The Buddha’s teachings are a vast wealth of knowledge for pacifying and eliminating our suffering, but in the beginning it can be difficult to know how to put this wisdom into practice. Even after years of trying to incorporate meditation into your life, you may still feel like you’re not progressing as much as you had hoped. The good news is that the Buddha’s teachings can all be broken down into simple and clear practices to help you make the changes you so desperately seek.
There’s nothing shameful about experiencing suffering or dissatisfaction in our lives. The Buddha taught in the first and second Noble Truth, that life is ultimately dissatisfactory, because not only do we constantly crave for something better, but we aren’t able to feel satisfied once we finally attain the things we’ve desired. If we live our lives with the expectation that life will be rosy, pleasant and secure one day, then we’re ultimately fooling ourselves because unless we address the primary reason for our dissatisfaction (our mind), nothing is going to change and our experiences will continue to be unsatisfactory.
In essence, our days and lives are unsatisfactory because of the way we perceive the world and the expectations we have about the role of happiness in it. Further, our dissatisfaction arises because everything is impermanent by nature, so its ‘pleasantness’ can only last so long.
When we see people post their ‘highlight reel’ on social media, we shouldn’t feel jealous or envious of them. Instead we should ask the question, ‘What makes them feel the need to broadcast this to the world? Isn’t their experience alone, satisfying enough? Do they need the ‘likes’ of others to feel happy? Are they trying to make someone in their contacts jealous or envious of them?’ You might find that behind the happy façade those people are riddled with insecurities and a feeling of dissatisfaction for their otherwise uninspiring life.
Choosing the right place and time for our practice of meditation can be just as important as the meditation practice itself. If the environmental conditions are favourable it can greatly boost our practice and we can begin to experience the fruits of our practice more quickly. This video explores some basic considerations about the time, place and other aspects that are important to ensure our meditation sessions will be a success.
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Meditation is not about being ‘spaced out’. Instead, it’s a skilful and easy technique for discovering a wealth of happiness and joy within us. Often meditation is taught as a form of relaxation, to calm our minds and to reduce our stress levels. These are all beneficial by-products of meditation, but according to the Buddhist teachings they shouldn’t be the endpoint of our meditation. Instead, there is another reason behind our practice of meditation.
In modern times, we are being taught by society to search for happiness in the all the wrong places. Happiness doesn’t come from finally attaining all the perfect things in worldly life, but from the discovery of who we truly are. This episode explains how meditation’s primary goal is to come to an understanding about our own true ‘selves’, to know the true nature of our own minds, and how this wisdom allows one to achieve the highest happiness possible. All the past spiritual masters have found meditation to be the fastest and most effective technique for uncovering the vast treasure of joy and happiness that lies within each of us. This video explores some of the basic but fundamental reasons we should meditate.