And Yet Another Saying by Buddha

Buddha

“‘All conditioned things are impermanent’ — when one sees this with wisdom, one turns away from suffering.” – Buddha

As many of you know, several of the things I like to read and write about are new philosophies, intellectual material/traditions and funny stories. I do this in order to see what the wisdom of others can teach me about my own life so that I might share this new-found knowledge with others. Many of the articles I write and share with others is based on this hodgepodge of ideas generated from this mix of material that I continually add to as well as remove bits from.

The quote above talks about impermanence. If you have ever read some of Buddha’s teachings, you will see that one of the beliefs of Buddha is the idea that everything has a life cycle – whether it is an insect, a tree, an animal, or yes, even us humans.

Think about it – all things mentioned comes into being, then grows, ages, withers and decays, and subsequently dies. This belief applies to trees, plants, insects, animals, fish, birds, people, ideas, thoughts, buildings, and so forth. Buddhism would argue that everything in the universe does this – there may be a different time sequence for each item mentioned – but the fact is – eventually everything subsequently dies.

What does this type of thinking tell us? Well, one way of looking at it and when you stop and think about it – is true – tomorrow will be different from today and will consist of a mix of ideas and things that we experience today. All that has changed is that the ideas and things we thought of only yesterday have aged some, as have new ideas and things we might be thinking about as they enter their own cycle of life.

Depressing? Might be! But then who is to dispute the fact that everyone and everything is on an uninterrupted march towards its own demise. We know this! Remember Benjamin Franklin’s comments in a letter to Jean-Baptiste Leroy, in 1789 when he said: “Our new Constitution is now established and has an appearance that promises permanency; but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”

Most of us are aware that an end is a natural part of everything – we may not like it – but we are aware of it. Let’s face it – that’s a normal part of life. Why else would we spout on certain occasions – enjoy and appreciate what you have – life is shorter than you think!

But getting back to Buddha’s philosophy – thinking this way makes us truly recognize that nothing was or is permanent.  What better rule or thought to jog us back to reality every day. By acknowledging that nothing in this life is permanent, perhaps we will remember to say: “I love you” to our loved ones more often. In addition to saying things like that more often – we should also make it a habit to do the things that are truly important to us now rather than later. By accepting this philosophy, we might just appreciate today more. In addition, we will appreciate the little things in life more and more as well.

One of the things I love about where we are right now is the fact that in the morning I can sit outside and listen to the quiet, or a robin chirping away as he flitters across the lawn in front of me searching for breakfast. And then there is the wind whistling through the trees or watching the different clouds make their way across the sky while I try to determine what the shapes might be.  But as was stated in Buddha’s quote, “All conditioned things are impermanent,” The robin will eventually grow older, may become a parent or fly away; the squirrel may scamper across someone else’s lawn; and the lowly bumble bee may fly off to yet another flower to pollinate.   The wind may die down and not even a leaf will flutter and the clouds will either move on or dissipate leaving no sign of ever having been there.  More reasons to enjoy these things now.

In the summertime we spend quite a bit of time in our air- conditioned house but on occasion enjoy the warmth of the sun on our skin when venturing outside.  Truth is that the sun on our skin feels so warm and enjoyable when we go outside we fail to realize that there may come a time in our lives where we may no longer be able to go outside and feel the warmth of the sun on our bodies comforting us from the coolness of the air-conditioned room which we had just left. We age and time marches on.

The point I am trying to make is just this: These are merely some of the reasons for appreciating what we have in the here and now.  Were one to make a list of the many experiences we enjoy every day, experiences like the smell of fresh bread baking in an oven, the feel of that favorite pen gliding over the paper as we make our first journal entry for the day, the smell of the outdoors after a spring rain, even the soreness of our bodies after we have stretched for fifteen or so minutes upon awakening in the morning, we might just recognize how lucky we have it.  These are the things we should appreciate each and every day. While they may be little joys – now is the time to slow down and enjoy them for we won’t always be able to do so.

While we may not be getting any younger – that is no reason to say we shouldn’t enjoy now all the little experiences we can that make us happy.

Until next time!

SNOOZE BUTTON!

Time waits for no man!

I recently read a quote that sort of gave me that kick in the ass that some of us need every now and then to get motivated and write that article or post we have been putting off for quite a while.

The quote went something like this:

“Our snooze button does not have the power to delay the sun from rising in the morning. Time simply does not wait for anyone. Ted Robbins, Time Management Master Time Management and Boost Your Success 

Fact is this saying applies whether we are still in school, still working, or enjoying our life in retirement.

I keep wondering what my problem is and why I do not sit down at my computer to write that weekly blog post I keep telling myself is important. For some reason, making the bed, doing the dishes, taking out the trash, paying the bills, filing receipts, and all these type things ad nauseum easily take the place of our sitting on our butts at the computer or in a chair with pen/pencil and tablet writing.

It would appear that we forget the number one rule of those of us that want to “write,” and that is we must actually take the time to write. While I keep a daily journal of sorts, basically it is a compilation of notes of things I plan on doing on such and such a day, how I feel, whether or not we got to see our children, and what I usually end up calling “unimportant stuff.” True it is writing but it is not the type of writing I thought I would be doing when I set up this blog site.

No, what I had in mind when I set up this site was to share with everyone – funny stuff, educational stuff, philosophical stuff, and so forth.

There seems to be no rhyme nor reason to what it is that I write about. Part of me says: “Hey, what’s wrong with that – you are doing what you want to do and writing that which satisfies your itch to write.” But then my conscience asks the question: “But is that enough?” Shouldn’t you have a niche, a brand, something that would keep people coming back for more?

Hence the reference to the quote mentioned at the beginning of this post – mainly the part that says: “Time simply does not wait for anyone.”  I mean, in a few days, I will be turning 79, you would think I should have it all together by this time in my life!

Perhaps one does not need a niche, brand, or something to keep people coming back for more. Perhaps it is my writing in and of itself (hopefully the content of same is what people enjoy) that will keep people coming back for more.

This post is becoming a lesson in writing with me being both the student and the teacher it would seem. Why do I say that? Well to begin with, having said that, the only other obstacle I need to overcome is that of being consistent.

How does this come into play? Well, for one thing – if I were more consistent, chances are those reading my rants and raves would have something to look forward to every week. Even more so if I tied it to a specific day as I have seen other bloggers do (post an article every Sunday evening for instance). In doing so, those that do get some enjoyment out of the dribble I write about, will know to look for my latest rant each and every Sunday evening.

I am beginning to be glad I had this conversation with myself. Now all I need to do is come up with content (preferably something readers will enjoy or something I enjoy writing about) and then be consistent in posting on a certain day be it weekly, bi-weekly, monthly or what have you.

I knew there was a reason I like that joke about talking to oneself because that seems to be the only time those of us that do talk to ourselves have an intelligent conversation.

I am posting this today but am shooting for Sunday nights in the future to begin posting weekly. If I don’t follow through, please feel free to give me a swift kick in the you know what to get me motivated and doing what I love doing…..WRITE!

With that I will bid you adieu and be back Sunday evening.

Frame of Mind

When I woke this morning, I wasn’t in the best frame of mind. I thought to myself, this is going to be one of those so-so days and contemplated rolling over and going back to sleep. But the more I lay there, my mind tended to roam to places I never intended it to roam to.

I pictured various scenes, scenes like a very overweight individual out and about shopping; the conditions of various individuals in the doctor’s office where we recently had our follow-up checkup regarding some blood work drawn the week prior. I also pictured the guy looking for a hand-out on the corner with his sign indicating he hadn’t eaten in quite a while. My thoughts roamed all over the place. They took me overseas to our military and I thought of the young recruit in a faraway land weighted down with about 65 pounds of military gear in addition to the weight of the weapons he must carry with him to be safe.

What do all these scenarios have to do with me and my temporary (yes, temporary) attitude. Just this – it didn’t take much thought after reminiscing about scenarios such as those just mentioned to – how shall I put this “Wake up and smell the roses or in my case the coffee!”

Scenes like those just mentioned made me realize just how good many of us have it. As I looked around our bedroom, I seen nothing but items that reminded me of all the fun and good times we had acquiring what it is we wake up to each and every day. I also gave thought to the knowledge that once I did get up and go to the kitchen, it wouldn’t be long before I am sitting there – still in my pajamas drinking a cup of coffee looking out the window hoping to see a glimpse of the sun rising.

We are fortunate enough to go to bed at night and not have to wonder where our next meal is coming from. Or worry constantly about some type of physical impairment or disease we wrestle with every day and wondering about how we are going to get out of bed and manage whatever it is we have to do today. Nor are we  in the military stationed in some foreign country or war-torn area where nomatter how we feel when we wake we do not have the luxury of waking up and saying: Oh, I don’t feel like this is going to be a good day – that’s it – think I will just roll over and go back to sleep. The list that flashed through my mind was endless.

Am I saying that “we don’t have bad days?” Nope, we all do. But what I am saying is that when we think to ourselves – “Why me?” or “What am I to do with myself, how am I to cope?” stop for a moment and just give thought to all the other people in the world that do not have what you have at this particular moment in time. Doing that simple task may be all you need to get your backside out of bed and make the best of what you have. After all, isn’t that what everyone else has to do.

To coin a phrase that sort of sums it up and by the way – just sitting down and writing this short piece put me in a much better frame of mind – “Suck it up, Buttercup” because when you get right down to the “nitty gritty” of it, things could be a lot worse!

Until next time!