A Monologue With No Conflict
BY AUDREY ALEXIS
I was never the "cool" kid. I mean, I thought I was cool... but that's not saying much.
Moustache, overbite, finger and toe hair, and the Grade 8 Student of the Year Award (which I broke quite recently), headgear, choir, retainer, Library Club, braces, Chess Club and getting dumped on my 13th birthday. Was there any doubt I'd end up mostly unemployed, with no post-secondary degree and single at 33? I can't even get addicted to cigarettes the way I used to. I didn't even do that properly. I couldn't finish a pack a day. I'd end up coughing up blood after smoking half a pack. Can't finish a single one now. Is that progress? Who's to say?
I picked up my first Buddhist book when I was 12. It was "The Art of Happiness" by His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama. That was the age my undying love for philosophy began. As I got older, Western Philosophy appeared to me as a bunch of egotistical Europeans arguing that their brilliant ideas were better than the rest. It's a cyclical event I found drab which is probably why I find Eastern Philosophy much more appealing. I believe that most of them had incredible ideas and a synthesis of all them would make a greater understanding of the world, the universe, and how we relate to each other.
Buddhism accepts that samsara (cycle of suffering) exists, and liberation can be found by accepting this reality and finding joy treading The Middle Way of both extremes. We can find happiness in being mindful of all the details and loving unconditionally all sentient beings. It accepts that we all have the potential for greatness and failure. True happiness is gained in enjoying the journey from both ends, shifting your perspective into realizing you have everything you will ever need already.
And that's how I find contentment in my simple existence.