Welcome to Mondo Samu - Questions and Answers about my self-work.

Mondō: "questions and answers"; a recorded collection of dialogues between a pupil and teacher.
Samu: Work service; meditation in work.


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Buddha was a Technician!

One of the things I really like about Buddhism is the really simple, straight-forward logic it uses. I'm not a Buddhist (yet). I guess I'm more Buddhish, as they say. But, what I have learned of it, I really like.

I've been in the Technical Support/Software/I.T. business for most of my life. I'm a logic kind of guy. I'm a problem solver. I'm so much a problem solver, that it sometimes drives people (my wife) crazy. As soon as I hear a problem, I start separating negative and positive areas of the issue, and providing solutions and workarounds. It's what I do. It's what I've ALWAYS done. My whole life, not just in my work. I guess it's what makes me good at the work I have chosen to do.

Anyhow, while reading "Savor", I was noticing how the Four Noble Truths are exactly what a good technician uses to solve a computer problem!  Check out the following applications of the Four Noble Truths:

The Four Noble Truths:
  1. Dukkha - Life is Suffering
  2. Samudaya - Identify the cause of suffering.
  3. Nirodha - Believe that you can end the suffering.
  4. Magga - There is a path to ending the suffering.
The Four Noble Truths of Savor:
  1. Being overweight is suffering.
  2. You can identify the roots of your weight problem.
  3. Reaching a healthy weight is possible.
  4. You can follow a mindful path to a healthy weight.
The Four Noble Truths of Tech Support:
  1. Identify the problem.
  2. Identify the root of the problem.
  3. Believe that you can solve the problem.
  4. Follow the path to the solution.
Whether you are a coder like my buddy over at DharmaLoss or you are a tech support guy, or just a problem solver in general - the Four Noble Truths is really the way to solve any problem! I've done this my whole life, without ever knowing that it was part of the Buddhist way.

When I have hired technicians in the past, I always looked for guys who were good at problem solving. I didn't care what certifications they had, or what school they went to. I cared how many different solutions they could give me to a problem I would pose, and how they got to the root of the issue.

One of my favorites was always "If I ask you to get me an item out of the stock room, which is locked, how would you retrieve the item?"

Then I would see what their answer was, and how many answers they would give me. The best ones always asked a couple of questions. My favorite question being "May I have the key?" A few more would give me really creative answers (such as climb through the drop ceiling or tunnel under it), and lots of them. These are the guys I usually hired. Then there were the ones who stared at me numbly. We won't get in to them.

While all Four Noble Truths are equally important, I've always found that the Third Noble Truth step is perhaps the hardest, yet most critical, to cultivate.  I have always felt that belief and confidence that you CAN solve a problem is the biggest part of doing so.

Anyhow, the point of all of this is simply that I think one of the reasons that buddhism appeals to me so much is that I have always unknowingly followed the Four Noble Truths without even realizing it. So when I was introduced to them officially by Thich Nhat Hanh and Dr. Lilian Cheung in "Savor", it just seemed very natural to me.

It's possible that THAT is the reason that "Savor" has clicked so well with me. I've often said here in the past that I wasn't sure why "Savor" made so much sense to me, or why it has worked so effortlessly for me…perhaps it's because (I believe) for a person with a problem solving personality, it's probably something they are very comfortable with already.

Buddhism is really a very logical path to follow, and it follows that a "technician" would find this a natural fit.



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