What it takes to be Buddhist
First of all there is faith. First you start with a healthy
skeptical faith, you try meditation and/or you try chanting and you try to apply
the precepts Buddha taught to see if they really do work. After a time, you realize
that you are finding more peace and happiness in your world and within your self.
This causes you to have more faith. Buddhists split that faith into three parts;
faith in Buddha himself who first taught us how to live a life without suffering,
second, faith in the teachings themselves. These teachings provide the road map
to our own happiness and well being and to overcoming the problems of living in
this world where nothing can provide true happiness forever.
and more in these teachings allows you to live a peaceful life on this earth no
matter how much turmoil surrounds you and to have compassion for those around
you who are suffering as much or more than yourself. Lastly, there is faith in
your fellow practitioners who are walking the path with you as well as faith in
those teachers who are farther along the path than you are. All of them are our
teachers and can help us learn valuable lessons about becoming better people.
be a Buddhist takes mindfulness. The world passes us by so fast that we barely
recognize what is really going on around us or within us. We are so busy projecting
ourselves into the future of burying ourselves in the past, that being mindful
of the present is almost non existent. We're so busy surfing TV channels that
we don't notice the moments of our life that are passing by - We don't notice
the taste of the home cooked meal in our mouths or the smile on the face of our
children or our lover. To truly be one with the world around us - with each and
every sentient being, we must first be mindful that they're even there - put down
the remote and be present in the moment with them - notice their happiness and
their suffering - and notice your own - only by being mindful can you fully appreciate
what you have that's good and change the things that need to be changed to help
you live happier
To be a Buddhist takes effort to apply the lessons that Buddha
taught us in every day life in every situation. By learning to apply these lessons
of compassion, mindfulness and learning to understand the world as it truly is
and not how we wish it would be, our negative habits and negative thoughts can
fall away - we can maintain a happy and peaceful life and we can bring that happiness
to all those around us. But because we have served our own needs and done only
what we wanted for so long, these negative habits are extremely difficult to change
to positive habits. So, it takes practice to apply the lessons Buddha handed down
to us for living a happier and healthier life.
To be a Buddhist is to learn
not to grasp at things that are impermanent; to understand that because things
change all the time, grasping on to them can only lead to suffering. We grasp
on to those we love, believing they will always bring us happiness or fulfill
our needs and desires - needing them to fill the void within us. When they do
something we do not like, the love we felt is tainted and can change in a second
to hate. We grasp at things and want them to stay the same instead of accepting
that what we want is impossible - no one and nothing is ever really the same from
one minute to the next - just as we are not the same. But we hold tight to it
like it's never going to change and when it does, we are disappointed.
is nothing we don't grasp at. We grasp at football scores - wanting our team to
continue to be on top. We grasp onto jobs and careers, expecting them to last
as long as we want them to. We grasp onto our children, not wanting them to grow
up. We grasp at our homes, not wanting them to decay, we grasp onto our cars not
wanting them to fall apart or even get the slightest blemish on the paint job.
Not grasping, but just letting things be as they are in the moment brings peace,
calm and contentment. When we are at peace, we naturally pass those feelings on
Being a Buddhist takes the wish that every sentient being be happy,
that everyone be free from misery, that no one ever be separated from their happiness,
that everyone have equanimity, free from hatred and attachment.