A Western Buddhist's Travels

Sightseeing & detours on the path of enlightenment

Happiness is determined by our choices

An agnostic’s one who does not believe in a supreme being, so therefore by this definition Buddhists can be called an agnostic. An atheist is one who believes in nothing, this does not apply to Buddhists, as a Buddhist believes in the natural world around us, believes that we choose our actions based on free will, and that based on our actions the future will evolve. You look at the world around us, how many people need sleep aids, medication to treat depressions or delusions, medications and multi-step programs to overcome addictions. Anxiety is not just a symptom of modern society, for many it has become a lifelong profession, or I dare say obsession. Rather than learning to embrace reality, we agonize over the, what ifs. “What If” has become something to be feared. We all have done it, perhaps a guy wondering if the lady whose hand, he wants to ask for in marriage will say yes. To the girl in school wondering if she will be asked to the school prom. Or perhaps it is wondering what the boss will say when I ask for a raise. For some reading the news can cause them to imagine that the world is about to end or that everything we eat or drink is killing us. I have mentioned cheesecake before, so will use it as an example now, so as to have a non religious reference. Also there are vegetarian versions of cheesecake, before anyone objects. As a Buddhist we do not seek forgiveness for having eaten the cheesecake in the past, we accept that we did it and that if we gained weight from it, it was by our own choice. We don’t worry about if there will be a slice of cheesecake tomorrow, or if we should have it instead of something else for dessert. Instead we live in the moment, we choose to eat it or not, knowing that if we have too much it isn’t good for us. We don’t deny ourselves a small amount based on the, “what ifs”, we make our choice and accept the consequences of our actions. We enjoy the flavors and the textures as we eat it. If we are with others we will have offered to share, but not require anyone to partake against their wishes.

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