FULL MOON – One-upmanship

Published Tuesday, 21 September 2021

Victory leads to hatred,
for the defeated suffer.
The peaceful live happily,
beyond victory and defeat.

Dhammapada v.201

Is there a way of wanting to win without being devastated when we don’t win? Can we strive to achieve our goals without becoming lost in striving? Generally, we tend to think that to succeed we must banish all thoughts of losing, and focus solely on winning. This is to ignore the power of mindfulness and wise reflection. If we train our faculties skillfully, it might be possible to be aware of the impulse to want to win, and also be aware of the awareness itself. There isn’t only wanting to win, there is also the knowing that we want to win. Cultivating this conscious knowing is one aspect of going for refuge to the Buddha. Such a perspective has the power to protect us from falling into playing the embarrassing game of one-upmanship.

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