People most often come to Buddhism motivated by some sort of crisis, as they look to understand it and to find a way in which to deal with it, not understanding that their realization that there is a crisis, is in fact dealing with it. As a master once said, “people that are looking for spirituality do not realize that they already have it.” Meaning, that they don’t see that the looking itself is what they are looking for, as the desire to pursue a deeper level is a deeper level.
For bodyguards, the greatest threat is the one that is unidentified, and, more often than not, a threat is not identified until it begins. So since a security breach reveals the beginning of a threat, the first thing a bodyguard does when a client expresses their concerns about themselves and their family’s safety is to do a security survey. A security survey will help identify the conditions that not only can create a threat, but will expose the vulnerabilities that create the opportunity for security to be breached by the threat.
Identifying the Vulnerabilities
This survey involves getting extremely personal with the client and going over all aspects of their life down to the smallest detail. Schedules, itineraries, activity’s, locations and the routes to and from them, health issues, as well as the status of all their relationships, including family, spouses and significant others both current and former, business associates, friends, employees, caretakers, are all closely scrutinized.
The client is even pressed to reveal unflattering information in regards to extramarital affairs and unethical and even illegal activities, as these are often the basis of threat vulnerability. Once identified, these vulnerabilities are secured by altering the client’s interaction with them or eliminating them altogether from the client’s life. In the protection world this is called “hardening the target”.
Protecting the Inner Buddha
In Buddhist practice we must do the same thing to protect our inner Buddha. We must harden ourselves as targets by doing a survey of our vulnerabilities. We must get extremely personal with ourselves and ask some tough questions about our lives. We must find where our weaknesses lie, and identify what and who are threats to them.
Who are the difficult people in our lives? What are the scenarios that accompany our involvement with them? What is the nature of the relationships conditioning? What are the habitual behaviors resulting from that conditioning? What new strategy can be utilized in facing this threat, or should it be avoided entirely?
In the protection world, whether to face a threat or not is a question that is often asked, as to knowingly enter into a potential threat scenario is decided based upon weighing out whether doing so or not is worth the risk. This might seem like an odd question to have to ask, but many high profile clients have responsibilities that often cannot be left unattended and to do so is nearly impossible regardless if the bodyguard recommends it. Many times protection agents are undermined by their clients who veto their requests to change schedules, cancel appearances, avoid certain routes, or not engage in spontaneous activity that’s not on the itinerary.
The bodyguard is a detail oriented, micro manager that to the best of their ability leaves nothing to chance. While the client is often shortsighted, acting on impulse, ignorant of the potential consequences of the chain of events that they are setting in motion, the bodyguard relies on clearly seeing the big picture. Most times, rather than having the luxury to weigh out whether doing something is worth the risk or not, and having the opportunity to avoid it, the bodyguard finds himself having no choice but to engage the risk due to the client’s lack of willingness and cooperation to concede to an alternative plan.
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Our inner Buddha’s safety is at risk in much the same way. Dependent origination states that all things are mutually dependent on each other, that they only arise in relation to each other. A traditional teaching explains dependent origination by simply saying:
If this exists, that exists;
if this ceases to exist, that also ceases to exist.
©2018 by Jeff Eisenberg. All Rights Reserved.
Publisher: Findhorn Press, an imprint of Inner Traditions Intl.
Buddha’s Bodyguard: How to Protect Your Inner V.I.P.
by Jeff Eisenberg.
While this book is not about personal protection per se, it applies personal protection theory and specific tactics utilized by bodyguards to Buddhist practice, laying out strategies to protect our inner Buddha from attack. With “paying attention” and mindfulness being key concepts of both a bodyguard’s profession and Buddhist practice, this pioneering book speaks to Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike.
About the Author
Jeff Eisenberg is a Grand Master level martial arts and meditation teacher with over 40 years of training and 25 years of teaching experience. He has run his own Dojo for nearly fifteen years and trained thousands of children and adults in the martial arts. He has also worked as a bodyguard, investigator, and director of crisis response in the emergency and psychiatric ward of a major hospital. Author of the bestselling book Fighting Buddha, he lives in Long Branch, New Jersey.
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