Who do you turn to when you need advice? Generally, our instinct is to go to someone who we think will agree with our point of view: we don’t actually want advice, we want reinforcement. That’s all very well, as long as we were giving ourselves good advice in the first place … but be realistic, how often does that happen?! Are we allowing our need to have someone on our side outweigh our desire for helpful feedback?
Don’t fret, you can have both! Buddha is always on your side; but he won’t tell you that you’re right. That is, he won’t agree with your delusions. If our view of the situation is distorted by our own frustration or preconceptions, Buddha will tell it to us straight: ‘You’re wrong about everything, but don’t worry, I love you anyway, and together we’ll be able to sort this out.’
That’s the sort of advice we need – the sort that cuts through our delusions and encourages us the work with our mental attitude rather than just diving into finding practical ways to manipulate the situation.
So, how do we go about getting this advice? After all, I can’t just ring Buddha for a friendly chat! Of course you can: that’s what prayers are for. And I don’t just mean formal prayers – you can call Buddha up anytime by developing a mind of faith and asking him to bless your mind. Blessings transform us – they bring us wisdom and clarity. And they can bring us answers. When you need advice, try simply imagining Buddha is in front of you and asking him what to do. Keep your heart open and faithful; listen with your heart and his blessings will bring you an answer. For some people that will be a peaceful feeling that leads you in a certain direction; others might interpret those blessings as actual words of advice. Either way, we’ll get what we need: a wise friend who’s not afraid to tell us the truth.