Death: A realisation for Contentment in Life

Death

One of the chief reasons that destructive emotions like Lust , Greed, Hatred arise is that we are attatched to our current flow of life. We live with a sense that our life will last forever and we become fixated on materialistic things. To overcome this foolishness we need to reflect on the fact that a day is coming when we will not be there.

The maximum amount of time we might live will be around 100 years. No matter how many years we live ultimately we all die. And this can happen anytime. Just as time of birth can never be predicted, the time of death can never be predicted too. So no matter how rich we are, we can never take the money with us when we die. In this aspect the death of a rich person, poor person and animals is the same.

Even though there is no certainty we might die immediately, cultivating awareness of death makes us appreciate life even more. If we cultivate awareness of this, then we start focusing on emotions which brings out the goodness in us rather than destructive emotions which brings out anger, lust and hatred in us. Furthermore being aware about the uncertainty of life, we will refrain from doing something which does harm for the present and he future.

This awareness helps us in shaping our thoughts and actions which will be beneficial in the long run. By contrast if you start thinking that you will be permanent fixture in this universe , then you will start spending time on matters that is superficial which will be a great loss . So being aware that one will die will ensure that we enough good will during our temporary stay on mother earth

Lust and Hatred: Emotions which narrows our thinking

When we use the above emotions, we focus on one one particular factor amongst many which gives rise to a problem and hence we close the door to broad mindedness. And when we do this we tend to have a exaggerated outlook towards the problem. If the object seems favorable then we becomes attached to it by saying ” Thats wonderful” and thereby increasing our desire towards it. So if anyone come in between our desired object or tells us that the object is not good, bears the brunt our Anger. As you can see both these emotions are based on Bias and Exaggeration.

We lust after pleasurable forms, sounds, odour, shapes, tastes and touches and anger arises when Lust is thwarted. This can be a person or circumstances which interfere with our pursuit of Lust. And during such times we loose our temper and we have no hesitation in speaking harsh words or even get into a physical fight. And when our anger subsides, we are embarrassed by our actions. Its only because we got our perspective distorted by anger, we loose control of ourselves.

I remember seeing a video of a guy who was so angry with his computer being slow , that he ripped out the computer from the socket and banged against the wall. The computer was shattered, but that did not solve the problem. During our angry state we tend to make statements like ” Thats horrible”. ” He is terrible” . The fact remains bot the emotions of anger and Lust distort the reality and make us see extreme of the spectrum between Good and Bad.

Our tendency of over exaggerating things , situations or objects can be avoided by seeing a fuller picture. It is important that we do not subject ourselves to these destructive emotions as they obstruct the truth. So its important to understand that both Lust and Hatred are simply unrealistic. Under the influence of these emotions our outlook becomes narrow and limited to its target. For example when you become angry at a painful situation, you fail to see the web of conditions that contribute to it. Whereas if you saw the full picture and the extent of the factors contributing to this situation then hatred would be impossible.

It is important to realize that any situation is dependent on a multitude of interrelated circumstances and not there as a independent entity. To realize one must observe our own mind to discover how we do the mistake of thinking that things, people or circumstances are there as independent entities. Given that all the destructive emotions of Lust, Hatred, Greed, Jealousy exist because of our mistake of giving importance to qualities like Beauty and Ugliness. When we start seeing that our destructive emotions arise from the fact that we assign extreme virtue or evil to a person or object. Once we realize that our destructive emotions are built on exaggeration then these emotions take a back seat and we look at people or objects in a different light.

Lust and Hatred: Emotions That Make a Mountain of a molehill

Both Lust and Hatred are emotions which inflate the nature of things far beyond than what they actually are. Thus making a Mountain of a Molehill. These emotions exist because of the exisitence of “I” as an entity. The moment we start that we exisit as a Independent entity rather than us related to other people and things, we start genrating emotions which inflate things than what it actually is. We start diferentating between us and others. In turn that leads to attatchment of things and thereby creating emotions of Greed, Lust, Anger ad Hatred.

So these negative emotions which makes mountain of a molehill starts with us thinking ourselves as a Independent entity , when in fact that the very basis of our existence is dependent on many variable factors. And once we start discriminating between ” I” and others, we start forming emotions of attathcment towards “I” and anger towards ” Others” Anger as a emotion stems from the fact that its object and you are established as enemy. And when we get angry , the object of our anger is given more importance than what it truly is.

Think about it, when we meet someone and if that person is good to us, then we consider then we consider them as nice. The mind at that point is not paying much attention to the person, but when it does, it starts creating images of the person being attractive or being unattractive. When the mind starts thinking that way then we start making a mistake about the nature of things an maybe our inflated emotions of Lust or greed takes form. That’s the turning point when our emotions gets changed from mere awareness to goodness or badness , attractive or unattractive, ugly or beautiful depending on the way our inflation level works. And if the emotions are negative, then it affects our actions, which can in turn suffering.

This is what happens when we starts emphasising on the “I” and this in turn can lead us to describe things as “me”, “mine” –my body, my house, my things. And when that happens we start inflating the attractiveness of it, without giving thought about its faults and disadvantages thereby becoming excessively attached to it. This in turn leads us to be lusty about it, and if the same object of desire is deemed as unattractive in our minds then instead of Lust then the emotion of Lust is replaced by Harted. In both cases the emotions of exaggerated

As we become self centered with thoughts of my body, my house, my this , my that –anyone who interferes with this becomes an object of anger. As long as attachment is there then our actions towards someone interferes with these thoughts becomes harmful Under these circumstances every one of us has the potential of committing harm.

The problem is that too much energy is being spent on superficial things . Superficial things are the things we start acquiring to cater to our need of satisfying the ” I”. We end up acquiring more and more things cultivates our desire to be attached to things and generate hatred to anyone who opposes our plan.

And when we look at the process of when we make a mistake at a time when were filled with the emotion of Lust or Hatred we will be surprised how the person or object to which we direct these motions remain concrete. But when we look at it even more closely, we will be able to clearly see the conflict between appearance and reality. It starts with first perceiving the object, then determining if its good or bad, then concluding about the objects goodness or badness of it. This in turn generates emotions of lust or hared and our actions are dependent on that.

The benefit of the analysis is that it helps us to reflect on our actions and then helps us toe reduce our negative emotions and perhaps eventually end it. This helps us in developing helping healthy emotions and virtues.

Being Wisely Selfish by Falling in Love with Happiness of Others

We have always heard this from our elders and our teachers ” Always put others first and yourself next. This is the right path for living”. Even though this might sound like a Saintly way being the sacrificial lamp, it is also in many ways a Selfish way of living.

You might wonder why?. You see everyone desires true happiness. So if you are happy and loving towards others then you can expect the same from others. The same way if you hate others or are angry towards others, you get the same treatment. So in many ways when you are wanting happiness for others, you are being selfish . Because you are doing that to make yourself happy.

So if you want to be Selfish then be wisely Selfish 🙂 . Ordinary selfishness focuses only on your needs.But when you are wisely selfish then you are focusing on the needs of others to gain your won happiness. This will help you gain more happiness by serving others, respecting others and reducing your unwise approach of being self centered.

The kind of selfishness centered on our own needs, fighting, using harsh needs , always thinking ” I” before others will always lead to our downfall. People will take note of this attitude of others and respond in the same way. So the best way of being happy is to be sincerely concerned towards others happiness and well being of others rather being self centered.

So if you are concerned with the well being of others, then the best way is to practice kindness and tolerance towards others. So as long as your mind is calm and peaceful, then all the happenings of this chaotic world will not affect you. Even our enemies cannot disturb when our mind is calm. On the other hand if we are irritated , then we might not be happy even when our best friend visits us.

Hence its important to be wisely selfish so that you fulfill your selfish motive of being happy. IT is much better than being self centered ad being “I” Minded.

Anger and learning from trying Circumstances

It is said the most difficult circumstances in pur lives teaches us the most valuable lessons. If everything is gping well, we can be under the pretence that life is a smooth ride. However reality strikes upon you when you face a tough situation in your life. The benefit of facing such situations is that it builds up your determination and patience. When it comes to anger, you understand tge uselessness of having the emotion ANGER. We can also develop a deeper understanding and respect towards troublemakers in our life as they help us practice patience and compassion. Both being the key virtues for living a peaceful and happy life.

During a difficult period we can develop inner strength, determination and courage to face our problems. If we can discouraged then that is the real failure as we loose a chance to develop our key emotions of love, patience, tolerance and compassion. To remain determined while facing tough situations in life is in itself a gain.

If you look at the difficulties His Holiness Dalai Lama had to face in his life then you can understand how one learn while facing trying circumstances in our life. He had to flee his own country and then loose his family and people. But he considers these circumstances as the time he learned the most.

When in 1959 he joined a mass escape to India, he was able to take out the emotion of hate and concentrate on building a healthy community with focus on educating the younger generation. When you at His Holiness Dalai Lama’s life, you can see that how much he benefited from the lessons he learned during turbulent times. We can also use the hardships in our lives as a launching pad for learning and development.

Real compassion is for every living being and not reserved for only friends and family and for those in terrible situations. True love and compassion extend to even those who are trying to harm you. You can be better off, if you can try to imagine that those who are trying to harm are contributors towards accumulating positive forces fpr shaping the picture. Trying circumstances help you develop your inner strength and courage to face difficulty without emotional breakdown. So in this case your enemy is your best friend.

Anger Vs Anger a Competition with no Winner

All religious texts teaches us to be Humble, Honest and Contented with what ewe have. The result of being like that is that our friends, co workers, family , neighbours may take advantage of our way of life. If you allow this to happen , this can be dangerous for you and your family. No religious texts teaches us to let go of life by allowing others to take advantage of us. But if someone does harm to you, the situation cannot be overcome by being angry. If a person shows anger to you and you respond by being angry, this can only lead to Disaster. But if you tackle anger by showing compassion, then not only you remain at peace, but anger of others also will diminish.

As Mahatma Gandhi said  “It is not that I do not get angry. I don’t give vent to my anger. I cultivate the quality of patience as angerlessness, and generally speaking, I succeed. But I only control my anger when it comes. How I find it possible to control it would be a useless question, for it is a habit that everyone must cultivate and must succeed in forming by constant practice” . Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi the Champions   of peaceful transition have shown us Anger and Peace cannot co-exist. It is only through Kindness, Love and Compassion that true peace can be achieved. Wars may lead to temporary success and make people happy , but ultimately such peace is short lived.

When someone is trying to take advantage of you, you must realise that even that person wants to be happy. If you can act with respect and compassion towards that person, you reactions towards such incidents will be balanced. This means responding strongly if necessary, but not loosing your compassionate perspective.

In fact this is the best way to respond as anger and irritation will only make the situation more difficult to handle. I recently show a  video in facebook where two guys were fighting inside a subway and in the middle of the fight , one guy says “ I Have work tomorrow and I don’t want my night to end like this”. The statement immediately brought a change in the other person. To cut the long story short, they both hugged each other and the fight ended immediately. This only shows that if you try to be compassionate to others when people react harshly , you will be successful in handling the situation a better way with love and kindness.

That does not mean that you will not get angry in life. The fact remains that if you recognize your reactions when you get angry , then you will handle the situation in a better way.  Just like parents and a child, sometimes the child if naughty, then the parents should react to make the child realize that his or her actions are not good. This may even require  parents punishing the child or using harsh words, but if done in a compassionate way the problem is better handled.

An Antidote for Anger

Anger Antidote

Any destructive emotion can be countered . Since Anger is a destructive emotion which affects our mind and soul, its important to find out which emotion will help to counter this destructive emotion. If anger causes suffering, ill health then we have to find out a antidote which will oppose this emotion and cure us. And the antidote for this Compassion. Both Anger and Compassion are emotions, but they have a different view of seeing the same object. Thy are poles opposite when looking at the same object.

When you feel hot, you try to do everything to make your body cool down. You might open the window, switch on the Air condition or the fan. Ice pack, put a wet cloth on your face etc etc. Just as Cold opposes heat, compassion opposes anger and creates a pleasant mental state while handling the predicaments of life. So when you develop compassion inside you, anger inside you decreases.

You can imagine yourself as a sick person afflicted  by Lust, Hatred and Anger. The only antidote available to cure the illness you have been afflicted is Compassion. So when you start your Transformative practices, it acts as an antidote to your mind and helps in creating a sense of well being for yourself and for those around you.

We should always think that for the well being of self and those around us, love and compassion should become part of us. This will help us in finding our true purpose of life and in creating a good pathway for our own spiritual development.