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A definition of insanity

imageDoing the same thing over and over and expecting something different to happen is a definition of insanity.

Whether it is another discussion on Climate Change, Bombing another country or promising to walk to the station rather than drive the wish for change is simply not enough. The wish for change must come with some form of action. The desire for positive change requires energy, patience, persistence and action. Apathy is the enemy.

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” (Edmund Burke)

The central teaching of Buddhadharma clearly states that all things arise in dependence upon conditions thus, if you want to change something, you must work to bring about a change in the conditions that give rise to the state you are trying to change.

“You must become the change in the world that you want to see.” Mahatma Gandhi

It has never been enough to simply wish/pray for things to be different. That only ever gives rise to frustration. What you are experiencing now is what it is and cannot be changed in this moment but with effort, patience and persistence you can, metaphorically, move mountains.

There is a lovely Buddhist tale of a master-less Samurai who does a lot of bad stuff and as part of his process of change, amongst other things, decides to carve a tunnel through a mounting to provide a safe path for travellers to follow rather than a precipitous and often fatal mountain track. Although he couldn’t know exactly the outcome of his actions (no spoiler given here) he acted from his best intentions and over years of patient, persistent work he wore a hole deep into and through the mountain. It is this level of effort that is required if any real change is to happen. It is individual, will manifest differently for each person and you have to start now! Or as Edmund Burke alludes to, whilst we sit and do nothing the negative aspects of experience will continue to dig ever deeper grooves into your conditions.

There is a beautiful and complete pictorial teaching of the Buddha Shakyamuni that of the wheel of life (sometimes and possibly more accurately the wheel of becoming). Within its beautifully depicted symbolism, second from the centre, is a wheel that illustrates that we are never standing still. We are either spiritually ‘moving’ up or ‘moving’ down, we are either adding to the quantum of positivity in the world or the quantum of negativity.

“It” is what “it” is… Wishing it different is insanity

The answers to both the biggest questions of our time and the smaller are hard to discern but if we are to survive and possibly thrive in harmony with all life we cannot start too soon.

Don’t make a New Years resolution this year make an action plan! How will you help change the conditions to give rise to a better future for you, your children, humanity indeed all of life?

To do nothing is a definition of insanity!

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