I was nearing the end of a two week course studying Buddhism and meditation at a monastery on the outskirts of Kathmandu, Nepal. And I, along with my classmates, had an opportunity to ask the abbot, Rinpoche Lama Lhundrup, questions.
One of the answers has stayed with me to this day.
It’s helped me to frame what ‘balance’ in life looks and feels like.
The question asked was:
So, I was with this girl. And it was amazing - I was so high and it felt so good. Then, she dumped me. And I went so low, it was awful.
Then, later, I met another girl. And it was okay - not too high, not too low. Like, it was alriiight (shrugging his shoulders).
Is that the middle path?
We’d been talking about the Buddhist concept of the middle way which refers to the avoidance of extremes in life - not too much pleasure and not too much asceticism.
After a longer answer which was translated from Tibetan into English, he closed with this line, “You know that feeling you had with the first girl? That’s your middle way.”
It struck me there that balance was about feeling good.
It was about emotion.
It wasn’t about the time spent doing certain things, it was how I was focused and feeling.
Today, I know I’m in balance when I’m consistently ranging from satisfaction or contentment to an even a more elevated state.
I make better decisions (which contribute to my overall balance on all subjects) when I feel good. If I’m stressed or tired or angry or worried, my behaviour and choices reflect it.
This was in my head today and wanted to share it with you.
I hope this finds you well and able to chill out in the quiet of your mind for a bit (if you want to!) today to practice your feeling of balance.
(image: mandy j daniels)