Simple Steps To Relieve Stress and Uncertainty
From a young age I was drawn to the image of the Buddha. I wanted to be like him, sitting peacefully with a smile on his face. But I couldn't understand why, when I sat to meditate I had so many thoughts whirling around in my head and I felt anything but peaceful and smiling. So one day I went and asked my teacher, 'How can I be like the Buddha?' He smiled and said, 'You already are. The Buddha is in here.' And he pointed at my heart.
Don't get put off by the term Buddha. If you are not a Buddhist then you can call Buddha "inherent nature" or "God" or "love". We don't have to be a Buddhist to want peace, happiness, security and good health. And we don't have to be a Buddhist to realize that the external world can only give us security and happiness for a short time. True confidence, security, and happiness come directly from our mind. The Buddha said, 'It is our mind which makes the world." If we are feeling down then even blue sky and sunshine won't be able to cheer us up. It's only our mind which has the ability to do this, which is why it's so important to have a regular practice to help us come back to ourselves .
Having some kind of internal practice can help us greatly with this current climate of insecurity and loss of jobs. Being a Buddhist disciple I've never had a job or a steady income but I realise from talking to my students that they are worried about their future and so I offer a little advice from my own personal experience.
There is a famous Buddhist quote which I try to live by:
If you can solve your problem,
Then what is the need for worrying?
If you cannot solve it,
Then what is the use of worrying?
This quote reminds me to do everything I can with my life and let the rest go.
In our quest for peace and security we tend to want to control every aspect of our life but this only takes us further away from happiness. We need to relax and let go of the need to control. Next time you feel anxious, don’t give in to it but go and do some Kung Fu or Qigong or running.
Keep your awareness on both your practice and your anxiety. Try to find the substance of your anxiety. Where is it? Can you point to it? Does it feel like it's in a particular part of your body? Sometimes this search helps the anxiety to automatically disappear like darkness disappears when we turn on the light. We don't want to repress it or push it away because this will make it stronger. We just need to gently acknowledge it. As you move through your Shaolin practice, watch the emotion shift and change shape.
Qi is energy, emotions are energy, beliefs are energy, they change thousands of times a day and we are much more than them. We are also much more than our job or financial solvency.
Remember that Buddha never gives us any more problems than we can handle and every event that happens to us is our inner Buddha challenging us. Don't worry. Every so-called negative experience can be a benefit if we view it positively. Every event a teaching.