Eastern philosophy is expansive, beginning around almost 5000 years ago. The philosophy has been similar to the Western one when it comes to its central goal of making us more wise and less sorrowful as we lead our lives. However, the method in which the orientals have gone about preaching what they believed in is intriguingly different from the ways of the west – tea drinking ceremonies, walking in the shade of dense forests to drawing of intricate patterns only to have the mandalas entirely destroyed later on. Happy Ho organizes best Meditation and Tarot classes in Noida and Delhi NCR area in India.
Here are three of the most prominent ideas from the continent that might help us enrich our lives and inspire us:
To Live Means To Suffer
The first and the central of the four noble truths of Buddhism is that to live means to invariably suffer. The Buddha wishes for us to set our expectations at the right tone, the one in which suffering might just be around the corner, always. Sex will disappoint us, loved ones will say extremely harsh things about us, money may vanish from our lives overnight, we might start highly doubting ourselves – for Buddha, the wise is the one who adjusts to the constant pain of life, instead of being caught off-guard by its presence all the time.
That being said, Buddha is often seen sitting as a bright ray of hope in the hearts of those who follow him. He is looked upon as a smiling and inviting fellow human being. That’s because anything even slightly joyful that came his way was seen as a bonus. Instead of being caught off guard by sadness, he was caught off guard by happiness! And doesn’t that sound much better?
By keeping the background always dark, he could rejoice in whatever good came his way in the most grateful manner and manage to stay cheerful in the face of despair!
Wu Wei (Doing Nothing)
The phrase seems like an invitation to relax or worse, fall in the trap of laziness. Yet this concept is central to Daoism. It does not mean to-not-act rather to act effortlessly. Wu Wei means to peacefully carry out the frenziest of acts so that one can offer maximum effort and efficiency. The phrase somewhat walks on the lines of ‘being in the zone’ – a state of profound concentration and flow. And how do we remain peaceful in the face of an ugly event? With an unprotesting acceptance.
We may not be able to control the situations we encounter in our lives but we sure can control our attitude towards them and it is this beautiful calm acceptance of things which a Daoist encourages.
Mettā is a Pali word which means benevolence, kindness or tenderness. It is one of the most important ideas in Buddhism. Infact, the philosophy encourages one to make a daily ritual out of it – to think of someone who irritates us or makes our blood go hot and instead of wishing for nasty things to happen to them, encourage ourselves to say kindly messages like ‘I hope you find peace’ or ‘I wish you lead a life free of suffering’.
Mettā works on the idea that our feelings about people are alterable and open to deliberate change and improvement. Compassion can be fostered not only towards those we love but also towards those we detest and dislike.