Friday, October 31, 2014

I have always been drawn to Buddhism because I really love its concepts and teachings - they all teach us something about ourselves that we often don't even realise or know we have within in.  Below are three powerful elements of Buddhist philosophy, called "The Noble Truths," (Dukkha is the overall concept, if you will) and how you can incorporate them into every day. Incorporating some of the concepts could change your life.

Dukkha: Life is painful and causes suffering.

One of the Noble Truths is translated as "Life is suffering." Sure, life is tough but what does that teach us?  We can actually cultivate more suffering in our lives by trying to avoid or suppress the difficult emotions. Yes, our lives are inevitably punctuated with various unpleasant feelings: loss, sadness, fatigue, boredom, anxiety and they appear and reappear during our lives. Attaching yourself or clinging to particular expectations, material items, and states of being is often a cause for acute frustration, disappointment, and other forms of pain. So rather than fear our suffering or seek an ultimate resolution to it (and become frustrated by our lack of finding one), we can learn simply to recognize our suffering and not buy into the idea that you're broken.  Death, aging, illness, suffering, and loss are all a part of life and we each have our own traumas.

Practicing "non-attachment" and acceptance, embrace imperfection and your beautiful flaws and let go of the idea that life should be this way or that way.

Anitya: Life is in constant flux.

Anitya means temporary or uncertain, which is what life really is, no?  It's unpredictable on the best of days and nothing is for certain. We can never access the moment that just passed, nor can we ever replicate it. As each day passes, our cells are different, our thoughts develop, the temperature and air quality shifts. Everything around us is different. Always.

When we are feeling especially uncomfortable, the concept of impermanence can be, paradoxically, comforting. In other words: if nothing is permanent, we know our pain will pass. If we accept the idea of impermanence at face-value, it can be incredibly liberating.

Celebrate the idea of change. Accept that everything is constantly changing. It's kind of amazing, when you just think about it! And even when the idea of impermanence might feel scary, it helps us appreciate everything we are experiencing in the present: our relationships, body, mood, health, the weather, our favorite shoes, our jobs, our youth, our minds.

Anatma: The self is ever changing.

Our culture has led us to believe there's a concrete, constant "self" tucked away somewhere in us. Buddhism, however, assumes there is no fixed, stable "self." In line with Anitya (impermanence), our cells, memories, thoughts, and personal narratives — all of the "matter" that ultimately comprises our identities — change over time.

Instead of focusing on "finding ourselves," we ought to focus on creating the self we wish to be at every moment.


  1. This was a truly beautiful post - I am also very interested in Buddhism and spent a lot of time in Thailand in the temples a few years back which was such a wonderful experience.

    This was so great to read - amazing quotes that really awaken the soul xxx

  2. Thanks Ladies :) Although I cannot figure out wtf is up with the alignment in this post and cannot seem to fix it... Errr...


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