As some of you know, I’ve been living by the basic schedule of a Buddhist monk (I wrote a different post about it). When I began this a few days ago, I wanted to find a daily routine that would help me get all my work done during the day but not be so worn out that I wouldn’t do anything for the next couple days (that’s happened before). Although that was my original goal, I’ve since been learning a lot about Buddhist principles, and I find that I really enjoy it and am going to incorporate them into my life.
Buddhism can be a specific religion, but I find the principles and lifestyle appealing even though I’m Christian in my religious beliefs. For example, the practice of meditating for a few minutes every couple hours really helps me rest effectively. I also like the Buddhist teachings of spreading love and kindness around and the (secular) belief that only today really matters. Similarly, I found a video recently about the 21 teachings in Musashi’s Dokkodo. One of the teachings is to not gather goods only for old age. Now, you don’t want to get to old age and have nothing, but you shouldn’t suffer today to have a better future tomorrow – tomorrow may not come. In the same way, secular Buddhism doesn’t ponder about reincarnation (although it’s definitely a thing in traditional Buddhism). Basically, secular Buddhism just focuses on what’s useful right now. Will there be another life after this? Maybe? But we don’t know, and pondering about possible future or past lives won’t help up in this life. Live for today.
Likewise, just as I’ve been starting to pick up some beliefs from Buddhism, I’ve also begun a modifies practice of Hindu puja. Straight-up puja will make offerings to ancestors and do other things that I don’t incorporate, but after seeing another video (starting at 8:50) about one man’s morning routine and his “puja” (which was basically just him being mindfully grateful for his senses), I decided to begin doing this, too. He lights a candle and is grateful for his sense of sight to be able to see the flame; he burns incense and is grateful for his sense of smell to be able to smell the smoke, and so on for every sense. He has a specific altar table set aside for this purpose. I may set up something like that in the future, but for now I’m being grateful just sitting in my chair. This practice of being grateful for my senses is great. I actually had a stroke a few years ago and couldn’t move or speak for a time. I never fully lost my senses, but they were all dulled or impaired for a long time, and I still have trouble with some of them even now. Even though they’re not perfect, it’s good to be grateful to have them at all, because some people don’t.
I’m only at the beginning of this spiritual journey (or, I guess, this leg of the journey, as I’ve been trying to learn things for a while), so I’m absolutely sure that there is so much I have to learn. In fact, I’m sure that I’ll never be done learning; no matter how far I go on this path.
I want to thank you all deeply for being here. This blog is mostly a journal for me to write down my thoughts. For a time, I saw this blog as a job opportunity since it’s difficult to convince employers that I’m not actually a workman’s-comp risk. However, I’ve found it very comforting to be able to share my thoughts and what I’ve learned. And, on multiple occasions, I’ve talked through things and learned more just by doing that. If this blog also helps someone else work through their own life, then that’s wonderful! I’m going to continue sharing what I’m learning, so please stay tuned if you’re interested.
Metta (meaning “in loving kindness” / ie. “good vibes”) my friends.