Friday, June 12, 2009

The Celtic Dodo [You heard it here first!]

When things were going better than ever for the Irish economy, they called it the Celtic Tiger and the whole world heard its roar. At one time they said the Irish economy was one of the strongest on the planet ... well at least the cost of living was one of the highest.

But we all knew just how fake economic systems could be and what goes up must come down. So it has come to pass, thanks to the global crash, that the celtic tiger has reached near extiction.
It has become the Celtic Dodo.

Even if we know, intellectually at least, that everything is impermanent and empty of any real intrinsic existence, it still hurts a little when we come to truly experience that first-hand. But, we have to be mature and realistic about these things. We accepted the boom, so we must also accept the bust.

From a spiritual perspective, it is wise to greet success AND failure with the same open, spacious attitude. This is not merely about looking on the bright side of life's ups and downs. It is a matter of having a more mature perspective on phenomena.

However, personally speaking, there is and has always been a bright side to appreciate. The Tiger and the Dodo have both brought priceless experiences and life-lessons.

When times were good, my partner and I managed to buy and renovate a beautiful home. It is not only a wonderful place to live and a great long-term investment for our future. Our house also gives us the rare opportunity to work from home and make a small income from offering Bed and Breakfast.
Also during the boom, I was lucky enough to begin travelling - especially in the East. I was able to follow the footsteps of the Buddha all across North India and Nepal with my spiritual teacher as my guide. And I later enjoyed many paradise islands and beaches in Thailand. But I also learned the paradise of home-coming and the joy of a stable personal life.

Even now in the so-called dark days, the Celtic Dodo has brought me tremendous, invaluable insight and even a clarity of sorts. A profound awareness is dawning, slowly but surely - the realisation that external experiences are marvelous ... world travel, a beautiful home environment ... but nothing can compare to the inner well-being of the heart and the mind. This is the ground, path and fruition of all true spiritual traditions.

It is because of the struggle, because of life's obstacles, that personal growth occurs. It is through all the ups and downs that we learn to surf the waves of change. It is said we become more stable in ourselves the more accustomed to change we become.

Because of the good times, I learned the value of my True Nature. Thanks to the good times.
Because of the bad times, I learned the pricelessness of Contentment. Thanks to the bad times.

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