Monday, February 6, 2012

Lojong in Hard Times


One of the greatest spiritual practices for me is a practice from the Tibetan Buddhist tradition called Lojong where the practitioner creates several of his or her own slogan-like saying to remind them of their spiritual path in hard times.  Several times when I was stressed about something related to school, work and other ventures of my life, I said this saying that I wrote down, The best way to be prepared for anything in the future is to be fully aware in the present.  Here are some other lojong slogans of mine.

Happiness is only a few breathes away 
When we are in times of confusion or unhappiness, we can change our situation by simple deep breathing.  This reminds me to do some conscious breathing whenever I feel like there is not enough in my life or when I am stressed or anxious.
The heart can solve the most complex of problems. 
I used to have problems with my feelings that if I found a partner, I would get bored with her rather quickly.  The thought of being with the same person throughout my life seemed impossible.  I always felt that the first time to people love each other could never be replicated.  Then looking at love and relationships from a Buddhist perspective, I realized that love, like everything else, dies and gets reborn.  Sometimes I may not feel the same passion towards a lover that I felt when we first met or started dating, but I realized that after it 'died,' it could always be rediscovered or 'reborn.'
Karma always comes around. 

Apart from helping my love life, I realized that I often used lojong without realizing it.  When I remembered having a college professor who I found to be a total ass, I use to calm myself by saying to myself, "Karma always comes around."  I know this to be true for Third World dictators and other people who have ever infuriated me by doing something wrong.  This reminded me that justice would always come to these people.
You are all that you are in each moment.

At times I also felt, like everyone else in this world has, stupid because of some mistake I made in my life.  But then I would tell myself, "You are all that you are in each moment."  This reminded me that even when I made a mistake, however big, I was still the person who does all the great things I do and am.  

You will always reimburse what you invest
This is sort of similar to the saying, "you reap what you sow."  This reminds me when I don't feel satisfied with my life that I can do more to make myself satisfied or that I must simply wait to reap the satisfaction of my efforts.  I realized soon that this was very much the same as Karma always comes around.

Every suit of armor has a weak spot
This reminds me when I feel as if certain people who get in my way are too powerful to overcome, that they to have weaknesses and they to can fall victims of them.  I used to think of how it seems certain people, who cause great problems for autistic people, are too powerful.  Despite it's reputation, the group has also been the center of many controversies.  Even though I am free to speak my voice, many autistic people are not.  To much money is spent these days trying to find a cure for autism, causing money to fly out of the hands of people who provide services for autistic people in health, education and living, so that they often end up uneducated, unemployed or living in institutions.  And as time goes by, autistic people being consulted on autism issues has been an exception, when it should be a rule.  I remind myself that these people who cause such great problems to, are not superhuman and are subject to their own weaknesses.

All things come around at some point
This was always good whenever anything happened that left me upset or confused if I remembered to say this slogan at the time.  One practice that would help me in times of uncertainty was the ancient Celtic practice of making up your own affirmations and saying them whenever you went into a troublesome situation.  The Celtic people used to do this and doing it is said to really improve one's outlook on life when going into a troubling situation.  When I went to my job for example, I would say to myself:

I will not become bored, I will not be stressed, I will not be too tired.
nor shall I lose sight of my Buddha-nature or what is important to me
I will not hurry for this moment to be over, nor shall I become distracted by boredom.
I will know that the best way to face any situation in the future is to be fully aware in the present.

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