This is a guest post by Lesley Vos – a writer, working as a private educator and blogger. She holds a Bachelor’s from University of Chicago, loves travels, coffee, red color, and inspiring quotes. She writes for Bid4Papers, trying to share writing experience with students and people who need it. You can find her on Twitter.
The moment comes when every man has to overcome a crisis. And this moment has come to me.
I was lost. No friends, no dream job, no family, and no ideas what to do next. I felt the need of journey to change my life. I mean changing my attitude to life.
And I went to Kalmykia.
I wanted to talk to Buddhists about the way to success.
I do love the way to Elista! Its prairies are like carpets or light scarves, which can be raised for tips and swung, straightening all minor wrinkles. A prairie is infinite, and you have time to think, surrounded by this infinity. A prairie is a harmony, and you become balanced, surrounded by this harmony.
For me, it is a philosophy of life and attitude to the world. A man of any religion can be a Buddhist. So this direction to searches is open to everyone.
Khurul is a temple as well as a monastery. Women can’t sleep there, and everyone should go barefoot and move clockwise inside. Elista has two monasteries: one is grand and new, surrounded by a large park with fountains; another one is quiet, far away from the city.
The lessons I’ve learned after the meeting with Buddhist monks seem obvious, but they were important for me to understand and accept the essentials in life. Here are the 5 of them I consider truly inspiring that may help you find a direction:
5 Important Things Buddhist Monks Taught Me
Spiritual Lesson #1: Everyone can be successful.
At least that’s what Buddhist teachings tell us.
Peace of mind, while working and communicating with people, will give you the advantage of clarity and perception. You will get the ability to see the whole picture of this world. The ability to contemplate, which is required to discover oneself, will help you assess many processes.
I met the volunteer who had helped the temple organize teachers’ visits for five years already. The light turned off (it happened all the time), and we walked in the dark, discussing the life of monks. Monk Sanan had been studying in India for 15 years, never lost any philosophical disputes, and invited us to see a ritual in the old temple.
It was quiet and peaceful inside, and a small space allowed to focus on my feelings. I noticed a memo about five disruptive feelings, twenty accompanied ones, and eleven positive feelings there.
Affection, ignorance, anger, envy, and pride destroy us. Distraction and inattention accompany those feelings, but the strongest passion is affections. If you get rid of them, your pain will disappear.
People worry about something they are involved in, something they consider their own, and they don’t care about anyone else. The main thing is not to worry.
On the wall of the temple, I’ve found a small woven scroll with the inscription:
“Never give up
No matter what is going on
Never give up
Develop the heart
Too much energy in your country is spent
Developing the mind instead of the heart.
Be compassionate not just to your friends but to everyone
Work for peace in your heart and in the world.
Work for peace and I say again
Never give up.
No matter what is happening,
No matter what is going on around you, Never give up.”
~ His Holiness the Dalai Lama
It was the words I needed so much.
Spiritual Lesson #2: “My” and “I” make your life miserable.
As soon as you become attached to something, you wilt. Your business, your project, your car – they all kill you.
Analyze what makes you nervous and angry. Be able to look at those things as if they were abstract objects. You will become stronger and happier, and the help from the outside world will come by itself.
The same comes with desires. When you want something, you are tied to this desire. You dwell on it, and this energy prevents its accomplishment.
Probably it’s true, although I always ask the universe to fulfill my wish. And as far as we know, one should have a strong desire if he or she wants it to come true. One way or another, wish and release. I think, this is what Buddhists monks have in mind.
Spiritual Lesson #3: Don’t go too far in search of the truth.
Buddhism is a religion, so it should have something in common with others.
There are parishioners, abbots, offerings, services, and everything else in Buddhism, too. Yes, sometimes it is necessary to mud consciousness for making discoveries, but do not allow anyone else to mud your mind.
There is no general problem solver, and the best search is your way. Try the experience of others for new visions, but do not forget to put your clothes. Do not become a fan of a single principle, subjecting your actions to it.
Spiritual Lesson #4: Listen, think and act.
I do not think the abbot is happy. At least, he did not seem so. He said that Buddhist monks had no families and business, and it turned out they had nothing.
I don’t consider the absence of sufferings happiness. Probably, the peace of mind and heart is a step toward happiness. First, you look for your way; then you reach a peace of mind, and only after that you are ready to become happy. You open your heart to the world, so it could give you something that makes you happy.
Use the principle of “listening, thinking, action”. Entrepreneurs fail when they wait for profit and if they don’t analyze the chain of events. Listen and think if you want to set a right path.
Spiritual Lesson #5: Have fun.
Keep a sense of humor even if everyone waits for your prophetic speeches and actions. Joy and laughter make the heart softer and help to overcome any obstacles.
Chekhov wrote about it. Many people criticized him, but he remained in history. And who would argue with the fact Chekhov was right?
These are the 5 most important lessons I learned from that life-changing experience. But it wouldn’t have happened if I wasn’t with an open mind, ready to learn new things and without any expectations.
And you can do the same. Life is full of spiritual lessons, you just need to notice them, and learn from them.
What is your lesson for harmony and success? Who has taught you it, or where have you got it?