In the Boabom Arts, one of the goals of meditation is to assess things, detached from all prejudice. In light of this, analyzing and meditating on eastern stories while assessing our present life, I have come to the conclusion that we are little Buddha Princes.
The Buddhists say that Siddhartha, the Buddha, was born in a real north Indian family. His father, the King, wishing the best for him, tried to keep the little prince from all that was unpleasant. Within the walls of the monarch’s castle, nothing bad could happen; if someone died, the little prince did not hear, for nobody was allowed to mourn or grieve in the presence of the royal heir. Of course, when the little prince wished to eat the finest delicacies, he never knew what animals were killed, or who planted the vegetables in which he delighted. What did it matter who had reaped, who had transported it to the castle, who had cooked? Hidden servants did all, and all was ready for him, with the constant smiles of those who were responsible for his care. Death did not exist, there were no corpses; all was clean and far removed from decay. However, one day he decided to leave the walls of his father’s castle. It was at that moment, for the first time that the little prince faced the suffering of mankind. Surely at that moment he valued that every piece of clothing he had worn, every dish he had tasted with disdain, every stone of the castle, every sip of water he drank, came from the sacrifice of someone or something, and that every act carried a result in the real world. The little Buddha faced reality and from that moment his search did not cease until he found enlightenment.
Meditating on this today, I feel that we are like the young Buddha, in various measures; protected in the walls of our cities, following the true mandate of our father, society: to not suffer, to acquire all, unaware of the evil it carries, of the consequences, or of who really pays to keep the cost low. We are little Buddhas, yet we know that suffering does not enter inside the castle walls, little buddhas who take cover in the modern city as an untouchable palace, consuming resources in their own right, stopping at nothing, without measuring consequences, without compassion. Little Buddhas who open the tap and do not know from where the water comes, who consume meat and have no idea of the suffering of animals, who eat products packaged in plastic that ends up all too often somewhere in the sea. The truth is that we care neither where it comes from, nor where it goes, not at all… Someone will do the dirty work. What matters is the good restaurant, the best service, purely pleasurable packaging. Princelings with an imaginary kingdom who just want to flick the switch and have light, to stay safe, always far from the shadows, with no idea where the energy comes from that keeps us from the dreaded dark. We are privileged children who want the computer at our disposal, who throw a tantrum if we are without internet, TV, or electricity. We are interested only in our own pleasure; we never see the hidden servants. Even death terrifies us: the presence of bodies is prohibited, to have a human bone in sight or to have one’s own cemetery is quite a scandal; death must also be clean and under control. Without a doubt, we are spoiled little Buddhas, without values, tied to the comforts of the castle, to the law of the King; you must not suffer, pay no mind to what you consume, just buy and be happy… it’s that easy! Just buy and be happy.
The only difference between our story and that of the Buddha is that if we trust the tale of his life, the Buddha left his castle not because he saw the pain and suffering beyond the walls; he left because he knew that he owed something the world, not just the human world, but that of all living beings. The search for truth and how to overcome that suffering was his reward.
We will continue on in the castle, protected, consuming, consuming… Until the world shrivels up, dried out from our forcible endeavor to move always away from pain, forever towards pleasure.