We all go through those times when we really want to change for the better. We want our lives to improve and we have grown weary of the ways society says we should live. These 11 pieces of Buddhist wisdom will show you how to transform your life into something more meaningful, more beautiful, and full of peace and happiness.
1. Live A Life Of Compassion
Buddhism finds compassion to be one of the most revered qualities and believes great compassion to be a sign of a highly realized human being. Compassion isn’t only beneficial to the world as a whole, and it isn’t only important because it’s considered “the right thing to do”. Attempting to understand others around you, and being compassionate makes transforming your life possible. A critical part of finding peace within yourself is self-compassion. Being compassionate doesn’t only involve others. When we learn to forgive ourselves and accept our human error, we can go through healing and move on from difficult challenges that hold us down.
Another thing is that we can often feel tortured because we don’t understand why someone would do a certain thing or act a certain way. The basic premise of compassion is understanding the inherent goodness in every man, woman, and child. Then, seeking to find that goodness in specific people. Compassion helps you when undergoing the mental torture of not understanding the actions of others. Simply connecting with others through the act of compassion can be a great source of joy, for both parties involved. There are many reasons for practicing compassion. Try to live in a way where everyone is equal- treat others how you want to be treated. Even though this may seem tricky at first, stick with it and you will see the power of being compassionate.
2. Make Connections, And Nurture Them
We are often in groups of forced connections, with a lesser goal in mind than consciousness. Monetary gain, substantial growth, control, and power bring us together during the work week, but what if we made connections for a greater cause? Buddhism calls a “sangha” a community of monks, nuns, laymen, and laywomen who work towards the mutual goal of awakening for themselves and all beings. Sangha is a principal the entire world could benefit from, yet can be expressed in your own life in a multitude of ways. Being fully aware of the power of truly connecting with others, whether it’s one person or a hundred, and nurturing that connection, will transform your life in ways that will continue to bless you for years to come.
3. Wake Up
Easily one of the most powerful points on this list, being awake in every moment of your life, fully and completely, is paramount to finding peace. Being mindful, having a greater awareness, paying attention to the little things, whatever you call it- it can alter every facet of your life, in every way possible. Try to live completely awake in each moment of your day. This will help you to overcome personal struggles, find a deeper sense of peace and happiness, and understand that the greatest life lessons learned are taught to us when we are fully awake to the present moment.
4. Live Deeply
The road to peace and happiness begins with living deeply. Living deeply involves becoming acutely aware of the precious nature of life. Through this, we become more aware of the true nature of the world. This essentially happens in stages of the whole, like when you realize your interconnectedness (you see how everything is connected to everything else) and impermanence (you see how everything constantly changes and constantly dies in order to be reborn). These two realizations are the foundation of Buddhism and most spiritual practices. The stages are pieces of the ultimate understanding and are ways for us to grasp that which isn’t able to be fully understood in the traditional sense.
Through living deeply, we have greater peace in understanding the natural laws of the universe. This allows us to savor every second in life, to feel peace in even the most tedious of tasks, as well as transform negative experiences into something that nourishes and heals.
5. Be The Change You Wish To See
Buddhists realize that you must help yourself first, before being able to help another. This does not refer to gaining wealth or power before you can help another, or to live in a way that ignores others. This is taking us back to interconnectedness. Because we are all connected, we can have an exponentially positive effect on the rest of the world just by helping ourselves.
Do your best not to see the world as “us and them”. Interconnectedness teaches us that there is no separation. Try to do more than be a help to others; instead, be an example. Show the world how to live for others, how to live deeply, and you will create waves of limitless possibility that will inspire others to do the same.
7. Your Food Is Very Special
There is a Buddhist meditative practice involving mindfulness and contemplation, which helps you understand the precious nature of the food you eat. Food plays an integral role in our daily lives. When we transform our relationship with food, we transform a key aspect of our lives. As we contemplate and think about the food on our plate, we can start to understand the immense system of interconnectedness in our lives, and how many elements had to be in place for it to get there. This will help us to deepen our relationship with food, give us a greater sense of gratitude at the start of each meal, and learn to respect the fragile balance of life.
8. Understand Giving
True giving doesn’t have to just be about Christmas and birthdays. True giving is about those gifts we give every day, but do not see as gifts at all. The Buddhist understanding of giving says that life is a continuous cycle of giving and receiving. Not only does this assist us in finding peace through an understanding of the world, but it also helps us to realize that we all have amazing gifts within each of us. We can share these gifts at any moment we choose- love, compassion, presence, and many others.
9. Disarm The Ego
There are certain obstacles that prohibit us from realizing the ultimate reality- that we are all connected. Spiritual practice is the very act of overcoming these obstacles. The main obstacle in our way is the ego. The ego’s only function is to pull you away from this ultimate reality by convincing you that “you are separate”. Removing the ego is not an easy task. The ego has been with us for years and has become intertwined with our sense of being. But once inhibited, the infinite rewards of realizing our best life become apparent.
10. Remove The Three Poisons
Life is filled with plenty of good things. On the other end, life has its share of negative things as well. Vices are things that try to bind us to unwholesome ways of living, and therefore remove us from the greater realization in our lives. Within all of these things, the three poisons are the most powerful. The three poisons are greed, hatred, and delusion. These three things are responsible for a great percentage of the world’s pain and suffering. We separate ourselves from the interconnectedness by using any of the three. When you start to experience any of the three poisons, allow yourself to accept that you are going through this, and work at removing it from your life. This will take some time, but it is an imperative part of realizing true peace and happiness.
11. Realize Non-Attachment
Non-attachment isn’t easy to sum up, but I felt it was one of the most important points to understand. Some think of non-attachment as living with nothing, no friends or family, and no belongings. If you are forcing yourself to refrain from truly living, you are not going to experience peace. A Buddhist sense of non-attachment means to live in a way where you coexist with the natural flow of life, while simultaneously not allowing yourself to become attached to the things In life. It means to live constantly aware of the impermanence of all people and things.