Friday, March 12, 2010

Kyo Chi Gyo I

DHS 121



"So, Kyo Chi Gyo I. 'Kyo' is your goal, 'Chi' is your wisdom, 'Gyo' is the action you take, and 'I' is your resulting status." "This," she announced grandly, "is how to achieve all your goals in life."

And she wrote it down. Kyo - Goal. Chi - Wisdom. Gyo - Action. I - Status.

"Is this Buddhism?" I asked.

"Everything is Buddhism, darling."

"You know what I mean."

"Well, I learned it from a Buddhist. I think its a variation on a very deep Buddhist principle. But I just use it because it works."

"That's good enough for me," I said. "Go on."

"So, the starting point is setting your goal. Where you want to go. What you want to achieve."

"To be an 'A' writer?"

"No."

"Eh?"

"Common mistake. You're confusing 'Kyo' with 'I,' your goal and the status you get from reaching your goal. Being and Doing."

"I don't understand."

"Your goal is something outside yourself. Something you achieve through doing. Your status comes from doing it."

I furrowed my brow, still struggling.

"It's like saying, 'I want to be a traveler' rather than 'I want to travel.'"

"But what difference does it make?"

"It helps you focus on something concrete, and doable. Like, you want to go to Russia? OK, but where in Russia? You look at a map and pick a place. That's your goal. In going there you become a traveler, that's your status. Doing leads to being."

"I... see." I wasn't sure i did completely, but I was curious were this would lead.

"So what do you have to do, as your goal, to be a best selling writer?"

"Write."

"What?"

"A best selling book?"

"Good!" She smiled, pleased that i'd got it. Except, i hadn't.

"That's it?"

"No, but it's a start."

I was lost. "Well, i'm sorry, Dora, but this sounds like stating the bleeding obvious."

"Then why didn't you?"

I opened my mouth, and closed it, and opened it again. Nothing came out. Dora just smiled.

"It sounds like a small thing, Ed, but the difference is massive. If you focus on 'Kyo,' your goal, all your time you're thinking about out there, how you're going to get to your destination. But, if you focus on 'I,' your status, all the time you're basically thinking about, worrying about yourself. And if your self image and what you want to be are miles apart, ... well, that can be very painful. Paralyzing even."

I nodded bleakly. She'd got my number alright.

She looked at me sympathetically. "Don't worry, we all suffer from it. In fact i think it's why sportsmen, even champions, can choke at big moments. They suddenly switch focus from the game itself to what it could mean if they won or lost this particular point, or missed this kick, or whatever."

I thought about this for a moment. "OK.... it makes sense, but I still don't see how it helps me write a best selling book."

"Right." It was Dora's turn to furrow a brow. "Well.... I suppose I start by asking, what makes a best selling book?"

"If I knew that, Dora, I'd have written it years ago."

"Think of it like any other product."

"But it isn't. It's different."

"How?"

Another silence. I was stumped again.

"Why do people buy anything, Ed?"

"Advertising."

She shook her head. "I'd say it's because it meets a need of some kind. Physically. Or mentally. Spiritually, even. Any successful product does that for a lot of people, and better than it's rivals. Even books."

"But a lot of successful products, books, are almost by accident." I felt I had to argue with her. She was making it sound too easy.

"That's right. Because often the creator won't know how many people have the same need as him or her."

I pulled a face, still unconvinced.

...

"Right..... So, all I need to do is write a book that meets an absolutely basic need and I'll have a massive hit on my hands?"

"Exactly! And in reaching your goal, 'Kyo,' you become a best selling author, 'I.'"

"Well, I better get going then. Thanks." I started to get to my feet, impatient with the utter banality of what I'd heard.

Dora looked concerned. "Don't you want to know about 'Chi' and 'Gyo?' Wisdom and action."

I hesitated, and sat down again.

From The Buddha, Geoff, and Me
Eddy Canfor-Dumas


(Chi and Gyo tomorrow.)

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is the best book ever- i have never gone though a book so many times in my life but on my worse days somehow Geoff shines some light.....
Ive only started looking at your blog and im really liking it. Some very inspiring stuff!

Lao Bendan said...

While i wouldn't call it the best book ever, i think it is a great book and i also love it. I'm not a Pure Land Buddhist like Geoff and Dora, but there is a nothing about this that i couldn't agree with. It is a great, great story and i've probably listened to the book 3 or 4 dozen times. I listen to it while i run several times each year and still find myself chuckling from time to time.

It's funny, but i get more from Dora than i do from Geoff. Maybe because Geoff is teaching the theory (which i already know) and Dora is teaching how to apply it all (which i desperately need to learn).

Enjoy.

Robin Stuart-Tilley said...

Actually Geoff and Dora are Nichiren Buddhists.

Lao Bendan said...

Hmmmm......, i knew that. Wonder why i typed Pure Land and never caught it?? Thanks for correcting me.