I was recently approached by a new friend, asking for guidance– this person is eager to share a message with the world and they were wondering if I might be able to help. My friend, Tashi Vajra, created an app for people interested in learning about Buddhism and wrote an article about finding and fostering the Buddha within! I suggested we share the article here and on the facebook page. Tashi Vajra’s facebook profile is here: https://www.facebook.com/tashi.vajra.56. The writing follows. Check it out!
Find and Foster Buddha Nature
When we are not happy with certain things in life, we tend to go out of our way to find material things to help us feel better. Sometimes we travel, in search of happiness. In certain cases, people travel thousands of miles to learn Buddhism or to find happiness. All of the above may have worked for many people and may continue to work for many more who are in pursuit of finding their happiness. Now by following the same path, many people may have ended up in a worse situation than they were before their pursuit of happiness.
The basic teaching in Buddhism to seek refuge in Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha, and by practicing and accumulating immense positive merits, we aspire to achieve enlightenment. The goal of our enlightenment is to be able to benefit countless amount of sentient beings, and free them all from suffering. Essentially, this is what makes us a Buddhist practitioners. Now to elaborate on the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha; Buddha here refers to The Buddha, the all-knowing enlightened one. Dharma is the teachings of the Buddha. Sangha in laymen’s term refers to the assembly of monastic Buddhist practitioners. Also commonly refers to as Monks and Nuns. By seeking refuge, protection, study from, and by respecting those three, may I become enlightened to benefit countless amount of sentient beings. This is the most important concept you need to have in your daily life.
With this, we can now talk about finding and fostering your inner Buddha. Suffering is part of life. As long as sentient beings have no control over their rebirth and next life on this earth, or on any other planet, happiness and suffering are all part of this life. This is why we all talk about getting enlightened, so we have control over our rebirth and after life. When our minds are disturbed, we lose hope and give up, or we go on searching for an answer. What is important to understand is that the answer does not lie in physical activities; nor does it lie in some travel and with some people. We often say, when you are sad, go out with friends; Watch movies, go hiking, play sports and do things. This is a temporary solution to our permanent issue. The best way to deal with such problem is by understanding it, and being able to work with it to your benefit. So the answer to our happiness doesn’t lie on the outside world. It lies within us. We’ll need to find and foster the nature of Buddha that’s in all of us. When we find this within ourselves, we’ll be happier and all of the mental pain and suffering will end as well. The physical pain and suffering is different. But generally, we all know mental pain is harder than that of our small wounds and scratches on our body. So when we talk about suffering, we are referring to mental suffering here.
So you’ll ask, “How can I find the Buddha in me, so I don’t have to travel the world in search of happiness”. The Buddha in us is a sleeping giant. It’s in all of us. Each one of us has the nature of Buddha that’s in different size and capacity, when not fostered. When fostered, it’s all limitless.
One of the causes for our anger and disturbed mind is something that is beyond our own control. Let’s take for example, when you are in a public place or a private place, there’s another person sitting/ standing next to you. He’s making weird noises and doing silly things that you don’t like. It’s disturbing your peaceful view or feeling at the time. Many times, in such situation, the anger in us is the first thing that’s awaken. You’d grow the feeling of dislike and anger towards this person’s silly acts and noises. Now this made you angry. It has disturbed your mind and your peace. Whether the instigation was deliberate or accidental, the other person has no idea that you are disturbed and beginning to be mad and angry inside. So how would you deal in such a situation? Right in that moment, if it was your weekend to enjoy and relax, how would you feel? You’d probably feel that this man is making you angry and ruining your weekend. At this moment when you are in such anger, bitter, and filled with hatred towards this man; how would you react? If you react negatively, things can get worse and you could end up in more problems, even though you did not cause the problem in the first place. So what is the best way to handle such things while enjoying your weekend?
The best way to enjoy your time/ day and continue your beautiful weekend is to look at this guy and forgive him. In your mind, you’d think and say things like, “This man is living his own life. Whether deliberately or not; aware or un-aware, he’s doing things that makes me angry. But I must find the Buddha in me to forgive him, and wish nothing but the best. Furthermore, if he’s not well (mentally/ physically), I wish him a speedy recovery and the best that the life has to offer”. Such is the mentality that will bring happiness back to you. When we show love, instead of anger, we are showered with love ourselves. We become a happy person immediately. Instead of being bitter and start a fight with this man, by ruining his weekend and your weekend; you have turned something negative in to a positive. You have made your weekend beautiful despite being in not so beautiful situation. In this case, you didn’t have to go find happiness, you created your own happiness. When you take such action, and practice in such a way, you are practicing tolerance, love, and compassion all at one time. Not many people are capable of showing such love and compassion towards others, who have disturbed them knowingly or not. So to be able to do such a thing in a difficult time is an amazing quality you have. So now you need to foster that.
You’ll need to build on this and practice this as much as you can. You’ll need to water and grow this beautiful love, compassion, and tolerance you have for other beings. This is your first step in finding peace and happiness. If you can practice this every time you are disturbed by an outside entity, you are getting better and better with your practice of tolerance, love, and compassion. So the things that used to make you angry and unhappy, are now the things that are the basis of your practice in finding and fostering the Buddha in you, which will someday be the path to your enlightenment.
This is just one step in finding and creating your own happiness right from your living room. You don’t need to travel the world in search of your “happiness guru”. To learn more about the Buddha nature, download the free “BuddhaApp” and stream the teachings right from your phone at home or during your travels. I have benefited immensely from these teachings and I hope you do too. You can practice every one of the lessons right from your home, with your family, friends and coworkers.
May you be happy and peaceful at all times. May all sentient beings be free from suffering.