Tuesday, April 7, 2009

First Week

The first week was fairly tough to actually practice. Following the right thought is the hardest part for me. It is so hard to not fall deep into anger when I think about certain things. I try my hardest not go into those negative thoughts, and sometimes it is to no avail. For example if somebody brings up somebody who I really can't stand, I try to look through the situation without falling deeper and deeper into my anger towards that person. I don't think anger is particularly bad for a person, but I do believe its far to easy for us to become subject to becoming easy. So how do we stop being angry with somebody? We let it go. Letting things that upset and anger us is one of hardest things for me, and I have a feeling I am not alone, to do.

So, for this week, I am going to let certain things go. I am going to release my grip and stop holding on so tightly to what used to matter so much. It makes me more of a bitter person. That does not mean things will go back to the way they were before each grudge I hold started, it means that I myself will have peace with a few issues in my mind that bother me.

Wish me luck.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Eightfold Path, 1 and 2.

Panna: Discernment, wisdom:
  • 1) Samma ditthi Right Understanding or view
  • 2) Samma sankappa: Right thinking or intention
These are the first of the Eightfold Path. The core of Buddhism is the Four Noble Truths, and the eightfold path is the core of the Truths. These are the keys to stop suffering. Although I have been trying my hardest to understanding the Four Noble Truths, I am not sure that I have done so to a degree that says I am on the right path. I believe to understand the Four Noble Truths, you must first understand that there is suffering in the world, and therefor you have to suffer yourself. Now I haven't suffered nearly as much as the next person in this world, I would however, say that I have suffered a bit through my relationship with family, getting in trouble, feeling like being at the very bottom of my existence one year ago, and the weeks after my last relationship. Especially the last of the aforementioned experiences. I was jealous, blind with rage, and lost faith in my friends and subsequently it severely hurt my faith in humanity.

Why, why do you suffer? Why have you suffered? Why will you suffer? You and I, we must understand why we suffer.

For one to know sin, one must him or herself sinned, however this is no excuse for that person to sin.

I believe that in order to know hate you must have hated, to know envy, you must experience envy, etc. Now on the other hand its foolish for me to seek these negative emotions in order to stop suffering. So my strongest option is to continue to follow this path with the knowledge and experience I currently have. The second best thing, without completely destroying your life to understand this, is to volunteer at homeless shelters and such, which I plan on doing. See the suffering in this world, and learn from your experiences.

I think, you have to totally surrender yourself to the fact that ending suffering is possible and that this WILL work. You have to embrace the end of suffering and that it is not an easy path.

Secondly this also means you must see things in the world for how they are, and that is hard to due because people are raised biased towards almost everything. I am, you are. We must try to view the world not through our eyes, but through a higher outside onlookers eyes, if we do this, I believe the two views will eventually become one.

I have also began attempting the second of the eightfold path. Right thought. This has been extremely hard for me. My mind often wonders into the negative, rather than the positive. We should always have the right intention, which relates to this. Once we see things for how they actually are, than you can have real, good intention. If you cannot see things how they actually are, than you will not have good intention, it will be tainted by selfishness. We have beautiful and powerful minds, we need to use that to make educated decisions to do the right things. You can't use the excuse of the using the right intentions to make selfish choices. People may see through it, or maybe they won't. More importantly you will see through them and YOU will continue to suffer.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Day 1.

Today is my first day. I am going to attempt to learn and follow Buddhism as it applies to my life. I do not know much about it at this point, other than that it makes more sense to me than anything else.

"The greatest achievement is selflessness.
The greatest worth is self-mastery.
The greatest quality is seeking to serve others.
The greatest precept is continual awareness.
The greatest medicine is the emptiness of everything.
The greatest action is not conforming with the worlds ways.
The greatest magic is transmuting the passions.
The greatest generosity is non-attachment.
The greatest goodness is a peaceful mind.
The greatest patience is humility.
The greatest effort is not concerned with results.
The greatest meditation is a mind that lets go.
The greatest wisdom is seeing through appearances." Atisha.

That I think is the most brilliant thing I have ever read in all honesty, and I plan on trying to use the philosophy of Buddhism to live my life to those standards.

Life is suffering, as we all know, life is pain. We hurt and as I get older (I realize that I am young) I become more and more bitter towards humanity, and I do not believe in any way shape or form, that I am alone. We break up, we get jealous, we hate, we cry, we argue, we hide it, we fight, hide from it, etc. I want a way of breaking away from it, at least in a small part.

Suffering is caused by attachment and ignorance. If we did not care so much about the unimportant things in life, we wouldn't have all of this pain and jealousy and bitterness and hate and so on. I'm not saying we shouldn't care about anything, that we shouldn't love because we'll get hurt later, contrary to that I think loving and caring is essential to a persons life, but its only healthy for certain things. Material possessions are especially frowned upon. Like wise I'm not saying, DON'T EAT, because they are possessions, I'm saying eat until you're strong and you're healthy and treat yourself from time to time, just don't be glutinous. So on, you get the point.

It is possible, to end suffering. It is not easy like everything I read makes it seem, and in my reality it probably won't happen, but I will still aim to stop it. Why aim for something I can't fully achieve, or that I do not at this point, fully believe? Well its that I do fully believe that it will lessen suffering, because suffering originates from the mind, and I control my mind to a certain degree.

And finally there is a way to end suffering, and that is the Eightfold path.

These are the four noble truths, as understood by me.