What Secular Buddhism Means to Me

This page is a little different. It’s not about imagination or art. It’s about ideas I hold as truths. I just want to restate that this page is not me telling someone else how to live, its just about what makes me happy. These ideas and practicing meditation are the realest forms of magic I have as a human. This magic enriches the reality I see and makes me more appreciative of what life really is.

Life is Full of Pain

Life is filled with suffering and pain. This may seem dark, but it is actually just a fact that I choose to accept instead of avoid or pretend like it doesn’t exist.

Attachment Causes Pain

Hanging on to how things were or to what I want the future to be causes me pain. Trying to cling onto something good or control too many variables leads me to feel worn out or lost.

There is a Way to Lessen My Attachment

I am convinced that there is a process and practice that can help me let go of some of the misconceptions that cause tension and pain in my life. This is also why this post is not as dark as it seems.

The Middle is the Way to Lessen My Attachment

Luckily I have access to many great books, youtube videos, guided meditations, and apps to give me the skills and understanding to solve my own problems on a deeper emotional level. Practicing meditation is like working out a muscle but instead of lifting heavier weights, I’m practicing letting things go so it will be easier to do so when things seem to stick to me. This helps me focus on what I can change while accepting the rest.

Breathing

I use an app called Oak because it has a simple interface and three amazing breathing exercises. When I haven’t meditated in a while I start with a breathing exercise and then that usually motivates me to meditate. I mainly do quiet meditation while focusing in my breath while widening the space between thoughts. I don’t use led meditations often but if you are new to it Oak’s is really good and simple. No flowery spiritual words, only steps.

Gratefulness and Forgiveness

Gratefulness and forgiveness are two very important parts of my practice. I have been working a lot harder as I grow older to be more grateful because it helps me balance out negative thoughts. Forgiveness of others and myself allows me to move past bitter feelings and anxiety that shows itself as both physical and emotional pain. Forgiveness does not mean forgetting so I don’t want to come across like I am advocating sticking around someone who puts someone down or hurts them after it’s been expressed that it is a problem. I feel that forgiveness is a powerful gift for everyone involved. It’s easy for me to think “they don’t deserve forgiveness because they didn’t do all of the steps that I have made in my mind to earn it” or “they should know how to do those steps since they are an adult and should know better.” It’s hard for me to say either “I will forgive them because it is important to me to not hold onto anger and hurt; I deserve to be happy” or “I will express how they can fix my hurt (if it is really that bad and I want to keep them in my life).” Gratefulness and forgiveness are so uplifting and magical for me they are basically a superpower. A lot of interesting neuroscience research that I do not really understand covers these topics thoroughly.

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