Monday, June 1, 2015

10 tips from Tibetan Buddhism to live fully

The Tibetan Buddhism developed in the Himalayas and today is one of the most widely known Buddhist schools in the West. In fact, an estimated 20 million people follow this stream, so it is one of the most important in Buddhism. This philosophy not only seeks personal liberation but also that of all beings, indicating that we need to follow the state of Buddha.

However, in Tibetan Buddhism, Buddha can be anyone who has opened his potential wisdom, a person who has found inner peace and happiness away from the suffering and frustration.

Although perhaps most interesting is that Buddhism is not a religion in the literal sense of the term, nor is governed by rules, it is rather a way of life, a source of happiness, fulfillment and wisdom that powers our growth, through balance with nature. Anyone can practice Buddhism, without being a Buddhist. Therefore, it is interesting to know some of its basic precepts, ideas that can help dealing with our daily life.

1. We should not follow the traditions simply because have been handed down from ancient times

One of the most annoying things is listening to someone who defends a tradition saying "there’s no reason to change, it’s been always done that way". Of course, there's nothing wrong with following the traditions, when we understand them, we know its origins and those still make sense. But sticking to traditions just because it has always been done that way it involves myopia and fear of the unknown, as well as a denial of the continuous change of life.

2. Suffering is the result of desires and ignorance

Expectations, often unrealistic, and ignorance, are the true causes of suffering. In fact, suffering doesn’t come from the outside but depends on how we assume certain situations. When we fail to achieve what we want, when we feed unrealistic expectations anticipating the negative consequences of the situations, we are creating suffering, as it shows the story of the Chinese farmer. To deal with suffering we must learn to live with uncertainty, accept the changes and even our expectations. However, we must not flee from suffering, but just accept it as a natural phase of life.

3. We must not lose ourselves in the environment around us

It is important to be aware of the environment around us, to learn appreciating and enjoying it, but also to discover aspects that can cause damage to our psychological balance. In fact, the Tibetan Buddhism says that when bad companies and harmful places are abandoned, the disturbing emotions gradually decrease while righteous thoughts and feelings are increasing. Obviously, being surrounded by negative people and toxic and chaotic environments is not the best breeding ground for developing concentration and attain spiritual peace.

4. Maintaining anger and hatred keeps us from growing

For the Buddhist philosophy the negative emotions are not a problem, we simply must learn not to feed them and let go. Emotions, such as anger and hatred, grow and end up damaging our relationships and even ourselves. We can’t grow as individuals, learning to be understanding and compassionate, if we feed those negative emotions. Therefore it is very important to learn, accept and forgive.

5. We must not do the evil

One of the most commendable things of Buddhism is its simplicity. Instead of giving us 10 commandments or impose certain social rules, punished by the law, it simply tells us not to do the evil. We must refrain from causing harm, pain and suffering to others. We should not behave towards others as we would not like the others behave to ourselves. It's a very simple rule to follow because, before any moral dilemma, we simply have to ask ourselves: do we wish someone to behave this way with us or the people we love?

6. We should not stick to things or people

The attachment is the source of our greatest troubles. When we believe a thing or a person belongs to us, we immediately get gripped by the fear of losing it, a feeling that makes us feel bad and that leads us often to do something wrong. Likewise, the attachment leads us to give a disproportionate importance to material possessions. The Law of Detachment tells us that "all things to which you cling, and without which you are convinced you can’t be happy, are simply the cause of your anxiety. What makes you happy is not the situation around you, but the thoughts in your mind".

7. We are responsible for our path

Each person is responsible for his actions, thoughts and words. It's not about blaming someone but we must spend at least a few minutes a day to reflect on what we have done throughout the day. If we made a mistake, we should not hide it, but face it and try to repair the damage. Likewise, when we're wrong, we must learn the lesson to avoid repeating the same mistake in the future. We must learn to see life as a series of lessons, many of whom come with errors. However, only taking full responsibility we can grow.

8. We must learn to love ourselves

The Tibetan Buddhism tells us that the road to happiness is not only inside us, but also in the willingness to give, in compassion and selfless help, in being generous without expecting anything in return. Still, to achieve these goals, we must first love and feel compassion for ourselves. Only when we are full, we can fully meet the needs of others, only when we love ourselves we can love others. The difference is that this love for ourselves is not egotism, but a vehicle to help others.

9. We must take care of our body, because it is our temple

Contrary to what many people think, in the Tibetan Buddhism the body plays an important role, it is not just a philosophy directed to nourish the soul, but also takes into consideration the most "worldly" things. The body is our temple, the only one we have, so we should treat it with respect and care. Feeding our spirit is important, but we must not forget the body, we must strike a balance because only then we can live fully.

10. We don’t have to believe in what is said, just because it has been said

If there is something fascinating me is that Buddhism urges us not to believe blindly, on the contrary, encourages us to seek our answers and truths. This is because the Buddhism believes that all systems of thought, whether religious or philosophical, are not set in stone but are all truths media guides to help us pursue our path. Believing that there are absolute truths, only because others believe in them, leads us to assume a narrow mentality and limit us.


Keep feeding your neurons

10 tips from Tibetan Buddhism to live fully
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Jennifer Delgado Suárez

Psicologist by profession and passion, dedicated to to string words together. Discover my Books


Psychology as you never heard about...

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