Say you’re a crack software designer with your eye on a dream posting in California’s exciting Bay Area. The job dangles before you like a luscious red apple. Everyone knows you’re the best candidate. You’re so sure the job is yours that you start preparing to split India.
Then you get a call from a pal in Human Resources — sorry, she says, but they’ve given the project to Bipin Ghatge. I know, it sucks, but what to do? He’s our Chairman’s nephew — didn’t you know?”
Foiled again! This time by that smug toady Bipin! You want to eviscerate him and shriek with wicked laughter as his guts slither out of his belly, but you don’t relish the idea of spending the next 50 years in prison. You think about that new pub where you could get rip-roaring drunk — but that road to oblivion will make it impossible for you to endure Ghatge’s snide looks tomorrow.
Your mind ranges like a bandit over all your options. In a flash, the thought pops into your head that perhaps its time to try that silly Mahamudra meditation Mira forced you to listen to, when you were in the throes of another crisis. Your memory’s always been like the proverbial steel trap. You actually remember all those seven points she drummed into you, flavors she called them, as if she was selling ice-cream!
You slink home and drink some green tea with honey before parking your butt below the Buddha batik your mom gave you for a housewarming gift. You allow yourself to feel all your feelings about the loss of the Bay Area job. Ouch!
You apply the first step of Mahamudra: that all things are imperfect — and deliberately designed to be so — because if you and the world were both perfect, how would you grow? And though spiritual growth is not a priority for you, its weird how just accepting the inherently imperfect nature of this world makes you feel so much better.
You apply the second flavor — of impermanence. How many other disappointments have you dealt with in your thirty-one years? And just where are they now? Do you spend a second aching for that snooty chick who dumped you like a stack of dirty dishes crash bang into the sink of despair? Two months later, you met the amazing Aparajita — and boy oh boy, isn’t she a whole lot sweeter than that other shrew! Phew! As for this job, there are a thousand like it, some even better paying. Perhaps now is the time to leave a company that so blatantly practices nepotism.
No ownership. There it was, that seductive project in the Bay Area, right within your grasp, and then, whoosh, it was gone, without your permission! Who owned it? Certainly not you! Maybe there are invisible laws governing every little thing….
No accident. This one is tougher to accept. You’re a straight-up sort of guy and you don’t care for mystical bullshit. But hey, what to do, man, just go with the flow—accept that there are no accidents and see what happens.
No fixed judgment. You look back on your life and see the myriad times you judged something to be good or bad, and how that good turned into bad, and vice versa. What about that English writer who invented Harry Potter? Loses her job, is barely making it on welfare, then waves her magic wand and brings the boy magician to roaring life. Hey presto and abracadabra, soon she’s raking in millions. A clear case of Tragedy into Victory, what? And what about Stephen Jobs, your one-time hero, who had everything material a man could dream off…to die at his peak? This time the theme song’s Victory into Tragedy….and so on and so forth.
Transformation. Yes, you can transform this situation. You can quit this company pronto and accept that job you were offered last week. You’ve heard this new company plays fair and is run by an ethical board who respect their employees. Maybe by this time next year you will be working in the Bay Area….
Finally, did this whole incident flow from your own past karma? Did you actually set up this whole scenario in this or some past lifetime, just to learn a lesson? You’re not too sure about this, actually, it sounds kinda corny, but all right, okay, you’ll give this notion too a decent shot.
You continue to sit quietly, allowing these new views of the current crisis to percolate into your deeper self. It’s bizarre, but once again it feels like the sun is shining down on your precious head. Hey, this darn meditation really does work!