Jesus and Buddha could have been BFF’s

 Too start, I was raised Christian since I was born. Recently I have been doing a lot of questioning and soul searching when it comes to religion. I started out on my journey not because I didn’t believe in the Bible or in Christianity, but because I wanted to be 100% sure why I was following it. I wanted to make sure that I fully understood what the religion says, what it tries to accomplish, and really what the entire purpose of it is.

With that being said, I quickly ran into a few snags right off of the bat. What does the Bible say about how everything began? Obviously starting in Genesis, God said let there be light and there was light, he created Adam and Eve, and all of the animals in the world, and birds in the sky. I do realize that the Old Testament is full of very elaborate and what seem to be far fetched stories, but I tend to look at them for the morals of the stories, rather than looking at them as legitimate historical happenings. I don’t really understand how according to the Bible the Earth can be 6,000 years old, when there is obvious clear scientific evidence, that it is indeed BILLIONS of years old. This is really where I began to raise an eyebrow so to speak and I began to dig deeper in my quest for answers and understanding.

In regards to the big hype on Gay marriage, the Bible actually takes a very definite stance against many things that are common occurrences in today’s society, but no one makes a big deal of them or cares to bring them up regularly. For instance Leviticus 19:27 says, “‘Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard.” Luke 16:18 talks about how we should not divorce, yet it remains legal. Leviticus 11:7-8 talks about how we should not consume pork, yet we have both had our fair share of bacon and BBQ I am sure. My point is, if all sins are equal in the eyes of the Lord (James 2:10) then why are we not as adamant to take a stand against these other things as well? I hope that makes sense. I know what the Bible says about same sex marriage, but according to the Bible, lying with another man is equally as bad as telling a lie of any sort.

So I began to get frustrated with the amount of hypocrisy that comes with the Christian faith. Unfortunately, many people are quick to judge others, when they themselves have infinite short comings as well, which are all equal. So I did some research on a few different faiths and practices and I stumbled across the teachings of Buddhism.

To start, Buddhism does not denounce any other religion in any way. It actually supports all religions. It is a belief system based wholly and entirely upon love and compassion for ALL beings. Pretty cool right? Should we not love and treat everyone with kindness on a day to day basis? Buddhism also teaches that all of the secrets to life and happiness are within us all. Jesus himself said in Luke 17:21, “The Kingdom of God is within.” All of this research led me to the teachings and sayings of the Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lama is a huge figure of the Buddhist faith. One of my favorite quotes from him is, “This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.” I feel like that is the easiest way to look at our purpose in life. We are not put here for ourselves, we are put here to help each other. Only when we put others before ourselves 100% will we find true happiness. To me it all boils down to 1 thing no matter how you think of it or put it. We are all lit from within as if from a sacred source.

Remember, religion itself is a man made thing. Religion does not happen naturally. There have been rules made and stories told all by men who have spoken to God, who, we have been told by Jesus himself, lies within all of us. My entire focus in life these days is to do as much good as I possibly can. I want to help as many people as I possibly can. By making other people happy, will we find true happiness and peace for ourselves.

Image

No really, you only live once

“You only live once” said….hmmm…everyone. Sayings that we have come to know as “cliche” are cliche because we have heard them over and over and over again. But there’s a reason they keep being said!

You only have this one life to do EVERYTHING you want to do. One lifetime out of the millions of billions of years the universe has going for it. In case you haven’t caught on, that’s not very much time. Sure it may seem like F.O.R.E.V.E.R until you turn 21, or until your kids turn 18 and move out, but time just keeps on chugging along whether you choose to take advantage of it or not.

Do you hate your job? Do you want to live somewhere warmer? Somewhere cooler? Do you want to take up a new hobby but just haven’t “gotten around to it?”

JUST DO IT! It really is that easy. If I could, I would come see you personally, sit down and beg you to stop doing what you don’t want to do. Yes, change is scary, I get that. I have a great job (one that I love fortunately), I live in a city I think is amazing, and I just bought a house. I live paycheck to paycheck with just enough left over for a date night here and there. I don’t have much in savings, but I’m working on paying off my current debt. I have realized that, yes, I am “content” but I’m not where I want to be, and I’m not doing exactly what I want to be doing. So you know what I am going to do? Exactly what I want to.

I’m simplifying, getting rid of just about everything, putting my house up for lease and moving to Hawaii to teach people self-defense. Am I scared? A little. Am I going to let that stop me? Nope.

You are the only thing standing in your way. “I don’t have enough money” “My family is here” “I don’t know where to begin” all great excuses, but they are just that, excuses!

Have faith in the universe. As long as everything you do is done with good intentions, you CAN NOT go wrong. This may sound like a bunch of fluff to you, but have a little faith and follow your dreams. What’s the worse that can happen? Let’s see….you could

A) Keep living a mediocre life, not really ever getting to do what you want to do, not really making the difference you want to make, going to work every day at a job you don’t like, paying for things that don’t really fulfill your life

OR

B) You can get rid of superficial things that you work your miserable job to keep, knowing that when you die you can’t bring those things with you anyway – and get the job you’ve always wanted; work part-time so you can live full-time; go where you want to go, live how you want to live.

I could end up completely broke and the business I want to start might fail, but you know what, who cares, I’ll work a small job at a grocery store, or I’ll clean houses, or I’ll be a nanny, or you know what, maybe I’ll even end up homeless. No matter what happens, at least I won’t die wondering “what if?” At least I won’t waste the life that was given to me being miserable because I was too afraid to give it my all.

Fear is an emotion that I control. The only thing standing in my way is me. The only thing standing in your way is you.

“Everyone will die, unfortunately, not everyone will live.” – unknown

Kiss Me At The Campground

I want to explore the world with you.
One moment at a time.
Let’s just go! No reservations!
We’ll walk, we’ll run, we’ll sail the seven seas!
If you loose your faith, I will carry you if need be, just as long as you travel the world with me.

I want to camp and I want to swim, I want to climb and I want to watch. But only with you.
I want to explore the world with you so you can share in my wonders and joys. No words could bring back the memories the world will imprint in my mind. You must come see too.
You must feel the air and the temptations with me.

Will you kiss me at the campground by the fire while I sit in your lap, despite the ample amount of folding chairs and picnic benches?
Will you play with my hair in the sunset as we drift out at sea with my head in your lap, sun kissed and exhausted from child games in the water?
I could only hope that you may dream of walking with me through the park. Holding
my hand as we diddle daddle in no hurry to end our walk together. Just listening, avoiding bikers, unaware of other wanderers?

It’s just me and you baby.
Exploring the world.
A random weekend or Tuesday night,
I want to explore you.
Will you join me?
Or shall I assume it’s just me and the world out there?

Image

You’re not alone

….and as I lay on the carpet of my bedroom floor contemplating ending it all, I made a vow that I would never kill myself. For 2 reasons: 1) I have no idea where I will end up, and it would be counter productive to remove myself from this life just to end up somewhere worse with no escape and 2) I figured if I had to stick around, I would dedicate my life to helping others enjoy what I had accepted I could not, life.

Image

Here’s my story. I know there are many, many of you out there with similar stories, maybe different settings, but ultimately the same lessons and questions none the less.

Since I can remember I have cried. I have cried for seconds, I have cried for hours. I have stopped my tears, I have hid my tears, I have let them pour and wondered if I would ever run out. I never really had anything to cry about, I was always just. sad.

No one likes someone who’s sad all the time, so I learned very quickly to be the best actress I could be! I know how to be the perfect daughter (when I want to), the perfect student, the perfect sister, the perfect girlfriend, the perfect friend.

10 years later, numerous pills to fix a “chemical imbalance” and countless therapy visits (where I gave them the “right” answers I knew they were searching for…) I quit. 10 years of pretending is unbelievably mentally exhausting, and doesn’t offer much of a life.

I still pretend when I’m around people, but to fix that, I just don’t go around people anymore. At least not when I do not have to. My friends think I don’t care about them anymore because I do not come out to play, and that’s not the case, I just would rather hide from a world that I hated 10 years ago and that I still hate today then come out and pretend that things bring me joy, when they do not.

I’ve recently started studying Buddhism, and have found so many concepts in Buddhism that resonate somewhere deep inside me. Every page in the book The Eight Steps to Enlightenment is another “oh my gosh, you get me!” moment.

Image

I believe in energy, I believe we are all made up of energy. I have no idea where we came from, or where we end up. I think I believe in reincarnation, but not so sure on the details of that yet….

I believe that positive energy attracts other positive energy. I know that I need to take every moment as it comes. I know I need to live in the now. I know I need to appreciate all that I have and all that is. I know that I need to live without fear. I need to have gratitude for EVERYTHING. I know that I need to love all people, even if I don’t like them.

That is where I am stuck. Loving people. People who care about all of the wrong things. People who are so often stuck on the surface. People who work their same 9 to 5 jobs that they hate and complain about, yet do nothing about. People who judge each other but never take a moment to put themselves in check. People who stay in unhealthy relationships because they are too afraid of change. People who want and dream yet do nothing about it.

No matter where you come from, no matter your story, race, history, age, etc. We are all searching for the same things. We all need to love and to be loved. We all enjoy bringing happiness to others, we all want to find the purpose of life and want to live a long and fulfilling life. Yet with so much in common, people are so mean. People are horrible. We intentionally cause others pain, we judge, we compete. ME. ME. ME. That seems to be the way things are. So how, I wonder, am I supposed to love something so horrible? Something that I can not for the life of me comprehend? Why can’t everyone just stop what they are doing for one moment and take a step back and look at the big picture? When did we get so far away from our loving and compassionate true nature???

I hope my story has a happy ending, but I do not have one for you just yet. I am still on my journey. I am still learning every day.

My daily reminders:

  1. Love people. All people. Even if you do not like them. We are all the same, and even if I do not like someone, they too are human, just like me, and if nothing else, I need to respect that about them.
  2. Enjoy each moment. Take a breath. Enjoy the here and now because every second is a gift, not a guarantee.  The destination is not the only thing that matters, what is even more important is the journey.
  3. The past is the past, let it go. The same thing goes for every emotion I have. Everything is impermanent. Just as the clouds in the sky will dissolve into clear blue skies, so my emotions and feelings shall come and go.
  4. I do not know my purpose, but I have recently decided that my purpose is what I make it. 10 years ago I made a vow to help others enjoy life, and for the last few years anyway, I have completely forgotten that vow and hid from everyone, rather then come out and help. But guess what, today is a new day, right now is a new moment, and it is NEVER too late.

A good day to exist

A tiny speck among everyone

no desire to run to the center

only to capture it all in the corner.

These are the memories that will stay

as I age and fade away.

They will live on with the rest of the world’s

never ending sunny days.

Taken in by each generation.

Knowing this is a gift to be absorbed.

One that no human can steal.

Image

Positive Thinking and Conditioned Existence

We all view the world the way we do because of our conditioned existence. We are being reconditioned every second of every moment of every day. We judge, act and react based on what we learn from society around us. Have you ever said or done something because that’s what you were “taught” to do, but had a little inkling of a feeling inside of you that how you acted just “wasn’t quite right?”

We defy our natural state all of the time because of our conditioned existence – but it doesn’t have to be that way. Live freely. Do what feels right. That might sound cliche but really break that sentence down “Do.What.Feels.Right.” That is all you have to do to live a happy life and to create positive karma.

Energy can not be created or destroyed. We are all energy. That means we have all existed since the beginning of time (whenever that was). We have YEARS of conditioned existence that we fight against each and every day, but our natural free and loving state wants desperately to break through. Take a step back in each moment and listen to yourself.

Your thoughts become your actions and your actions become your reality. Thoughts create karma. Karma is the energy of the universe. We all need to work together to transform ALL of the energy in the universe to positive energy.

“We think, therefore we are” – Peter Crowther

Your thoughts become the reality that we live in. They create our conditioned existence and our conditioned existence is created by our thoughts. Help to break the chain of pain, hate, discrimination and misunderstanding.

Think positively.