A Western Buddhist's Travels

Sightseeing & detours on the path of enlightenment

Archive for the month “December, 2011”

A years wisdom in 32 lines

A little somthing to wrap up the lessons learned over the last year, and perhaps from even before, I hope you enjoy reading it.

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As we grow up, we learn that even that special one person that wasn’t supposed to ever let us down probably will.

Also we will fail to meet what others expected of us.

You’ll have your heart broken and you’ll break others’ hearts.

You’ll fight with your best friend or maybe even fall in love with them.

If you fall in love with someone make them your best friend forever as well.

You’ll cry one day because time is flying by, and also enjoy moments that last forever.

So take way too many pictures, laugh too much, forgive freely, and love like you’ve never been hurt.

Life comes with no guarantees, no time outs, and no second chances.

You can’t change the past, the future is just what may happen, so make this moment the very best you can.

You just have to live life to the fullest, but remember to stop and smell the flowers along the way.

Tell someone how much they mean to you, and especially when things are troubled between you and them.

Tell someone when they have hurt you then forgive and forget, for in this we develop the strongest bonds between two people.

Speak out against anything that harms someone, for evil succeeds when good people remain silent.

Dance in the pouring rain; let it wash away your troubles.

Hold someone’s hand through the bad times as well as the good times.

Comfort a friend, with a sympathetic ear, a soft shoulder, a hug, or even some chocolate.

Just be sure to break the pieces in half to let out all the calories.

Fall asleep in your lovers arms watching the sun come up.

Stay up late with your children and let them see the stars, as goals to aim for as they grow.

Smile until your face hurts, then smile a little longer, it’s good for your complexion.

Don’t be afraid to take chances or fall in love, and when you are in love let the other person know it every chance and way you can.

As a Buddhist, Christian or most other faiths, we are told to love others, and that love is an act of giving not expecting anything in return.

But most of all live in the moment because every second you spend angry or upset is a second of happiness you can never get back.

The symbol of yin and yang expresses happiness and sadness just the same as it does good and evil.

The happiness or good is the white, but has the smallest spot of dark in it.

The bad or unhappy is black but still has a small speck of white.

This reminds us that while we are here we will never have a perfect life while here, but we can come close.

Nor is there a life so bad, that there is no hope.

The middle is a curving line as there is no set mid-point; it will vary from day today.

Also acts can be good or bad depending on when they are done, and the intent they are done with.

They say trouble shared is cut in half, while happiness shared is doubled.

So my friends may your cup of joy be ever over flowing.

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Happy New Year to all, and may the coming year be filled with peace, harmony and compassion to all.

Keith,

December 31, 2011

Meditation or Prayer?

One of the biggest differences in the approach to gaining answers to life’s problems between a Christian and a Buddhist, is a Christian prays while a Buddhist meditates. This is not to say that Christian’s don’t meditate or that Buddhist’s don’t pray, but what is the predominate method for each.

Prayer is you saying what you are looking for. If it is help for someone, a cure for a health problem, or wisdom. It is an action to communicate with God. It may be a prayer of worship, of supplication, or of thanksgiving. It may be done silently, vocally or in some cases chanted. To use a communication analogy, you are the television station radiating waves outward.

Meditation is listening, to gain understanding or wisdom. This is accomplished by, the quieting of unnecessary thought, to focus the mind until a higher level of consciousness is arrived at. Meditation usually has a focus, by invoking  a feeling of compassion for example, or  focusing on an object to allow the mind to be calmed. Once the mind has reached a calm state then, the mind may be directed to the issue of concern.

Regardless of which you choose, it is more important, that what you focus your thoughts on be worthy. Praying to win the lottery, or mediating to get the winning numbers is not a good use for either. I know those of us who have purchased lottery tickets in the past always say we will do good with the money. But what was your first thought, if you won, a vacation, perhaps a new home, or car, or was it feeding the homeless in the region where you live? Pray or meditate that someone be healed, or comforted, that peace become the normal state of affairs in the world, that our environment be healed.

If we are going to focus our minds energy through meditation or prayer, let us make positive change our goal.

Daring to live

Most of us over think situations as adults. Remember when you were a child and everything was new, and a first. The thrill of your first roller coaster ride, or the taste of that new food. That child like awe of the world, that most of us have lost, needs to be found. Regardless of what problem you feel stuck with, go try something new, or see someplace different. Even if it is as simple as when you go to your favorite cafe, you sit in a different place than usual, or face the other way. If you always go for a walk along the same route, do it in reverse, see the other half of the scenery. Haven’t gone for a bike ride in years, oil it up, check the brakes and cables, and strike of down the road. But please be careful, if you are riding the bike, after all you haven’t done this in a while.

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