Man must see that nothing really is, but that everything is always becoming and changing. Nothing stands still. Everything is being born, growing and dying. The very instant a thing reaches its height, it begins to decline. The law of rhythm is in constant operation. There is no reality. There is no enduring quality, fixity or substantiality of anything. Nothing is permanent but change. Man must see all things evolving from other things and re-solving him to other things, a constant action or reaction, inflow or outflow, building up or tearing down, creation or destruction, birth and growth and death. Nothing is real, and nothing endures but change.
The purpose of Buddhist chanting is to remind us of the sacrifice the Buddha made for his people in order to achieve nobility or enlightenment. Every Sunday, I bow to the Buddha in reverence for disciplines he has shared with me and others all over the world. Buddhist chanting also helps us become more connected to ourselves. During chanting and taking refuge within the Buddha, we’re able to see that all living things are constant. That aging is inevitable. That you’re accountable for your own actions. That you’re all things in this universe and you give thanks for creation and life. That hurting and killing is wrong and you love and cherish all of creation. The Buddha teaches us how you might lose yourself to find yourself. You’ve got to lose your mind to find your mind.
We Wake Up As Angels and Fall Asleep As Demons
A Buddhist monk once said,
“We wake up as angels, and fall asleep as demons.”
This is because of our wanting… The monk calls us demons because of our desire for ultimate security. Struggling with the desire to acquire more is probably one of my biggest vices. We’re constantly collecting things – people with influence, clothes, cars and more. We learn this behavior from other adults who are too addicted to security and affluence. Money has become more than just a tool we use in order to survive. Living beyond our means has become a lifestyle choice and it is a choice I readily and eagerly play into by defect. According to Buddhist philosophy, money is nice but it is not necessary for a fruitful life. I think this is the greatest teaching I can learn.
Because the truth is, the more we have the more we want more. And when is enough, enough? When do we stop honoring ourselves in order to achieve security?
But it doesn’t even end with the wanting of security. We’re constantly seeking different highs. We don’t want to feel our suffering because we’re used to numbing our own pain.
In every moment we have the potential to choose ourselves for a greater good. But do we really choose ourselves, our highest self? Within the thousands of possibilities, there is essentially only one that is union with you and your highest self – or god. Buddhist believe that this choice is only possible through getting rid of all superficial feelings and possibilities of being and thinking without contemplation about executing all things that hinder you from your highest potential. That’s a mouth full to swallow. The truth is, I am just a seeker of enlightenment, and I hardly, truly live by any of these principles. But I work on myself every day to be a better person.
That is why I become aware
In order to be able to be closer to your highest self and god, you must become aware of your thoughts, actions and presence. To be aware –
To be aware of beauty
To be aware of life
To be aware of growth
To be aware of pain
To be aware of people
To be aware of flowers
To be aware of trees
To become aware of our personal desires and how they shape our perceptions and actions. Becoming aware allows you to open your mind to experience, think and feel! Begin to experience the world and don’t be ashamed of it and accomplishing your dreams. That is the beginning of accepting the Buddha into your life.
That is the beginning of becoming conscious of our wanting.
The is the beginning of realizing you’re a conscious, evolving, growing human being.
The movement of water
like ice in my bones
lies beneath the lid of your eyes
melts the pines
he says, “we don’t have time”
he says, “why can’t it be simple”
like a bird
I float like water
stagnant in breath
moving in motion
Ravens are birds, blind in soul
they fly over me
I’m a bird
A swollen chord
directions to no where
I’m a bird
you’re a raven
that’s the only reason why
Someone buy my art
I am writing this letter to you because I want you to know the lessons you shared with me. And the unconditional love, appreciation, and respect I have for you as a human. The last two years of my life were not a mistake. They were the years I grew and evolved the most.
- You taught me about resilience
- You taught me the weight of my words
- You taught me about respect for men
- You taught me about control
- You taught me about respecting an individual’s boundaries
- You taught me about the ins and outs of green tea
- You taught me to follow my dreams
- You taught me strength and perseverance
- You taught me dedication for the things I loved
- You taught me creative expression
- You taught me vulnerability in the face of adversity
- You taught me yoga
- You taught me meditation
- You taught me to never raise my voice
- You taught me to seek help
- You taught me patience
- You taught me to overcome
- You taught me to dance
- You taught me to sing
- You taught me to listen to the music
- You taught me about Phish
- You taught me about Alcest
- You taught me black metal
- You taught me the lessons of waiting
- You taught me the lessons of hearing
- You taught me the lessons of speaking
- You taught me to the lessons of commitment
- You taught me to never cuss
- You taught me to never yell
- You taught me to hold my tears longer
- You taught me to face my fears
- You taught me to laugh
- You taught me to search and to look at my issues
- You taught me to face my fears
- You taught me to climb mountains
- You taught me to love greater
- You taught me to tell the truth with love
- You taught me to stop fearing men
- You taught me to see innocence
- You taught me to forgive
- You taught me to believe in myself
- You taught me to listen – I hear you
- You taught me to communicate
- You taught me music – you showed me music
- You taught me what it means to stick with someone
- You taught me what real friendship looks like
- You taught me empathy
- You taught me compassion
- You taught me to understand others greater and with more compassion
- You forced me to love myself
- You taught me that greatness is easy
- You taught me that fighting for what you believed in is noble
- You taught me that strength is internal
- You taught me that words are daggers
- You taught me that your intentions were pure
- You taught me that men don’t want to hurt me
- You taught me culture
- You showed me science
- You showed me compassion
- You taught me that I had to become my own teacher
- You taught me that no one is inherently evil
- You taught me the kind of man I want
- You taught me what it means to stare someone in the eyes and know their soul
- You taught me that lessons come and go
- You taught me to let go
- You taught me to move forward
- You taught me to respect others
- You taught me table manners
- You taught me the importance of trust
- You taught me the importance of communication
- You taught me playing mind games is wrong
- You taught me controlling others is wrong
- You taught me supporting others is essential
- You taught me loving your partner through everything is essential
- You taught me that resentment is real and damaging
- You taught me impulsivity and anxiety are the antithesis of commitment
- You taught me that my education is primary
- You taught me about silence
- You taught me togetherness in separation
- You taught me to NEVER take for granted someone who gets you
- You taught me to dig deeper than I ever dug
- You taught me to lift weights and exercise
- You taught me my desire for peace
- You taught me that I never want to fight with another person again
- You taught me fighting is painful and horrible
- You taught me talking can help you
- You taught me I didn’t have to protect myself
- You taught me the difference between a flashback and reality
- You taught me to walk away when it is time
- You taught me to fight no matter how painful because you know that there is something beautiful
- You taught me that love takes work
- You taught me to go slow
- I learned my life passion
- You taught me to pursue art
- You taught me to create more and more and more
- You taught me to keep my word
- You taught me to never threaten a man
- You taught me jealousy is worthless
- You taught me insecurity will ruin your life
- You taught me to travel
When you feel love, act on it. Speak your heart. Be truthful. Remain open.
The spiritual relationship
The spiritual relationship can give space for others to grow
The spiritual relationship does not seek to cling
The spiritual relationship love through infinity, time and space
The spiritual relationship is always grateful, always happy for others successes
The spiritual relationship is two children who grow up side by side
The spiritual relationship does not expect or complain
The spiritual relationship can cause deep pain and suffering
The spiritual relationship is a mirror of our darkness
The spiritual relationship seeks to heal
The spiritual relationship will challenge you and make you grow
We cannot identify with others until we have identified wholly with ourselves. The soul knows no bounds to the infinity of the nature of our own internal beauty. Love is intelligent and aware; it knows you better than you can seek to know yourself.
The Path to Love – Deepak Chopra
Proving loves existence is as simple as believing in the power of grace. Unifying our spirit with love will bring joy and peace beyond our wildest dreams. Giving up on our personal sagas and relinquishing fear for the potential of love is what everyone deserves.
Love is meant to heal
Love is meant to renew
Love is meant to make us safe
Love is meant to inspire us with its power
Love is meant to make us certain, without doubt
Love is meant to oust all fear
Love is meant to unveil immortality
Love is meant to bring peace
Love is meant to harmonize differences
Love is meant to bring us closer to God
This is my path to love:
I want to heal my past sorrows and emerge like a butterfly afraid of the betrayal and torture that was acted on me. I want to walk in the streets and feel bliss without the worry of a man attacking me in cold blood. I want to heal all past love. I want to renew my love for myself and the person I am meant to spend the rest of my life with. I want to renew my passion for the world. I want to feel safe with other men. I want to believe that men are meant to be creatures united with women. I want my love to be powerful, true, strong and real. I want to fall in love with someone who sees my true beauty. Someone who truly believes in me. This person guides me and ushers me in like a ray of light. Whenever we’re together he makes me laugh. He allows me to be my complete and total self. He is centered in Christ and faith. I want to adventure the world with someone who will drop everything and just adventure and explore with me. Who will do anything to try new things with me. A man who respects me and values my worth. Someone who will take on the world with me in full-force. Who isn’t afraid. Who is strong in his convictions, real and true to his word. A man who believes in change and growth and will climb any mountain with me. He believes in creating beautiful art and music. He can see beyond himself in any given situation and practices gratitude and peace. I want to feel love at all times.
I pray for love. I pray for self-love. I pray for hope. I pray for life.
Sitting on the steps of the Chau Dai Bi “Compassion Temple,” a small Vietnamese woman approaches me and says, “Thank you for coming, are you happy like the buddha?” Her smiling face is plump and her cheeks are peached by the calming serenity and crisp air of the early November morning.
Happy like the Buddha. Out of all of the different buddha archetypes, I think the most resilient amongst the Chau Dai Bi temple is the happy buddha. This is easily noticeable by the way the patrons of this temple feed the foreigners, like myself, delicious vegetarian soup with smiling, happy faces.
Loving peace is a manifestation of happiness- Saintliness is arguably the same as pursuing happiness. What makes someone resilient like the happy buddha? What separates those who experience happiness despite their circumstances against those who experience sadness? I think there is an internal need for self-satisfaction that creates an individual’s drive for purpose in life.
The only way to survive eternity is to appreciate each moment.
The totality of life is experienced within a multitude of moments and many of those moments are created by our personal actions and choices. With every morning light, we are brought to the realization that we are better served rejoicing the day than cursing it. Inevitably, your life is colored by who you are and who you want to be.
Witnessing Suffering as the Buddha
I believe the greatest lessons the Buddha teaches us are those about suffering. For it was Prince Siddhartha himself that would go into the capital city of his father’s kingdom to see how the other people lived. It is here amongst the people, that the Buddha witnessed the vicious cycle of suffering and developed a sincere wish to free them from their suffering. It was through lifting the veils of ignorance that the buddha was able to become a fully enlightened individual.
However, how do we apply the mythology of the Buddha to the struggles of our daily lives. The story of Siddhartha is a simple reminder that there is suffering in the world. I think that without suffering we would not begin to understand the complexity of nirvana or enlightenment. We must be broken to allow the light of our souls to shine through the desolate cracks.
I’ll Never Regret Breaking
I’ll never regret breaking. I’ll never regret living a moment of temporary insanity because those were the moments that made me wiser and stronger. I was once a person of moral indignation and judged so harshly those who were not comparable to my ideology of grace. I broke and grew wings. I was lost and spun and tucked and reborn again and again. I think that my pursuit of happiness began the day that I was split into two. I have felt and transformed pain so complex and unimaginable and I have survived.
I continue to find loving peace in the midst of my torment. I sit in temple and experience sensations and lifeless reactions to events that re-appear and haunt me every night. However, I transform my sorrow into awakening just like the buddha. I am alive because of the buddha. Resiliency is a mere reaction to a need for complete and total survival. I survived the devil. I battled the wicked. I faced and braved the cold and stood with my arms open. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to open them the same way. I am cracked but I better than I have ever been before and I love myself. I love myself like I love the wind in the night as it graces the shivering trees in winter. I love myself the way the bear loves its fur in the cold, nestled in its homey den. I see that heaven is near me at all times, and I know and feel heaven because of my suffering. And I believe in angels the way I believe in butterflies. I feel God everyday becasuse of my suffering and he has blessed me with his voice. He is with me and guides me and I am in touch with him because in my need… I leaned and survived through him. Just like the buddha.
God I know that you are here. And I am yours and you’re mine. And my soul knows you’re here. And my soul will praise you.