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I’ve been reflecting on yesterday’s quote. To remind you…

“The greatest thing the Buddha has done is to show the world that it can only be transformed by the reformation of the mind of man.”

– Dr B R Ambedkar

This might be stating the obvious, but it seems to me that this is why so many people in the west are becoming interested in the Buddha’s dharma. On the whole we’re a pretty unhappy lot; anything that talks of transformation, especially in the context of being happy, is bound to appeal. I know from my own experience that life can sometimes seem very bleak, so I was naturally attracted to the promise of transformation.

The odd thing is, it’s already happening in some ways. The way I relate to the world, and the people in it, is subtly shifting in ways that couldn’t have been envisaged 6 months ago. Chief among this is the idea that change IS possible; no longer am I the hamster on the wheel (samsara?) that I saw myself as. Nowhere is it written that I must put up with a soul-destroying daily grind just to supply a percieved need. In a funny way, though, this realisation has actually made some of that daily grind (the meaningful part) not just bearable but enjoyable! And the other bit is going to die a natural death soon anyway. OK, so I’ll earn less money, some think I’m mad for doing this, but it makes me happy and gives me time to do what I think is important. Which right now is following the dharma, but that might change… and that’s OK too.

Oh, and another shock – it’s not long since I could truly describe myself as the king of the self-haters. Now I actually like myself, with other people following closely behind. This is unprecedented for me. Perhaps I’ll write more about my past beliefs and behaviour later, but I was clearly following the wrong religion (relativism with a bit of scientific materialism thrown in. Or perhaps it was cynicism – but then that’s just the same thing).

Now I’ve got it right. It feels like I’ve come home.

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