The Buddha's Path (The Middle Way) – Professor Trainor

The Buddha's Path (The Middle Way) – Professor Trainor

The Buddha's Path (The Middle Way) – Professor Trainor

Wandering in his search for enlightenment, Buddha came to a pleasant hermitage by a lovely stream, where, for six years, he joined five mendicants in a way of discipline based on progressively severe fasting. He ate a single grain of rice for each of the first two years, drank a single drop of water for each of the second two years, and took nothing at all during the last two. Consequently, his bones stuck out like a row of spindles, and when he touched his stomach, he could almost feel his spine. His hair fell out and his skin became withered.
But all this was in vain. However severe his austerities, perhaps even because of them, the body still clamored for attention, and he was still plagued by material craving. In fact, he seemed more conscious of himself than ever. Buddha had to face the fact that asceticism had failed to redeem him. All he had achieved after this heroic assault upon his body was a prominent rib cage, and a dangerously weakened physique.

Finally, it dawned upon him that physical austerity is one of the two extremes, and that the ‘Middle Way between these two extremes is the path to enlightenment.

Having gained enlightenment, Gautama came to be called Shakyamuni, or the silent lion, indicating the explosive potential he carried within himself.
After he became enlightened, he taught that the way to eliminate suffering begins with understanding the true nature of the world. However, the Buddha considered knowledge important only insofar as it remains practical. He rejected speculation about such matters as God, the nature of the universe, and the afterlife, urging his followers to focus instead on the Four Noble Truths by which they can free themselves from suffering.
“One thing I teach: suffering and the end of suffering.
It is just ill and the ceasing of ill that I proclaim.”
– The Buddha

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It so happened one day that my spouse and I were taking  a trip to the
furniture store, disagreeing as usual about what kind of furniture to
get and not coming to any solution. We have always had our little
stylistic disagreements in the past, and so when the time came to
purchase new furniture, there was certain to be some more discussion.

To explain things a bit, we have both had our different styles, for as
long as we’ve known each other. I have always been more interested in
things having a history behind them. Whether that relates to movies,
food, travel, or simply to buying new furniture, I have always liked
anything which brings the past into the present and gives things a feel
of permanence. 

On the other hand, my spouse has almost the complete opposite stylistic
inclinations. The food must always be different and new, the places we
go to the next hot spot and the movies alternative and very trendy. The
same thing of course applied to furniture—so you can imagine how things
started out.

We were then arguing about what to buy for the bedroom. My spouse of
course was more interested in getting something quite new, and pointed
out in a magazine this contemporary platform bed, so low to the ground that you’d feel like you were sleeping on the floor.

Instead, I turned the pages a bit to more traditional bedroom furniture,
a bed that you could easily get on and get off without the necessity of
kneeling, and something that you could actually see the floor beneath
it. The bed had some nice ornamentation on it, which made for a very
beautiful look, and by the way, a comfortable looking mattress.

The end result was that we continued to argue all the way to the
furniture store and then started to look at everything from sectional
sofas, to kitchen sets, until we finally got to the bedroom section. So
how do you think our day trip to the store ended?

We actually wanted a bed and a nightstand, which did complicate
matters, since we didn’t want two different styles in the same room,
which would make for a very odd look. In the end, the decision that we
did come to, was to go with something in between, and hence we went for
a more traditional but modern style for the bed and nightstand, and
since we had always wanted to get something else in the living room, we
went for a slightly more modern leather recliner. The result of our compromising was that the house now has a very interesting look. 

The point of the story is that even in a situation where you have two
people living in the same house with very different styles, you can
still come to a solution when it comes to furnishing things.  You just
need to learn how to compromise in the right way. What is really
interesting about this is that in the end you may just find that your
house looks much better than it normally would have with just a single
style. Because of our stylistic differences, my spouse and I have
definitely made for an interesting look.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Platform beds are the in thing for people fond of modern bedroom furniture. They look classy and give the bedroom a very contemporary feel.

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