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Do you want to be right or happy?

“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” ~Lao Tzu

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How many of you have often felt: “why can’t my partner listen to me?, she/he would see that I am right.” Isn’t this something a lot of us relate to? We acquire this “I’m right” mentality quite honestly. As we were growing up, we believed that the way things were in our family was the way things were in the world. Our parents were our main models for relationship and marriage. Unfortunately, our partner also formed their beliefs through their family, a different family than the one in which we grew up. Now what do we do? Could there be more than one “right way” to do something? Only after we get older and experience other couples and how they relate, or we begin to work on ourselves, can we even imagine the possibility that there might be something different than what we grew up accepting.

What is more detrimental to happiness than the pursuit of being right … which is to say, being seen as right. For personal proof of this, consider the people you know who are most insistent on their politics, their patterns, their viewpoint, their way… they tend to judge the most, insult the most, complain the most, and suffer the most.

Honestly try this – the next time you KNOW you are right about any situation with a anyone close to you whose viewpoint opposes yours, just try and let go of the need to BE right and give your opinion.

Even when that “I know I am right and he is wrong” feeling fills you,stop yourself from reacting this time.

Think about it – Is there truly a reason to even pursue the feeling? Will resolving the difference really lead to an important benefit, such as preventing accidents, improving health, making or saving money or the like? If so, consciously remind yourself to proceed softly and kindly this time … remind yourself (and tell the other person!) that you are pursuing this discussion gently only to achieve the desired benefit, not to be seen as right.

After this first time of letting go of the need to be right — even and especially if it means the other person will think they’re right – watch what happens. Most probably, Nothing – your world won’t collapse. Things won’t fall to pieces because you didn’t try to prove that your point was right.

Walk your talk and watch people ( in time ) follow suite. They ALSO end up backing off the need to be right, making life all the more pleasant.

Let’s just keep in mind that our blessing in life is The pursuit of happiness

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The Lotus flower and Humans

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“The lotus is the most beautiful flower, whose petals open one by one. But it will only grow in the mud. In order to grow and gain wisdom, first you must have the mud — the obstacles of life and its suffering. … The mud speaks of the common ground that humans share, no matter what our stations in life. … Whether we have it all or we have nothing, we are all faced with the same obstacles: sadness, loss, illness, dying and death. If we are to strive as human beings to gain more wisdom, more kindness and more compassion, we must have the intention to grow as a lotus and open each petal one by one. ”
― Goldie Hawn

lotusHere is a beautiful Buddhist Lotus Meditation:

Imagine that you are a lotus seed buried beneath a muddy lotus pond. There is mud all around you, and you can feel them clearly. Above you, above this muddy pool of dirt, mud and filth, are sunshine and air. You are not disheartened as you begin your journey towards the surface.

With a determined heart, you begin to wiggle in the earth. You grow roots deep, deep into the mud. Your little stem grows up slowly. Suddenly, “pop” you are out of the mud! Your stem grows higher and higher, taller and taller. You rise up slowly, fighting against the muddy water. All of a sudden, you are out of the muddy pond! You reach up towards the warm sun, shining down on you.

Your lotus bud begins to grow on top of your stem. It expands and grows larger and larger, finally bursting into full bloom. A white lotus flower. You stand beautifully above the muddy water, not dirtied by the mud from which you grow. You are white, fragrant and beautiful.

Everyone who saw you marvelled at your beauty! Your determination to grow out of the muddy pond reminds them of the Buddha and his journey towards Enlightenment. The Buddha, like a lotus, is determined to grow out of the muddy surroundings, that is the defilements and sufferings of life. He has done all that is to be done and he is showing us that we can all do it too. We may have defilements but we all have the potential of growing out of our defilements and achieving wisdom, like the Buddha.

You are a beautiful white lotus flower, and your role is to remind people to rise above their defilements and sufferings, just as you are arising above the muddy water and not dirtied by the mud from which you grow.

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The Metta Prayer – as requested after yesterdays Chanting :)

The Metta Prayer
The Buddha gave a beautiful teaching on the development of lovingkindness called the Metta Sutta (also known as the Karaniya Metta Sutta). I’ve adapted the words of the sutta to formulate them as an aspiration that can be repeated in a prayer-like way.
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In order that I may be skilled in discerning what is good, in order that I may understand the path to peace,
Let me be able, upright, and straightforward, of good speech, gentle, and free from pride;
Let me be contented, easily satisfied, having few duties, living simply, of controlled senses, prudent, without pride and without attachment to nation, race, or other groups.
Let me not do the slightest thing for which the wise might rebuke me. Instead let me think:
“May all beings be well and safe, may they be at ease.
Whatever living beings there may be, whether moving or standing still, without exception, whether large, great, middling, or small, whether tiny or substantial,
Whether seen or unseen, whether living near or far,
Born or unborn; may all beings be happy.
Let none deceive or despise another anywhere. Let none wish harm to another, in anger or in hate.”
Just as a mother would guard her child, her only child, with her own life, even so let me cultivate a boundless mind for all beings in the world.
Let me cultivate a boundless love for all beings in the world, above, below, and across, unhindered, without ill will or enmity.
Standing, walking, seated, or lying down, free from torpor, let me as far as possible fix my attention on this recollection. This, they say, is the divine life right here.
Translated and adapted by Bodhipaksa from the Pali Metta Sutta.

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Day of the Week Buddha

© Clay Irving 2008
Buddha for Sunday (pang thawai net)
The Sunday Buddha image is standing with arms crossed in front of the waist with the right hand covering the left hand.
Buddha obtained enlightenment while sitting under a bothi tree. The image represents a time just after Buddha obtained enlightenment when, for gratitude, he stood and admired a bothi tree for one week without blinking an eye ((net) is a formal Pali word for eye or eyes).

Buddha for Monday (pang ham yati)
The Monday Buddha image is standing with the right hand raised to shoulder height with the palm out and the fingers extended (the abhaya mudra).
This image represents Buddha pacifying the relatives. When Buddha returned from heaven after three months, his relatives were arguing about the rights to water flowing through their land. Buddha persuaded them to compromise.

Buddha for Tuesday (pang sai yat)
The Tuesday Buddha image is lying on his right side, head resting on his arm, toes even.
It represents when Buddha entered parinibbana at his death on a Tuesday.

Buddha for Wednesday(pang umbat)
The Buddha image for Wednesday is standing and holding an alms bowl with both hands.
It indicates the time Buddha returned to see his father. In the early morning, monks make their alms rounds to collect food. Buddha did the same and his father was upset that Buddha was “begging” for food.

Buddha for Thursday (pang samti)
The Thursday Buddha image is sitting in a full lotus position with soles upward and visible, the hands resting in the lap, right above left with all fingers extended, palms upward (the dhyani mudra).
In this position, some believe the body is receptive to energy entering through the top of the head and through the open palms.

Buddha for Friday (pang ram pueng)
The Friday Buddha image is standing with both arms crossed over the chest with the right hand covering the left.
This position indicates contemplation and consideration, and represents Buddha contemplating the subtle nature of dhamma and ponders on how to reveal this to mankind.

Buddha for Saturday (pang nak prok)
The Saturday Buddha image is sitting in a full lotus position in meditation on the coiled body of the naga Muchalinda that uses its head as a cover against rain.
This pose represents a time during the sixth week after Siddhartha’s Enlightenment, when the naga king protected the meditating Buddha against heavy rainfall by making a shelter with his multi-headed hood and lifted him above the flood waters by coiling its body under him.
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