Today I had a football match. We call our team FC DemoCrazy. It is not that we are democratic, but we are crazy at this democratic junction. The kick off was at 5 pm. I had class with my American professor from 3 to 5 pm. So, there was no adequate time for coming back to hostel and changing dress. I got an idea. I wore my class football dress inside my gho, and put my boot inside my laptop bag and headed to my class. I was late by a few minutes; my professor stared with those big American eyes. Like all the westerners, he is crazily conscious about time. He may even eat you up if you are late by a quarter of hour. Lucky, that I was just late by three minutes and few seconds. Well, to tell the truth, everyone started to stare at me with disgust and bewilderment. I knew that my boots and socks were reeking and stinking. I acted innocent and rushed towards the empty chair at the backbench. I breathed in relief. At least my Professor didn’t smell anything. May be he was enjoying the perfume produced by cypress tree below the classroom block, carried away by winds into the classroom. We don’t fancy such scent because Bhutan is full of such perfumes.
The lecture was damn boring. I was not interested whether the world would be over populated by 2050 or not. I was not interested because it is a cliché. We never know what comes next. It is the law of nature. Everything changes every second. So, I believe in living in the present rather than being worrisome about future prospects. For that matter, the two-hour lecture seemed like two decades of plague and war. I was ecstatic when it was 5 pm. I proudly shouted and reminded the time. Everyone rushed outside in relief.
I ran towards the football pitch. Gang of girls, firmly seated along the cafeteria steps were gazing at me with dismay. They might have also inhaled some perfume aroma. I felt sorry for them. I wore my perfumed boots, I undressed my gho, and I was ready for the match with shots and Tottenham jersey on.
Before I ran into the pitch, I reminded myself with what Lama Zopa Rinpoche said in his book titled ‘Making life meaningful’. I contemplated, “Buddhism is not really going into caves and solitary places. It is all about the art of mind. One can gain more merit by practicing in day-to-day activities. Moreover, places like gathering and crowd is the best time to practice mind training. It is all about how you use your mental attitude. When who think good, automatically good words will come out of your mouth. When you think good and speak good, automatically your action will be wholesome. As a result, you will gain enormous merit. When you gain merit, you will develop wisdom, and this continuous practice will surpass Samsara. If you don’t have a courage to aspire to attain Nirvana for the sake for all living being, but if you still fix your mind with Boddichitta motivation, everything you would do will become cause of your happiness. This is very interesting and easy. It is easy to gain merit than defilement. You can make everything sublime and gain merit just with the power of your mind. All you need is courage, determination, and awareness. So, just be aware what you are thinking, speaking and doing. When the negative though arise, just let it go. When the positive thought arises, dedicate the merit to all the sentient beings. Practice this method in tranquility, and you will attain bliss”
“Wai kelzang. Wai boss, close your mouth and get in the field,” shouted one of my friends.
I didn’t realize that the match was about to begin. I was lost in a thought. I finally breathed deeply and softly said to myself. “Whatever you do, if you have Boddichhita motivation, everything will become dharma.”
“Even going to toilet, shopping, partying, making love and driving etc will become means for accumulating merits, if you only know how to think with Boddichitta motivation” I reassured.
You know, I try to think, speak, and do anything with Boddichhita motivation, but minute distraction is enough for my impure mind to get lost in ignorance. Sometime, when I gain momentum, I try to put my mind into practice. Even when I go to shit, I think and visualize that I am leading all the sentient beings from hell realm to blissful realm. When I sweep the floor, I try to imagine that I am cleansing all the demerits from sentient being. I also wish that all the sentient being to be free of demerits and defilement.
When I study for my class test, I think and wish- may all the sentient beings attain wisdom and knowledge. At the same time, I think that I am studying to pass the test, pass the exam, as a result, to graduate, get a job and to help my parents, and help others and all the sentient beings. You see, it is all interconnected.
The referee was waiting for me. In fact, everybody was waiting for me. I took my position. Together, I positioned my mind also. Before the match began, I tried to put my mind into practice. I thought by playing this match I would assist my friends. I thought that it would improve my health which would help me to help others. Most importantly, I thought that this match would give me an opportunity to control my anger when my friends yell at me. Buddhist texts say that the merits of thousand eons will be destroyed by a glimpse of single anger. Moreover, Buddha said that, “you will not be punished for your anger, but you will be punished by your anger.” So, I decided that when my friends yell at me, I would remain calm and practice patience as a remedy. Thus, for me, this football match was not just a normal fight over a ball. It was a golden opportunity for me to practice patience. It was a platform for my mind to tame anger. So, did I.
When Kinley threw the ball through the last defender, I dashed forward and caught the ball. The keeper was only a meter away from me. I was with the ball, and even blind women could have scored a goal, but I missed it. It seemed like a deliberate miss. I calmed down. I wasn’t nervous. I knew my mind that time. I was excited and eager for something harsh to happen with me. I was looking for some extreme offensive and angry words and actions from my teammates. But I admit that, I did not miss the goal deliberately.
Within the flick of seconds, I heard my named being shouted in disgust. I turn around, and saw one of my teammates yelling at me, fuming with rage.
He snarled, “ Wai Zanday, even a child could have scored a goal with such a awesome pass. If you can’t do that, seriously, you can leave the game.”
He seemed to be satisfied with his pride when he showered those words on me with his frowned face.
I immediately let it go what he said. I was indeed happy that I got a chance to turn such horrible situation into pleasant and virtuous one. I calmly folded my hands and begged sorry. I said that I would be careful next time. But most importantly, I wished that all the demerits he attained to befall on me. Moreover, I wished that the all the sentient being be rid of anger.
Well this is my short anecdote. I knew that I had not wasted my time in that football field. Nevertheless, I was also worried that soon my awareness would disappear and I will delve into illusion. Being in illusion will collect thousands of defilement.
No sooner did the referee blow the whistle, I smilingly walked out of the pitch thinking and visualizing that I am leading all the youth of Bhutan from an unemployment to better jobs.