Life presents us with multiple challenges on a daily basis, and coming to grips with those challenges is crucial for securing inner peace.
The secret to facing these challenges peacefully? Buddhist wisdom.
Find peace through the toughest challenges life has to offer with these seven Buddhist teachings.
1) Shed Fear By Understanding It
Much of the fear that exists within us comes from one thing: impermanence, of ourselves and the world around us.
We fear loss more than anything else—loss of our lives, our loved ones, our status quo, our prized possessions, our achievements and titles. Everything that could lead to loss—war, death, divorce—is a major fear to many of us. We fear failure as well, and the possibility that we may never be enough.
But we can overcome these fears by understanding why they exist within us and where they come from. We do this through constant sessions of introspection—looking not outward for the answers to our questions, but inside of ourselves.
It is in the simple act of self-discovery that we can finally heal from the scars caused by our fears. Understand why you fear what you fear, and you will free yourself from it.
2) Use Meditation To Catch Your “Monkey Mind”
The greatest problem many of us face today is anxiety or stress. In a recent study, it was found that around 30% of Americans believe that stress strongly harms their physical health and mental health.
But stress isn’t a product of the modern world; people have always dealt with stress. Around 2500 years ago, the term “monkey mind” was coined by Buddha himself. This meant that the mind is like a monkey, running and jumping around everywhere with never a break.
Only through mindfulness of your breath during the act of meditation can you calm your mind and put your monkey to sleep. This melts away your anxiety and stress, and lets you continue the rest of your day in peace.
3) Fight Loneliness by Listening To The Intimacy Connecting You With Others
Loneliness is a growing issue, especially in the fast-paced lifestyle of the modern world. Whatever kind of loneliness you are experiencing—lack of mental companionship, a solitary lifestyle, or the death of a loved one—Buddhism teaches us to open ourselves to the world, with or without the presence of others.
Through the act of mindful living, we can live in a state of connectedness with millions of other living things; from the ants in the ground to the clouds in the sky. Reevaluate the way you perceive loneliness—it isn’t the act of being alone, but rather solitary mental suffering.
By connecting with the world and all other living creatures, you can begin to heal your soul, whether you are alone or surrounded by hundreds.
4) Ease Your Anger Through Compassion and Understanding
Anger is a very primal and base emotion that many of us experience often. But you can’t control the world around you, and can’t stop yourself from experiencing things that may trigger your anger. However, you can control yourself and the way you perceive the world.
One of Buddhism’s core teachings is the realization that the world is much greater than yourself. When angry, you must learn to skillfully step away from the situation, which will build compassion within yourself.
5) Your Inner Dialogue Does Not Make Up Who You Are
True inner peace cannot be achieved until you make the separation between the you who exists in the world versus the you who exists in your mind. This is known as the ego, or your inner dialogue. It is in your inner dialogue where your self-talk thrives, speaking to you negatively and pulling you down.
Buddhism encourages us to step away from ourselves once more and observe the difference between the inner dialogue and the true self through self-awareness. Because the inner dialogue is not who we truly are; it is only a story within yourself that you must overcome.
6) There Is No Void Inside Of You
Many of us feel a hole in our hearts, to the point that it is commonly referred to as an inner void. A missing piece, a part of something greater, a divided mind; we believe that there is something missing that is keeping us from reaching our potential.
But Buddhism teaches that you have everything you need already inside of you. There is no missing piece, no unfilled hole waiting for the perfect connection. We must come to acceptance with the perfect whole that we already are before we can finally move forward and achieve our potential.
7) We Are the Culmination Of Everyone Who Has Been A Part Of Us
When you lose a friend or a loved one, either through death or other circumstances that have separated you in life, immense sadness may come over you as you try to deal with that loss.
Buddhism doesn’t deny that this is a difficult transition to accept, going from a life with your loved one to a life without them. But Buddhism teaches that when we lose someone who loved us, we never really lose them.
Their impact on our lives has changed us, and a part of them now lives inside of us. Their presence, physical appearance, and personality—all of these now perhaps reside within you, making them a part of you forever.