'TIS the season to be jolly and it’s also a season of illusion and delusion. Personally speaking, I believe we need to wake up to what’s going around us.
For those who don’t know, the word Buddha means Awakened One and the good news is that we all have the resources to waken up to what’s happening right here, right now.
The Buddha himself was a real person who before he became awakened was called Siddhartha and he was born into a very wealthy family. His father was a king and wished his son would be king.
His father also wanted to protect his son from the not so nice things in life: sickness, old age, dying. His father would send his soldiers out every morning to make sure that there were no signs of sickness, old age or dying around and he would order his soldiers to ensure that his son would not witness such things.
As Siddhartha grew up he was curious to know what was happening outside the walls of the castle and one day he chose to get up early and explore the world outside the castle walls.
Lo and behold, he came across an old man with a walking stick and he asked the old man, 'What is wrong with you?' The old man replied that he was disabled and unable to walk without the aid of a stick. As Siddhartha continued his exploration he came across a young woman who was sick and asked her what was wrong with her. She replied that she was ill. Finally, Siddhartha came across a corpse by the roadside and asked a passer-by what is this and was told that this is body of someone who had died.
Siddhartha decided that he would leave his father’s castle and all his riches and go and find out the cure for sickness, old age and death. On his search he explored different schools of learning but none fulfilled his quest.
He then took it upon himself to meditate under the famous Bodhi tree until he was enlightened. He meditated for some time and experienced many past lives and then when he became enlightened he woke up to non-attachment, neither holding on to or avoiding what is happening now. This became the core of what he taught, along with what he called the three poisons: greed, anger, and delusion.
Some say that the Buddha was the first addict and discovered a way out of addiction with his prescription of the four noble truths and the eightfold path. One of the biggest addictions we have is what I would describe an addiction to self or ourselves, and it is this addiction that brings about suffering to ourselves and others.
A big question that I would ask people is, “How do you suffer?”
The replies are usually along the lines of using alcohol and drugs to relieve suffering – and look where that leads us.
It’s also said that your Buddha nature is better than the Buddha's Buddha nature and all we have to do is wake up.
Remember, less is more and giving is – believe it or not – better than receiving.
What a Buddhamas this year could be if instead of waking up on Christmas morning we awakened on Christmas morning.