Buddhist Inspiration

Several years ago I was given a book that introduced me to many of the teachings of the Buddha – prior to this I had always remained relatively disinterested in all types of ‘organised religion’ or faith. I think the main reason for this was the alarming degree of contradiction that I have found, not always necessarily in the religions themselves, but in the people that claim to lead their lives by them.

For this reason, it took me a long time to acknowledge to anyone that I consider myself Buddhist. While I agree with many of the teachings of Buddha (I have many more to learn) and try to incorporate these into the way I view and approach life, I am not at all disciplined with it (even though I would like to be). Because of this, I think I probably fall into the aforementioned “contradiction” definition, so I often keep my faith to myself.

However, it’s something I am striving to change. I want to learn more, understand and infuse my life with more of Buddha’s teachings. Meditation is something I need to make time for each day. It helped me so much through a rough time in my life last year, and I don’t want it to become something I only fall back on in times of sadness.

I try to remind myself each day with a few little things, one of which is a blog called A Buddhist Perspective. I find that reading heavy texts about Buddism can sometimes be difficult and hard to simplify for a busy lifestyle. But this blog gives me great insights and new, simple, unique ways of increasing the impact my faith has on myself and others.

We classify giving into three kinds. We can give material resources such as food or money, as well as personal resources such as our time or energy. Secondly, we can give teachings to enable those who wish to learn to improve their lives on a daily basis or, on a more spiritual level, to find lasting happiness through understanding universal truths. And lastly, we can give courage: by giving our strength, stability, and understanding, we can relieve others’ worries and fears. And sometimes a smile is all they need. <<link>>

Sounds simple, right? I read this a few days ago, and since then have been having a bit of a rough time with balancing the demands placed on me. It’s easy to become insular and self-involved when things aren’t quite right in ones life. But taking a step back and gaining perspective can sometimes be all I need to take the edge off… and a smile from a friend doesn’t hurt either!

At the Culver Academy yesterday, we did a very simple meditation that anyone, regardless of their faith tradition, can do.

After settling into a meditation position that is comfortable for you, breathe in thinking “May I be happy.”  Then, breathe out while thinking “May all beings be happy.”

That’s it!

First we take in happiness for ourselves. But we keep that happiness for the briefest of moments, and then we turn around and give it to all beings.  So the happiness we create, we immediately share with everyone.  The in-breath creates some tension as our diaphragm pulls air into our lungs on our thought of personal happiness.  The out-breath releases the tension as we release the happiness with the thought that it will benefit all beings.  <<link>>

This is possibly the most helpful explanation of applied meditation that I have come across.  It’s simple, and it works.

I’d like to find more blogs or texts like this – so if you know of one, please leave me a comment!


1 Comment

  1. Justine,

    Thank you for the kind words! Your inclusion of the links is also appreciated.

    Warm wishes…

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