Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Buddhism 101

I have been reading up on Buddhism lately. Based on what I have seen so far I would define the concept of Nirvana as "lasting peace of mind." It is hard to summarise a spiritual path in a single blog post, but Buddhism tells us that: Life Stinks (sometimes), the cause of all suffering is wanting life to be something it's not, and that we can escape suffering by giving up our "ideals" and accepting life as it is. 

Some of this I find hard to swallow. If life is less than optimal, why shouldn't we try to create better circumstances for ourselves? Do we "settle" for less and stay where we are? Isn't that the definition of mediocrity, at least by western standards? Like most spiritual paths, Buddhism focuses on spiritual growth as a priority. Better luck in your next life. I feel conflicted about this. I do. 

What I did find useful was the Eightfold Path to Nirvana. Things we can do (or not do) everyday to be more centred, happy and relaxed. 

This is how I understand the Eightfold Path:

  • See life as it is, not how you want it to be.
  • Don't try to shoehorn life into your idea of what it should be. The same goes for other people, we can accept and love rather than change them. 
  • Speak plainly. No drama. No manipulation. 
  • Keep life simple  :-)
  • Be grateful for your job and do it well. We don't all need to win Nobel Prizes. Spiritual pursuits are important too. Let's keep the job in perspective, and focus on what makes the heart & soul happy. 
  • Balance is king! The middle road is sustainable, being a goody two shoes, not so much! I take this to mean that we all make mistakes and that's OK. 
  • Cultivate self-awareness, how do we speak, act and move about? This is the first step towards mindfulness, which encourages us to be present in our daily lives and fully aware of who we are. 
  • Live in the Now! Meditate 

Personally, I thought about the first point and I still want to manoeuver my way around situations that don't feel right. If you don't enjoy your job, find a new one. Don't despair. It won't last forever. Better things are always around the corner. I also think that we have a shared responsibility towards people who have it hard. Maybe the person who was born in abject poverty can't do much to rise above it, but the rest of us could help by rethinking our economic and social systems. War, poverty and inequality are the result of systems we have created. 







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Regina Chouza is a qualified Energy Healer, Angel Medium and author of Self-Healing, Cancer & Love and Chakra Healing & Magick. A graduate of the School of Intuition & Healing in London, she is developing a new technique that combines natal astrology, energy healing and crystals. Subscribe for an introduction to grounding, clearing and shielding your personal energy HERE.

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3 comments:

  1. Great post. Glad your studies are going so well.

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    1. Thank You! This was me being a nerd one afternoon and reading for the fun of it. I should do it more often :-)

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  2. The eightfold path is at the heart of the middle way, which turns from extremes, and encourages us to seek the simple approach.The eightfold path, although referred to as steps on a path, is not meant as a sequential learning process, but as eight aspects of life, all of which are to be integrated in every day life. Thus the environment is created to move closer to the Buddhist path. Informative for a beginner.

    Lama Surya Das

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