The Buddha's journey, from pampered prince to the Awakened One, was nothing less than heroic, yet it is the same journey each of us is called to take in our lifetime; if we heed the call of the Hero's Journey, we have the beautiful opportunity to become fully integrated, compassionate and wise human beings, rich with creative energy. We have the opportunity to become exactly who we are!
Yet how we struggle to discover that True Self!
If we are patient, resilient and vital, we allow ourselves to follow the Hero's Path, no matter where that might lead, and like Shakyamuni, who sat down beneath the Pipal tree and vowed not to move until he was enlightened, we find that our vow can be transformed into the action of stillness, of silence, of mindfulness, of equanimity and Great Faith and Great Doubt.
To ignore the call to follow the Hero's Journey creates a life of stagnation and fear, of delusion, and ultimately anger, because we remain only half formed and devoid of the purpose that each of us carries like a bright promise.
Tonight, light a candle, and then incense from that candle. Sit in whatever manner calms the mind, and calm the incessant story telling mind by simply sitting, nothing more. Offer Metta to all sentient beings, and thank the Awakened One for the moment he touched the earth and said, "I and all the Universe are Awakened!"
He didn't say, "I and all rich people are awakened", nor did he say "I and just a few of the people I like are awakened."
He said the Universe, the entire universe, all phenomena, sentient and otherwise, are universally awake, how marvelous!
The interconnection of all things, by their very existence, create the web of interbeing. And I, a small, simple, fleeting I, am intimately connected to all and they to me. This is what our world is, and nothing less!
Light a candle, light incense, just sit, and then tell me you are not Buddha!