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I talk about how my life has been affected my recent Buddhist readings and meditation.

Submitted:Dec 19, 2009    Reads: 115    Comments: 1    Likes: 1   

Hi. The first paragraph below may seem a bit too much like waffle so sorry for that! Don't worry though because the rest of the article is plain and simple!
Why would you be interested in my life? Well let me start by saying that I should write "my" life. The inverted commas are used because in accordance with Buddhist Philosophy there is no "my, I or me". This may seem like an absurd comment in light of the fact that we can clearly see our body in the mirror, and we are all unique in a genetic sense. I do not want to delve too deeply into Buddhist philosophy, because my understanding is based on a small amount of reading and meditation. However, what I will say is that "my and I" are just labels that we attach to our body and mind. It is in my understanding ridiculous to say that the perception we have of our "self" (a product of our thoughts which depend on our surroundings and therefore the opinions and behaviours of others towards us) is based solely on our mind and body independent of anything else i.e. that we are born as "I" and this is unchangeable and stable.
Ok enough of that already! Let me tell you about how I reached my spiritual junction. I was offered a book to read "Mindfulness by Gunaratana". The book remained on my shelf for a long time. The title and front cover of the book made me think "What on earth would I want with that ridiculous book". One day I decided to have a look at it. I could not put the book down and within a short period of time I was meditating. The lightness of mind when I meditated felt like nothing I had ever experienced. After reading the book I started to believe that my happiness may depend on my level of compassion for others. Although it helped me to feel more positive in daily life I was still looking for something more to satisfy me in life.
One day I unusually found myself in the library and went straight to the Buddhist section. I picked up a couple of books "How to see yourself as you really are" and "Becoming Enlightened" by the Great Dalai Lama. I found the philosophy very interesting and much of it made perfect sense to me. Buddhism is not a religion but people of different religions have said that meditation is useful in helping to achieve better behaviour towards others.I now feel like I have reached a profound stage in my life. Although I have a lot to do in terms of improving my attitudes and behaviour (I believe that life is a constant opportunity to improve oneself), I feel that I am starting to gain a better control of my thoughts and actions, and more empathy for others.
One of my prominent beliefs from Buddhism is that the more tolerant I am of others, the happier I will be. Negative behaviour towards you may result in anger. The result of the anger may be detrimental to you even though it seems like a natural response at the time. Humans all share two factors in common. We all want to be happy and to avoid suffering. When I realise that someone is filled with negative emotions like hate, jealousy and anger I feel sorry for them. In fact I now realise that I have learnt the most about myself from the responses I have given to my worst enemies. As a Buddhist might say - you must be grateful to your worst enemies for they are your greatest spiritual teachers. Don't get me wrong, of course I feel bad if I am the subject of negative behaviour, but we quickly categorise people as either "good, bad or neutral". A Buddhist would tell you that people are not constant and permanent entities. Are tendency to hate or dislike someone is because we see that person for the negative behaviour we have experienced and think that they have no love or kindness in their heart. But remember that everyone wants to be happy and free from suffering.
A very materialistic person may use Buddhist philosophy to see the world in a greater light. People make strong assumptions based on what you look like, what your job is, and how much money you earn. Although we all make assumptions, meditation can help you to see a lot less strength in them. I want to do what makes "me" happy - but remember that "my" happiness depends on the happiness of others.
I do not know where life will take me but I want to make a real difference to people's lives. I believe that one day I will teach meditation to people regardless of their religious or economic status. I have been working voluntarily with young homeless people and it is the most touching job I have done.
I wish that all sentient beings develop great compassion, patience and tolerance, so that they can unite in the ever changing world. I hope that I will eventually achieve enlightenment (a supreme Buddhist concept).As an aside, meditation need not be conducted in silence. I feel like I am starting see the truth of my existence and I feel a lot more satisfied in life.


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