Reader comment on Bhikkhu Bodhi's passage ...

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    On Jun 13, 2011 Ricky wrote:

    My vision has over the years changed and morphed with each role I have played.  My vision has always been to help others, but the way the vision has played out has been from daughter to new wife to new mother to coach to landscape designer to teacher and so on.  In these different roles there have been opportunities to express the vision, and at the same time stressors on the amount of time and effort to be able to do so.  The intensity of the routines to make this happen have also changed.  But until the past two years, never did the routine include taking time for myself to be still enough to be my best.  So, always the vision, but never the 100% presence to understand I am enough and can trust I am on the path of purpose.  This has changed with my current focus as teacher and wife and mom.

    Currently we are in the period of time where students are graduating or moving through the grades or stages of education.  There is a mixed message about success, and many students are disheartened and defeated by it's narrow definition.  Aspire to the standard of excellence we have outlined for you, and you will be successful...fall short, and you are doomed.  Earn lots of scholarship money and reflect appropriately back to your educational institution, and you will receive accolades.  Be a doctor, lawyer, CEO, physicist, (and so on) and you will have access to the most important careers-the ones that count.  Many students are equally amazing in the vision they have for themselves, without such a narrow focus of success.  They have learned how to reach fruition of these goals by allowing their lives to unfold in the presence of being kind, helpful, and empathetic humans to others around them.  With patience, persistence, and support from others who remind them how precious they are, just as they are, they are able to move forward on their own terms and survive all the competition and economic forecast.  They find the niche, the purpose, by becoming still and listening.  This is not to say the students who measure up to the standards of success from society's standpoint don't also find their niches.  The tyranny of expectations and the suffering caused by competition tend to reduce creativity and contentment where we are right now at this moment.  The universe is definitively large enough to handle all that we dream of for ourselves and others.

    It is thrilling to spend time with students who have looked with clarity at the marble stone that is their life and see with chiseled focus their lives take form while remembering how their purpose is for the higher good in this life.  Each one is a significant and overwhelming masterpiece. 

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