Whenever we say Buddhism we picture men in yellow and orange robes peacefully chanting mantras and meditating. We think of peaceful bell sounds and Buddha beads. We think of another plane that is filled with utter melodious convocations and world which is not the same as the world we live in. We forget that Buddhism and spirituality is also about living a life that shows one’s faith and dedication. It should manifest in our day to day activities so that we may one day achieve Nirvana.
How Do I Use Buddhism and Mindfulness in My Daily Life?
People who come into Buddhism normally seek peace and tranquility in their lives. They long for balance in the everyday chaos that we call life. A lot of people who walk in the Buddhism ways think that they can only achieve total peace once they are no longer in this realm. But this is wrong. As I have read from one Vietnamese Buddhist teacher who said that “One may walk on water, one may walk in space but the greatest of all is to walk on earth”. This means that we cannot just simply detach ourselves from the whole world. We cannot lock ourselves all day in our houses and throw away the key or worse go into total isolation. Isolation may be for some but not for all.
Allot a Time for Meditation – Being mindful and kind needs concentration and contemplation. We must have self-awareness in order for our bodies and minds to be able to manifest kindness into this world. As we eat every day to feed our physical self, we must also meditate in order to feed our souls. A lot of people would say, “I am so busy, how can I ever make time to meditate?”. But even if you are the busiest person in the world, you can carve even a few minutes to meditate. Meditation and prayer is a must. If we are unable to meditate then we risk living life as if we are sleep walking.
10-40 minutes total a day is ideal for someone who is very busy. However if you can at least do 5 minutes in the morning then it would do you wonders. Even for people who are not Buddhists, setting aside a time to reflect is a great way to relieve stress. When you meditate, do not multitask. This is not meditation at all. Do not think about your work, your bills or your problems. Try to empty your mind. Listen to meditative music. Emptying one’s mind may be difficult but with practice you can do it.
Create Beautiful Mornings – Most of us wake up in a hurry. We feel we are running out of time and rush to get out of bed, shower and go. We curse at the traffic light or the crowded train. This in turn affects our work. It stresses us out because we always feel that we have no time for anything. We dread the morning because we dread the rush it brings. One of the most important things we need to remember is to wake up and take a few minutes to breathe and meditate. This may mean waking up a bit earlier. This may mean not spending too much time on Facebook at night; scrolling mindlessly as we read the random posts there. We need to learn how to manage our time so that we can wake up feeling refreshed. Not rushing in the morning allows us to transition through the day with ease.
Begin the day with some tea and meditate. Chant your mantras and do breathing exercises. Allow your soul to slowly open up to the world. As little as five minutes of meditation in the morning can help you combat stress at work. It is also important to remember your purpose in life: you must be able to bring more peace into everyone else, you must not harm anyone.
Chant Your Mantras When You are Stressed – A lot of us break down when we are stressed. We become hurtful to others and to ourselves. We speak hurtful words and become antagonistic. We must remember the goal of our existence, to help others to achieve peace. Once we feel stressed we may chant our Mantras to calm our minds and souls. We can do so quietly or in a soft voice. We must follow the sacred teachings and imbibe the Dharma in our everyday lives. Dharma is the way of Buddha; the natural law of the cosmos that we should follow.
We Must Help Others – “No man is an island” as a famous saying goes. One of the greatest Dharma or duties is to serve others. We must fulfill this in order to rid the world of suffering and pain. There is so much suffering around us. If we do not reach out to others and just live a life of holiness, then what is the sense of it? We must feed the homeless and visit the sick and the ones in jail. But we must also help the people we see in our day to day lives. We must help our officemates, our classmates and even those we hate. We must treat each other fairly and equally.
Buddhism is not just a religion, it is a way of life. Just like Gautama Buddha who left his life of riches we too must surrender our pride. We can still live a normal lives, but we must live in a mindful and peaceful way. We need to plant the seeds of love, friendship, hope and truth in this world. The current world is full of pain and sorrow. Many people rush in and out of their daily life forgetting why we are alive. We must never succumb to the demands of this money driven society. It is our sacred duty to be a symbol of goodness to others.
I hope that these words have inspired you to live a life that shows that Buddhism is useful and beneficial to our day to day existence.