Everyday Practice to Benefit Others

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 What I like about Buddhist thinking, is the idea of non-attachment and selfless service for others. Also in order to serve others, one must first learn to take care of oneself, which is not an easy task. In fact taking care of oneself becomes an everyday responsibility, because even when one learns the skillful way to deal with anything that occurs, one must also keep on sustaining that habit. Sustaining is the daily practice, that is why masters train every day.

If we want to be the masters of our own lives, we should start to practice also taking care of ourselves every day. Once we overcome our own anxiousness and confusion, we can finally start truly benefitting others as well.

In everyday practice, we must first each morning take care of our own unskillful thinking and then we can turn our practice into selfless service of others, I think this is suitable enough philosophy for a layperson.

Reasons for the ‘best’ way to be helpful diverge after the point has been made that we might need to take care of ourselves first, that’s why we have different philosophies, different branches of Buddhism and even different forms of service.

Almost any rule is a simplification and thus cannot be fully applied. In the sales profession it is necessary to prioritize the needs of others from your current position. However, the Buddhist could argue that one might benefit all the people more, if you first would take the time to reach enlightenment yourself and then remain in this world and help people. Such people are called bodhisattvas and it is certainly interesting perspective.

In my current thinking, combining ideas from many sources and philosophies, I think the taking care of your own thinking in the morning and then retaining skillful practice through the day is a sufficient way for the layperson to progress. You make your life your practice by not attaching to the fruits of your labor. This kind of selfless service idea is strong in Bhagavad Gita and Zen schools of thought and I think it is rather practical philosophy.

Upgrade the Stories You Tell to Yourself

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Be mindful of what you tell to yourself, about yourself, the day and the expectations.

Have positive expectations! By the things you say to yourself you can make each day a wonderful adventure. You would like to think that life is good and the world is conspiring to help you.

We can choose what we believe. It’s much more fun to think that the good things are going to happen today than bad things, right?

Easy to acknowledge, a bit more difficult to do, because this does take effort. However, the best time to start is now so that little by little you are able to remove the unskillful patterns and then manage the rest of the unhelpful thoughts as they come. Finally then you can fully nurture the thoughts that nurture your growth and experience of the life in total.

And your positive thinking does not only affect yourself, it increases primarily the wellbeing of those around you.

What are you waiting for? Create more positive stories about yourself, the world and the people. You will attract more opportunities this way than you will ever by complaining.

Have a wonderful evening!

Janne