I share a lot of my life here on this blog. I've kept my daily commitment to walking and eating more fruit and vegetables for a solid month now. I hope I've inspired some of you to do the same. I will continue that commitment and will continue to check in periodically to let you know how I'm doing. I look forward to hearing from you here or on Twitter (where I hear from you more often, I have to say!) As of today, I plan to share with you weekly about my renewed Buddhist practice.
If you're curious about Buddhism, you can go to www.thebigview.com for the basics: the Four Noble Truths, and the Eightfold Path. There, they will be spelled out for you in detail. Here are the 4 truths in brief:
1. Life means suffering.
2. The origin of suffering is attachment.
3. The cessation of suffering is attainable.
4. There is a path to the cessation of suffering.
The path to the end of suffering is of course The Eightfold Path. The first step on the path is called Right View. Right View means to see things through, to grasp the impermanent and imperfect nature of worldly objects and ideas, and to understand the law of karma and karmic conditioning. Right view is not necessarily an intellectual capacity, just as wisdom is not just a matter of intelligence. Instead, right view is attained, sustained, and enhanced through all capacities of mind. It begins with the intuitive insight that all beings are subject to suffering and it ends with complete understanding of the true nature of all things. Since our view of the world forms our thoughts and our actions, right view yields right thoughts and right actions.
So how will I put Right View into action this week? I'm thinking today about the preciousness of all sentient beings. I'm thinking about how last week in NYC two carriage-pulling horses collapsed on the streets. People have been fighting for years to end this needless cruelty, but others find it "romantic" to be pulled through the streets by horses. I'm thinking how thoughtlessly people kill "pests" that do no harm to them, how many animals are "farmed" for their flesh and fur, and it makes me both sad and angry. I look forward to the day when all the meat that is consumed by humans is grown from cells, as is now possible.
I am grateful for all the wonderful human beings in this world who make it their jobs, their passion to save the lives of animals, birds, fish, plants, species of all kinds for today and for the future. I am grateful to share my own life with the world's best cat, Stanton. And to have had the privilege of sharing the lives of so many companion animals over the years. And to be friends with so many more.
I have learned more about unconditional love from animals than from any human being, and I strive every day to be more like Stanton in that way. Greet my loved ones with love, no matter how much they have ignored me today or in the past. Be loving, always. Forgiving, always. Let everyone know when I'm happy, whether they care or not. State my feelings, then get over them. Sincerely over them. Be affectionate. I'm trying to be these things. I have a long way to go to reach Stanton's level of evolution.
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