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, April 20, 2014

Sundays With Buddha

It is you who must make the effort. Masters only point the way.


Week 52

Well, here we are...week 52. After everything that we have learned together over this past year of exploring these teachings of Guatama Buddha, the biggest lesson is this: it is all up to you. You will meet teachers along the way, in many capacities. A teacher is anyone you have learned a valuable lesson from, be it a small child who shows you the world through their eyes, an animal you have grown to love, or a seasoned Master that passes down centuries of teachings. You can be given questions to ponder and philosophies to meditate upon, but it is you who must decide to use it, the Master/Teacher can only point you in the right direction. You must make all of the decisions for yourself and it is you, and only you, who can do the work.

Only you will know what's right for you and when. You can listen to and take heed in the advice of others, consider the blessings in it, follow it or don't; those are still your decisions to make. And we must remember to do these things for the betterment of our well being, not just to please another, not even our loved ones. We may also grow to love our teachers, but we cannot live to please anyone but ourselves. Try to live to spread happiness and joy, yes, but solely to please everyone else...happiness surely cannot arise from this. And true happiness cannot arise from letting someone else handle our responsibilities, either. Only through our own tangible experiences, and our own strong efforts, can happiness abound.

I want to thank all of you for participating in my year long journey to find and follow the advice in the wisdom of the Buddha. I learned so many valuable lessons, and now I have a journal filled with advice to myself that I can refer to for life. My experiences may change, my views may change, but that is the beauty of life itself. Evolution. If we all continue to evolve into better means we're doing it right.

The great lesson I learned for myself this past year is that I don't know it all, and I am happy with learning. I have learned to open my eyes and see the lessons laid out before me. I notice the synchronicities that are provided to me, and I can pay attention more easily. I have learned a lot, and I have yet a lot to learn. It was difficult, at times, to stick with the program and finish on time. I made a few mistakes, was forgetful (and a little lazy), but I am ok with that. I learned that the way I am is not perfect, but I am perfect just the way I am. That is all a wonderful thing, because I am open to learning, accepting, growing, forgiving.

Thank you for being a part of that.

Until next time...



Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sundays With Buddha

It is better to do nothing than to do what is wrong. For whatever you do, you do to yourself.

Week 51

This is a tricky scenario, as we don't all think of "wrong" in the same way. And when to "do nothing" would depend upon what you would perceive as wrong, and in which situation.

There are things that are definitely morally and ethically wrong per society. Then there are things that are wrong per each individuals interpretation. Either way, if you feel that something you are doing or are about to do is "wrong", you are doing yourself a disservice by way of cause and effect. Some call it karma, some call it sin. Whatever we call it, we expect the outcome to mostly be leading to the same thing: Punishment.

Whether you feel this punishment is going to come from an outside source, e.g. God, the Universe, Karmic intervention, or an inside source like headaches, stomachaches, anxiety...your belief in it still makes it you, anyway. Your belief in something, or your faith in it, is the trigger of that cause and effect. This is the backbone of the importance of knowing what is right and wrong in accordance to your life, and taking care to heed your instincts so that you do not fall victim to the burden of those "punishments" that you fear. Whether anyone else believes as you do or not, the fact that you believe sets the moral standards for your life and actions.

It is up to you to decipher what is 'wrong'--by society's standards, by your family's standards, your friends, your own...
Once you decide what is right and wrong for yourself, you have to decide if it is appropriate for you to get involved in whatever scenario you are contemplating. Do you get into the fray between co-workers? The argument on social media? That grudge amongst family members that's pitting one against the other? Or even pushing that issue at work to prove your own point while standing up for yourself.

We owe it to ourselves (and all involved) to at least pause and think about the repercussions. We often busy ourselves with other people's business so much  that we forget to maintain the garden of our own lives. Even if we are trying to decide what to do for ourselves, that may not involve another, we must decide upon the risk to our own morality. It is a choice only we can make for ourselves; what actions are worth the "punishments", and don't we always leave room for punishments? We are human, afterall.

So, perhaps it is deemed better to do nothing at all: no action, no reaction, no retaliation, than to go forth with regrettable conduct. It is better to stop, think and choose to do nothing than to do what will cause you guilt; whether it is 'wrong' for anyone else or not. Your actions not only affect those around you--but yourself, as well. We always have the choice to "choose our battles". We do it when we weigh our desire for involvement vs outcome and realize one is more tolerable than the other. We don't often think about this being an important choice in the maintenance of our well being, but anything that can enhance peaceful living is worth the extra time.

It has taken me much practice to get where I am in my own decision making, and I still get forgetful of what is best when making those decisions. But the foundation is there, and you can always build upon a foundation.

Thanks for reading. Have a blessed week.



Sunday, April 6, 2014

Sundays With Buddha

Look not to the faults of others, nor to their omissions and commissions. But rather look to your own acts, to what you have done and left undone.


Week 50

Even 2,500 years ago people had to be told to mind their own business. This doesn't come from a place of haughty self righteousness from the Buddha, though. He warns us of important lessons to better ourselves by not losing ourselves in someone else's affairs, lest we lose ourselves, altogether.

It is sage advice, of course, to be reminded not to waste valuable energy on faulting others for what they may not be able to help, just as you do not want to be misunderstood for the things you do that you may not be aware of. It is always best to focus on your own actions; what you have done or not done, than to focus on other people.

We all have room for improvement and it is a much better habit to form improving ourselves rather than telling others that they need improving. Maybe next time we notice something about somone that we want to criticize we should have a little introspection and compare it to something about ourselves that we know we could improve.

No one need know you are doing this.  Being honest with oneself is important, but also a private matter. In this way we can learn some much needed humility from one another.

Thanks so much for being here today.