New Beginnings

“Everything that has a beginning has an ending. Make your peace with that and all will be well” – Buddha 

New beginnings, what does this mean for you?

It happened during my travels in Thailand when I closed the door to my past, a past that used to be my life, my everything. It was the hardest thing to do and took around 13 months! Now when I look back, I realized that I had to go through this breakdown as it created the woman I am today.

I decided a life of new beginnings because the obvious was in front of me: to live or to go down. I won’t go into detail as I’m sure you know what I mean. So for the sake of my loved ones, my health and my future, I decided to LIVE AGAIN!

Today, I’m still in the transition period between old and new. Sometimes accompanied by pain and disappointment, lately more excitement! I look forward to walking through the door leading to the next stage of my life, where the light shines through and where flowers are blooming just for me. I promise myself to live a conscious life, take that what I’ve learnt from my past and make this new phase in my life the very best one! Bearing always in mind that everything eventually has an end.

The most important lesson learned: “The condition of my personal relationships, is a direct reflection of my degree of self-love.” 

This post is dedicated to my family and friends who supported me through the most difficult time in my life. Thank you 🙂

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Being Mindful…

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A few weeks ago I experienced a lot of busy-ness as I was preparing for my finals and sorting out my little daughter. My mind was full of calculations, strategies, assessments, thesis and reports. I had to make a change, and found this wonderful information that supported me:

  1. Stop multi-tasking: when you eat, you eat. When you walk, you walk.
  2. Take your time: make your actions deliberate
  3. Do less by prioritizing: it is all a matter of what is important and letting go of what is not.
  4. Plan your schedule and leave enough space between tasks: it takes away stress and gives you a break.
  5. Sit in silence: only 5 minutes of silence and breathing will do you, your thoughts and your body very good.
  6. Focus on the present: stop worrying about the future, or outcomes. Let it go and focus on what you do now.
  7. Be present: listen and talk to others by being completely in the now
  8. Eat to enjoy: savor your food and eat slowly. You deserve this break and take time to digest.
  9. Live your life: savor your life and slow down. Enjoy each and every moment even the stressful ones with deadlines and tasks.
  10. Meditating house chores: put cooking and cleaning into practice of mindfulness. Be present to every task you do and watch your thoughts then change your thought patterns consciously.

During this time I learned a lot about myself, my thought patterns and my insecurities especially on my incapabilities of what I’m currently doing. In fact, if I look at the events now, I am grateful for the challenges because I could locate these habitual patterns that kept me sort of ‘stuck’ in life. Practicing the above will not only support me in achieving that what I want but it will benefit me in the long run to living a mindful, stress-free and productive life. Try it 🙂

Alexander the Great

Alexander The Great by Kirsi Salonen

……….On his death bed, Alexander summoned his generals and told them his 3 final wishes:

1. The best doctors should carry his coffin

2. The wealth he has accumulated (money, gold, precious stones…) should be scattered along the procession to the cemetery, and

3. His hands should be let loose, hanging outside the coffin for all to see!!

One of his generals, surprised by these unusual requests asked Alexander to explain.

Here is what Alexander the Great had to say:

I want the best doctors to carry my coffin to demonstrate that, in the face of death, even the best doctors in the world have no power to heal…

I want the road to be covered with my treasure so that everybody sees that material wealth acquired on earth, stays on earth…

I want my hands to swing in the wind, so that people understand that we come to this world empty-handed and we leave this world empty-handed after the most precious treasure of all is exhausted, and that is TIME.

The lesson for life:

We do not take to our grave any material wealth, although our good deeds can be our travelers’ cheques.

TIME is our most precious treasure because it is LIMITED.

We can produce more wealth, but we cannot produce more TIME.

When we give someone our TIME, we actually give a portion of our life that we will never take back.

Our TIME is our life!

The best present we can give others and ourselves is TIME.

May we have plenty of TIME and may we all have the wisdom to give it away and LIVE until our TIME has come.

 

Do You Celebrate The Things You Do Have?

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I find that being in a state of gratefulness allows me to really put things into perspective: I may not have everything I want but I always have everything I need.

Often life throws me ‘gratefulness’ reminders, especially when things are not going as planned. That is the time to celebrate who I am, what I am and what I have. When I feel like complaining, it’s the perfect opportunity to realize that despite my present misery, I do have a good life and that I am lucky to be born when, where and to whom.

Of course there are times I’m unaware, but that is what makes me human. Sometimes its okay to complain and just be. As long as I am aware of the big picture and of my innate being which expresses a constant, subtle and general happiness.

When we chase happiness it tends to fly away like a butterfly, moving further away each time we grab for it. When we recognize gratitude and celebrate a realistic reality of it, we’ll find happiness landing directly on our shoulders  J

 

 

The Wheel of Life, Samsara

 

Samsara also known as the wheel of life, turns continually because of our ripened karma. Our actions and karma accumulate and through this our experiences manifest in Samsara.

When we create mainly positive actions, we will experience a more or less joyful result. When we have mainly negative actions, we mainly experience unpleasant results.

To be unenlightened means we separate a ‘me’ from a ‘you’. We have been in this state of duality since time without beginning. The cause for this way of perception is the fundamental ignorance of our minds: our mind works like an eye. It looks at the outside, but cannot see itself and so the separation between me and you, outside and inside, here and there arises.

As a result from this duality, we wish to have certain things we experience as separate from ourselves that leads to attachment. Now that we’ve attached ourselves, we know what we want, and we wish to avoid certain things we don’t want, so aversion arises. From our attachment greed arises, as we want more of that what we like and from our aversion to things, jealousy arises as we don’t want others to have that what we have and from our ignorance pride arises because we don’t want to share what we have.

We call the above the five disturbing emotions that make us say and do certain things. Because of the law of cause and effect (Karma) our actions return to us. We create habitual tendencies from our disturbing emotions, thus finding ourselves in the wheel of existence, Samsara.

We can differentiate between six different kinds of experiences or states of existence within Samsara:

  1. God states
  2. Half-god existence
  3. Human existence
  4. Animal existences
  5. Ghost states
  6. Paranoia realms

In all the above states of existence, there is suffering. Samsara is nothing but suffering because it is simply the result of accumulated actions through our disturbing emotions. At times, the wheel turns upwards and then down again. We experience these states as real, although according to Buddhist teachings, they lack reality.

Our problem is that we take everything for real existent as we cling or we reject it. The Buddhist path shows us how to realize the true nature of mind and freeing ourselves from Samsara. For more information on Diamond Way Teachings 

 

Cause and Effect

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Cause and effect, known as karma is not the same as fate. It is the basis of personal freedom and universal responsibility for all living beings. Logically, positive causes cannot bring about negative results and vice versa.

According to the Buddha, four conditions come together for a karmic impression to come to full effect (positive or negative):

  1. A being has to understand clearly its own position and the corresponding conditions, meaning one must know exactly what one is doing and the consequences of such an action.
  2. It has to have the wish, to influence them actively, meaning one wants to and has a need to do this.
  3. The being must do something accordingly or have others do it meaning one does the deed or allows others to do it.
  4. The being has to be satisfied with the results.

When these four conditions come together, a fully developed karmic impression develops, which is stored in our consciousness. So the karma is the strongest when all four conditions come together and the weakest when only one condition is present. This counts for all our actions.

The stream of consciousness flows from birth to birth. In every situation we digest and dissolve old impressions and at the same time, we store new impressions into our minds. For this reason, Buddha never taught karma in a dogmatic way or as a moralist like “You must not …” or “You always have to …”.

A conscious understanding of the way cause and effect work can support you as an individual to create beautiful, positive impressions and to benefit beings in the ‘cycle of existence’ with wisdom and spontaneous activity.

This article was inspired by my Buddhist teacher, Lama Ole Nydahl   

Buddha Shakyamuni
Buddha Shakyamuni (Photo credit: Wikipedia

We Are What We Do

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Most of us know we are that what we do, what we eat, what we say, etc. This is so powerful! A powerful gift for a powerful life. Why don’t we integrate this wonderful gift into our lives and use it to create an abundant, rich, joyful and most loving life? We have the power to be whatever we want to be, to choose anything we want. Why do we still complain and live unhappy lives?

The secret: ‘‘With great power comes great responsibility.’’

I heard this phrase in the movie Spiderman. It touched my heart and I consciously made the commitment to follow it. I  know that if I want to succeed I need to act and be the success I want. If I want to be happy, I need to be the happiness. If I want to have fun at a party, I need to be the fun! Yay!!

Like Ghandi said: ‘’Be the change you want to see in your world’’ …..Fantastic!!

Try it, and you will feel this power inside you. How do you do this? You need to listen to yourself, make a couple of notes of what you want in your lives, what changes you want to see. And work down your list, one by one. Make mistakes, allow failure as it will show you where to focus. And ask for feedback from people who loves you. Take a stand, it is so worth it.

You will see, you will have a natural glow that will radiate all over you and your aura. You will take responsibility for your own happiness and changes without feeling guilty. And only then, people will come to you and they will want the same. That is the perfect time that you can help them, without convincing anyone and effortlessly 🙂