The Buddha didn’t teach Buddhism in the sense of a religion or philosophy, he taught it as a way of life and, most importantly, a way to live a better, more fulfilling life with a clear view of reality. If you begin to practice Buddhism you will eventually see that it is incredibly personal and transformational.
“Buddhism sees itself as realistic- you will be happier if you simply get in touch with reality. Teachings are designed as medicine. Buddha teaches us an inclusive approach and shows us how to live with reality.”
Someone asked the Dalai Lama about self-hatred at a conference and how to work through it and get to a point of loving oneself. Completely bewildered, the Dali Lama responded, “but you have buddha nature innately…” So what exactly is buddha nature? BobÂ Thurman says buddha nature is “realizing that you are everything, experiencing a feeling of oneness, and embracing being one with everything.”
“You feel yourself within everything but at the same time be within our own energy continuum. You are able to have universal non-objectifying compassion that allows you to feel everyone’s discontent as if it were your own.”
It’s realizing and accepting that happiness is an inside job (as Joe Loizzo says). It’s right here in the sense that if we understand reality, without our perceptions getting in there and distorting it, we will achieve happiness. It’s observing that constant reactivity pollutes us. We instead practice mindfulness and begin to see clearly what triggers us and how there is a moment in time where we have the opportunity to decide (key word: decide) how to respond.
“Happiness can only be achieved by understanding that it is reality.
To find your bliss you have to understand it is your true nature, it is actually what you’re made of.”
Buddhism is based on the Four Noble Truths, which many see as pessimistic because the first noble truth teaches us that suffering is inevitable. As Sharon Salzberg says, “It’s stunning to talk about suffering because we are drawn to danger yet don’t want anyone around us who is suffering.” The question is how can we engage suffering instead of being stuck in a desire to not admit our suffering, placing us in a toxic state of denial. The Buddha taught in the first noble truth to accept suffering, to stop running from it, to look at suffering in a way that will teach you about your inner being. Alan Watts says to think of yourself as an “aperture through which the universe is looking at and exploring itself.
The wound is the place where the Light enters you.
Pain and suffering are always inevitable for a large intelligence and a deep heart.
We all have to invent our own path and through Buddhism we can find a healing path. The Buddha was open to incorporating anything that relieves our suffering, such as psychology, philosophy, religion, etc). He encouraged people to experiment to find what was most useful to them. What have you found is most useful for you?