Personal Note

My most valued possession is my family. Even if you are living in a box somewhere, and you have the love and support of your family, you will always be wealthy. Love really is all you need. From love, great things will emerge. From your thoughts, you can create greatness.

This is what I need to remind myself of everyday to be the best person that I can be. Live your life with gratitude. Be thankful for all that you have everyday, even if it is your eyes to see or your ears to hear or your feet to walk or your hands to create. Understand your place in this Universe; how infinitesimally small you are, but how huge a contribution your Spirit is. Don't wear blinders to the world around you, you're not the only one here. Be kind, considerate, don't be judgemental, love others, and yourself. Know that you are perfect inside; that you are love.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Sundays With Buddha

   Week Two

“By your own folly you will be brought as low as your worst enemy wishes.”

Because of your own lack of foresight or poorly thought-out actions, you will stoop to your enemy’s level--just as they wish.

In a case such as the recent bombing at the Boston Marathon (and the Sandyhook Elementary School shooting and the Aurora Movie Theater shooting) it is understandable to be filled with confusion, anger and even hatred. Prejudice arises for those that are associated with these acts of violence, further separating "us" from "them".

What I believe this quote warns of in a situation such as this is the danger of the inability to let go of the anger in the aftermath.

There is a lot to be said for the heroics and undeniable bravery displayed by those that unselfishly put themselves in harm’s way for the sake of another. It is lifesaving in more than the obvious way. These acts of selfless bravery and caring that we are fortunate enough to witness during even the darkest of times are lifesaving for our Spirit, as well. It is important that we keep these acts in the forefront of our minds and let the good in these situations overcome the bad.

I don’t think it’s wrong to feel human emotion, but harmful to dwell upon the negative that others spread; for when you do, you are "by your own folly" allowing yourself to be "brought as low as your worst enemy wishes".

One who causes pain and suffering should not be feared. Building your life around that fear and letting a change occur in you based on the evil men do is exactly what they want; to control you with your own fear and hatred. This is the very purpose of "acts of terror."

Misery loves company. There are people out there who are unhappy and want you to be just as unhappy with them. It validates their feelings; makes those feelings ‘acceptable’ so they will do anything to “bring you to their level”. This, of course, can be avoided in both major and minor instances. In minor instances, such as being around people that just want to make you unhappy like them or feed off of your sympathy for their own perceived misery, you can remedy that situation fairly easily. Removing yourself from the situation or changing the conversation to something more positive is sometimes all it takes.

In a more major instance, such as the tragedies mentioned earlier, it takes a little more work within yourself to get to the point where you can actually let go of the fear and hatred you may harbor towards another. While these feelings are understandable, having them make a home in you, coiled and ready to strike, will eventually make you become your feelings, as you will be thinking on them often, and what we think we become.

By succumbing to your distaste for another, you are ultimately hurting yourself. When you dwell upon unpleasant feelings of dislike, distaste, annoyance, detest, and even hatred you start a seed of contention inside that you eventually might not even realize is there. It just slowly grows there, feeding off of your negativity like a parasite, becoming a part of you that you accept as truth. This “brings you as low as your ‘worst enemy’ wishes”. Forgetting the compassion that is inherent in your being is your “folly”, for “nothing can harm you as much as your own thoughts unguarded.”(Buddha)

We, more often than not, do more harm to ourselves than anyone else ever could. By letting our negative emotions run rampant we are causing ourselves harm worse than our enemies, by far.

What I think we are to take away from this wisdom of the Buddha is that, unchecked, our imaginations can run away with us, in the worst way. With practice and gentle reminders to ourselves, without judgment or scolding, we can eventually overcome the cycle of unconscious thinking that we have become so accustomed to. In doing so, it makes seeing the positive in any given situation clearer.

I am not saying to forget the sadness and remorse that comes with terrible acts. None of these things should be forgotten. On the contrary, they must be remembered, talked about and learned from. But it is just as important to celebrate the good that may have come from an act of violence as it is to remember the fallen from that act. I think it changes us as beings to remember our “being-ness”. How uplifting to know we can overcome such tragedies and rely on each other to hold out our hand to raise someone else up so they can do the same for the next?

How beautiful that we can look back, even with heartache, and realize how we have overcome such obstacles in this world and how this world seems to be changing for the better because of our actions, even as these things continue to occur. With our continued commitment to being proactive in this way and shining light onto the darkness we will surely get to the point where we are the darkness of this world's demise instead of it being ours.

Thank you for spending time with me today... 


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