Today I am very happy to announce that after more than six years, I have finally finished my graduate degree in Plant Biology. With this accomplishment comes much happiness, pride, and relief. There were so many times that I didn't think I could do it, that I would have to give up, that I wasn't strong enough. But with support from family and friends and a little perseverance, I saw it through. I am happy that I did, because now I am free to follow my dream of educating future plant biologists.
Of course, with much happiness and celebration comes the need to share much gratitude. I am, and will always be, grateful to my parents, husband, siblings, family, in-laws, friends, colleagues, and, last but certainly not least, my advisor. I also couldn't have coped with the stress and anxiety I experienced along the way if I had not engaged in a spiritual life. As I say on the home page of BCB, "The teachings of the Buddha have brought joy to my life, and given meaning to my previously aimless spiritual path". With that I express my gratitude to the Three Jewels, the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha.
Finally, I would also like to thank you, my readers, for reading my posts, and for all you contribute to BCB with your insightful comments.
For all this I am very grateful.
So, what now?
As I ponder this a familiar Zen saying comes to mind:
"Before enlightenment, I chopped wood and carried water.
After Enlightenment, I chopped wood and carried water."
~ Zen proverb
Even though it is sometimes difficult to put our current situation into context, life does not begin only when we accomplish our goals, nor do our duties - or potential - cease after we finally accomplish them. Life truly resides only in the present moment. Realizing this, we can, moment by moment, work towards a happy life in whatever we do.
For me, this means not only rejoicing in my accomplishments as I look towards the horizon, but first and foremost to never stop learning.
Are there any personal victories that you would like to share? Have they made you grateful, and if so, why? As always, please share in the comments section below.
May all beings be happy!