Whether you follow a traditional religion or are a non-religious, we can all learn a few things from Buddhism and Buddhist teachings. For those of us unfamiliar with the Buddhist faith, we tend to associate it with monks in orange robes, chanting, and bronze Buddha statues. On this side of the Pacific Ocean, we tend to associate Buddhism with young people doing yoga and drinking kinds of tea we can’t pronounce.
Buddhism, in its essence, is almost more of a life philosophy than a religion. The Buddha is not worshipped, and Buddha statues serve as a reminder, rather than objects of worship. A Buddha statue reminds its owner to meditate on the teachings and life of the Buddha, and to remember that compassion is the only way to let go of life’s suffering. A core Buddhist belief is enlightenment: eventually achieving truth in life and no longer undergoing reincarnation.
You don’t have to becomes a Buddhist to be blessed by this rich, ancient religion. Here are four Buddhist philosophies that will benefit each one of us, no matter what religion we belong to.
A foundational teaching in many religions, Buddhism teaches that the self must die. In order to achieve enlightenment, an individual must give up his or her selfishness completely. Give more to others than you give to yourself or at least share your good fortunes and experiences with others.
If you’re able to snag tickets to see a Broadway show, bring along a loved one or someone that may otherwise not be able to afford such a spectacle. Many of us live in cultures where the self is seen as the highest good, so meditating on the value of others, and learning to appreciate our interdependence, will improve our well-being.
Many of us have a hard time failing. We put pressure on ourselves to be the best and to do well 100% of the time. Many religions stress this kind of never-failing as well. In Buddhism, while living well is important, so is achieving wisdom. There’s an understanding that life brings teaching, and failure brings teaching.
Technology has enabled us to access innovative academic programs for enriching our knowledge and growth. Rather than trying to never screw up, Buddhist philosophy graciously accepts failures and difficult life experiences, since they all hold opportunities for wisdom.
If we are part of a connected web, then our life & actions matter to others. In the same way, the world is deeply connected to our wellbeing. This #Buddhist teaching of interconnectedness helps us respect ourselves, others, and our planet.Click To Tweet
Whether we believe, as Buddhists do, that we will reincarnate, or whether we believe this is the only life we have, we know that we’re mortal. Often, however, we do as much as possible to forget this fact, making our daily lives and our religious endeavors about permanence. We would all benefit from regular reflection on our temporary state, through the use of mandalas (sand art) and other exercises in letting go.
With an understanding of our interdependence comes greater respect for our world and for ourselves. While one of the best gifts interdependence offers us is understanding the importance of other people, it also teaches us that we, and our world, are important. These teachings can be practiced in all settings including a professional environment by way of HR solutions. We must take care of ourselves and our planet if we are to move forward. This means treating each other with respect, helping animals, and making sure to recycle our waste.
Some companies have gone as far as to develop technology for recycling laundry wastewater. If we are part of a connected web, then our life and actions matter to many, many people. In the same way, the world is deeply connected to our wellbeing. This understanding of interconnectedness helps us respect ourselves, others, and our planet.
Buddhism holds many beautiful truths, and no matter where we’re coming from, we can all benefit from experiencing a taste of Buddhist philosophy.
Which Buddhist teachings resonate with you the most?
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