Tag: Buddhism

Buddhist Thoughts – Partner’s Communication

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

Continue reading

Buddhist Thoughts – Avoiding Thoughts

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

Continue reading

Buddhist Thoughts: Discomfort

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, Volker

Continue reading

Buddhist Thoughts: Learning from difficult people

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

Continue reading

Buddhist Thoughts: Taking advantage

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. – Dogen 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.

Continue reading

Buddhist Thoughts – Tree

Buddhism for me is more of a philosophy, and I probably should use it less in a work context but more in a personal development context. But isn’t that almost the same? For me I suppose it is. Anyway, I particularly like the following quote: As a tree with strong uninjured roots, though cut down, grows up again, so, when deep craving is not rooted out, suffering arises again and again. – Dhammapada It is the same theme as previous quotes: Buddhism continues to tell us, and we need to listen, that if you have a challenge in life, a problem, that unless you overcome it, you will have to fight it. And, you have to fight that problem over and over again, until it is resolved. If you cannot resolve it, then you will have to resolve it in your next life. Like a tree. Like a deep root. A problem cannot be solved by ignoring it. It can only be solved by solving it and coping with it. Only this way you rid yourself from the problem itself. Have a great day, Volker

Continue reading

Buddhist Thoughts – Suffering

I get a lot of positive feedback on my Buddhist thoughts. Hence I continue and try to write about one post a week. Bear with me, it isn’t always easy. I might bring in some thoughts from various books soon for some inspirational thoughts. For now, I still have a few things I want to cover with the help of quotes: Within the framework of the Buddhist Path, reflecting on suffering has tremendous importance because by realizing the nature of suffering, you will develop greater resolve to put an end to the causes of suffering and the unwholesome deeds which lead to suffering. And it will increase your enthusiasm for engaging in the wholesome actions and deeds which lead to happiness and joy. – His Holiness the Dalai Lama Suffering. I wrote about “I may die today” a while back. So dying is suffering? The Buddhist path, the samsara, the never ending – unless enlightened – rebirth cycle, is full of suffering. We encounter suffering because of things we have done in the past. Karma. We need to reflect on the suffering. We need to find out why we are suffering. This can be anything from lower back pain which

Continue reading

Buddhist Thoughts: Meditation

Admittedly, whilst I like the Buddhist philosophy, and whilst I try to incorporate most thoughts and guidelines into my daily life, I still haven’t mastered meditation. Eventually I will. I found my own way to meditate, but this isn’t meditation really. The following quote however says a lot. Don’t forget to bring the good experiences of meditation into your daily activities. Instead of acting and reacting impulsively and following your thoughts and feelings here and there, watch your mind carefully, be aware, and try to deal skillfully with problems as they arise. If you can do this each day, your meditation will have been successful. – Kathleen McDonald, “How to Meditate” Kathleen really stresses the importance of meditation. The act of settling your mind, and the act, on a daily basis, to stop reacting and to stop following your thoughts. Meditation is about quieting your mind, something I successful do on a daily basis. But I haven’t mastered the hour long sit down yet. However, I am not even sure you need to master that for a great and calm life. For a proper Zen Buddhist this is different of course, and it is still something I aspire to. But

Continue reading

Buddhist Thoughts: Don’t stand still

The Dharma Path is to keep walking forward. But the true Dharma has no going forward, no going backward, and no standing still. – Ajahn Chah, “Still Forest Pool” Dharma, the natural law or personal obligation or Buddha’s teachings, means that you are supposed to continue in life. That you should always walk forward, and keep walking. For me that means that I should enjoy the journey of life, make the best of it, and always try to improve my situation. Always striving for improvement. It also means for me not to hurt anyone on the way and carry out sustainable business. Now Ajahn says that the real Dharma has no going forward, no going backwards and no standing still. How do we understand that saying? For me it means that Dharma is always in the moment. It is not about what lies ahead of us or what lies behind us. It is not about standing still in the moment. It is about enjoying the moment and making the most of it. What do you think? Best Volker

Continue reading

Buddhist Thoughts: Showing Feelings

This is a rather long quote I found the other day. But it reminded me of our feelings. It reminded me of our game we play of too often: pretending what we are not. Look at children. Of course they may quarrel, but generally speaking they do not harbor ill feelings as much or as long as adults do. Most adults have the advantage of education over children, but what is the use of an education if they show a big smile while hiding negative feelings deep inside? Children don’t usually act in such a manner. If they feel angry with someone, they express it, and then it is finished. They can still play with that person the following day. – His Holiness the Dalai Lama, “Imagine All the People” Children are a joy. Having two of them can be daunting at times but overall the positive things outweigh any potential drawbacks. Children however are honest, they just tell you how things are. They don’t pretend to not feel ill or to feel ill if they are not. That might of course change once they get to school 😉 As His Holiness says, all the education isn’t helping to NOT

Continue reading