In the course of everyday life, it’s not uncommon to hear people complain about most everything. From the weather, other people’s issues and shortcomings, the direction of the government, and so on. While it is good to take an interest in our neighbors and friends lives, it is also equally important to maintain a positive, peaceful atmosphere for ourselves. It’s ok to listen to other people complaints, you listen because you care for them and you want them to know that. There is also a line that you should draw for yourself. When does this complaining infringe on me and my “peaceful atmosphere”? I will usually let them talk for a few minutes then offer some suggestion of how they might deal with it. Often times it’s tough. People who complain lots are usually “heavily invested” in their complaints. The antidote, as I see it, is to realize how very fortunate we really are!
Let’s start off with the basic fortune of being able to breath. When we stop breathing, we die. Turn off a person’s life support machine, and they die. We take breathing for granted, breathing in and out, day after day, year after year, and we forget how amazing it is. Even one single breath is based on thousands of steps and on many other factors such as the plants which make the oxygen we need. If we had to buy the air we breathe, we wouldn’t be able to afford it. We might think we do not have much, but when we consider it, to be able to breathe is a great fortune.
This precious human body that we have, with its freedoms and endowments, is obtained with difficulty and destroyed with ease. Thus it should be used with purpose now. While this is one of the four “Ordinary” foundations in Tibetan Buddhism, it does offer a “call to action” of sorts. We are fortunate to have been endowed with this “creative mind” and we should use and direct it for compassionate, peaceful means at every opportunity. When we do this, we are training our mind to creatively visualize positive results. With continued practice it becomes easier and easier.
Try it for yourself – visualize a close friend or loved one who may need some help. For example, if they are suffering a life changing illness, such as cancer, strongly imagine them “bathed and cloaked” in peaceful, soothing energy clouds. If depressed, imagine that person “bathed in peaceful, joyous energy”. Whatever the malady - depression, fear, sorrow, anger, hatred, etc. just imagine the opposite feeling. For depression imagine absolute joy, for fear imagine strength, for sorrow imagine unbounded joy & happiness, for anger imagine peaceful calm and for hatred imagine absolute, powerful love energy.
Be creative in your prayers!
You have a powerful, creative mind so you might as well use it to help others!
Realize your good fortune, pass it on…