Siddartha Final Essay Assignment

Siddartha Final Essay Assignment - Aman Jha Mr Koup Period...

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Aman Jha Mr. Koup Period 3 Honors English 12 10/18/16 Shoveling Snow with Siddhartha The tenets of Buddhism are centered around self-improvement, which is what makes the philosophy so valuable and practical. All the qualities that make a Buddhist in turn help the person in real life situations. Shoveling Snow with Buddha by Billy Collins and Siddhartha by Herman Hesse both highlight the basic requirements of a successful Buddhist: concentration, adaptability, and optimism. All the traits are expressed in both works of literature and are qualities of learned Buddhists. Different portrayals of Gautama Buddha all have one feature in common: The Buddha is in meditation, in deep concentration. Though not every successful Buddhist is continuously in meditation, concentration is a common trait in most Buddhists. In order to transcend the material world and achieve Enlightenment, Buddhists need to examine themselves. Buddhists meditate in order to concentrate on themselves. In Shoveling Snow with Buddha , Billy Collins writes about the experience shoveling snow with a different incarnation of Buddha. He writes that the Buddha doesn’t talk unnecessarily but observes the world around him, “All morning long we work side by side, me with my commentary and he inside the generous pocket of his silence” (Collins 32-34). Throughout the shoveling session, Collins shovels the snow while talking, but the Buddha doesn’t respond because Collins never offers anything of value. Instead the Buddha concentrates on his work, ignoring everything else until the job is compete. His devotion and concentration is so clear that the speaker writes, “He has thrown himself into shoveling snow as if it were the purpose of existence, as if the sign of a perfect life were a clear driveway” (Collins 26-28). The Buddha is concentrated upon the task at hand: clearing the driveway of snow. Since the task isn’t complete, nothing else matters, and nothing will interrupt him. He throws everything he has into the
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job. Anyone who searches for Enlightenment must have concentration, or they will stray from their path.
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