7 Pieces Of Buddhist Wisdom That Will Transform Your Life
1. Live your life with compassion!
Being compassionate isn't just about helping the world or feeling fulfilled. It's simply the right thing to do. It's the right way to be. It's seeking to understand what's around you. And doing so will transform your life.
2. Forge new connections with other people.
And don't neglect the new connections! The Buddhists have communities of monks called Sanghas. It's simply a community of nuns, monks, and laypeople who practice peace together. They join in a united goal with one another. We can learn a lot from that principle! You don't have to be a super well rounded peacenik in order to promote peace. All you have to do is want peace.
3. Wake up.
And I don't mean that in the snotty, new-age sort of way. Not in the "you're a sheep and I'm a self-important jerk" way. I mean it in a very personal way. I mean it in a way that I've experienced. I've gone through much of my life belonging to a rat race that I don't feel like anyone should be a part of. These days, I strive to live life fully, to find joy in each moment, to overcome struggles, and to be fully present in this moment. That was my awakening. Yours may differ, but doesn't stop yourself from experiencing it.
4. If you change yourself, you'll change the world around you.
You must be the change... It's the quote that we've all heard way too many times. But we've heard it so many times because it's true. We do have to be the change! We have to start with ourselves. It's not you vs. them. There's no one vs. anyone in this case. You belong. You belong! Isn't that fantastic? Don't be afraid to change yourself to belong even better. Don't be afraid to be a part of the world.
5. Embrace death.
This is one that I've struggled with and I know many people do too. It's downright taboo in most cultures to do anything but pretend it doesn't exist, and when it does, speak of it in soft voices and lowered tones.
In Buddhism, students often "meditate on the corpse." It's what it sounds like. You basically meditate on the image of a corpse slowly decomposing naturally, eventually dissipating completely. Sounds intense, right?
You don't necessarily have to meditate on your corpse, but open up about death. Think about it. Speak freely about it. Come to a better conclusion about it.
And I don't necessarily mean presents or even monetary donations. Give parts of yourself too. Volunteer. Give when you see a part of yourself that needs to be given. Story time:
I bought cat food today. As I was checking out, the woman asked me if I'd be willing to add $.60 to my tab to buy a can of cat food for the no-kill nonprofit animal shelter one county over. She said they were really hurting for food because so many cats had been given up to them. I had $20 in my pocket from something I sold earlier on Craigslist, so I laid it down. Did I need $20? No. But some cats did apparently.
And that's what I mean. Open yourself up to giving when you see there is a need.
7. Remove your sense of attachment.
This one is the most important in my book. In our culture, we often cling to things like we would die without them. Like they give us the very life we enjoy. In Buddhism, it's a common practice to forgo attachment. They forgo attachment to things, to art, to each other, and even to their own bodies.
Consider the things you have. Consider the people you have. Understand that this is in no way permanent.