Posts Tagged Buddhism
You can confront the prospect of your own death and try to analyze it and, in so doing, try to minimize some of the inevitable sufferings it causes. Neither way can you actually overcome it. However, as a Buddhist, I view death as a normal process of life? Knowing that I cannot escape it, I see no point in worrying about it. – His Holiness the Dalai Lama
This is a very true quote. If nothing else is certain, death is and always will be.
It is part of life. The beginning and the end. Alpha and Omega.
Stop worrying about it. I may die today. It will create suffering to my family and friends but not to me. In the endless quest to escape samsara, I end up on this earth again. For the second time, or third, or hundreds.
Who would know?
Have a safe week, stay alive. Live every moment.
You should do the work yourself, for buddhas only teach the way.
Buddhism, and I often forget, is not only a theoretical philosophy or way of life. Particularly for the later this is associated with practice.
The work you put in for being a better human being, helping others, putting others above yourself, being detached from possessions, and being a good human. And of course there are more things to it. From my point of view the personal development, calm, and meditation.
There is something for everyone in Buddhism. But Buddha only guides the way. You have tout it into practice.
Have a great week.
Do not underestimate your ability.
- Geshe Chekawa, “In Advice From a Spiritual Friend”
We all question our abilities at some point or another. We all on the other hand have seen people surviving extreme situations.
Often, when the human body is pushed to the limits, one realises how much more one is capable of doing.
Now, don’t underestimate this. Be aware of what you can do and take on the challenge. Be bold and brave. Embrace what you thought was impossible.
This week started with a bank holiday. I really could get used to 3 days weekends. Also, I finally bought what I was going on for for the last few months: an iPad. Yes, after converting to an iPhone, reading Steve Jobs’ Biography, then “Inside Apple” and now the biography of Joan Baez, I am so taken with Apple (and subsequently with the 60ies/Hippie attitude) that the next purchase will be an iMac. That has to wait until we have moved though.
The iPad is aiming to replace my netbook which my MIL (mother in law) will appreciate. Also when I start commuting longer from the new place there will be plenty of use for an iPad from reading the paper to writing this blog.
By the way the new place. We really annoy our solicitors and mortgage advisor. After some mistakes on their end, it has now all been verbally sorted. Once things are confirmed in writing we are going to exchange contracts (hopefully next week) and then move early June. Fingers, toes and legs crossed. We cannot wait. Life is on hold until we can settle. No new purchases, no BBQs, no new paint on the wall. We are just waiting.
This week I also got a new CD. Yes, those round little music holders that are getting replaced by digital music. I feel so retro knowing I love my vinyls and also got my record player here (despite that I haven’t used it for a while). Anyway, I got the CD from the Reinhard Mey concert I was visiting with my mum last year. It is great to have this memory on CD. Not only the songs but it also brings back the memory of this experience. Music can be so thought provoking and sentimental.
There has not been much else happening. Or it might have been, but nothing I can speak about freely. No, nothing to worry about. But there are a few things going on of which I am quite thoughtful about. However, things will happen as they meant to be. Being a Buddhist helps you coping with a lot of stuff you need to put up with. Politics, opinions, change of life, sudden changes and love.
Yes, love is the one I need to deal with too. Not a big burden of course. I love love – I mean who doesn’t. But hearing that the kids love you and that they miss you, I find it difficult to not think about it all the time whilst being away, at work or travelling.
This ties in with the most important event that happened this week: Rohan took his first few steps! It is fantastic to see him doing it. He seems to have so much fun and joy doing it but only does it when in the bedroom “having a race”, not when he is in the garden, park or elsewhere. I guess this is only the beginning.
I guess life is the challenge of being able to balance the “need for money”, the “aspiration for a career”, and the “love for the family”. This might sound sentimental but I am pleased with my life at the moment. Seeing so much love from my 3 year old (and the younger one too but different), and having a great job that allows for flexible working is fantastic. I couldn’t wish for anything else at the moment.
Now, before I start rattling on, I better stop.
Have a fantastic week. A normal weekend, a normal week ahead.
A mantra is not like a prayer to a divine being. Rather, the mantra is the deity, is enlightenment, immediately manifest.
- Lorne Ladner, “Wheel of Great Compassion”
A mantra, like the one on the side of my blog, is not a prayer. It is a way of life, a thought. It is something you choose in order improve your life, to help you making decisions. It leads you to your enlightenment, it helps you to manifest in the here and now.
Living with your partner, or being close with anyone – yes, this could be a work colleague, as we all know that we spend more time at work than at home – causes conflicts. That is normal.
Now today’s quote suggests the following:
It is very important that you do not compare your actions to your partner’s or judge your partner’s behavior as unskillful. Rather, focus on your own actions and take responsibility for them. Recall those times when you looked into your partner’s eyes and saw the pain you caused this person you love to suffer. If you can admit your own faults, if you can see how hurtful your actions were and tap into a sense of concern for your partner’s well-being, then compassion and loving-friendliness will flow.
- Bhante Henepola Gunaratana, “Eight Mindful Steps to Happiness”
Bhante says that instead of fuelling the conversation and make it hostile, you should stop in your tracks and think. Take responsibility! Focus on your own action!
By doing so you are less or not at all hurtful. You focus on your own mistakes instead. Be understanding, reach out to your partner and sow the love.
In return you will receive love, happiness and less conflicts.
Have a great day.
Another quote I really like:
It is crucial to know when it is appropriate to withdraw our attention from things that disturb our mind. However, if the only way we know how to deal with certain objects is to avoid them, there will be a severe limit as to how far our spiritual practice can take us.
- Lama Thubten Yeshe, “Introduction to Tantra”
Sometimes one continues thinking about things that are going on in one’s head. One cannot sleep or give any thought to something else. Maybe something in the future, a thought of what happens if etc.
It is important to know when to withdraw from those thoughts. Yes, we could just avoid them all but then we are limited in our believes.
Does that make sense? Yes, you should be dealing with all thoughts and some will be best avoided but most will teach you something. And resolving them will give you an advantage for your next big problem.
Never forget that you are the one in charge, deciding whether to deal with a situation and learn from it, seeing it as a challenge or rather to withdraw and avoid it. Latter won’t see you learning anything new.
Still fresh in the new year I want to continue citing some Buddhist quotes:
When you see a truck bearing down on you, by all means jump out of the way. But spend some time in meditation, too. Learning to deal with discomfort is the only way you’ll be ready to handle the truck you didn’t see.
- Bhante Henepola Gunaratana, “Mindfulness in Plain English”
What does that mean?
It means that you should be prepared at all times to avoid discomfort if you can. But, for some seldom for others often, you cannot avoid discomfort. The loss of a loved one, an accident, pain, a job loss or anything that life might throw at you.
So be prepared. Spend some time in meditation and calm your mind to be ready when the unexpected happens. Be ready to weather life’s storm.
Love and Kindness,
Just before Christmas, think of the following. It states my most practised and my most admired principle of Buddhism:
Eventually we will find (mostly in retrospect, of course) that we can be very grateful to those people who have made life most difficult for us.
- Ayya Khema, “When the Iron Eagle Flies”
I love that! I have been using this approach for many years. Whether it is a boss or whether it is a challenge at work, or at home. All those challenges you come across in life need to be solved in order for us to move on. If we master the challenge we get to the next one. If we die before we master the challenge, we will be confronted with a challenge that resolves a similar issue in our next life.
Hence, whenever you think you can escape life (suicide) or a situation (change jobs, avoid certain individuals), rest assured you come across the same situation again until it is resolved. The suffering, the ongoing samsara, will be part of this and future lives. The suffering will ease by solving one challenge, but the next one is around the corner.
Until we resolved them all. Until we become enlightened.
Buddha bless, have a great Christmas.
This week I found a very short quote but it is very fitting:
Do not think of studying Buddhism in order to gain some advantage as a reward for practicing Buddhism.
Of course, Buddhism is practised by many and even more, including myself, see it as a philosophy and practise not so much. However, whether you love the philosophy, practise Buddhism or whatever your motivation is: don’t use Buddhism to take advantage of anything. It creates bad karma.