Reader: A. H. W.
比 赛 | On Competition
Humans love to compete. In all kinds of activities––from national economics and prosperity, government stability, sports such as the World Cup or the Olympics, to personal honor or disgrace, gain or lose––we like to find out who is better. It doesn't matter if the competition concerns radical transformation or the most trivial matter, people just habitually plunge into it. In all these contests, no real ammunition or artillery is used, yet the smoke of gunpowder is pervasive in all; they are real wars masqueraded as competitions in name.
Driven by the force of karma, many people are propelled into competitive activities all day long. Engrossed until total exhaustion, they cannot disengage themselves from suffering and the worry that they will never reach their unrealistic goals. Whenever they see others around them making money, getting promoted, taking foreign trips or even buying a new outfit, they are seized with an indefinable sense of loss. To satiate the thirst of feeling superior, they will try every possible way to get the better of their opponents, resulting inevitably in the rise of economic crimes. By adding more destabilization factors to society, they are doing more harm than good.
A person came back from his pilgrimage to Lhasa told me recently about a practitioner by the name of Lei Gong who has recited the Vajra Guru mantra for a hundred million times. Lei Gong told his visitors that his place, in Yamalong near Samye, is surrounded by mountains and limpid streams, his cave is warm in the winter and cool in the summer; sparkling mountain spring provides him with sweet drink and ordinary tsamba tastes like ambrosia to him. It's really a state free from attachment and worries, calm and unfettered. I thought about those busy people in the world who will bow down for whatever meager gains. Their hard work all day long brings nothing but piles of more negative emotions, they are indeed miserable.
In fact, practitioners with a pretense also like to watch or participate in competitions. They willingly bear the anxiety coming from competition, but cannot appreciate the happiness of practicing in solitude. They are always rushing about tending to superficial virtuous activities, but their minds are fidgety and restless from being tempted by power and money.
As a Dharma practitioner, can I be just like Lei Gong––renouncing worldly fame and wealth, and abiding only in the bliss derived from Dharma? Will I be able to stay calm and easy, always unwavering amidst the ever changing world?
25th of April, Year of RenWu
June 5, 2002