Hi Friends -
Today I had the pleasure of meeting, one - one with a Buddhist Monk at a nearby home. He was visiting a family for a special celebration of the first feeding of one of their children.
The man who invited me to visit with the Monk did so because he knew of my interest in Buddhism and my desire to learn more from those closest to the source. Anyway, it was an enlightening experience. I asked as many questions as I could get out of my mouth in the time we had together and listened carefully to all of his answers.
Here are a few of the "gems" I took away from our conversation:
"Intention" is key - living and acting with good intention makes us (and others) happier and in harmony with our worlds. Simple and obvious as that may seem on the surface, think about it - good acts, good deeds - good outcomes. Happiness! That is a core principal within the Live Your Passion process. The LYP process teaches that by starting with a clear understanding of your own values and beliefs and then acting on those beliefs leads us to better outcomes and more happiness. There are lots of reasons why we get side tracked off our Road to Happiness and end up on what I call Victim Lane but I'll talk more about that another day on another post. The book Live Your Passion, a Step-byStep Guide to Professional and Personal Happiness goes into the idea in depth offering exercises and approaches to getting back on your Road to Happiness.
"Attachment" to things is different than having things - I asked his thoughts about possessing "things" and the the notion that things by definition are not desirous of a practicing Buddhist. He clearified for me the difference between possessing things and attachment. In the Monk's words, "we believe that what we have is not only ours but is for the good of others. In other words, having possessions that are part of a lifestyle (belief) where good intentions are the norm and things are enjoyed by all is not bad. However, having possessions for our own personal gain and at the exclusion of others can be a bad approach and considered not consistent with his teachings. Now, for sure this can get tricky because we acan all rationalize away our motivations (intention) and attach ourselves to wildly lavish lifestyles in the "name of" good. So my tale-away; be thoughtful and consider why you are possessing something and consider the consequences to others before you act. Bottom line - it doesn't seem ok to have purely for your own satisfaction when "having" means we are acting against the interest of another.
Knowledge should come before actions - what the Monk was saying is that we must seek to understand before we can act. Simply doing things because we have the impulse to do is dangerous. Knowledge allows us to act based on information and it gives us power in what we do. Acting before we have a good understanding can be harmful to us and to others - it sets us up for acting without good "intention." Example: how often do people call themselves something (conservative, liberal, Christian, Jewish, etc....) without really understanding what that means and why we have given ourself that label.
I could go on and on...but I will save more for another post. In the end I left feeling very humbled. There really is so much good to communicate. The human spirit is so strong and has such potential to do good things - for each other as one united around principles of hope, peace, good will and a connectedness. I hope this short writing helped make you think, and perhaps act with intention and with passion!
Be well - till next time....