10 Life Lessons from Buddha
Becoming more mindful and present in everything we “do”, “say”, and “think”, will eventually enter a state of what’s known as “Nirvana” or the ultimate liberation and awakening of the soul.
Buddha embodied the spirit of peace, acceptance, and non-attachment to material possessions, and through his messages, we can come to a better understanding of our spiritual and emotional selves.
We can learn to live a better life with the teachings and ways of Buddha. Here are the 10 lessons from Buddha.
GIVE GENEROUSLY TO OTHERS
“If you knew what I know about the power of giving you would not let a single meal pass without sharing it in some way.”
“Give, even if you only have a little.”
In separateness lies the world’s greatest misery; in compassion lies the world’s true strength.
Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.
FREE YOURSELF FROM ATTACHMENTS
“All conditioned things are impermanent’ — when one sees this with wisdom, one turns away from suffering.”
We live in a society where most of us get attached to our precious things, which makes us happier. The life, the clothes, cars, and the person.
The universe is changing, everyone everything has to change. The attachments we are holding will have to be dispatched from us.
We will find peace if we are aware of the thing that we have to let it go someday. It’s okay to be attached to something but when the time comes for separation don’t hurt yourself.
TAKE THE JOURNEY WITHIN TO FIND ANSWERS
“No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.”
Instead of leaning on others to guide you through life, be brave and blaze your own path. There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting. We need to find our own path, take the path. The journey of our life starts with ourselves and ends with ourselves.
WALK A HUMBLE PATH
“Know from the rivers in clefts and in crevices: those in small channels flow noisily, the great flow silent. Whatever’s not full makes noise. Whatever is full is quiet.”
Being humble helps to build trust and facilitates learning, which are key aspects of leadership and personal development.
As the revolutionary Nelson Mandela once said “The first thing is, to be honest with yourself. You can never have an impact on society if you have not changed yourself… Great peacemakers are all people of integrity, of honesty, but humility.”
CONQUER THE EGO (MIND) AND FREE THE SOUL
“To conquer oneself is a greater task than conquering others.”
The ego’s job is to protect us. So, it’s always looking for danger. Even if the situation isn’t hazardous, it still has its hackles up because it expects something to go wrong. That is its role, seek out threats so it can protect us from any harm, real or imagined by the egoic mind. This negative outlook on life is why the natural state of the ego is fear.
The ego want’s to protect our self-image because that’s what it is. But many times, it inflates what reality it sees and projects its own, which causes us more problems. It’s the egoic voice that makes us think someone is trying to take away our position. The shameful thought we have about ourselves is from the ego. Feeling embarrassed is an egoic emotion because it affects our self-esteem.
RELEASE FEELINGS OF HATE, RESENTMENT, AND FEAR
“We see the mind like a house, so if your house is on fire, you need to take care of the fire, not to go look for the person that made the fire,”
Take care of those emotions first, because anything that comes from a place of fear and anxiety and anger will only make the fire worse. Come back and find a place of calm and peace to cool the flame of emotion down.
The Buddha faced plenty of his own fear and terror of imminent death. Here’s a passage from the Buddha’s early writings
How would it be if in the dark of the month, with no moon, I were to enter the most strange and frightening places, near tombs and in the thick of the forest, that I might come to understand fear and terror. And doing so, a wild animal would approach or the wind rustle the leaves and I would think, “Perhaps the fear and terror now comes.” And being resolved to dispel the hold of that fear and terror, I remained in whatever posture it arose, sitting or standing, walking or lying down. I did not change until I had faced that fear and terror in that very posture, until I was free of its hold upon me … And having this thought, I did so. By facing the fear and terror I became free.”
BE HERE NOW
“The past is already gone, the future is not yet here. There’s only one moment for you to live.”
We’re missing out on life if we’re living in our heads rather than connecting with the immediacy of being alive.
letting go of the past and not waiting for the future. It means living your life consciously, aware that each moment you breathe is a gift. Past and future are in the mind only — I am now.
In order to access the present moment we simply need to separate ourselves from the constant, incessant, and unproductive patterns of thinking that keep us locked in our minds and focusing on the past or the future. When we do this, the truth becomes clear; everything we desire exists right now in the present moment.
YOU ARE THE WRITER OF YOUR OWN DESTINY
“Purity or impurity depends on oneself. No one can purify another.”
Write your fate with your own hands and if you don’t like it, erase it and write it again. This is a powerful secret of life. We have such potential, such power that we can write or rewrite our destiny! All you need to know is what you want to do with your life.
The first step is to build faith in you. Remember, it can always be done. Second, build your confidence with the trust you are placing in yourself. Whatever you think of as a weakness in your character, avoid it. Try to live without weakness.
This means that in your mind, you think it is wrong to do a certain action, but you still do it. This is called duality. This duality weakens you. Live by what you believe.
NOURISH YOUR BODY WITH THE RIGHT FOODS
“Every human being is the author of his own health or disease.”
“During his lifetime, the Buddha concentrated on defining the basic principles or premises according to which people should live and left it to his adherents to consider exactly how these principles were to be carried out.
The principle of ‘oneness of mind and body’ teaches that a healthy body can only be achieved if the mind is kept strong and vice versa.
Hence, a strong belief in leading a healthy lifestyle is as important as incorporating healthy foods and exercise in one’s life. Eating at the right time and in the right quantity is the Buddhist way of healthy nourishment.”
Like many religions, Buddhism has food restrictions and traditions and is based on three dietary aspects- vegetarianism, alcohol restriction, and fasting.
An example of a lion who just eats flesh and an elephant who feeds on green vegetation. He said, “A lion can fight for up to 3 hours continuously but gets tired soon. However, an elephant can fight continuously for 20 hours. Hence, green food has more power than flesh.”
They practice mindful eating which means whenever you eat you focus only on your plate because when you put your heart and soul into the food — it starts acting like medicine. According to modern nutrition science, if you are distracted from your food, it would impact the digestive process adversely.
DON’T RESIST REALITY
“The world is afflicted by death and decay. But the wise do not grieve, having realized the nature of the world.”
Buddhism says our big problem is not sin but ignorance — our fundamental misunderstanding of reality.
Do things really exist the way we see them? Do they exist as the separate, independent entities we usually take them to be? “I” and “mine” certainly seem to exist. This world with its mountains, rivers, oceans, and cities seems solid and reliable. Past, present, and future seem to be three different things. That’s how things seem to most everybody most of the time. But it turns out that if these things were ultimately real, we would be completely stuck because liberation from the painful confines of this reality — the main promise of Buddhism — would be impossible.
There seems to be a contradiction between the reality we expect and experience on a daily basis and the reality described by the Buddha. This is because the way things appear to us is not the way things truly are. There are two ways of seeing everything. Whereas we see a world that is limited, confining, and solid, buddhas experience the world as open, spacious, and relaxed. What we experience as suffering, buddhas experience as great bliss. How could that be?
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