Many of us think of Buddhism and other meditative approaches to life as very passive. However I as I learn more about the topic one of the things that strikes me is the discipline involved when people learn to meditate and make that a regular part of their lives. Running shoe commercials that urge us to ‘just do it’ have nothing on people who sit, motionless and silent, for a set period of time every single day.
I like the contrast between urgency and committed action. I suspect that the ad budget in question is aimed at those of us who struggle with our commitment to exercise and not the spectacular athletes featured in the media.
As different as they may seem on the surface Buddhism and “success psychology” share a lot. Take these words from noted Buddhist teacher John Daido Loori:
The only limits that exist are the ones we set for ourselves. Take off the blinders, release the chain, push down the walls of the cage and advance a step forward. When you’ve taken that step, acknowledge it, let it go, and advance another step. And when you finally arrive at enlightenment, acknowledge it, let it go and take a step forward.”
If I’d given you that quote without background would you think it belonged to one of our country’s great Buddhist teachers? Or would you attribute it to your favorite motivational speaker or writer.
Maybe the goals that mean the most are the ones we “become” rather than the ones that we “do.”