During the ongoing reclaiming of my home office, I came across a clipping from an SGI Buddhist magazine from who-knows-how-many years ago:
The human mind has both bright and dark sides. If we avert our eyes from the deep darkness of the mind, we will never see the courage of persons who break through the darkness. Those who squarely face up to life itself, where good and evil exist as one, those who fight and win against the evil within themselves and foster that which is good are true persons of courage. ~ Daisaku Ikeda
I kept this poem because it meant so much to me that my spiritual mentor understood what it was like to be me.
While I don’t think of myself as a person of courage, I certainly have struggled with my dark side for years. Since childhood. This very afternoon, in fact.
I felt blah, blank and blocked. Unable to do anything. I decided to go out for a walk, particularly as I had read an online article about the benefit of “vitamin N” (Nature).
Just minutes after my walk began, I was in the right place at the right time to help an elderly lady and her wheelchair-bound husband. She needed someone to hold a heavy gate open so she could push him through and onto the path leading to their building.
Feeling so happy that I could help them, I continued on my walk down to the ravine. I wandered about down in the valley and sat in the sun for a while on a bench, before tackling the steep uphill climb back to the street.
On the street I met a man (and his cute little dog) with whom I had a long conversation some weeks before. Once again, we got talking, and when I mentioned that I practise Buddhism he asked me many questions and kept saying that I had to meet his wife, because she’d love something spiritual like this. The upshot of our conversation is that Peter and his wife will attend a class on Buddhism that we hold every Wednesday evening here in Toronto. They’re both happy about it, and so am I!
All this, just from going for a walk. Just from putting my body in motion, instead of sitting and stewing, or scrolling (shudder).
I think that the mysterious workings of Life are set into motion when we do something – anything – positive. Outer movement leads to inner movement. For instance, I didn’t have a clear idea of what today’s story would be about, so I procrastinated. Finally I just started writing… and ideas flowed.
What’s more, this long weekend I actually began writing in my home office – for the first time in seven years. It feels great! Victory over the paralysis of the inner darkness!
You will not find your mission by standing still. The way to find it is by challenging yourself in something – I would almost say it does not matter what. Then by making consistent effort, the direction you should take will open up before you quite naturally, just as wide, new horizons open up before someone walking up a hill. Little by little you will come to understand your mission. That is why it is so important to have the courage to ask yourself what it is that you should really be doing now, at this very moment. ~ Daisaku Ikeda
Maybe I do have some courage, after all!