A Western Buddhist's Travels

Sightseeing & detours on the path of enlightenment

Archive for the tag “Buddhist”

Are your goals and ambitions leading to happiness?

Ask people what would make them happy, and depending on what the persons age is, and where  person lives you might get a different answer. Ask a child and they might say an ice cream on a hot summer day. The same child a few years later, playing in their first sports tournament, might say they want to win. Ask them when graduating from High School, and many might say a date for the prom. As a young adult with their post secondary degree, the answer would be a career that is challenging, and rewarding. When that person is getting into what they hope is a lifelong relationship, the list probably will have several goals, some of which will vanish when the first child arrives. A child has been born, and now some of the parents hopes and dreams are focused on the child, in many cultures it is what the child or even the grandchildren in that culture achieve that determines your success. Later in life, the goals may simply be to be free from the daily aches and pains, or they may include a bucket list that has to be filled.

As a Buddhist, when doing actions during the course of my day, I not only keep in mind my own aspirations, but also the benefit and welfare of others.  Rather than pray for something to happen, I have a firm and strong aspiration that a thing be accomplished. An initial wish, is reinforced with firm determination and a strong desire. Unlike a prayer or supplication, a wish has more the attributes we would find in meditation or contemplation. This causes the wish to become a desire, which permeates the mind, causing it to focus on accomplishing the goal.

Individually we can focus our minds to achieve happiness, but what about as a family, each person with their own desires? If the family has a common set of values to base their decisions on, then harmony is much easier to accomplish. It doesn’t matter if those core values are defined from following Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Sikhism, Buddhism, or any other path, as almost any of these have the same core values. The approaches are different, and we may not agree with the path another chooses, but we should respect their choice. As the Dalai Lama has stated:  “It is better to stick with the wisdom traditions of one’s own land than to run from them pursuing in exotica what was under your nose all the time.”

As we look a lager groups from the family, to our community, to our nation and finally our planet, happiness for all is more difficult to contemplate, and even more so to achieve. Yet, it is within the grasp of all of us, to achieve this ambitious goal. H.H. The 14th Dalai Lama, presented us with a way of looking at Buddhism, as consisting of three parts. In his view Buddhism can be divided into Buddhist science, Buddhist philosophy, and Buddhist religion. Of the three he says Buddhist religion is concern of Buddhists, while the science and philosophy portions can and should be shared with all. This with the view that wisdom can be found in all religions, as well as science, gives us a way of building on our common values and believes, while learning and adopting the best practices from other paths.

Look at the world today, and we see it becoming more fragmented. We see it defined as East and West, North and South, or first through third worlds. You have the generation gap, including Baby Boomers, Generation X, Generation Y to name a few. Yet unlike earlier times, we have larger houses, with smaller families, and fewer generations under the same roof becoming the norm. In the past the grandparents were a valued member of a household, helping with the running of the house, and acting as mentors to the children. Today in an ever increasing part of the world, the elderly are shuffled off to care homes, retirement villages, seniors lodges and other terms to describe the isolation from their offspring. Children are left with neighbors, and more commonly in day cares or after school care. Then we wonder why there is no continuity to the family.

Nations are preoccupied with the development of a larger Gross Domestic Product, or more commonly referred to as G.D.P. Companies move production and services to other jurisdictions within the same country or to another country to take advantage of lower wages, less government regulation, laxer environmental standards, all in the name of maintaining or preferably increasing the return to it’s shareholders. For a look at the role consumers play in this dance, check out my  29 April 2103 post. Sometimes companies use legal methods to lower their taxes, by locating an office in a jurisdiction with a lower tax rate, as recently confirmed in a Canadian court ruling. Alberta loses battle for 120 million in corporate taxes. It is more common to use off shore offices to carry this out.

Yet there are hopeful signs, like a star in the night sky. I will leave you with the words of a person who I have written about as someone I admire, David Suzuki and a post from the organization he helped found: Tiny Bhutan redefines progress.

I’m possible

“Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!”- Audrey Hepburn

Definition of IMPOSSIBLE according to Merriam-Webster.com

1
a : incapable of being or of occurring

b : felt to be incapable of being done, attained, or fulfilled :insuperably difficult <an impossible deadline>

2
a : extremely undesirable : unacceptable

b : extremely awkward or difficult to deal with <the actor was impossible on the set>

I saw this quote today on my list of inspiring quotes.

It started me thinking about what is impossible, here are a few ruminations that have come to mind;

1: Is it possible to feel good, when we harm another being?

“The thought manifests the word;
The word manifests the deed;
The deed develops into habit;
And habit hardens into character;
So watch the thought and its ways with care,
And let them spring forth from love
Born out of compassion for all beings.
As the shadow follows the body, as we think, so we become.”
Juan Mascaro

2: If we believe something is impossible, how can we hope to achieve it?

“No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.” The Buddha

“Usually when we hear or read something new, we just compare it to our own ideas. If it is the same, we accept it and say that it is correct. If it is not, we say it is incorrect. In either case, we learn nothing.” Thich Nhat Hanh, The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching: Transforming Suffering into Peace, Joy, and Liberation

“It is never too late to turn on the light. Your ability to break an unhealthy habit or turn off an old tape doesn’t depend on how long it has been running; a shift in perspective doesn’t depend on how long you’ve held on to the old view.

When you flip the switch in that attic, it doesn’t matter whether its been dark for ten minutes, ten years or ten decades.

The light still illuminates the room and banishes the murkiness, letting you see the things you couldn’t see before.

Its never too late to take a moment to look.” Sharon Salzberg wrote in Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation

To further cause you to think about stretching yourself in achieving greater things, consider what Dejan Stojanovic had to say on the topic;

“Based on the law of probability
Everything is possible because
The sheer existence of possibility
Confirms the existence
Of impossibility.”

So today’s thought is to watch your thoughts, to allow yourself the greatest opportunity to achieve happiness.

Metta

Join me this Saturday

This Saturday is the 9th Earth Hour event, and had grown to include hundreds of millions of people, governments, and businesses from around the world. Please join people around the world on March 23rd, 2013 between 8:30 and 9:30pm local time by turning off your lights to raise awareness about climate change and the importance of a healthy planet.

As a Buddhist, I try to consider how my actions will impact on all beings who share this planet with us. This one day event only asks one hour of your time, however it can change how you look at the environment. Imagine a planet with clean air, fresh water that is drinkable from the source, oceans with out islands made of plastic, and land that is non toxic. These are all possible, however we need to change how we approach our decisions.

Lets leave our children a healthier planet than we received.

For more information on what you can do, please visit: Earth Day Network

Post Navigation

Urban Studies

An online community of SFU Urban Studies students, alumni, and friends!

Kindness Blog

Kindness Changes Everything

Sa-wat-dii From Thailand

Thoughts on the Peace Corps and Thailand

NorthThailand Blog

North Thailand photos and Travel destination information

Buddhist Art News

News on Buddhist art, architecture, archaeology, music, dance, and academia.

roselovesthailand

Just another WordPress.com site

Walking with the Alligators

Speaking for those with no voice~

this is... The Neighborhood

the Story within the Story

Gabriel Lucatero

The Official Website

Untangling the Tangles

Teja's blog on Everything that Concerns US

words of wisdom

words of wisdon, where we share our thoughts.

Stories That Are All True

...and some of them actually happened.

Dishing It Out With Clarissa

Sharing stories, tips, life hacks, killer dishes I love to eat and more. Oh did i meantion FOOD!!

A happy organic vegan 🌱 journey

Happiness. Healthy. Loving-Kindness.

The Horror Online

Horror With Humour

IshaiyaFreshlySqueezed

A Metaphysical Journey

LEANNE COLE

Trying to live a creative life

Schelley Cassidy Photography

Home of What Is It?!? - A Project in Perspective

Hannah Sterry

Musician, cartoonist and UX Designer based in Plymouth, Devon.

most good least harm

Living compassionately, spending less and appreciating life.

Beth Shekinah

Awakening Soul Path

rashmidevi.wordpress.com/

Metta Bhav Yoga & Thai Massage

moodsnmoments

where some moods and certain moments last a lifetime!!!

Tattoos by Spencer - Thailand

Tattoo Artist and Ajarn of Sak Yant , Vipassana Meditation, Thai Buddhist Amulet distribution

Dr Bill Wooten

A focus on issues of living a positive life

Travel Moments

Adventure and Asian Travel

%d bloggers like this: