out to be a beautiful day.

I rushed in and the hall was fresh and full. Silent prayers and tranquil minds, I sneaked in like a thief. Heaven bell rang and mortals roared. Young men and women opened their eyes after conversation with the wise. I saw all them, calm and quite, robed in Buddha’s robes. Brothers and sisters from far away village called Plums in France–a distant land.

Wake up songs we all sang. I was a bit offbeat and of the center for having missed the earlier sessions. But here I caught up with what the “Wake up movement” was all about : www.wkup.org later at home.

Many things were on offer and many people were new to me, I will talk of just few things that I brought back with me after the day’s attendance to the “Mindfulness as a source of Happiness” workshop that day.

A game:
we got paired up.  I happen to be too old a guy among the young school going kids in their teens. I nearly didn’t get a friend for the game 😦 At last I had a young boy as my game player. The game was simple. We were suppose to be a driver and a car. One of us had to close our eyes (and act like a car being driven) following the tapping instructions by our partners. I chose to be the driver at first and had to tap his head to keep moving forward. Tap his right shoulder to turn right and left shoulder to turn left. And tap his back to stop the car. Very simple traffic rules and the game seemed like holding a joystick of a play-station. A little more than 50 pairs were on the ground tapping, moving and driving randomly and I had to maneuver without crashing on other pairs.

It was tough and hard. It required quick, prompt and calculated instructions so as not to hit or give wrong instructions to my partner (acting a a car being driven). And then we interchanged the roles. Wao how easy it was to just close my eyes and get tapped and driven. I had complete faith and trust in my partner/driver. It was so easy for me just to remember to a) keep moving. b) turn left or right. c) and stop.

In life too, we can either drive or be driven–the choice is all ours–to be a driver is hard and tough but the risk of being driven is that you could end up being driven by a bad driver.

Keeping things simple and easy gets us through being happy and calm. Trusting that a tap or a pat on the back means “all is well and life is going to be good” demands having faith in who drives us.

Buddha’s teachings:
I am in for all sorts of wisdom from all religions. I believe in humanity and my pursuit to becoming a good human being shall never cease. If that was what Buddha taught I am a Buddhist.
A session on the 8 fold paths and 4 noble truths was inspiring for the fact that it was explained so well and simply. Simplicity really sells. I have read and heard a lot about these two basic facts and great teachings of Buddha but none until a brother/monk from Plum’s village explained that I understood it be well enough to see the correlation of these paths.

My understanding:

Right Mindfulness leads us to Right concentration that in turns leads us to Right view to Right Thinking/intention that guides us to Right speech to  Right action to Right livelihood encouraging us to put in Right effort.

All these Right(s) 8 fold paths to just understand, grasp, accept and eliminate the Four Noble Truths:

1) The Truth Of Dukkha–Suffering.

2) The Truth Of The Cause Of Dukkha–Suffering.

3) The Truth Of The Cessation Of Dukkha–Suffering.

4) The Truth Of The Path That Ends Dukkha–Suffering.

The day was beautiful with bright sunshine and music around. Lunch served was palatable. Programme and event hosts were caring and compassionate. The young participants were lively and lovable. The monks and nuns who flew with other crews were inspiring and beautiful mortals. I was lucky to have been driven to the event.