Thought Provoking Quotes

Our life is shaped by our mind; we become what we think. Suffering follows an evil thought as the wheels of a cart follow the oxen that draws it. Our life is shaped by our mind; we become what we think. Joy follows a pure thought like a shadow that never leaves.

~The Buddha

 

Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. 

~Henry David Thoreau

 

“When we are unable to find tranquility within ourselves, it is useless to seek it elsewhere.”

~ Francois de La Rochefoucauld

 

Spiritual Tuesdays: Buddhist Ethics

A lay Buddhist should train in what is known as the “Five Precepts“. The five precepts are training rules, which, if one were to break any of them, one should be aware of the breach and look at how such a breach may be avoided in the future.

Buddhism places a great emphasis on the ‘mind‘ and its mental anguish such as remorse, anxiety, guilt etc. which is to be avoided to cultivate a calm and peaceful mind. The five precepts are:

  1. Avoid taking the life of beings: This applies to all living things not just humans. All beings have a right to their life and that right should be respected.
  2. Avoid taking things not given: This goes beyond stealing. One should avoid taking anything unless one is sure it is intended for them.
  3. Refrain from false speech:Avoid lies and deceit. Avoid speech which is not beneficial to the welfare of others.
  4. Avoid sensual misconduct: This means avoid overindulgence in any sensual pleasures e.g. gluttony as well as misconduct of a sexual nature.
  5. Avoid substances which cause intoxication or heedlessness:This does not mean alcohol is bad, but indulgence in such a substance could lead to the breaking of the other four precepts.

The information above was extracted from Buddhanet.net.

Buddhism is a way of life. The precepts above is tantamount to the ten commandments in Christianity.

Thanks for reading … Namaste!

Image via zazenlife.com

Obnoxious Passenger … FAILED Buddhist Teachings

Tuesday evening, my wife and i were traveling on the bus home. When we got on, the only double seats available was at the back of the bus. A man was sitting in the row before the last with his seat reclined. My wife went into the corner, directly behind the man and I sat beside her. I tapped him on his shoulder and asked him to raise his seat a little.

He turned around quite furious with a frown on his face and bellowed “What?!” I repeated in a polite tone “Could you raise your seat a little please?” He ignored me and answered his phone. When he hung up, he raised the seat a little (literally an inch). He asked if that was OK. Before I could say anything, my wife answered, as if to avoid confrontation, “YES”. His seat was still pressing against her legs. I was livid! My protective instinct was compelling me to pound him with my umbrella.

Buddha‘s teachings of nonviolence was the farthest thing from my mind in the moment. We scooched over one seat to the right. With a frown plastered on my face, I told her how I felt. She smiled and said “Babes, some people are just inconsiderate. If we wanted convenience we would buy a car. This is out of our control”.  I smiled. As she laid her head on my shoulder, my anger dissipated as quickly as it came.

I thought I was in perfect control of my emotions, but sometimes it takes moments like these for us to realize how weak we really are and they act as a lesson.

Love in Any Species

Photo: CNImaging/Photoshot

 

Photo: EPA/ALEXANDER RUESCHE/ Landov

 

Photo: Helen J. Arnold

Snippet from Kirk Franklin‘s song – Love

Love a word that comes and goes – but few people really know
What it really means to love somebody
Love though the tears may fade away – I’m so glad your love will stay

 

We all want to be loved. Whether it’s by the father that left your mother when we were a child, or the mother that left you at the hospital forcing us to go through the rigors of foster care or by your significant other. Oprah says that we need validation. It’s the same thing.

Validate me my long lost father with your love.

Validate me mother with your love even though you left me at the hospital due to whatever circumstance.

Validate me my partner because you know me for who I really am.

LOVE is really about accepting someone into your life. When you accept someone in your life, you accept their differences, their quirks, their idiosyncrasies. You accept that they sometimes forget to put down the toilet seat. You accept that they have a disorder. You accept that they are who they are.

You should never try to change the person that you are in love with. The reason for changing them is egocentric. Those little idiosyncrasies are what you will miss the most when that person isn’t around.

What are your thoughts on love?

The Universe and You

The universe is a strange place. When you live a good life without violating the laws of the universe, you or your children will reap the rewards.

My mother is a kind-hearted soul. She treats everyone with respect. Sometimes I’ve witnessed some of those same people whom she has shown kindness treat her bitterly. I get mad sometimes, but I find solace in the fact that her kindness will not go unnoticed. The universe is aware of this and I am receiving her blessings/rewards now.

If you intend to live your life hurting others, remember that your deeds might not affect you, but your children or your grandchildren. Sometimes you might notice that things never go in your favor despite your best efforts. That’s because no bad deed goes unnoticed. The universe is righting a wrong. Some might call it karma. It’s all about balance.

English: Tibetan endless knot Nederlands: Tibe...

Image via Wikipedia

 

 

The Impermanence of Life

Buddhism teaches that nothing is permanent. The first noble truth of Buddhism is that there exist great pain and suffering or dissatisfaction in life. It is not a pessimistic view, but more a realistic view.

Life is constantly changing. Nothing is permanent. You may be well today and ill tomorrow. Alive today, dead tomorrow. When things doesn’t measure up to our expectations, we become depressed, angry or sad.

If we learn to accept the fact that life is impermanent and subject to change, then we will have some insight into what gives us true happiness and what doesn’t. If we are able to do this, then our suffering or dissatisfaction will diminish.

Traleg Kyabgon explains:

Normally we think our happiness is contingent upon external circumstances and situations, rather than upon our own inner atti­tude toward things, or toward life in general. The Buddha was saying that dissatisfaction is part of life, even if we are seeking happiness and even if we manage to find temporary happiness. The very fact that it is temporary means that sooner or later the happiness is going to pass. So the Buddha said that unless we understand this and see how pervasive dissatisfaction or duhkha is, it is impossible for us to start looking for real happiness.

 

New Year’s Resolution

I plan to make some changes in my life for the coming year – 2012. So here’s the list:

1. Yoga

I’ve heard that Yoga is the greatest healer, and although I’m not ill (as far as I’m aware) I want to try it for a few months and see if I feel any different.

Yoga Journal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Optimistic

I’m not a pessimist, but I’m not an optimist either. I’m a skeptic. Having a scientific mind, it’s only natural. If I maintain a positive energy and attitude towards everything, I will attract positive people and things in my life, according to Oprah.

3. Buddhism

This one is going to be hard given point 2, but I will give it a try – Buddhism. Buddhism is more of a philosophy than a religion and it’s inline with most of my core beliefs and principles.

Buddhism

Image by Shapour Bahrami via Flickr

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Once A Week

I’ll be joining WordPress‘ Post-A-Week challenge. I was thinking about the Post-A-Day, but that requires a lot more dedication, so I opted for the latter.

So that’s my plan for the new year. Do you have anything you want to try or do differently for the new year?