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To reach potential

To reach potential

Woman with palms together and eyes closed.

I have this thing
Inside of me, I’m sure.
Solid, real, tangible.
An essence of awesomeness
That early on my
Parents knew to be.

This potential I
Must work hard to actualise –
For wouldn’t it be such a loss
If everyone wasn’t made quite aware
That the single-most precious
Object in the world was me.

Yet something’s never quite right
In this pursuit of
Self-absorbed attainment
Where me and mine come first
To the detriment of all.

So lonely this path of self-absorption.
Others always othered:
To beat, to compare, to challenge
– sometimes to love –
Friends, family, strangers
They cannot reach me
On this pedestal,
Whether my arms are open or not.

Yet fear drives me on
To achieve the A+ of life.
I must be something, someone
To be considered worthy
Of love and affection
To find my true place in this world.

Elusive thus remains the
Contentment that I seek.
No job, no role, no other living being
Can halt the ever-going
Search for more and better.

Due to this, with head
Bowed with humility,
I solemnly take safe direction
In objects worth of refuge:
The three that provide inspiration now
Regarding the three
I will eventually become.
Great potential, yes, is there for sure.
Having the Tathagata lineage
Inconceivable is the capacity
Of this mind of mine.
But given the job to find it
– This I or its potential –
Empty handed I will return.

Thus with the weapon of understanding
The illusion-like nature of appearances
I shall strike at the source
Of all misery and pain.
You, self-centered thought
– Thief! Madman! Ruiner of all joy! –
I will believe you no more.

With courage instead
I choose to cultivate
The bodhi mind deep and vast.
The aspiration to the greatest
Potential for all.

(Photo by Riza Nugraha.)

Guest Author: R. Bradley

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