Here are six Buddhist principles that when practiced regularly will change your life!
1) Consume Mindfully
Be thankful for the nourishment good food provides, and be aware of what you put into your body. Think about it before you buy it. Is it really something you need, or just a transient desire? Pay attention to the effects of negative media you consume. Ask yourself: is it helping you to grow or learn, or is it a form of distraction? Does it take away from your mindfulness, and is it even worth it to do so?
These are really important small decisions that impact us more than we realize.
2) Take a Moment
Your words have an impact on your life and others. You should ask yourself if your words foster love or bring harm. This is so important. Let your mind settle before you start work, school, or walking into your home. This will set a different tone that can make all the difference. Listen to the people you encounter. If we talk to others and listen, we create the possibility of mutual sympathy, understanding, and tolerance.
3. Discover Gratitude
One of the most powerful things we can do is practice gratitude. This consistently leads to a direct experience of being connected to your life and being connected to a larger context in which your personal story is unfolding. Some people get confused…they think practicing gratitude is a denial of life’s difficulties. Obviously, we live in trying times, and no doubt you’ve experienced challenges and disappointments. But gratitude frees you from being lost of identified with either negative or positive aspects of life; allowing you to simply meet situations with mindful awareness. Rejoice in the good fortune of others and your own happiness multiplies – it’s the best cure for envy.
4. Help Others
Helping others can make all the difference in your happiness and in others lives. If you notice someone needs help, be quick to jump in. Try to alleviate suffering wherever you see it, and consider others perspectives deeply. It can be hard, but observe your reactions with genuine interest and non-attachment. You will find your compassion and patience will naturally spring up out of nowhere. Your heart will begin to guide your decisions. Even if your circumstance is personally challenging (maybe even insulting), it is not always necessary to understand the origins of an experience or a reaction in order to come to peace with it.
Just take a step back and become more of a witness. You’ll notice your entire thought process will change.
5. Attune to Wisdom
Wisdom is considered to be one of the most important aspects to develop. It’s almost just as important as compassion, actually. Why Because life is a gigantic gray cloud. It’s not black or white. It’s a big mess that involves complicated decision-making, often choosing things that are really the lesser of two evils. Be open to what arises in every moment. The mind can focus in so many directions: past, present, future, abstract notions or analytical problem solving, to name a few. All forms of thought have a useful role. But try to prioritize awareness of the present moment. Once again, if you slow down your mind, wisdom will naturally spring up, just like compassion.
6. Embrace Change
This saying really is true: the one constant in the universe is change. What is real is the existing moment, the present that is a product of the past, or a result of the previous causes and actions. Because of ignorance, an ordinary mind conceives them all to be part of one continuous reality. But in truth, they are not. If you make peace with this simple truth, your life will be much easier.