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We are alive, that’s the greatest blessing

by Rinku Khumukcham
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There is a wonderful Buddhist organization in Ladakh, the Mahabodhi International Meditation Center (MIMC), which has an educational and spiritual campus spread over 250 acres of land, at a 20-minutes drive away from the Leh airport. The founder and President of MIMC Leh, Ven. Bhikkhu Sanghasena, is a world-renowned meditation master known for world peace and harmony. People from all over the country and abroad fondly call him Guruji. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to travel with Guruji and attend some of his meditation sessions. I learned a few good things from these meetings such as we should always live in the present moment and let go of the things which are not under our control. Also, there should be an awareness of what is happening around us or whatever exists around us. Means, we should live with Consciousness. Life is beautiful and there are a lot of things going on around us, which we can miss in a hurry. For example, the chirping of birds on trees, flowers blooming in the garden, cool breeze, colourful flowers and leaves, inspiring sunrise, a peaceful sunset or the glittering stars in the sky.
Bhikkhu Sanghasena begins his morning meditation session with a sentence that “Life is uncertain. We have woken up safely, that’s a great grace of God, because anything can happen at any moment in life. In such a situation, a healthy life is a thousand blessings.” There is a point in this teaching. Think to yourself, had anyone thought before February 2020 that an invisible virus would come and stop the whole world? Had anyone ever imagined that the world would come to a complete standstill for two years and everyone would walk around with masks on, hiding their faces? When the world started recovering from the pandemic, Russia’s military operation on Ukraine happened. There have been attacks on many countries in the past, but they did not directly affect our lives. But this time it is not so. Russia has been our friend for many decades and Ukraine was also an integral part of Russia (the erstwhile USSR). The language and culture of both the countries are the same even the appearance of the people there is the same. We have had educational and trade relations with both the countries. Therefore, it is natural for the Russia-Ukraine unrest to have a direct impact on India.
It is being said that the longer the war between Russia and Ukraine drags on, the more troubles will be for India, which has been dependent on Russia for defense weapons, oil, natural gas, chemical fertilizers etc. On the other hand, from Ukraine also we have been buying more than half of our natural gas requirement. In Ukraine, about 20 thousand Indian students were studying medicine. Due to the economic sanctions on Russia by Western countries, oil has become expensive, which is sure to have a direct impact on the economy of India and the everyday life of all of us. As soon as petroleum fuel becomes expensive, almost all the essential goods in the market start becoming costly. That’s when I said that we should learn to live in the present moment. Who knows what will happen next, so enjoy your life now.

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