To many, Buddhism goes beyond religion and is more of a philosophy and way of life. The Buddhist path consists of leading a moral life, being mindful and aware of thoughts and actions, and developing wisdom and understanding. Buddhism explains a purpose to life, it explains apparent injustice and inequality around the world, and it provides a code of practice or way of life that leads to no suffering. I’ve always had a great interest in Buddhism.
For those that don’t know, Buddhism is neither a monotheistic or polytheistic religion- making it non-theistic. There is no personal God or creator which makes it so much more fascinating for me. As someone who is a free-spirit, Buddhism makes so much sense because it doesn’t focus on what’s right and what’s wrong; and I say that with the utmost respect regarding other religions.
1. “Happiness does not depend on what you have or who you are. It solely relies on what you think.”
In order to find happiness, you must seek it from within. Have you ever looked at someone and noticed they had this “glow” on their face? Yeah, that’s what true happiness brings out. When we are happy, we encourage ourselves to spread our happiness with those close to us. Our skies are no longer gray, and we learn how to make the best of every day (#bars). Haven’t you realized that when you are happy, nothing else matters? And the beauty of it is that it is free. Of course, money can buy happiness…but what happens after you’ve gotten tired of that new car you bought? You begin to want a new one, which will probably require some overtime hours at your job, and then the cycle begins…remember- “There is no path to happiness, happiness is the path,” says the great Buddha.
2. “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”
One of my favorites. I’m not a fan of holding grudges, so every time I’m upset at someone, I think about this saying. Holding a grudge is only going to affect you in the long run. That girl you’re mad at for wearing the same dress as you to prom is probably continuing her life with no regrets. In other words, the best revenge is to move on and focus on yourself and your goals. It is completely understandable to be annoyed or upset in a situation like this, but it’s not worth spending a long period of time of what could be a happy life by dwelling on it. I’m not saying you should forgive everyone for how they affected you, but I am saying that you can keep a person at a distance and know that karma exists (which you actually don’t even have to raise a finger up for- that’s the beauty of it!)
3. “Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.”
Say it louder for the people in the back, Buddha! Had a bad day yesterday? Didn’t try your hardest on that exam? Had something mean to say to someone? No worries. Luckily we have this beautiful thing I like to call “tomorrow.” Tomorrow is always a new day to right your wrongs from yesterday. Don’t let one unfortunate event set the tone for the days to come. Think of those who didn’t have the chance to wake up today and fix their mistakes. Take advantage of every new day and know that time is the ultimate bearer of your future…with some effort, of course.
4. “Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.”
5. “Even death is not to be feared by one who has lived wisely.”
Death is a natural phenomenon which we have mixed feelings about. The majority of us fear death, while some of us live our lives wisely and enjoy every moment of it which leads us to minimize our fear of death by concentrating on the way we exist rather than the way we expire. Human life isn’t static- we must continuously undergo change, otherwise we are not alive. As life can take a dramatic turn from one moment to the next, we must learn how to make the best of it. Keep in mind that even on your worst days you are living like someone on their best days. If the unfortunate situation is worse than hitting rock bottom, remember that from this point, the only way is up. When you stop stressing over the things you can’t control, you will see how your life changes for the better. And with that being said, you begin your path to a wiser life.