Buddhism Is Not a Religion and Could Only Help You Transform!

The Healing Junction
Published by Jeanette AnnecchiniSeptember 8

I’ve fallen in love 💕 with Buddhism as an educational system. 🤓 It welcomes 🤗 anyone of any faith / religion or those with no faith. 💗While there is value in having faith as it clarifies and leads to passion and effort, it has a very strong emotional impact, that can easily become fanaticism or superstition.🤔 The attitude toward faith in Buddhism is that faith is the human capacity for enlightenment (true, unlimited happiness).😌The belief to be free of, let go of and abandon toxic mental states. 🕊The potential for the human being to purify💫 their minds and liberate themselves from all suffering and its causes. The character of this faith is that it is something that has to be put to the test for it to be authentic. 😉 If you have the belief that you do not have to become prey to toxic mental states, you must put that to the test through your efforts. This is the key feature in Buddhist terminology: the extent that it leads to ‘wise effort’. (The quality, or nature of faith.) 🙏🤓

The Buddha did not believe in a God, that is almighty and governs us of a particular value system. But rather he proposed that, the life of the unenlightened individual is never free from pain due to a constant feeling of a lack of true happiness.😔 A feeling that there is always something missing, something not quite right, that no matter how much we have or acquire, there is still not quite enough, we still do not feel fulfilled.🙁 He used the Sanskrit word Dukkha; suffering, to describe this. One who is unenlightened is always influenced by a sense of lack and seeks to escape from this sense of lack in various ways, some more skillful and more intelligent than others. We assume that the answer lies in the gaining of some particular experience and we look for that experience outside ourselves. The analogy is described as someone with a cracked vessel and no matter how much liquid they pour in, it continually leaks out…they continue to pour in more liquid rather than fixing the vessel.🙃

The very fact that we search 🔎 for happiness is proof that we feel we lack it.😐 Often unexamined questions many of us have include, who we are, what life is, what is happiness - the answers to these questions we we often base upon things we have been told or absorbed through our culture or surroundings. (Conditioning.)🙄

The Buddha taught, take nothing for granted, absolutely nothing!😉🕊And ask yourself, who is the one who wishes to be happy? One of the most important and commonly used phrases of Buddhism is what are the ‘causes and conditions’ that lead to happiness?… what are the ‘causes and conditions’ of success?… what are the ‘causes and conditions’ for failure?… the view of the internal world must follow the same pattern and respond to the same strategies that we pursue in the outer world. 🌆 If we have problems say with our work for example, we don’t just pray🙏 and hope for a resolution, we ask: what is the problem, what caused the problem and what can we do about it.🤔 The Buddha believed that we can apply this process to our inner life 💫 - we are taught to observe our experience.🤗💗 There seems to be a disconnect between logic and the way we approach our lives externally and internally. We are completely lacking in a rational, systematic approach to the resolution of the mind and quality of our thoughts. This can however be learned through practise. 😌💕

Buddhism teaches that the more conditioned a form of happiness, the more inferior it is. The less conditioned, the more superior. The ultimate happiness is one that is completely unconditioned.💖 The form of pleasure happiness through the senses, such as observing how beautiful a flower 🌺is or the scent of it, is considered inferior because it is dependent on outer conditions - few of which we have control over. Pleasures through our senses such as listening to song birds🐤🎶, are dependent on the body and can be lost as we age for example. These pleasures are also dependent on some kind of stimulus, they tend to affected by the law of diminishing returns. Such as that with drug addiction - one pill💊 initially provides pleasure but eventually one must increase the dose to get the same high. There is also a limit to how much stimuli  the body can handle before it gets tired or exhausted even and one must sleep or rest. These are just some of the limitations to these ‘pleasures.’

Many of us can relate to how the feeling of desire for something actually interferes with our enjoyment of that something, as the effort alone to gain the ‘pleasure’ may cause unhappiness or stress. The desire alone is so compelling that the desire itself causes suffering.🤦🏽 Or we experience suffering (our 'conscience' 😇) when we compromise our own needs or values to attain an object.😳 When others desire things we desire, we begin to feel jealous that other people, even if they are loved ones 👨‍❤️‍💋‍👨 or friends, have the things we desire in the case where we do not have that thing. This causes a toxic state of mind therefore more suffering. And then the moment we DO attain the object, the incredible rush we feel, is just the release of the intense feelings we had when we were desiring the object and not really true enjoyment or happiness. 🙃 Later we tend to get used to the very thing we wanted so badly, causing us to feel boredom or discontent - we can’t sustain the same intensity of pleasure, even with the most wonderful, desirable object. Another aspect to this is that we also have worries about protecting or looking after this object and there is a deep fear of separation from the object. 😞 So when we look at the mental states that the whole process of all this desiring whether we attain the object or not, they are rather unsatisfactory.

We simply put too much focus on the things or experiences we believe will cause us to feel happy and not enough on our capacity to experience happiness. 💖😌 With the proper education and cultivation of the mind, the growing skill of dealing with negative mental states and with the systematic cultivation of positive mental states, one may experience happiness 💕 from within as well as an ability to be present with life.🕊 So much of our lives are built on autopilot and our capacity to be real, here and now, must come through training 📚and a genuine interest in developing the necessary skills.🤓 

Being present does not mean an abandonment of thoughts of the past and future - we need to be making judgements from past experiences and deciding from these experiences our priorities for the future.😉 Presence means that we are developing the ability to being aware of thought as thought and memory as memory. Not creating a sense of self from thoughts. Just being present to life for what it is already. 💕 Relating to experience as 'process' rather than being obsessed with content. 🙃 

A new perspective of ‘experiences as process’ leads one to a deep sense of happiness , peace 🕊 and contentment 🤗 that can be taken with you throughout all your life. 💗😉

May all beings be happy. 💖🙏

Notes taken from this beautiful monk’s lecture: https://youtu.be/-IHpwKa0E2Q


Leave a comment