7 Simple Zen Rules That Will Redefine Your Life


These rules were compiled by a Zen monk known as Shaku. He had lived them each day until his passing in 1919.

Sleep at a regular hour

By going to sleep at a regular hour each day, you create important consistency in your life. Our mind and bodies need consistent rest so that you are at your best each morning, and are all the more likely to wake up early- and the quality of your morning is a huge factor in determining the quality of your life.

Eat with moderation and never overeat

It’s easy to forget the effect food can have on our lives, particularly with our modern-age eating habits. Over-eating is just around the corner for most of us, and abusing food has more than just physical consequences; it has very real mental as well as global ones too if you think about the huge amount of waste involved.

When an opportunity comes do not let it pass you by — but always think twice before acting

Consider if the opportunity is the right thing to do- if it’s moral and if it’s just- and make sure it’s the right thing for you specifically.

Light incense and meditate in the morning

Daily meditation, particularly first thing in the morning, is something I talk about often. This is probably the most important point here!
By the way, incense has some truly remarkable qualities. If you’re looking to understand why it’s been used for so many centuries, check out this article.

Do not regret the past. Look to the moment

This is the cornerstone of Buddhist philosophy. The past isn’t real; it doesn’t exist. Only the now exists, and the path our present actions will have in our future lives.

Watch what you say, and whatever you say, practice it

Words are one of the most powerful things in the world. They’ve ended love, began love, created war and peace. They have a profound effect on others. The second part to this point is just as important. You’ve probably heard the saying, “practice what you preach”, at some point in your life. Without that crucial aspect, we do not have any power behind our words, and therefore they become less effective.

Have the fearless attitude of a hero and the loving heart of a child

When dealing with others, whether in or out of confrontation, we should approach the situation with the loving heart of a child. A child naturally has great compassion, understanding, is naturally caring, who sees every person as an equal — regardless of their social standing.
source and credit:sivanaspirit

Why Spiritual Awakening Breaks Your Relationships?

The Last Message of the Buddha

'When I am gone, my Teaching shall be your Master and Guide.'

Three months before His passing away the Buddha addressed His disciples and said: 'I have delivered sermons to you during these forty-five years. You must learn them well and treasure them. You must practice them and teach them to others. This will be of great use for the welfare of the living and for the welfare of those who come after you'.

'My years are now full ripe; the life span left is short. I will soon have to leave you. You must be earnest. O monks, be mindful and of pure virtue! Whoever untiringly pursues the Teaching, will go beyond the cycle of birth and death and will mean an end of Suffering.'

When Ananda asked the Buddha what would become of the Order after He passes away, the Buddha replied, 'What does the Order expect of me, Ananda? I have preached the Truth without any distinction; for in regard to the Truth, there is no clenched hand in the Teachings of the Buddha‚ It may be, Ananda, that to some among you, the thought will come 'The Master's words will soon end; soon we will no longer have a master.' But do not think like this, Ananda. When I am gone, my Teaching and the disciplinary code shall be your Master.'

The Buddha further explained: 'If there is anyone who thinks, 'It is I who will lead the brotherhood', or 'The Order is dependent on me, it is I who should give instructions', the Buddha does not think that He should lead the order or that the Order is dependent on Him. I have reached the end of my days. Just as a worn-out cart can only be made to move with much additional care, so my body can be kept going only with much additional care. Therefore, Ananda, be a lamp and refuge unto yourselves. Look for no other refuge. Let the Truth be your lamp and your refuge. Seek no refuge elsewhere.'

At the age of eighty, on His birthday, He passed away without showing any worldly supernatural powers. He showed the real nature of component things even in His own life.

When the Buddha passed away into Nibbana, one of His disciples remarked, 'All must depart---all beings that have life must shed their compounded forms. Yes, even a Master such as He, a peerless being, powerful in Wisdom and Enlightenment, even He must pass away.'

The parting words of the Buddha:

'Appamadena Sampadetha Vaya Dhamma Sankhara'. 
'Work diligently. Component things are impermanent.'

By: Venerable K. Sri Dhammananda Maha Thera

This article was republished from budsas.org. You can find the original post here.

How To Train Your Brain To Stop Worrying?

Did you know that excessive worrying not only affects your mental state but has a negative impact on your physical health, too? While a little worry can be even helpful as it helps you prepare for the upcoming situation, worrying too much affects your health to the extent of making you stressed, tired, extremely prone to depression, and even physically ill.

When you worry, the heart rate increases, you sweat more, and the breathing becomes much more difficult. You may also become pale, given that the blood withdraws from the skin and moves towards the muscles in order to prepare them for the ‘fight or flight’ situation.
As the body has prepared to respond to the threat, the tension may turn into pains causing weak legs, trembling, headaches, and back pain. The same tension can even affect the digestive system, causing diarrhea or constipation.
In addition to this, chronic worry may make you susceptible to infections, too.  Stress and anxiety are known to lower the immune system, making you prone to colds or even more serious illnesses. Not to mention that they also make you even more fatigued and lethargic.
The good news is that the brain is highly adaptable organ, and making a few behavioral changes can notably reduce worry and help you go back to your regular day-to-day activities and high-functioning self.  Below you have three simple practices that can be incorporated into your life to reduce worry and calm your anxiety. Check them out!
Translating your worries into concrete words helps transform the doubt and pity into a problem with a potential solution.  Whether you don’t know what to wear to a party or a friend is pissing you off, write it down! Putting your worries into words prepares you to conceptualize the problems and look for a way to resolve the problem.
According to a study done by researchers at the University of Chicago, anxious test takers who wrote their feelings before doing the test actually performed much better compared to those who didn’t.  Researchers believe that the key to writing about your worries is to emphasize the worst possible outcome for the cause of your anxiety.
At this point, it`s no wonder that meditation has a wide array of healing properties.  Many different studies on the topic have confirmed that the act of closing the eyes and listening to your breath helps improve mental stability and cognitive function.
So, whenever you feel anxious or overwhelmed by your tight schedule, find the time to mediate. All you needs is an open mind and a quiet space! Sitting for as little as two minutes helps feel more centered, optimistic, and clear-headed.
Exercise offers both physical and mental benefits.  While it is quite challenging and difficult in the beginning, exercising on a regular basis helps regain the control of your life.  This sense of control and self-worth then allows you to reduce overall worry and stress.
Doctors often advise depressed patients to practice aerobic exercise, as it has been shown to lower the levels of body`s stress hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline.  Additionally, it also helps boost the production of endorphins, chemicals in the brain that kill pain and lift your spirits.

source and credit: www.dailymail.co.uk

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