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The Buddha

I am worthy.

Everyone is worthy.

Even Donald Trump is worthy. He just really, really doesn’t realize it.

We often hear the message from Buddhist teachers, which comes from the Buddha himself, that we all have the capacity to awaken. We are all already Buddhas, we just don’t realize it. We’re all like Donald Trump in that respect, even though we may not be as resolutely turned in the wrong direction as Trump is. Being on the path at all is a major step in the right direction. Just keep going.

What we hear less often is the necessary, implicit corollary — we all deserve to awaken.

When the Buddha himself awakened, he first endured taunting by Mara, which is a literal entity in many versions of the story, but which we can perhaps better understand as the Buddha’s neuroses or self limiting thoughts. It’s final taunt before the exact moment of the Buddha’s awakening was to demand of the Buddha what right he had to the world historical realization he was about to have.

The Buddha touched the ground and said, “The earth is my witness.” That was the right answer. Mara fled and Shakyamuni, the former prince, became the Buddha, the Awakened One.

No one can say it too often: What the Buddha did, you and I can do, and should do. We’ll be better off and the world will be better off. You deserve it as much as the Buddha did. Since he realized that meditation is the key, we can happily skip the years as ascetics that the Buddha endured before he realized that meditation is the key and just meditate instead.

So be nice to yourself. Do yourself a favor. You deserve it. We all deserve it. You make the world a better place, and yourself happier, by meditating.

Just do it.

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Written by

Uppity gay, Buddhist, author, historian.

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