“A stressed businessman reaches a state of awakening during a … talk over a coffee with Mila Buchelli.”
This is how an article in the march issue of Magazine 8 (a popular science and spirituality magazine in Bulgaria) starts.
It is a bit more than a year ago that I met Plamen – a business owner from Bulgaria living in Austria.
I remember that day that I waited for him. I was told he is into a lot of stress and needs to urgently have a talk with me and somehow restore his balance. I didn’t know him at that time but I agreed because he was a friend of some relatives.
Little did I suspect what a profound and beautiful talk was about to unfold.
Long story short – he got kind of … enlightened. Yes, he discovered that state that some great masters over the ages have pointed to. And much to my surprise something in him powerfully shifted after I pointed out a few things and he started speaking like a real Buddha.
So from a stressed businessman he turned into … an awakened being. Who would expect? We’ve always thought that to reach such a state of awakening and self-realization you need to spend lifetimes in spiritual seeking and ascetic living but here he was – he never even had the slightest idea of aspiring for liberation, enlightenment … not even a yoga class.
Needless to say he was supremely happy and grateful for his unexpected discovery and even a year later he still speaks from that place of peace, wisdom and oneness.
I went to Bulgaria and told this story to my friends who were a lot into spiritual seeking, yoga and meditation and they were astonished. Then Magazine 8 got super interested in the story and asked me to interview Plamen for them and see how his life has changed, how this discovery affected his business and what’s going on in his life now, does he still experience the same state of purity or did his mind come back and beat him up?
Well, here are some of the things he shared with me. Read for yourself.
Who was Plamen before discovering the state of Buddha?
P: Before I lived in constant tension, on the brink of a nervous crisis. I had a lot of problems, too much work, too many questions that bothered me. I was a slave for my own goals and projections about life – how should I look, how should I live, what should I have. As a business owner with more than 140 employees, I was constantly under great stress, with constant problems and things to solve.
How do you feel now compared to the above description, is there any difference?
P: Now whatever happens around me, it cannot really affect me. But this is only after my realization. I became calm and balanced. Now I live in a completely different way and my attitude is totally different. Now I see there are no unsolvable things. There is nothing to be afraid of. Before I took everything way too serious. Now I don’t because I see that these are external events and they do not affect my essence, they are just things that happen, come and go. Everything is transient. When a difficult situation arises, I know that I will find the solution over time or when the time comes. Everything comes at its right place when one looks from a slightly different place, from their essence, not from the ideas and projections they have about themselves.
Everyone imagines that when one wakes up to the truth of themselves, he will wave goodbye to the world and retire into the forest or a cave. That obviously did not happen to you. How does a modern Buddha live his life?
P: Leaving the world after your awakening is one of those ideas and projections, that people construct in their heads. Why should there be a frame? Why should it be in the woods, in the mountains, in the city? Buddha can be anywhere. Wherever he wants. If you are enlightened, you should not run away from anything because you just accept everything as it is. There is nothing to escape. If I would go anywhere, it would be because of the fresh air, not because of the idea that I have to turn my back to my present life. It does not matter to me, the place, it has no meaning, I am free. I live in peace. When you empty your mind, you can be happy wherever you are, and you can always find a place of solitude. For example such a place for me is my car. 2-3 hours I just sit in it, I do not do anything. The modern Buddha can find a secluded place everywhere.
What would you say to everyone who is now on your old place – stressed and exhausted by thinking of profits and deadlines?
P: You just have to really see how unimportant, meaningless and transient these things are. Problems will be solved, they will come again, they will be solved again, and so on. If one can realize this and look back – work has always been done, something has always changed and nothing has been final or fatal. There is nothing to be afraid of! There is just one material encompassing world, but it does not define our essence. And if one understands this, he will never be stressed and exhausted. Because there is nothing that can take away what you are. I know that even if I end up naked and broke on the street, I will still be fine. I’ll find clothes again and make some money, build a business, and build something. But no one can take away what I am. If one thinks … he’s here, he’s always here. All things happen, come and go, new things happen, new things are changing, but he’s HERE. When he realizes that his essence is here and not there, not in those things, then he will forget what stress and tension is. I sleep very peaceful now. Because I know there is always a solution. You just have to give time for it to reveal itself, and some things are not in our control, and we just have to accept them. As I said, one has to try to look from a little different place at these things and if he can see from there, he will be another person. He will not be another person, in fact, he will be himself – the true self. “
Image by Dilyana Hezhaz