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, October 27, 2013

Sundays With Buddha

Let a man overcome anger by love.


Week 27

It was my eleventh anniversary yesterday, and with my mind on my marriage, I can't think of a better example of this quote than my husband, Noah. I've never known a more loving man, slow to anger, quick to forgive.

He is a wonderful example of what I have been striving to become since I had the luck of becoming his partner--a peaceful soul. Some are just born with the natural ability to be peaceful and kind, and that's Noah. He has taught me through the years that I can have faith in 'mankind'. He has shown me that anger and upset is not a natural part of every human being, and is not a necessary reaction.

This is not to say that he doesn't get upset or disappointed or angry, but this is almost always short lived. Where I have had to work very diligently on my reaction to whatever it is that is happening to me, he has always been the calm one. Over the years I have been the one to study and learn new ways to live a more peaceful life, and I have passed on what I learned to him, but he has always just had an inherent peace, a natural calm about him, for the most part.

So, what does this have to do with this week's quote? Am I just going to go on and on with stars in my eyes about how wonderful my husband is? I'd love to, because, though he can still be less-than-perfect just the same as anyone else, I think he's pretty terrific, but this is not my intention (I saved that for Facebook). I'm just wanting to show the gratitude I have for him this week, and to share that he is my constant reminder to overcome anger with love, because I have had the honor of having his example in my life for so many years.

I believe love can cure many things. Loving kindness can bring together many people. You just need to open your heart to try it. Who is the example in your life that proves this to you? Who would you like to emulate in order to become a better person? Just observe what they do and how they handle themselves and try it for yourself sometime. You can never go wrong with love.

Have a great week and be safe.



Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sundays With Buddha

With good will for the entire cosmos, cultivate a limitless heart: above, below, and all around, unobstructed, without hostility or hate.

Week 26

Being at the half-way point to my one year journey of exploring this journal of quotes, I wanted to start to really understand more of what was being taught. Though I believe I understand this quote relatively well without much need for further explanation, that understanding has become much deeper as I continue to learn about the Buddhist way of life.

On the one hand, I can take this lesson right at face value, like anyone could. But, after researching the teachings of the Buddha, I have a deeper understanding that Buddhists believe that it is important for ourselves, and all of mankind, to nurture an attitude of unwavering goodwill towards all living beings.

When we open our hearts to caring for one another it changes our views immensely on our feelings of separation from one another. When we see each other with a sameness, we are better able to drop our judgments and criticisms of each other, helping us to also drop our fears and see one another with that 'sameness' and familiarity that will unite us instead of keeping us separate. We will then understand true compassion for our fellow human beings, and all life forms.

When we begin to see that we are all much "in the same boat", and that we all want pretty much the same things: to be happy, to love and to feel loved, to be fearless in our endeavors, to know that we are truly worthy of our space here and that we are lovable, we can begin to feel that kinship with others where only differences stood before. We can truly have that feeling we usually only have reserved for our closest family and best friends--a camaraderie that enables us to walk across hot coals to help one another.

I know. The little pessimist in me is saying the same thing you're thinking, "yeah, right. If this ever does happen, it's a looong way off."

But I'm more optimist than pessimist. Call it naivete, but I really honestly believe if we all start to change our thinking, we can actually accomplish this. In this lifetime. I'm not talking about changing our political views, switching religions, or dumping all of our beliefs. All of that's not necessary to become a kinder thinking person (well, for some it may be... ;). Why don't you try it, for just one day. Or one hour. Maybe just tell yourself you're going to look at everyone differently just while you are at the grocery store or while you're in Old Navy. Call it an experiment. See what happens.

I dare you.

Good luck finding your path to better living, and thanks so much for being here.



Sunday, October 13, 2013

Sundays With Buddha


Week 25

The mind is everything. What you think you become.


I think most of us have heard this notion "what you think, you become", especially after the wave of popularity of the book The Secret. While I don't necessarily take stock in everything that this book had to offer, ie: all of the focus on money and the material, I do seriously take stock in the belief that our thoughts are things,  and we have the power to create greatness or failure with our thoughts.

I know you've heard instances where a parent has driven it into a child that they would never amount to anything,  or husbands with wives, boyfriends with girlfriends or vice versa, even in platonic relationships. And, while not all cases result in those individuals not becoming successful at their endeavors, a great many of them very likely did not, all based on the fact that they believed what they were someone else. If they heard it every day, they thought about it every day and they became what they believed.

Now, think about any story you might have heard about the opposite occurring; something possibly bordering on the impossible--the miraculous. Someone believing in themselves so faithfully that they overcame all odds and truly became what they believed they could. A girl gets attacked by a shark, but becomes a surfing champion. Or even the super rich and famous like Oprah or Jim Carrey, who both grew up impoverished but believed in themselves even though others may not have. They continued to work hard to strive to be what they believed they could be.

I'm not suggesting you have to be rich to be happy, but your hopes and dreams are no less important than theirs. This is just an extraordinary example of what can be accomplished with faith and perseverance.  No, you don't merely have to strive for riches to accomplish happiness. I say 'merely' because there is so much more to existence than that. Wealth is not the ultimate prize. Knowing yourself and finding your truth is the prize. Get that in order, and all the other riches will fall into place, whatever those might be for you.

Believe in yourself. Believe in what you want. See it in that miracle of an imagination of yours. Know that you deserve it. Know that you can accomplish it. Know that whatever you want to be, you can become.

I wish you good luck in all of your endeavors.



Sunday, October 6, 2013

Sundays With Buddha

Week 24

Let go of anger. Let go of pride. When you are bound by nothing you go beyond sorrow.

"Let go of anger".

Easier said than done, sometimes. That often requires forgiveness of some sort. But, it can be done. Pride, however, is a little more difficult to define; or at least to let go of. What is pride? Being proud of your accomplishments can be a noble feeling. But, when you base your identity on those accomplishments, such as awards, recognition for your work/job, house, car, possessions, even your looks, that's when danger arises. What I feel the Buddha is teaching here is that when you form attachments to these things, identifying with them, priding yourself on them, what happens when you no longer have those things?

A lot of anger, for one.  And disappointment.  Not only should we try to let go of our attachment to all of these things that make us believe we are happy, we also need to let go of the anger that is a result of losing these thing, should they leave us. Furthermore, learning to become unattached to these things will, inevitably free us of our anger, as we are not bound any longer to them. Life is cyclic. Everything works on cause and effect.

I believe it is perfectly ok to have goals of attainment, but when it becomes "all you've got", what you've got is trouble.

What have you lost in the past that has been devastating? Job? Car? House? Relationship? Why did it upset you so? Did it leave a void? Were you worried about what everyone might think? You identified with those things, making them a part of you. When they went away, did you then think, "Who am I, now? What will people think of me? I just lost my house!!"?

Sorrow is caused by such strong identification and attachment. The same goes for anger. If you stay bound by your anger, and can't let that go, you can't live a free life. You mustn't stay attached to your feelings of being wronged by someone; not the people who took your house, or repossessed your car, the boyfriend who cheated or the co-worker who stole your thunder.  The act of forgiveness isn't just to bring another person peace, it's to bring yourself peace of mind, as well. Don't harm yourself by keeping anger bottled up inside of you. Sad, sorrowful, angry people live a sad, sorrowful, angry life. Let go of attachment. Let go of anger. When you are bound by nothing, you go beyond sorrow. You are truly free.

Thank you for reading today.