I was at dinner with friends last night and we were sharing what inspires us to practice.
One of the things that inspires me is stories. As human beings, our reality is made up of the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves, about others and about our world. In particular, stories have the ability to inspire us – whether true or made up.
One archetype in many stories is the hero. The hero is willing to give up everything, even their life to help others. This is reminiscent of the Bodhisattva, or warrior of Compassion. In Buddhism, the Bodhisattva vows to reach enlightenment with the sole aim of freeing all others from their suffering.
The heroes that inspire me are Harry Potter, Frodo Baggins & Sam Gamgee from my favourite stories. Harry Potter was prepared to face certain death, so as to free the world from Lord Voldemort. Frodo & Sam were prepared to die in their efforts to carry the one ring to Mount Doom, so as to free Middle Earth of Lord Sauron.
So in the morning, when I wake up and am in two minds about whether to do my practice, I remember these stories and they inspire me. If Harry, Frodo & Sam can face death to help their world, then the least I can do is get out of bed and get to my practice to benefit myself and hopefully others I come into contact with! These stories remind me of the type of person I aspire to be.
And it works to get me onto my cushion!
So, see what can inspire you to practice – then, we can all be the heroes in our own stories!