So the Olympics Is Around the Corner

With the Olympic starting in just two days, the whole world goes into a frenzy, soaking in every bit of Olympic titbits they can find, lavishing in the news of all the different sports man and woman people and the history and background of the Games.

Suddenly everyone wants to know the psyche behind these sports folks, what their favorites are, what books they read.  Ok, maybe not everybody wants to know, but at least the news people seem to be rather keen.  So who is driving who?  Are the readers driving the news or the journalists driving the content read?  Hmmm …

Regardless, I read of some athletes and how they excel in their field.  Without fail, the story would describe how they train for hours, days and years before they reach their present state of athletic perfection!  While some may have had a flair for their sports since young, non attained their excellence by sitting on their butts for the past 10 years! :p

This is something common in sports, in the arts, in sciences and yes, even in business!  In all fields, individuals excel through their diligence and repeated efforts, and even then only some succeed to be the very best.  So it makes me raise a brow when people come to me complaining that their practices fail to quell their anger … … after one week of trying!

Like the athletes, we should have patience when practising the teachings, willing to put in hours, days, months and even years to learn about ourselves, our strengths and weakness, our virtues and defilements, and in turn apply strenuous efforts to developing wholesome mental habits and subduing unwholesome ones.

As I like to tell people, practising Buddhism is not easy, but so is launching a space shuttle. If US can put a man on the moon, we can achieve much if we put our time, effort and mind to it.  And if the Buddha can do it, so can we! 😉

The thing is, we don’t learn and practise Buddhism because it is easy or convenient.  We don’t.  And it isn’t on both counts.  We do so, because it is
worth it.  Because until we fully learn to manage and tame our mind, we cannot be truly free.  And until then, while we can succeed as much as we can in our careers, and achieve all the goals we set for ourselves, we will not be truly at peace with ourselves.

Easier it is to conquer others and win the gold medal, but harder it is to conquer ourself — our pride, our emotions, our thinking, our mind.

So this Olympic, which medal are you after?  The medal of inner peace and bliss or the shiny one outside? 🙂

PS: The title may well be “The Olympic is here!” … but since I started this article before it started, I left it as it is.  Just so you know. 😉

4 thoughts on “So the Olympics Is Around the Corner”

  1. Hi Shifu, this is indeed a good analogy, to compare learning and practising Buddhism vs a sport. “And if the Buddha can do it, so can we! ” 🙂

  2. some people live life like a spectator sport, or rather, they are just happy to be spectators watching a sport and then admire the winners/champions/achievers; or say, ah because they are not as talented/moneyed/supported to be trained like these athletes, so cant help it. but the feeling of winning is nice… and these spectators will only be contented to see and soak in the headiness of others’ victory, thinking that their own victory is unreachable. i guess, it’s the same with some pro-buddhists or nominal buddhists or part-time buddhists. they admire the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha, and the many successful Dhamma-practitioners around. but they never take it upon themselves that they CAN do it. to be frank, actually these people have not made the aspiration or intention to practice and be trained. they are happy to just admire and say ‘sadhu’. hmmm, no problem with people who are inspired enough to take up the practice, all we need to do is to keep encouraging them. it would be the sitting-on-the-fence swooners that we have to think of a way to spur them into being the athletes themselves. But that will be trickier than the task the National Council of Sports faces. 🙂

  3. Yes, we can do it, and we can start now!

    Too many so-called Buddhists are putting themselves down and looking towards other external forces or some kind of liberation after death while totally denying their own capacity to progress on the path towards liberation.

    Such mentality totally drains us of any energy to conduct right practice in this lifetime.

  4. In the true spirit of the sports, it is the interaction and competition itself that was important. As the sport enthusiasts pit against each other they find fellowship, the joy of similar interest, and they interchange their ideas and realizations. The medals are just an after-the-fact celebration of human highest
    actualization.

    Now, medals take central stage instead. It is no longer an enthusiasts’ gathering but a stressful I-have-to-beat-you battle.

    The olympics of Buddhism is different. There is a gold medal (Nirvana) for everyone. And everyone is both a spectator and athlete. Spectator to learn and gain faith from others’ achievement. Athlete to realize the benefit for ourselves. Why only rejoice in others’ attainment of benefits when we ourselves can also attain the benefits? 😉

    Just as important is to keep the flame burning, i.e. keep the Dharma’s existence. May the opportunity to get the gold medal (Nirvana) be open forever without interuption. And may all beings have the opportunity to come to this Olympics. 🙂

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