January 1st in the Chinese lunar calendar, is chinese Spring festival, it is the biggest holiday in china. It is also the holy birthday of Maitreya Bodhisattva – the next Buddha in the saha world. This is a special and joyful holiday that is celebrated by many. Hua Zang Si in San Francisco held a Dharma Assembly to celebrate this important occasion. It was the first Dharma Assembly of the year and it was held on a beautiful sunny day. Many laypersons participated in the event.
At the entrance of the temple is an oversize marvelous statue representation of a jolly, laughing Buddha: Maitreya Bodhisattva (the next Buddha in this Saha world). It is such a warm welcoming sign. The big belly not only means jolly, it also means tolerating the intolerable things in the world. So when you look at the statue, you will start to feel that learning Buddhism is happy and kind.
The Dharma Assembly was an opportunity for people to come together and celebrate the teachings of Maitreya Bodhisattva. It was a time for reflection and meditation, as well as a chance to learn more about the teachings of Buddhism. The atmosphere was filled with positivity and joy, as people came together to celebrate this important holiday.
In Chinese culture, Maitreya Bodhisattva is seen as a symbol of joy and tolerance. As practitioners of Buddhism, we are encouraged to strive to be like the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas by cultivating a broad mind, open heart, and great tolerance.
One of the key principles of Buddhism is patience and forbearance, particularly under insult. This is seen as a key aspect of self-cultivation and it is important to remember that everything in the dharma realms can change from ordinary to holy. This means that even difficult situations can be transformed and overcome through the practice of patience and tolerance.
Patience and tolerance are not just passive qualities, but rather active ones that require effort and practice. We must actively cultivate them in our daily lives and strive to maintain them even in difficult situations. Through this practice, we can transform our own minds and hearts, becoming more like the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas that we strive to emulate.
At the Dharma Assembly, we chanted the Eighty-eight holy Buddha name jeweled repentance sutra, in hopes that the Buddhas will wash away all of our sins and negative karmas. After the chanting, we offered a meal to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. The event concluded with a dharma talk given by Dharma Master Ruohui.
During her talk, Dharma Master Ruohui emphasized the importance of faith, vows, and actions for disciples of Buddhism. She explained that faith is the foundation of our practice, and that with strong faith, we will have the determination to follow the Buddha’s teachings and put them into action in our lives.
The Dharma Assembly was a meaningful event where participants not only had the opportunity to reflect on their own spiritual growth but also to make an impact on the world around them. During the assembly, the participants returned the merit to all living beings, holding the hope that they shall be rid of suffering, obtain happiness, and have the opportunity to listen to authentic Buddha Dharma.
The act of returning merit is an important aspect of Buddhist practice as it is believed that by dedicating the positive energy generated through our spiritual practice to the benefit of others, we can help bring about peace and prosperity in the world. By returning merit to all living beings, participants were able to contribute to the collective well-being of the world and make a positive impact on the lives of others.
Furthermore, the participants also held the hope that by listening to authentic Buddha Dharma, they will be able to perfect their fortune and wisdom, leading to a more prosperous and peaceful world for all. This is the ultimate goal of Buddhism, to help all beings to find inner peace, happiness and liberation from suffering.
In the National Geographic channel’s “The Power of Miracles” episode of “The Story of God with Morgan Freeman,” Freeman delves into the concept of miracles and the role they play in different cultures and religions around the world. Throughout the episode, Freeman explores the various stories and accounts of miracles that have been passed down through traditional cultures and religions. These stories often involve healing, protection, and other seemingly miraculous events.
One of the main focuses of the episode is the stories of miracle in Christianity. Freeman visits the site of a Catholic pilgrimage in Lourdes, France, where thousands of people travel each year to pray for healing. Freeman also visits the site of a Marian apparition in Medjugorje, Bosnia, where six children reported seeing the Virgin Mary in 1981. Freeman also meets with people who believe they were healed as a result of the apparition, which is still ongoing. Freeman also explores other religion’s records of miracles like the Jewish Kabbalah, and the Islamic Hadith.
While some people may be skeptical of these stories, Freeman makes it clear that they hold great significance for the people who believe in them. For many, these stories of miracles provide hope, inspiration, and a sense of connection to something greater than themselves. Freeman ultimately concludes that miracles are about the power of belief, and that the belief in something larger than ourselves can have a profound impact on our lives.
Watching this episode is a miracle for me. I explored so many beautiful places, cultures and religions. It’s a must watch for people with an interest in the intersection of faith and science, and in the power of belief to shape our lives.
New Year’s resolutions have long been a way to take stock of what’s truly important in our lives, allowing us to pause and reflect on the year behind us, as well as plan for the year ahead. If living through a global pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that we shouldn’t take health and wellness for granted. In 2023, improving your body, mind and soul is a great way to organize your long-term goals for the new year.
Focusing on your health and well-being doesn’t have to translate to starting a new diet or workout plan, though. You can set your sights on taking charge of your mental health, finally optimizing a better sleep routine or diving headfirst into reclaiming your space (wave goodbye to messy closets and disastrous bathrooms).
Your resolutions don’t have to be big, instead of workout everyday for two hours you could just set a goal like walking 15 minutes a day. Doing small things persistently, will bring big changes.
Keep your new resolutions by using a planner to help you stay on track, checking off daily fitness goals and tackling frequent decluttering tasks. This year, it’s time to put you first!
Here are some ideas to help you to kick off the year with a stronger, well-nourished body and an enriched mind.
Do some low intensity breath focusing exercise
Each week, try to do 15 to 30 minutes of slow and mind focusing exercise, such as Yoga or Tai chi. Tai chi is an ancient Chinese tradition that, today, is practiced as a graceful form of exercise. It involves a series of movements performed in a slow, focused manner and accompanied by deep breathing.
Yoga is also a mind and body practice. Yoga combines physical postures, breathing techniques, and meditation or relaxation. Yoga involves movement, meditation, and breathing techniques to promote mental and physical well-being. According to the National Institutes of Health, scientific evidence shows that yoga supports stress management, mental health, mindfulness, healthy eating, weight loss and quality sleep.
Do a short prayer
Each night, before you go to bed, do a short prayer. Praying can reduce anxiety and promote relaxation, gratitude, and thankfulness. In less than 3 minutes, you can express your gratitude to your body, your family, your friends, society, and your country. In this quiet time remind yourself to admire others, to accept others, to be attentive of others, and to forgive others. Wish for everyone to have a happy, healthy and auspicious life, wish for peace and harmony of the world, and wish that tomorrow will be better.
Build a better budget
If there’s one New Year’s resolution that will help you the most in the long run, it’s making a vow to save more money.
Before you head back to the office in January, outline a rough budget that works for you — and make a plan for how you’ll stick to it. Budgeting apps can help you do this as painlessly as possible. And supercharge your shopping habits by rethinking when and how you buy things for your home and family; often, there are savings you’re leaving on the table.
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Anxiety can nag at anyone during any season, in all parts of life — and it can be easy to let the idea of the future or past experiences inform your reality of the present. Practicing mindfulness means doing everything you can to be grateful for what you have in the moment, where you are in life, and who you are right now. Some leading psychological experts say committing to mindfulness can help you become a better person in less than a year’s time.
Read more books
January is the perfect time of year to snuggle up with a new book. Some of us like to unwind with a great fiction book that transports us to places we’ve never been, into lives that differ from our own. Others love the shiver that goes up your spine when you crack open a creepy ghost story that makes you think twice before turning off the light to go to bed. And who among us can resist a juicy romance novel that reminds us that chivalry isn’t dead? Of course, the best nonfiction books can also open our eyes to lived experiences far beyond our own perspective. Needless to say: books can change lives, whether they’re intended to be inspirational or just come to us at the moment we need them most.
Commit to a healthier sleep routine.
So many issues can be traced back to a poor night’s sleep. And yet, there is so much more that we can aim to improve beyond a reasonable bedtime. Creating a plan to improve your sleep hygiene — the habits you maintain to get good sleep every night — may look different for everyone, as it depends on when you need to be active and working throughout the day. Your brain actually relies on cues to regulate your internal circadian rhythm, and the choices you make throughout the day can interfere with these. Start taking charge of your sleep by mastering these 10 to-dos as the year progresses.
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Research shows that pitching in regularly can lead to less stress and lower blood pressure. Try to schedule an outreach mission of your own on a day of service; many recognize Martin Luther King Day as a prime opportunity, or even Veteran’s Day in November. So use this day to jumpstart a longer-term personal commitment — and consider working on this goal with loved ones all year round.
Explore new hobbies.
Another sleepy Sunday? Today’s the day you try Ethiopian food, attend a ballet, or take a painting class — whatever feels fun. When researchers followed 7,500 people for 25 years, they found that those who complained of major boredom were roughly twice as likely to die from heart disease.
Start walking more
Even if you can’t keep track of a new fitness routine, keeping yourself moving on a simple walk around the neighborhood is a must. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services maintains that adults should spend as much time moving each day as possible — and some physical activity (even just walking!) is better than none.
Do one thing at a time.
Multitasking doesn’t make you more efficient, but it does stress you out, says mindfulness expert Pedram Shojai, author of Focus: Bringing Time, Energy, and Money Into Flow. “If your focus is fragmented, you’ll likely find yourself getting anxious as new items come up when old ones are still incomplete,” he says.
Instead, he suggests, organize your activities into chunks of time, such as kid time and cooking time, and then “commit to being focused in those allotted minutes and see what happens.” It’ll help stop you from overthinking everything.
Give yourself more compliments.
Repeat after us: “Today is my day. I’m thankful for me.” Positive self-talk can help you focus on what’s good in your life, says psychologist Joy Harden Bradford, Ph.D.
Research shows that a little vitamin G (for gratitude) can make you feel happier and more satisfied and even improve your sleep. “If you repeat an affirmation related to gratitude in the morning, you’re likely to show and feel more of it throughout that day,” Bradford says. You’re so welcome!
Head outside without your phone
In a previous GH survey, 83% of people told us they lost track of how long they spent on their devices. But short of deleting all social apps, it can be hard to trade screen time for more productive pastimes like walking the dog and coffee with friends. Whether you’re Team iPhone or Team Android, download the latest software to access built-in tools that help you track your personal app usage. Set screen downtime is also very helpful to remind you need to stop.
Add more citrus to your grocery cart.
When you see all those gorgeous in-season grapefruits, oranges, clementines, and pomelos in the produce aisle, grab an armful.
Winter citrus can help keep skin looking healthy thanks to vitamin C, which aids in collagen production. In fact, an American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study found that people who ate foods high in C had fewer wrinkles and less age-related dry skin than those who didn’t. Try clementine sections sprinkled with pistachios or sweet grapefruit dipped in Greek yogurt for a snack.
The lucky door in life is always inadvertently opened. Maybe it’s the blessings from the Buddha and Boddhisatva.
I remember that day, a critical turning pointin my life.I was exercising in the community that day, a surnamed Meng dharma sister asked me to worship the Buddha in the Buddhist Hall nearby. I agreed with her as soon as I heard the invitation. The dharma brothers and sisters made me feel at home. It’s totally different from the people I met in my life, most of whom treated me courteously but without sincerity. So I decided to chant sutras and listen to the recorded discourses expounded by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III with dharma brothers and sisters. I felt like it’s the place that I should come. Then I couldn’t help crying when chanting sutras, and I would repent. Every time after listening the recorded Buddha dharma discourses, I was filled with endless power.
To my shame, I never settle down to study, but hurry to come and leave the Buddhist Hall owing to busy work. With my diligence for listening the dharma discourses, I make progress and schedule time for study in the Buddhist Hall. Undoubtedly, we want to lead a good life, but learning Buddhism is more important, we can and we have to plan enough time for study.
On the National Day in 2016, I gave up travelling with my family but took part in the Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva Great Compassion Empowerment Dharma Assembly, from which, I truly knew the great Buddha Dharma is true and real. The next day I converted to Buddhism. I was earnest and pious in studying Buddhism after conversion.
The Buddha taught us to conduct cultivation and introspection, to conduct three introspections in the course of a day. I found myself did many things that I should not do in the past, including killing other living beings. When I realized the retribution of killing, I decided not to kill, while turned to vegan at dinner, and on the first day and the fifteenth day of the lunar calendar.
I’ve been doing prostrations since the dharma assembly. Now I have a fit body and my wine tummy is gone. My blood pressure used to be a little bit high, but now it’s stable. I don’t feel panic or worried if travelling by plane or driving. I sleep well all night after chanting H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III.
Some people think that it takes time to learn Buddhism and it will affect the business and work. However, my business is more prosperous since I’ve taken Buddhism. Numerous long-term orders come for me. Several days ago, the municipal government called me for delivery. I was surprised, because I didn’t have the resource superiority. I focused on social engagement and seldom stayed at home in the past. Now I cherish and care about my family. My son usually asks me to spend time with him. Taking Buddhism makes me healthier and my family relationships more harmonious.
I truly know that Buddhism brings me happiness, so I am determined to do my best to make offerings to Buddha Halls. With the help from dharma brothers and sisters, I set up a Buddha Hall at home. My family also join me to study Buddhism.
All above is my own experience. I hope everyone has the karmic affinity to study the true Dharma of Tathagata. We all eager for a happy life, but making money is only a part of it. The health and happiness we have on this side is temporary, while attaining the accomplishment and liberation on the other side is the truth.
How would you define a “spiritual entrepreneur?” Would you cite yoga teachers or therapists as examples? Well, spiritual entrepreneurs are not any different from other entrepreneurs in terms of the services they provide. What makes a regular entrepreneur a spiritual one is their sense of purpose. These are the business people driven by their desire to help, not by a love for money.
How does one maximize business success as a spiritual entrepreneur?
Law of Attraction and Divine Transmission expert Divina Caballo introduces a new way of spiritual entrepreneurship – where profits meet the purpose. Wanting both financial gains and spiritual entrepreneurship might seem counterintuitive, but they are not. Caballo lists three ways by which every spiritual entrepreneur can enjoy a wealth of both – profits and purpose.
Clearly Define Your Measures of Success
Business success means different things to different people. So what does it mean to you? Before you begin working on ways to maximize something, Caballo recommends spending some time defining the metrics of measurement.
She says, “Running blindly, goalless like a headless chicken, will not do you any good. Sit down. Take a minute. Think. And note down the end goal.”
From the number of clients you need to the brand image you have in mind, make a note of all the vital cornerstones of your business. Making concrete financial plans, along with cementing other actionable goals, goes a long way.
Be A ‘Work in Progress’
The shift to a spiritual entrepreneur begins with a mindset change. Every day will be a new learning experience, but as long as your mind remains closed off to them, no experience could succeed in teaching you something new.
Divina Caballo advises, “Before you commence your journey of being of service to others, make a commitment to yourself to embrace learning for a lifetime. Discovering self-expression is where it all begins, and you build from there on.”
This might seem not very clear at first. You might be wondering what your innermost self has got anything to do with helping other people. And according to Caballo, you do not need to look too far for the answer. “There are many different types of spiritual entrepreneurs, and each type differs greatly from the next. But there is one thing that they all have in common: they are all working towards a goal that lies closest to their hearts.”
Find People Who Click with You
Business is all about community, and that rings truer than ever when it comes to spiritual business. So find your community and build your audience.
“Realistically speaking, one can use social media as a reliable medium to gather like-minded individuals united by a shared cause greater than any one of them that binds them together in service for eternity,” says Caballo.
Not unlike most other businesses today, social media also proves to be an excellent channel to promote one’s business. As an entrepreneur, you can not only attract potential clients there, but you can also find inspiration and ideas from other people.
Don’t let everyday stresses and problems get you down to the point where you think the only relief is heavily drinking or some other drug-related solution. Not only will your so-called relief be temporary, it can also be harmful to your health, contribute to possible addiction, and leave you more incapable of dealing with stresses on your own the next time they occur.
HERE ARE 8 WAYS TO SELF-SOOTH WITHOUT USING A MIND ALTERING SUBSTANCE
READ Develop a reading habit and you will find that you look forward to your time with your latest book. While you are reading, let this be your time for yourself. Set aside whatever amount of time you can and devote it wholeheartedly to reading.
MEDITATION Meditation has been practiced for countless centuries to relieve stress, anxiety, depression, to treat a variety of illnesses, to help during treatment for addictive behaviors, reduce high blood pressure, and alleviate pain and to relax. Practice meditating every day at a regular time, for a regular duration. Ultimately, your perspective will start to evolve and you will grow more able to choose your moods and reactions instead of them choosing you.
YOGA No need to be a master practitioner or a contortionist to reap the benefits from yoga. Yoga can be described as a collection of spiritual techniques and practices that seek to integrate mind, body and spirit in the quest to achieve enlightenment or oneness with the universe.
TAKE A HOT BATH AH, the satisfaction of soaking in a hot bubble bath, one of the best natural ways to relax and unwind. Give it a try! Light a candle, dim the lights and bring your awareness to the breath. Deep inhales through the noise, exhales out the mouth. Try this for sets of 5. You’ll absolutely feel less anxiety and much more able to cope with the challenges of day to day life.
VOLUNTEER There’s no question there are many deserving charities and organizations that can use help. Volunteer to help serve meals at homeless shelters, or give of your time to visit with senior citizens at assisted living centers. When you look outside yourself and your own problems and give of yourself, it’s a selfless form of generosity that rewards you with a sense of inner peace.
WALK IN NATURE Walking in nature helps you to decompress, as it magically increases the bodies natural feel-good chemicals. Breathing in the fresh air, noticing the beauty, and listening to the sounds around you will no doubt elevate your mood, leaving you with a feeling of completion and relaxation.
BECOME MORE SPIRITUAL Spirituality is something that is actively pursued, cultivated, and nourished. You don’t need to be religious to reap the rewards of a heightened spirituality. You can develop your spirituality by looking inward and trying to improve your outlook on life. Becoming more spiritual will give you a new appreciation for life and how precious it is. You will be able to give more of yourself to others, and gain richness beyond measure in return.
MAKE A GRATITUDE LIST Get into the habit of writing down 5 things you are grateful for every morning. Goodness has a way of spreading its way around. When you are positive in your outlook, and act in a manner that inspires others to do likewise, you are helping to lift others out of themselves and into a better appreciation of life.
Life is all about living. Let’s make this life the best we can for as long as we have. You won’t need drugs to help you relax. Living life to the fullest will be your gift — to you and to those you love. Namaste.
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time; enjoying one moment at a time; accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will; that I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him forever in the next. Amen.
The Serenity Prayer is well known by both believers and non-believers. The famous prayer asks for God’s help achieving something that most people desire but few can achieve: peace and happiness in life. Unlike many prayers that ask for peace or happiness, the Serenity Prayer does not simply ask that God hand a person peace wholesale. Instead, the prayer lays out specific steps that will help a person achieve serenity in their life and asks God to help them gather the strength to live by those smaller goals. The Serenity Prayer does not so much ask for a gift as much as it asks God to help a person create or earn their own peace.
The first half of the Serenity Prayer is the most commonly quoted section of the prayer. The prayer has inspired millions of people, Christians and non-Christians alike. This beautiful prayer, however, is so often quoted that its wisdom can be lost. Here is a breakdown of the wisdom of the Serenity Prayer.
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change… Everyone has things in their life they wish that they could change, whether it is something as small as the traffic and congestion that fills a person’s daily commute or something as serious as a loved one’s diagnosis with terminal cancer. When faced with something we wish we could change, we often fight it. We rage against the congested traffic and fall prey to road rage. We deny the terrible news of a deadly diagnosis and stick our heads in the sand. We hide from the truth. We hate it. We curse it. We do the spiritual equivalent of punching a brick wall and expecting the wall to come down instead of our knuckles to bruise and split and break. In our hearts we know that there is nothing we can do to change some facts of life. People will die. Tragedies will happen. The inevitability of those facts does not make them less horrible, but it does mean that there is nothing we can do about it.
The first two lines of the Serenity Prayer ask for perhaps one of the hardest things of all: the strength to both accept that some things are out of our control and come to peace with that fact rather than drowning in useless, toxic rage.
Courage to change the things I can… People love to complain. Think about it. How often do our coworkers start the week not with a smile and story about something pleasant they did over the weekend but a moan, groan or curse about the first day of the work week? When starting a conversation, do we share our joy? Unfortunately, we are much more likely to start a conversation by complaining about something, even something as small as the weather. Complaints seem to be our go-to form of communication, but how often do people really try to change what they claim so grievously offends, inconveniences or angers them?
In the age of social media and the internet, it is easier than ever to jump on the bandwagon and complain about an event, person, policy or organization. Ironically, many of the loudest virtual voices have never done a thing to help the causes they claim matter so much. It is easy to complain, especially from behind the protection of a screen name and keyboard. It is not easy to actually enact change. It is not easy to go up to someone we respect and say “I disagree.” It is not easy to face down someone who is screaming with hate and say, civilly and respectfully, “You are wrong and here is why.” Truly creating change does not happen from behind a screen or around a water cooler. It takes time, effort, energy and, yes, risk.
The penultimate line of the first stanza of the Serenity Prayer asks God to help us find the inner strength and deep well of bravery we all possess and turn that willpower and courage toward bringing about the changes that matter to us.
And the wisdom to know the difference. Discernment is one of the most difficult skills to master especially when it comes to dealing with our ability to influence the world around us. We often have an overinflated sense of our own power to enact change. On some subconscious level, we truly believe that we can make other people see our point of view if we just have one more conversation with them, explain our position one more time or, sometimes, yell loudly enough. This, of course, is ridiculous. People do not change their minds when others shout at them or call them names. Even those who try to change events or others’ opinions with civil, respectful behavior often find themselves frustrated as things refuse to change. This is because the things they want to influence are not within their ability to alter. Discerning what we can change and what we simply wish we could change is not easy. The Serenity Prayer recognizes that very human refusal to admit defeat and accept that something is out of our hands. As such, the prayer asks for God’s help discerning what we can truly control and what we merely wish we could influence.
Living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time We all know someone who is never really present in the moment. They may be worrying constantly about tomorrow or forever daydreaming about the next great thing that they believe will happen in their life. They never take the time to enjoy the moment they are standing in or to revel in the life they live. Their focus is always on something else. Unfortunately, when we are focused on something in the far off future or distant past, whether good or bad, we let life pass us by. Whether we want to admit it or not, most of life is composed of the little moments that so many of us ignore. When we are worrying about the big presentation we have at work later in the week, we are not paying attention to our spouse who is longing for some emotional connection. When we are consumed with excitement for our cruise next month, we miss the friend who was looking to simply catch up over lunch. The Serenity Prayer reminds us that those little moments—the butterfly perched on the flowers by the office door, the smile of our child when she sees that daddy’s home, the smell of fresh baked cookies–get lost so easily even though those little moments are the ones that make up most of our lives and make our lives worth living.
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace No one likes to focus on the difficulties that come with life. For all that people love to complain, no one really wants to have a troubled life. We want to be able to win the competition of “who had the worst day,” but we do not actually want to be miserable. We want to have our cake and eat it, too. Unfortunately, this is not possible. Hardships will come up in life, but they are so much more important than a way to win the misery Olympics that so often take place at family dinners or around the water cooler.
“Nothing worth doing was every easy.” This cliché phrase has been both revered for its truth and reviled for its unpleasant reality, but there is no denying its accuracy. Finding love is difficult, and marriages are hard work. Few relationships, however, come close to being as fulfilling as a loving marriage. Parenting is a lifetime of staring at the ceiling at night wondering if we are screwing up our kids irreversibly. That does not mean that it is not the most important job on earth. Almost anything that will bring us true lasting happiness and peace instead of transient pleasure comes with difficulty and trial. In moments when we want to walk away, the Serenity Prayer reminds us that those struggles will be worth it in the end.
Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it The world is not perfect. Anyone who would say otherwise is naïve, blind or has their head buried so deep in the sand that their hair is poking through the grass on the other side of the globe. The advent of 24 hour news and the internet has driven home the imperfection of the world in all its gruesome, filthy, nightmarish detail. The worst of humanity is regularly on display as both natural and human made disasters dominate the news and religious extremism and terrorism are documented with sickly loving detail. Given that the horrors of the world are regularly shoved down our throats, is it any wonder that many people would prefer to hide under the covers and pretend that everything is just hunky dory?
Hiding from reality, however, does nothing to change what is actually happening in the world. Distorting facts and figures to feed a popular narrative robs those actually hurt of any chance of enacting real change. The key to dealing with this world is to accept it as it is, both the good and the bad. It is wrong to pretend away the suffering of others, but it is not right to rub the worst of human depravity in the face of someone who is counting their own blessings. The Serenity Prayer makes it clear that we need to deal with reality, not wishful fantasy. To do that, we need to celebrate the highs and spread the good as far and as wide as we can. We need to mourn the lows and fight fiercely to correct what wrongs we can. We cannot change reality when we do not even know what is real.
Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will Trust is one of the key components of the Christian faith. Christians must trust that God has a plan for their lives. They must trust that everything, even terrible things, happen for a reason. Painful though it may be, they must trust that their loved ones who die are going to a better place. Trust, however, does not always come easily. Christians who are mourning a lost parent, spouse, friend or, worst of all, a child, may find themselves raging against God and questioning everything they ever believed.
While hardship and trial sometimes brings a person’s faith to its knees, the hottest fires sometimes forge the strongest faith. Those people who come out of trials with both a faith core of steel and a deepened trust in God are often those who manage to accept, somehow, that God is in control even when everything around them is going to hell in a handbasket. Even when life is easy-breezy and good, however, it is not always easy for us to trust in God and surrender. We want to take control. We want to be in charge. The Serenity Prayer reminds us, though, that what we can influence is so much smaller than what God can determine. Whether we like it or not, we are being dragged in the direction God wants us to go, so we may as well stop fighting, go with the flow and trust that He has our best interests at heart.
So that I may be happy in this life Everyone wants to be happy. We know that this life is too short, and we want to enjoy every minute of it. We want to spend our days smiling and laughing. We want to feel both joy and excitement and treasure every moment. The desire to be happy is one of the most natural desires of humanity. Our very biological drive to survive is based on our need to be happy. Our bodies are hardwired to use a biological reward-based system to keep us alive. When we do something that helps us survive, we are rewarded with a surge of dopamine, a feel-good chemical. These hormonal surges come when we eat, sleep, talk with other human beings and have sex. These processes are necessary for the continuation of the human species. Staying happy in this life, however, is not just about fulfilling biological urges. We are hardwired to do more than survive. Dopamine floods our brains when we truly live. Singing, dancing, creating and exploring new things all trigger dopamine. The Serenity Prayer helps remind us that, despite what some fire-and-brimstone sermons say, aiming to be happy in this life is nothing to be ashamed of as long as we do not trade morality for transient pleasure. This, however, rarely happens when we do what is hardwired to be one of our greatest natural sources of happiness: connecting with and helping others.
And eternally happy with Him forever and ever in the next. Christians know that there is more than just this world. There is another world that is free of the horrors and tragedies that plague this world. Our current world is painfully imperfect, but that does not make it devoid of beauty. God’s hand is everywhere in the world, and hope can be found in even the darkest and most dangerous of times. The beauty and good of this world, however, pale in comparison to what is waiting in the next world with Jesus Christ Himself. When we pursue happiness and peace in this life, we must be sure not to get so caught up in earthly pleasures that we take our eyes off the ultimate prize: eternal life with Christ in the next life. The Serenity Prayer helps us focus on what we need to do to achieve happiness and peace in this life, but the final two lines of the prayer make sure to remind us that there is more, much more, than just this life. It reminds us to keep the next life in mind even as we strive to enjoy this one and to change this world for the better.
The Serenity Prayer is well known by both believers and non-believers. It offers simple, but effective methods to truly begin to feel peace in this life, but it also reminds us of what is waiting for us in the next life. It asks God not to fix our lives for us but to lend us the strength to correct them for ourselves. It offers inspiration and advice in equal measure and reminds the faithful that with God anything is possible.
There are so many beautiful, powerful and life changing lessons you can learn from studying Buddhism and from reading many of Buddha’s quotes.
Here are 20 Life Changing Lessons from Buddha:
1. Love heals all things. “Hatred does not cease by hatred, but only by love; this is the eternal rule.”
2. It’s not what you say but what you do that defines you. “A man is not called wise because he talks and talks again; but if he is peaceful, loving and fearless then he is in truth called wise.”
“A dog is not considered a good dog because he is a good barker. A man is not considered a good man because he is a good talker.”
3. The secret of good health is to live fully in the NOW. “Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.”
“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, nor to worry about the future, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly.”
4. Words have the power to both hurt and heal. “Words have the power to both destroy and heal. When words are both true and kind, they can change our world.”
5. Let it go and it will be yours forever. “You only lose what you cling to.”
6. No one can walk your path for you. “No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.”
7. Happiness never decreases by being shared. “Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”
8. Be kind to all. “Resolve to be tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant with the weak and wrong. Sometime in your life, you will have been all of these.”
“Have compassion for all beings, rich and poor alike; each has their suffering. Some suffer too much, others too little.”
“Teach this triple truth to all: A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity.”
9. Don’t believe everything you are told to believe. “Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.”
10. As you THINK so shall you be “All that we are is the result of what we have thought: it is founded on our thoughts and made up of our thoughts. If a man speak or act with an evil thought, suffering follows him as the wheel follows the hoof of the beast that draws the wagon…. If a man speak or act with a good thought, happiness follows him like a shadow that never leaves him.”
11. Let go of fear. “The whole secret of existence is to have no fear. Never fear what will become of you, depend on no one. Only the moment you reject all help are you freed.”
12. The truth has a way of always leaking out. “Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.”
13. Control your mind or it will control you. “To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one’s family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one’s own mind. If a man can control his mind he can find the way to Enlightenment, and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him.”
“It is a man’s own mind, not his enemy or foe, that lures him to evil ways.”
14. Doubt separates. Trust unites. “There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.”
15. Nobody is more deserving of your love than you yourself are. “You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”
16. Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is enlightenment. “It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell.”
17. Let go of attachment. “To live a pure unselfish life, one must count nothing as one’s own in the midst of abundance.”
18. Choose your friends wisely. “An insincere and evil friend is more to be feared than a wild beast; a wild beast may wound your body, but an evil friend will wound your mind.”
19. There is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way. “There is no path to happiness: happiness is the path.”
20. Love. Live. Let go. “In the end these things matter most: How well did you love? How fully did you live? How deeply did you let go?”
“Liu Chi Alley” (六尺巷 in chinese) is located between Xihou Street and Wumu Garden in Tongcheng District， Tongcheng city, Anhui Province. The allusion of “Six-foot Alley” has become a historical story stems from the land dispute between Zhang’s family and his neighbors.
In the Qing Dynasty, there was a famous family in Tongcheng, Anhui Province. Father and son were the prime ministers of the two generations and had great power. Their names were Zhang Ying and Zhang Tingyu. During the reign of Emperor Kangxi in the Qing Dynasty, Zhang Ying was a Bachelor of Arts at Wenhua Palace and a minister of rites. At that time, the Zhang family’s old house in Tongcheng was adjacent the house of the Wu family. There was only about 3 feet of space between the land owned by each family.
The Wu family wanted to expand their property to occupy this space. The Zhang family vehemently disagreed. The two sides brought the case to the county courthouse of Yamen. County officials knew that both families involved in the dispute were well-known families with prominent officials. They dared not easily break the dispute. During this period, the Zhang family wrote a letter to Zhang Ying, now a senior official in Beijing, asking Zhang Ying to come out and interfere in this matter. After receiving the letter, Zhang Ying thought that he should humble the neighbors, and wrote a poem to his home in reply:
Thousands of miles of a mail is only for a wall.
Why not give up him three feet?
The Great Wall still stands today.
But where is the Empire Qishihuang now?
The Zhang family read it and eventually realized they understood its meaning. They took the initiative to give up three feet of space for the Wu family’s property. The Wu family, deeply touched by this gesture, decided to concede three feet of their own adjacent land, thus forming a six-foot lane between the properties. The two courtesy concessions and the Zhang family’s non-oppressive approach were passed on to be good folk stories.
From this story, we learn to be modest and tolerant in life. Mutual humility can avoid many contradictions and reduce disputes between people. Mutual understanding and tolerance can help people get along harmoniously, and can greatly improve people’s happiness index. As the saying goes, “A bit of forbearance will calm the wind and silence the wave. Take a step back and have the vastness of sea and sky.”
The virtues of tolerance and equality have been passed down since ancient times. In the process of building a harmonious society for people who are open-minded and respectful, this tradition of humility needs to be carried forward even more. The allusions to a “Six-Foot Lane” have gone far beyond its original meaning and has become a testimony to the virtues of harmony and humility of the Chinese nation.
Every day you are faced with a million little traps that encourage you to take your life way too seriously. Next time you are tempted to smash your computer or lash out in a fit of road rage, remember these reasons not to take life so seriously.
1. Relationships are all that matter
Time and time again when researchers have tried to figure out what makes people happy they have come to the same conclusion: personal relationships make the biggest difference. If we valued our happiness over money we would do everything we could to spend time with friends and family and not worry so much about putting in extra time at work. When you look back on your life, you won’t reflect on the time you spent at work; you will remember family dinners, great vacations, romantic dinners, and your wedding.
2. Rich people aren’t happier people Spending more time at home or with friends will probably have a negative impact on the balance of your bank account. Just reading that sentence probably sent a wave of panic through some of you, but consider the fact that wealth is not correlated with happiness. In fact, once you have enough money to satisfy your basic needs, money makes very little difference in your overall well-being. The only exceptions are if you give your extra money to charity.
3. Worrying isn’t productive Some of us even end up stressed out in situations where it is totally unwarranted. For example, you might find yourself visiting a new city like London or Paris and end up thoroughly confused by the transit system. You can’t find out how to get where you want to go and it makes you want to scream. But what are you accomplishing by stressing yourself out? Nothing.
4. Your time is limited You only get to live one life. If you’re lucky enough to make it to age 90 you still have less than 800,000 hours between the time you are born and the time you die to cherish and enjoy all the things that make up life. One third of that time you won’t even be awake for, so you had best make the most of the remaining chunk. Do what you need to do to live a happy and fulfilled life.