Often referred to as the ultimate therapist, being coached by the Buddha may be an interesting experience. His approach to life, which is deeply analytical and based on natural law, aim to make us aware of the true reality of things. Rooted in personal accountability, he presents a paradoxical truth that freedom is a by-product of commitment. And the being mindful of the bigger context within which we live is directly related to our ability to find new solutions.
We love business models, so if one would pitch up at such a coaching session, I can imagine him revealing his BRI coaching model. The first step will be to analyse basic Beliefs. His coaching philosophy is built on the objective analysis of 4 life-truths. Firstly, we need to understand that life is a constant challenge. Life is full of ups and downs with many types of challenges – some as light as a mild irritation with a colleague, others as disturbing as death. Point is, life is full of discomfort. Secondly, we need to understand that there are causes for these discomforts. They don’t just magically appear. They have a source. And if we understand the source, we can more effectively deal with a challenge. This leads us to the third truth – the possibility to get release. There is always a way to alleviate our unfortunate circumstances. Life doesn’t have to be so hard. And finally, the fourth truth points to the actions that could help minimise our challenges. But we have to do something ourselves. It’s not up to others. This complete the first part of the coaching session – considering the 4 fundamental truths of life and applying it to our own situation.
This leads us into the second part of the session – analysing the true Reality of the world we live in. Here, the Buddha will most probably highlight two key concepts we need to grasp: Impermanence and Interdependence. Life, or whatever challenge we have, is impermanent. This may not immediately release us from the challenge but it can help to add context. To understand that things can change brings hope. We may never be free from challenges, but we are always free to decide how we are going to react. The next part of understanding our current reality is to appreciate Interdependence. Everything in life is dependent on something else. The subtlest type is causality of conditions, like the effect of bad news on our thoughts or the effect of seeing a loved one on our state of mind. The second type of interdependence is “mereological”, like a leaf being dependent on the branch, your job being dependent on having some clients, or a happy relationship being dependent on you doing something nice for the other person.
Now that we have contextualised our challenges according to fundamental beliefs and realities, we can move to the third part of the coaching session, setting our Intent. So much depend on the purpose with which we navigate. If we have a positive intent we will manifest good results. The Buddha will probably add that we need to have good intentions for the sake of someone or something other than our selves. To make the world a better place, one day at a time.
Five powerful questions to wrap up the session will probably include:
- If your whole life has been designed in advance for you to learn a lesson from it, what would that lesson be?
- What challenge do you have right now and what is life asking from you at this point? What is the one right thing to do?
- If you were asked by a child you love to share the most important life lesson you’ve learnt, what would it be?
- What is something you’d like to celebrate?
- What legacy are you building, how would you like to be remembered?
These are the type of conversations we have on our journeys to India and in coaching sessions here in South Africa. To book a coaching session or find out more about our mindfulness retreats with Tibetan monks, contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org.