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, July 28, 2013

Sundays With Buddha


Week 14

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.




This is one of the most appealing things to me about Buddhism. I have always had a very hard time understanding how it can be felt that one section or religion of people can all be right, paving their way to “heaven”, while everyone else is wrong, and destined for ‘eternal damnation’, for not believing as they do. 
I've heard all the arguments to this already, and this week’s lesson is not about whose religion is right and whose is wrong. It is to precisely point out the appeal of the Buddha’s way. It is appealing to me because it neither denies nor insists upon a Supreme Being—I am free to decide upon that myself. It is also completely free of any negative opinions about other religions, as Buddhism is not necessarily a religion more than a path to finding inner-peace.

But this Sunday’s lesson is not about me being on a soapbox about religion. I have always steered clear of religious discussions of any kind. It's just that, in this past year, it has become abundantly clear to me that we all need to work on becoming more unified, not separated, by our differences through prejudices and misunderstanding. If we all realized that we need each other to survive, that we have more than enough love to go around, and that we can grow from each other’s encouragements, what a world we could live in. If we all started seeing the oneness in all things instead of feeling superiority or dominion over all other beings inhabiting this earth, we could actually live in harmony with all of life, while still maintaining the necessary balance of the cycle of life.

So, that being said, I’ll step of my ‘unity soapbox’ and get on with exactly what this quote says to me.
What this week’s quote is saying is for you to make up your own mind about what you read and hear. The Buddha, as you can see from the actual quote, encourages you to believe nothing, no matter who tells you to believe it, unless it resonates with you, personally. I take this to mean, of course, not solely about philosophy or religion, but all things. I imagine religion probably wasn’t even actually in the forefront of Gautama’s mind more so than philosophy or life teachings, but I am not a scholar, so please don’t quote me. I never claim to know exactly what I’m talking about, just the humble pursuit of my own understanding and the joyful sharing of what I find.

And what I have found thus far is that Buddhism encourages you to find your own path to self-discovery; to enlightenment. Not even the Buddha, himself, asks for you to look to him, just because it is him. He wants you to trust in yourself, because you have all the wisdom you need inside of you. If your wisdom tell you that Christianity is the right path, then you are right. If your wisdom tells you that Hinduism, Judaism, Agnosticism, Buddhism or even Atheism is the way…then you are right. What is good for you may not be good for another. Your own spirit will guide you, if you listen.

I always feel as though I am creating animosity by discussing passionate topics such as religion, but this is a topic that is passionate to me. Not religion, per se, but common equality and acceptance of all. I am touched the by dedication that many religious people have to their beliefs and that they believe that their way is the right way and they want to share that with others, but I see that this world is changing, whether we are ready for it or not. We seem to be moving into a more progressive ideal system where we are gaining more acceptance for other belief systems. Where some would see this as a downward spiral to damnation, I see it as a beautiful unity of all human kind. When the barriers caused by separation and judgment and feelings of superiority are broken down, what we have left are acceptance and love and feelings of oneness and unity.

How can that be wrong?
Thanks for reading today.


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