One of the stories of Gautama Buddha that makes us introspect and reflect on our own determination (in any facet of life).
After spending over eight years, traveling around the world and hurting his body to the maximum extent possible, Gautama Buddha walked towards a stream, frail and incapable of moving another inch forward. His weakness had consumed him and he felt he was facing his end. He tried to cross the knee-deep stream of water, but his body gave in, and he started getting carried away by the stream. He chose not to give up at that moment and quickly held onto a branch trying to stay afloat or stand. He stood for a very long time, holding onto the branch.
It was a full moon night. He never realized when day turned into dusk and progressed to night, with a full bright moon lighting up the sky. He just stood there, holding the branch.
He had given up everything.
He realized in that moment, that he needed to hold onto something.
What seemed like a moment of weakness turned into a moment of realization. He realized that there was no need for all the struggle that he was going through, as the answers that he had been wanting were all inside of him. It was his DETERMINATION that would get him to his destination.
He climbed out of the stream and went towards the Bodhi tree and sat down, his mind determined on only one thing, holding onto to the one question for which he needed answers. In that moment, under the Bodhi tree, on that full moon night, he realized and was enlightened.
What we seek is within us. We need to have the determination to hold on, not let ourselves and our minds struggle. We need to let go of our struggles and calm our minds, and hold onto what we seek with a clear mind. Especially on a full moon night, when the turbulence of the moon has an enormous impact on our mental and emotional well being, when we use it to seek what we want, clarity emerges, easily and instantly.
Those who go through setbacks during the day, experience a series of emotional turbulence, just like how Gautama Buddha felt – maybe less or more, still – try to rise above and calm your mind down. In simple terms, sit quietly without talking to anyone, with your back straight, close your eyes and take a few deep breaths and think about what your search is about? Is it spiritual, is it financial well being, is it health, or anything else? Calmly renew your determination to face it, figure it out and come through it. You will find a renewed energy to continue.
Whenever I remember this story, it is time for me to renew my determination! Sharing it with you, hope you get to renew yours!