“There is no path to happiness: happiness is the path.” – Buddha
Life is a challenge. Sometimes we overcome these challenges and become stronger & successful. Other times we fall hard right on our faces. And it hurts. Bad. Although we may ‘act’ happy in front of others and even ourselves, but deep down we are just trying to survive the chaos inside our minds. Practicing Buddhism can help us accept and embrace the various positive and negative aspects of our lives and find inner peace and happiness even in the darkest days.
You can easily practice Buddhism along with other religions as it’s beliefs compliment other religious beliefs, instead of conflicting with them. Buddhist beliefs & principles help you understand yourself better, be more present in the current moment, accept what is and be more compassionate in life.
What is Buddhism?
“Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.” – Buddha
Contrary to popular belief, Buddhism is not a religion. Being a follower of Buddhism myself, I personally consider it as a way of life. Buddhism refers to the teachings of Lord Buddha. The term Buddha means the enlightened one in the literal sense.
Buddhism is wrongly considered as a system of worship or faith. There is no such belief in a creator or Supreme Deity. Buddhism is simply a search for the truth. The truth about ourselves, our existence, our purpose and the universe. The Buddha has simply pointed out the path towards the truth but we need to make the journey on that path ourselves.
“There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting.” – Buddha
3 Essential Buddhist beliefs to heal your soul
The journey to happiness starts with healing your soul. You don’t need to be a Buddhist to practice these beliefs in your life. There is no need for you to become a monk, meditate or practice Yoga. You can easily practice these profound beliefs right from the comfort of your own home to make your life happier.
Here are 3 simple yet powerful elements and beliefs of the Buddhist philosophy and how you can use them to transform your life.
1. Pain is a reality, but suffering is optional
The first of the Four Noble Truths in Buddhism focuses on the existence of pain as an innate part of our life. Although this may sound very pessimistic, but once you understand this core belief you will start seeing the light in the darkness.
“The whole secret of existence is to have no fear.” – Buddha
Pain or Dukkha exist in our lives. You simply can’t deny that. Even when we are happy and things are going great, we are constantly worried and anxious about our future. However, by accepting this simple truth that pain exists in life, you can free yourself from suffering. The more you resist pain, the harder it will get.
Detach from attachment
We experience a wide range of unpleasant emotions like depression, anxiety, fatigue, sadness and loss in the course of our lives. By suppressing these difficult feelings we will only end up suffering more. When we get attached to a particular outcome and let our expectations get the best of us, we let ourselves become extremely frustrated and disappointed.
“The root of suffering is attachment.” – Buddha
Letting go empowers us
When we acknowledge the existence of pain and let go of our attachments and expectations, we accept life as what it truly is. Loss, heartbreak, sickness, ageing and death are all inevitable parts of life. By accepting these truths we can make our suffering optional. Stop yourself from clinging on to limiting beliefs and open yourself up to the imperfections and chaos that exist in life. Life is not pain-free. But by letting go you can free yourself from suffering.
2. Change is the only constant in life
“One moment can change a day, one day can change a life and one life can change the world.” – Buddha
The concept of impermanence or Anitya can be a scary idea to most of us. We, as human beings, look for comfort in our lives. Change challenges our existence and our belief of comfort. We are often terrified of change due to its intrinsic uncertain nature. But change is inevitable. The day changes to night, the weather changes, the temperature changes, our body changes every day, and even our thoughts, emotions and actions change on a daily basis. We can never go back to the moment that has just passed. Neither can we replicate any specific moment.
The fleeting nature of life
Change is one of the fundamental laws of the universe. The concept of impermanence can induce fear in us when we are happy and experience joy. However, when you realize that happiness is only a fleeting moment, you will strive harder to make the most out of it. Paradoxically, the idea of Anitya can be especially comforting when you are experiencing hardship or heartbreak as you know nothing is permanent. Just like everything else, your pain will also pass and make way of peace and happiness. All you really have in life is this present moment.
“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.” – Buddha
When you accept these Buddhist beliefs, you will feel incredibly empowered and liberated.
By accepting the idea of impermanence, you can liberate yourself. You will enjoy life a lot more and appreciate everything in life while the moment lasts.