People have to overcome obstacles in the name of survival. Sometimes we try to cancel these obstacles because some of them are too difficult to bear. But as hard as they are to face, it is necessary if we want to live a truly fulfilling life.
Following the Buddhist philosophy, happiness involves embracing and accepting even the negative aspects of life. With denying any negativity we are essentially turning a blind eye to reality and putting away the natural forces of the universe. Below are 5 truths about life. Buddhism says we’d all benefit from knowing.
Harsh Truths About Life #1: Worrying is useless.
Worrying is just in the mind and really never help with any issues in our lives. What do you think? Can worrying really change what’s going to happen? No, it’s a waste of time. As Buddhist master Thich Nhat Hanh theory says, try to remain in the present moment without putting labels on your “future conditions of happiness.”
Worrying doesn’t change anything. Even if you worry fifty times more, it will not change the situation. In fact, your anxiety will make things worse. Even though things are not as we would like, we can still be content, knowing we are trying our best and will continue to do it. If we don’t know how to breathe, smile, and live every moment of our life deeply, we can not help anyone. I am happy in the present moment. I do not ask for anything else. I do not expect any additional happiness or conditions that will bring about more happiness. The most important thing is aimlessness, not running after things, not grasping. ∼ Thich Nhat Hanh
Harsh Truths About Life #2: If we want to be happy, we must see reality for what it is.
Buddhism teaches us that we must see reality for what it is if you want to be truly free. Instead of being set in our own ideas and opinions, we need to stay open to and accepting of everything truth arises. So many of us try to remain positive by denying all negative emotions and situations. Buddhist master Pema Chödrön says:
We have two alternatives: either we question our beliefs — or we don’t. Either we accept our done versions of reality, or we begin to challenge them. In Buddha’s case learning is, to train in staying open fully and curious — to train fixing our assumptions and beliefs — is the best use of our human lives.
Harsh Truths About Life #3: We need to accept change actively.
Life is change. You were born and eventually, you will die one day. The weather changes every day. In all aspects you look at in life, everything changes. Many of us try to keep things “fixed” and “constant”. But this only goes against the true forces of the universe. By accepting and embracing change, we receive an enormous liberation and energy to create the lives we want. Buddhist Daisaku Ikeda says that accepting change gives us an initiative and creates positive changes in our lives.
Buddhism holds that everything is in constant flux. The biggest question about this is whatever we gonna accept change passively and be swept away by it or take the lead and create good positive changes on our own initiative. While conservatism and also self-protection might be likened to winter, night, and death, the spirit of pioneering and attempting to realize ideals shows images of spring, morning, and birth. ∼ Daisaku Ikeda
Harsh Truths About Life #4: The root of suffering is pursuing temporary feelings.
Many of us put away those feelings of happiness. We think happiness includes excitement, joy, euphoria…but these are just temporary versions of happiness. And the constant pursuit of these feelings only put you into suffering because they will never end. Instead, true happiness comes from inner peace. It’s found by being you with what you have and who you are. Yuval Noah Harari describes it perfectly:
Buddhism says the root of suffering is neither the feeling of pain nor of sadness nor even of meaninglessness. Rather, the real root of suffering is this never-ending and pointless pursuit of ephemeral feelings, which causes us to be in a constant state of tension, restlessness, and dissatisfaction. Due to this pursuit, the mind is never ‘Ok. Even when experiencing pleasure – most people are suffering not when they experience this or that pleasure for the first time, but when they understand fully the impermanent nature of all their feelings.
Harsh Truths About Life #5: Meditation is the path to reducing suffering.
Meditation shows us that everything is fleeting, especially our feelings. It teaches us that the moment now is all that exists. And when we fully understand this truth, we become content in ourselves, says Yuval Noah Harari:
This is the aim of Buddhist meditation practices. In meditation, you are supposed to closely open your mind and body, witness the ceaseless arising and passing of all your feelings, and realize how pointless it is to pursue them. When the pursuit stops, the mind is very relaxed, clear and satisfied. All kinds of feelings go on arising and passing – joy, anger, boredom, lust – but once you stop craving particular feelings, you can just accept them for what they are. You live in the present moment instead of fantasizing about what might have been. The resulting Serenity is so profound that those who spend their lives in the frenzied pursuit of pleasant feelings can hardly imagine it.