The Quickest Way to Be a Buddha

CyclingMy perfect Sunday began on Saturday night.

A dear friend and artist, Siraj ji called and asked me to join the Delhi Cyclothon for the Yamuna river. Yes, I said, I have to get back into cycling.

The next morning, the winter was setting in, and I sat pondering on my bed if I wanted to go. Finally got up, put air in my tires, donned my cycling gear, and woke up on my bicycle.

40 km of cycling with friends – Gaurav Wadhwa, Siraj Saxena, Aman Puri, such beautiful men. There were children who were on their unicycles, grown girls on tiny cycles (Siraj ji said it looked like they were riding mice, the modern Cinderella). And being in the aero position on my bicycle.

Came home, slept immediately, got up at 2:30 pm, hungry. Ate a little something, took a much-deserved bath, took off on my somatic therapy appointment. We spoke mostly, I didn’t do so much body work. She said, what you say is not just words, its so real, so tangible. I think the word she was looking for is ‘embody’ that truth. It’s a big word in somatic therapy. She laughed and choked at something else I said.

Which brings me to why I am writing this post. It feels SO good to DO good. To implement goodness, not just be an armchair good person. To make a difference in someone’s life, to put someone back together, to restore her faith in herself. To look into someone’s eyes, and say, I believe in you. And I don’t do it for her as much as I do it for myself – its my need to actualize myself.

All through that perfect Sunday, people made me smile. Two children carefully walking their grandfather to a restaurant despite the downpour. One woman saying, ‘oh that car is beautifully parked’. And I carried that joy with me. When I was driving, the car beside me honked three times. Normally I get annoyed with unnecessary honking, but this was clearly a message. I looked over, they lowered their window and said, you have a puncture, and pointed to the injured tire. I thanked them, and got my puncture repaired by a careful sardarji, who tested and tested again. I carried that joy of giving with me through this perfect Sunday.

Its surprising how few people know and practice this. My friends know this full well. I once asked a favor of my friend Cynthia Henderson. She responded with: thank you for the privilege of assisting you.

The best way to have friends is to be a friend. The greatest happiness in the world is in making others happy. The quickest way to be a Buddha is by giving with your entire being.

Oh, and- a 40 km bike ride doesn’t hurt, either.

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