Because what we do matters

I saw a great blog post recently, and the author said that when he is asked why he is Buddhist, he ends with “what we do matters”.  Because those “Four words that encapsulate for me the whole of Buddhist psychology, philosophy and spiritualism as I have come to realize it. “

This really sums up my practice for me also.

What we do matters

What we say

 What we think

 The person that we are in this world

I’ve seen a few posts lately on why (and how) people came to be Buddhists.

For me, it was not a sudden decision that I made.  It was born of divine luck.

About 5 years ago a  close friend at the time was feeling very stressed and wanted to attend meditation classes at a local temple.  She asked me if I would go with her.

I had done meditation in the past, as part of a yoga class that I took.  I remember the first time that I meditated (in the class).  It changed my world.  Literally.   I felt a peace and centredness that I had never before experienced.  As a highly anxious and ‘nervy’ person it was not a state that was common to me.

So I excitedly agreed to join my friend in the meditation class.  As part of the class, we also had a “Introduction to Buddhism” class that followed.

Prior to then I knew nothing about it.  Literally nothing.  I had no understanding, no thoughts and no misconceptions.

The class itself, and the way it was presented, was mildly interesting.

However it sparked something deep within me.  I knew that this was my path.

I always had a very strong desire to be a good person.  To be kind to other people.  A respect for all forms of life.  And Buddhism was the perfect fit for me.  The more I read – and I read A LOT – the more I knew that it was the path for me.

It was not accepted in my family though.

We had a very “non-religious” upbringing.  We actually didn’t have a religion as such.

I remember telling my parents – eventually.  My father’s reaction “It’s a cult!”.  My mother’s “It’s a fad, she’ll snap out of it”.

And of course it was neither.

So I kept my faith and practice to myself.  I quietly read, and learned, and deepened my practice.

That was 5 years ago.

Then 12 months ago my world fell apart.  My husband left.  My son was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome.  I lost my house.  I had a serious car accident (head on collision into a tree), and I wrote off my car.

Amongst other things.

I wouldn’t change any of this for the world though – it’s made me the person I am today.

I experienced true pain and suffering, and now I know empathy and love.

For me it was also a time of great realisation – and the greatest one was that when everything fell apart, all that was left was my son and I.

There was literally no one I could turn to.

And I realised that was because most of my relationships and friendships – even my connection to my family – was superficial.

I didn’t put the time or effort into these relationships that I should have, and that they deserved.

I have turned that around.

But more importantly I realised – I want to be there for other people.

I want to help them and ease their pain.  To be there for them when they are suffering and need help.  To be the port in the storm, providing calm and shelter.

So with these intentions in mind, I continue my practice.

I proudly follow the 5 precepts:

“Do not kill.”

“Do not steal.”

“Do not engage in improper sexual conduct.”

“Do not make false statements.”

“Do not drink alcohol.”

I also follow the Eightfold Path:

Right View

Right Intention

Right Speech

Right Action

Right Livelihood

Right Effort        

Right Mindfulness

Right Concentration

Although this is not to say that I don’t make mistakes.  But I try to learn from them.

And so I walk along the path….

Humbled and grateful for the opportunity to do so.

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About istopforsuffering

A page created to help spread love and kindness and positivity. Dedicated to making this world a better place, and making a difference in people's lives.

26 responses to “Because what we do matters

  1. WHAT A BEAUTIFUL AND INSPIRING POST. Wow! ♥ ♥ ♥
    I am sorry you suffered so much, but I also will say that I would not change any of my suffering for the same reason.
    I am honored to know you.

  2. Amen! Keep on Rockin’ sister! You’re an inspiration 🙂

  3. Beautifully written post! So honest, so pure, so compassionate. Your words honor the path, May you find happiness everywhere you look, May you find peace in every breath you take, and May you continue to spread your loving kindness ❤

  4. What a sincere and heartfelt post….how special to hear how your path has evolved. As I was lucky enough to find out….you are there for people…you were there for me…thank you.
    A few years ago, I heard a snippet of a song at the end of a tv show…after much sleuthing, I found out it was called “til kingdom come” by Cold Play. (looking at those words now is remarkable) I knew at that moment that something very significant was coming along my way…but I had absolutely no idea what it was…but I knew something was coming. (I was extremely unhappy at that time…and that continued for several years) Two years later, I knocked on a friend’s door and it was opened by a Buddhist monk…I had never met a monk before…and a dear and precious friendship began…that was my introduction to Buddhism.
    I think that once one has known deep suffering, the desire to help others have relief from their suffering becomces compelling…at least it is for me.

    • Oh that is so true – for me also. I would do anything to prevent others having to experience the same suffering, loss and heartbreak that I did. But I can’t. What I can do is be there for them, and help to accompany them on their journey. And also in hindsight, you do have to know the lows to appreciate the highs. And I think sometimes we have to go through these things. But it certainly helps to have someone to be with us and hold our hand on the way 🙂

      I feel a real desire and wish to begin a friendship with a monk. I would love to have a person that I could talk to, and develop my practice with.

      I hope such a thing is in my future also 🙂

  5. Thank you very much for sharing this. It is certainly a good reminder that everyone comes to their path differently. I am sorry to hear of your many losses and sufferings, but it would seem that you have found greater happiness and peace by confronting them with an open mind. This too is an exquisite treasure in the Dhamma, may there be well being, friend.

  6. This was a great post, great wisdom, and you are personal, which makes the message even more important to me. Thank you.

  7. Vilina Svetoslavova

    A touching story. Thank you for sharing it.
    Wish you happiness and loveliness!
    Vilina

  8. They say everyone’s fighting a hard battle.I feel proud of you!I wish for your son heath, i know we mothers are living because of our kids.
    I never share this, but i am doing it now, just to show you that we all are together in pain and sorrows.I was diagnosed Rheumatoid Arthritis the year i got married.I was expecting then.It’s been 8 years now, i am so blessed to have survived them without any disabled joint, and the fact that i am a mother to a boy and girl.I had developed guilty feelings, used to think my family is suffering because of me, thought my parents needed me at this age when i am not a 100% .I tried to overdo myself in order to make everyone’s lives normal, but It earned nothing!I developed more complications, like vertigo, spinal scoliosis, severe depression and hearing loss etc.Then i realized….if they love me they don’t want me to suffer.I HAVE to be there for them, especially my kids, which is only possible if i look after me.
    Believe me, life changed a lot.I take some time out for myself, just like you, bogging and raising spirits.Life has mentally and physically prepared me for the trials and tests it passed me through, not to give me pain, but to make me emerge stronger, maybe God wanted me to rely on Him.He never left me alone!After God, i owe everything in my life to my parents, they did more than a parent could, in helping me raise my kids.
    You are your son’s lifeline, just like he’s yours.Take good care of you first, in order to make him feel better!You are strong without a doubt!If you ever need me to share your feelings, i am there for you!TAKE CARE DEAR!

    • I can’t even put into words how grateful I am for your heartfelt post. Thank you – really thank you ♥. I can’t imagine how difficult life must be for you – and I am in awe of your positive spirit and warmth and loving nature.

      Thank you for sharing your story, and for offering your support. It means so much.

      Much love to you ♥

  9. What profoundly meaningful life-and-inner-being changes you have awakened to. I love those four words…they say it all. Thanks so much for sharing your experiences, which I really empathize deeply with. And, i say it again–your son is very blessed to have such an inspiring, strong mom!!

  10. Your story reminds me a little of how I came to embrace Paganism and the Goddess. I also love the tenets of Buddhism,.It’s a beautiful and peaceful way of life. Thanks for sharing your incredible story.

  11. Pingback: Living in Love Award: Because What We Do Matters « Daring to Live in Love!

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