Learning to Love You More
Yesterday I went outside for a walk through the grounds of the Capital, one of my favorite places lately. There were tourists out and about, and two in particular, who were wearing the long yellow robes and shaved heads of common buddhist monks. I met one's eyes and remembered a book I read at the end of April called The Art of Happiness. I started and finished it in three or four days. It was at the end of tax season at the accounting firm where I work, and my mind and body were so exhausted, I remember feeling paralyzed, and not knowing where to begin again.
The book is full of questions between the author, Howard C. Cutler, and the Dalai Lama about finding peace within ourselves through meditation and thoughtful thinking, developing patience, and learning to control our thoughts to create a happier and cleaner space in our minds. The authors questions were incredibly thoughtful, well-put, and relatable for me, which made these things seem more attainable. It's easy to think "That doesn't apply to me, we live in completely different worlds", but at the root of each question, I found I couldn't escape my responsibility to the world.
The Dalai Lama talks about the existence of suffering in our world, and the common Western reaction to it, which is to reject it. We see suffering not as something inevitable, but something to avoid, and even snuff out. We take a lot of very careful precautions in order to avoid suffering, and in the process have forgotten that it is a part of our human existence.
With this incredible opportunity to view the world through consciousness, it is our fate to accept our personal suffering and overcome it with the power of compassion and love. To love yourself is to love another, and to love another, you must love yourself.
Seeing those two monks so close to home brought me back to the moment when I decided to accept the challenges of my everyday life no matter how large or small.