Day 140: We can be Buddhas

The enlightened see more than stars when they look up, according to Buddhist scholar Bob Thurman. They have the ability to see other life forms up there and, he tells us, we too can develop this in our world saturated with information.
He likens the TEDsters to those seeking enlightenment, telling us that as we learnt more about the world around us, suffering becomes intolerable. Yet because most people enjoy their misery, we will become deeply unhappy when we are enlightened. Most of us are locked in our own skin, with compassion coming in when we discover something that enables us to lose ourselves; art, meditation. Much of the literature tells us that feeling others suffering will make us more miserable.
Yet, Thurman tells us, this is a strange paradox of life. Somehow when the wisdom of the world is spread out, it enables us to empathise, which in turn opens up our awareness. Looking at the Dalai Lama also teaches us something; despite the suffering of his people, he often appears jolly, choosing not to add his own misery to the misery of others. Thurman suggests that to spread some happiness ourselves that we think not of ourselves but of what we can do for others each day.

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