5 Reflections on the REAL facts of life..
This blog is going to make a couple of assumptions right away, #1 the reader understands or has some thoughts about rebirth. #2 The reader understand the second noble truth in the buddhist teaching about “craving”. If you don’t, don’t leave just yet, there’s opportunities to get a basic understanding of both whilst reading and it’s not essentially to understanding the basic lesson of today’s Dhamma, which is, knowing the true facts of life and understanding that you must prepare for them.
I also learned a new word today. Chanda. It’s Pali word meaning to be happy in something, to be pleased with something, the feeling you’ve succeeded in something.
If you want to succeed in meditation, you need Chanda. You need to want to to do. But it’s not wanting in the sense of craving, we know craving is not the path recommended for achieving something.
So with a developing amount of Chanda whizzing around my mind, meditation time is increasing, happiness is on the rise, contentment is in sight.
Today my teacher scared me into being mindful… I’m not kidding.. but I’m happy to have the reminder and ready to reap it’s rewards.
The 5 reflections given by my teacher today are designed to stir up that Chanda. The main thing taken from today’s Dhamma is the importance of goodness, the benefit of goodness and the fear of not doing it. So in order to get our minds pure we have to start by taking an honest look at wants wrong. Starting with our understanding of the facts of life and how well prepared our minds are to deal with them.
BE WARNED, there’s not much positivity in this Mlog but we do end on a good note, it’s about facing facts and addressing reality. So if you are looking something light-hearted and uplifting, stop here, but if you want the truth and some answers, follow on..
#1 “I am of a nature to get old”.
I cannot escape it. Aging is part of life. We spend too many hours fighting aging but it’s really the only thing that’s certain. Certainty is a good thing, right? Coming to terms with the process of aging before we get to the “point of no return, wrinkled and bitter” stage is what’s needed. Reflecting on this, understanding it as a fact of life rather than something to be feared is the point. Meditation is bigger than a bucket list check point, something you’ve just got to try once. It’s thought philosophy. It’s more than a feeling good for a little while, its about finding a way to be content and happy every moment. Many people like to ask what is the purpose of life? Today my teacher asked instead, “What does it mean to Live?” He answered, “it means to age, to change, to grow?” A much better way to see things, don’t you think?
Mindfulness helps us to be more at ease with life.. getting old and changing… Reflect on this, embrace it, and prepare for aging with clarity of thought and understanding.
#2 “We have a nature to get sick..”
You cannot escape sickness. There’s a sickness coming that we’ll absolutely die from, old age.. but most of us will die from something far worse, cancer, heart ache, heart disease, strokes..
This reflection is about preparing yourself for the reality of life. All of your wealth and power cannot stop anything of this from happening.. so no matter how many cars you can afford or how many people you know.. only mindfulness can prepare you for life itself..
The healthy people are probably thinking, but I’m healthy, why should I reflect on getting sick… reminder “You cannot escape sickness”.. this is a fact of life, if you are healthy now, awesome, but get prepared for the moment that WILL come when you don’t feel quite so well.. an unexpected diagnosis, an accident, or just the pain of old age.
Mindfulness prepares you for these moments, allows clear thought and eliminates the “why me?” syndrome that prevents us from getting through tough times with a healthy outlook.
Now then.. brace yourself for number 3.. it’s a biggie.
#3 Death comes to us all.
How scary to think I could die tomorrow? But Death is the leading cause of birth… and birth the leading cause of death .. rebirth.. preparing yourself for a good death is essential for a good rebirth.
Impossible to prevent, hard to accept and something we spend our lives trying to avoid. Slightly ironic right.. since death is just another fact of life that brings a specific sense of certainty, I quite like that. Am I scared of dying still? Sure, because now I understand that upon my death I will experience birth again.. that painful “coming into existence” in whatever shape or form my karma has afforded me.. boy have I got some work left to do on that.. but just talking about this in this way and here comes the Chanda, the effort required to be more mindful, meditate more, improve my thoughts, and bag me one of those “good deaths”.
#4 Everything I hold dear will leave me.
Losing love ones, divorce, having something stolen.. it all makes us suffer… and why aren’t we mentally prepared to deal with these inevitable facts of life… Well, because we are addicted to things that bring us pleasure, like people, our homes, good food, our pets… born from love but perpetuated by addiction and possession.
Happiness comes from letting go.. How wonderful it is to let something I loved go on peacefully to it’s next adventure.. to never feel sadness because I loved something. To be free of the depression that follows death, sickness or loss..
So by reminding yourself that everything will leave you.. will also remind you that you are not ready for these things.. that you should start preparing your mind.. purifying its thoughts and understanding the facts of life, taking comfort in the certainties of life and using them to deal with life.
#5 I am dependent on my deeds. Whatever deeds I perform I will become an heir to those deeds.
This is pretty much in everyone’s vocabulary these days, with a slight link to Karma but mostly about the fact that many of us spend an unhealthy amount of time trying to hold on to things like our youth, beauty or wealth.
Compassion is good, kind deeds are good but you should hold mindfulness as the highest form of deed. Cleansing and purifying your own thoughts is the way to affect your past bad deeds and prepare yourself for a good death.
Hopefully, if you’ve made it this far, you’ve realized the importance of waking up to the facts of life, finding a way to relate to the facts of life.. and like me scared yourself into practicing more diligently than ever.
If you have questions about these reflections, rebirth or mindfulness itself, get in touch by commenting, or drop me a message on facebook: m.me/mindfulresources
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Thank you to my teacher, the Buddha and the Dhamma.
I wish you all Peace and Happiness.