Today I thought it would be nice to share my own thoughts and personal experiences with Buddhism. I understand that Buddhism will not be for everyone and some people may already have their own opinions or beliefs. This is absolutely fine and I completely encourage people to believe in what they want to believe in. I have never been one to be against any religious beliefs and I think it’s great that everyone has something they can be passionate about no matter what they are. I just thought it would be nice to share my own story and why I find buddhism such a beautiful creation. I was actually christened at the age of 2 years old growing up in a christian family in the UK and went to a church of england school. I must admit my family aren’t the most religious, we don’t go to church every Sunday however my family do have their own beliefs when it comes to Christianity but now I have decided to follow a different pathway in life and am focusing on being the best me, I can be.
Before I begin I would just like to state I am no professional when it comes to buddhism and I do not claim to know everything at all. In fact I do not know all that much as I have only recently got involved with this. Buddhism is not an easy transformation and it will take a long of time before I reach full enlightenment and know everything there is to know but then again that is the reason behind buddhism the main aim is to reach nirvana and to reach enlightenment. At the beginning of the year I decided to take on this transformation due to me being such a negative person in life and I realised I needed to change. One evening I was very down and decided to head to bed early, laying there scrolling through the internet looking for something to help me overcome this sad feeling I had inside and that’s when I found Kio. I came across the YouTuber Kio’s corner (who I have recently spoke about in previous posts) and I ended up spending hours watching many of his videos some regarding Buddhism and some just about his positive outlook on life. I continued to follow his story when I realised this is what I inspire to be like and then this is where it all began for me.
Now for a little history lesson, I won’t sit here and bore you on all the details however if you do wish to know more regarding the history on Buddhism you are more than welcome to contact me directly. So to begin buddhism began in northeastern India and is based on the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama, Siddhartha Gautama was a prince who left his palace and lavish lifestyle to seek enlightenment. Though he is not the only Buddha in existence, he is the original founder of Buddhism. It is now one of the main religions around Asia in countries such as; Japan, Thailand, Myanmar, Nepal, Korea, Sri Lanka, and China etc. It is not very old and has only been a religion for as little as 2,500 years old which is very new compared with religions such as christianity and hinduism. To this day Buddhism is practiced by 350 million Buddhists worldwide and I think that is amazing.
The word “buddhism” derives from “buddha”. The one called “Buddha” is someone who has discovered nature of things as they are (among the whole of existing life, universe, etc.) He was the only one able to understand completely and by himself all the life process: “Buddhism” is then Buddha’s teaching, it is the way he suggests us to follow. Above all Buddhism is first a practice which purpose is understanding but it is in no case a belief. Buddhism is technically not a religion, even though a lot of people say so and do practice it as a religion, it is simply a way of life.
Buddhism is very intense and a lot of people struggle to fully commit themselves within this way of life, however if you wish to practise this in your western lifestyle and not proceed to become a monk or a nun then it is very simple. I often get asked “How can I practise buddhism in my daily lifestyle”. Well the way of the Buddha is very self-explanatory, all you have to do is a live an ethical lifestyle, also known as the five precepts and the development of wisdom and compassion through meditation.
Meditation is one of the most common methods of practising buddhism. I like to meditate in the evening before I go to bed so I can relax and prepare myself for the next day. Zen is the most common type of meditation in which I thoroughly enjoy. All I do is lay down my tapestry on my bedroom floor, I light a few candles around me and I carefully place my status of the Buddha in front of myself. I normally meditate for around 30/45 minutes of the evening and this is sufficient enough for me. The best way is to completely clear your mind and to not think about anything, it is surprisingly difficult to have an empty mind but once you reach that head space you will feel more peaceful and powerful than you ever have ever felt before.
When I was in Thailand last year I actually went along to a Buddhist temple in which I met some of the local monks. During my stay my friends and I decided to meet one of the buddhist monks personally and we got blessed in one of the temples in Bangkok. This experience was very new and different to me as I have never experienced anything like this before. However afterwards I was so glad that we decided to do this because it honestly changed the way I felt about myself and the life I was living. I felt so refreshed and amazed with myself for what I have just experienced and I will always remember that monk that blessed me. Thank you for educating me with the knowledge of your beliefs and your home country, you changed the way I thought.
If you have read todays post and you are interested in buddhism just remember to uphold and follow through with the five precepts. Do your best to not kill any living creatures, be honest always, do not consume intoxicants, do not steal, and lastly you should not commit sexual misconduct. If you break the precepts, simply repent, and do your best to keep upholding them in the future. It is a very simple and such a caring way of life which I think everyone should learn about at some point. If you wish to know more information or you have enjoyed learning about Buddhism with me today feel free to contact me personally and ask me any questions you would like or leave a comment saying what you liked, I would love to hear from you all.