Thursday, January 13, 2011

Some notes on spirituality

Many people go to church, with the expectation of gaining something. Because of our ignorance and sometimes greed, in our quest for spirituality, we go to church to ask for something; happiness, a perfect marriage, more children, money, health for a sick one, a bigger house. Many times we ask for unrealistic expectations and at the end, when we don’t get what we want, we get disappointed, lose faith, move to another church or leave the church altogether. Unfortunately, that is our mindset on pretty much everything we do…what do I gain from this?
Spirituality in Buddhism is the opposite.
Through compassion, we realize that everything is not always about “me”, but more about “us”. As we let go of our Egos and our attachments we realize that the least you have, the happier you are. In other words less is more. Our spirituality is based on the knowledge that we are all interdependent, and that our happiness and well being is dependent on other people happiness and well being too. It is so simple, but sometimes so hard to practice.
Our society teaches and promotes individualism…it tell us that we are special, one in a million. Because of that train of thought, we believe we are above everyone else and become judgmental and selfish. Everything has to be done my way and through my point of view only. Because of that, we alienate others, become cruel and build many expectations and when life show us (sometimes in a very drastic way) that we are not that good or special, we become shocked, angry or depressed.
I know I had used this analogy before, but I think is the easiest way to illustrate my point. The onion is covered with many layers of skin, and to get to the core, you have to peel all those different layers.  We as humans are blinded by our ignorance and covered in many layers of attachments, expectations, anger, greed, arrogance and so on. If you want to become a better person, you need to meditate and consciously start to “peel away” those attachments until just like the onion, you get to the core. And what do you find at the core….Nothing!
That nothingness is the bliss, the happiness of Nirvana…the moment you understand that you don’t wish for anything because you already have, and you already attained it…that is everlasting happiness! As I said before, in Buddhism, less is more.
Learn to live life as it is, enjoy every moment as if it is the last. This is one of my favorite quotes:
“Work like you don't need the money, love like your heart has never been broken, and dance like no one is watching”

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