There is such a wealth of wisdom from ancient Buddhist teachings and spiritual texts that has become lost or forgotten today. The wisdom in ancient texts has never been more needed in our world with our environmental, physical and mental health pushed to the limits. Many of us have forgotten our true nature and our purpose, but with this age-old wisdom we can remember who we are once more.
The following teachings are from Gautama Buddha who was believed to have lived anywhere from the sixth to fourth century BCE. The teachings of the Buddha can absolutely be applied to your life today. You can make each day a little better by applying even one of the following teachings.
“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”
Anger is a natural human emotion and it is healthy to allow yourself to experience it, but after you have allowed your anger to be heard it is just as important to let it go. If you are holding onto anger from how a parent treated you as a child or if you are still mad at an old friend for how they wrong you ten years ago – let it go. By holding onto anger the pain that you experienced ten years ago is relived every time you think about that person; instead of having to live through the painful experience once you experience it over and over again for years and even decades. You don’t have to reunite with said person or even speak to them again but if you want to be free from anger forgive them in your heart and mind, send them a silent blessing or prayer and let go of the anger.
“Nothing can harm you as much as your own thoughts unguarded.”
There are people in this world who have great wealth and are deeply unhappy and at the other end of the spectrum there are those who have jobs delivering packages and emptying your garbage bins who smile warmly when they see you and are filled with joy to have the lives they lead. Our thoughts absolutely create our existence.
Your thoughts on what you do; the labels you give your experiences such as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ or ‘wonderfully magnificent’ define how you feel each and every day and these thoughts and labels also guide how much joy you can access from what you’re doing. Buddha says unguarded thoughts can harm you, because if your inner dialogue is focused on the shitty parts or if you label them as shitty parts then you will be really restricted in how much happiness and pleasure you have in your day. But if you focus on what is going swimmingly today such as that delicious coffee you have the pleasure of drinking, the opportunities in your career, the fact that you get to come home to a place you feel safe enough to dance around in your underwear and yes even find the opportunities to grow from the ‘shitty’ parts then you have just opened yourself up to experience the most amount of joy from your life. Learn more about how to watch your thoughts here.
“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection”
How often in life do you focus on helping and loving others? Our focus is usually on giving and selfless actions. However if you do not first act selfishly and give love first to yourself then you will become drained when aiming to give to those around you. You cannot give what you do not have. Accept love and fill yourself up with self love, because you deserve it simply for existing and once you do you will have much more to give away with ease. Read more about how to love yourself.