Are you feeling stuck, unmotivated and uninspired? Take your ego mind out of the equation!
In Buddhism, all of the physical and emotional obstacles can be very powerful teachers.
If we allow ourselves to get caught up in the daily minutiae and stressors in our daily lives, it can almost be impossible for us to remain present.
Poverty, elections, political oppression and infighting, and other obstacles can also impede us and keep us from our own spiritual progress as well as that of others.
The word Buddha is derived from the Sanskrit root budh, meaning "to awaken", "to know", or "to become aware". Buddha as a title may be translated as "The Awakened One."
The teachings of the Buddha are called the Dharma.
The word Bodhisattva is a person, like you and me, who is on the path toward awakening.
But it is also much deeper than that. Someone who is willing to take on the path of the Bodhisattva is someone who also has the willingness to take up the great responsibility of liberating others from suffering. In other words, when we awaken, we also have the opportunity, and in Buddhism, the responsibility, of helping others awaken.
The Bodhisattva Vow says that we become awakened for the benefit of all beings. This means that while your practice will undoubtedly help you, it cannot help but also impact those in your immediate surroundings, be they friends or perfect strangers.
In essence, when we look at this way, your practice is not for you. It is for the benefit of all sentient beings.
We are all capable of becoming awakened in our lifetimes. We can each attain buddhahood. Buddhahood is not reserved for a select few, it instead is possible for each one of us.
It is said that those who greatly enlighten illusion are Buddhas; those who are greatly deluded about enlightenment are sentient beings.
In the traditional Tibetan Buddhist context, it is believed that the buddhas and bodhisattvas, as well as the human teachers and gurus, look with kindness upon human suffering and its relief.
In every human life, there are sorrows and sufferings that remain our companions; these sorrows and sufferings that you, the practitioner, can hold closely as your greatest teachers.
It is only when we resist what is so in our lives in this moment where suffering becomes more difficult, sometimes even untenable.
The path toward awakening includes the practice of becoming aware of our experiences as opposed to managing them.
Instead of resisting or pushing away those experiences we deem unfavorable or unpleasant, is it possible for us to allow those feelings to simply arise and be seen and felt?Maggie Kelly
This begins to take the ego mind out of the equation.
Thinking then begins to become simply an experience that arises as opposed to something you should control or mitigate.
If fear arises during your sit, allow the fear to arise. Notice it as fear and label it as “fear is arising.” Then allow it to dissipate at its own pace.
Irritation, anger, joy, happiness, boredom, anxiety, sadness, whatever is there, allow whatever it is to simply arise. Acknowledge and label the emotion as it arises. Watch it as it slowly dissipates without any attempt to push it away.
This practice will begin to give you a new perspective on how you notice and allow whatever experience is wanting to arise.
Over time and practice, you will gain some facility over allowing your experiences to simply arise, be noticed, felt and experienced without resistance or judgment.
We have to be fully present to notice.
We have to be here to notice.
We are learning to witness ourselves.
When we practice and learn how to be with all of life’s experiences, we then bring a different perspective and actually, a different being, to the world. This different being cannot help but impact the world in which they live.
This is the true meaning of being a Bodhisattva.