Last night, I went from the tennis court to the meditation room. I dropped in to a meditation/Buddhism class taught by Western Buddhist nun, Gen Kelsang Dao of the Menlha Buddhist Center. I loved it!

The class began with a breathing meditation, continued with a lecture on Buddhism, and then ended with a giving meditation.

I really enjoy being in the moment. Though not easy, as thoughts often come into your mind, but after a while, you gain focus. I felt a sense of calm, relaxation, and gratitude.

After the class, we had tea together and I asked our wonderful teacher two questions.

The first question was, “How does Eastern philosophy apply to peak performance in sports?” She said that three principles in particular apply – patience, effort, and concentration. We talked about staying in the present (focusing on strategy, effort, and targets), instead of focusing on negative thoughts.

My second question was, “What is your favorite inspirational story?”

The story of Buddha was her favorite. He lived a life of luxury with all the material things you can imagine. One day he came in contact with the suffering nature of life, seeing sickness, old age, and death. This deeply disturbed him and he renounced his comfortable princely way of life. He went out and meditated, and eventually discovered that “the true path out of suffering is a middle way between the extremes of strict asceticism and self-indulgent luxury.” This led him to enlightenment, or the light within.

That’s the key word – within.

It’s not about external riches – it’s about internal riches. It’s not about the next big house, the next nice car, or our next great vacation. It’s not about the next trophy. Why do most people want those things? Because they think that those things will bring us happiness, but those things don’t last.

That reminds me of a story of two men at their wealthy, best friend’s funeral. One of them whispered to the other, “How much did he leave?”

The friend replied, “He left…everything.”

You don’t need materialistic things to make you happy, you can feel happy right now. Be grateful for all the big and little things in your life. If you give it your all every day, help others, and constantly improve. That’s what I think success is. Instead of asking, “Is life beautiful?” ask “Am I noticing?”

Thanks for reading.