“It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell.” The Buddha
Because of our ignorance, caused by the three poisons, greed, anger and ignorance, we continually seek to exert our dominance and control in our world...we want to be able to control how much money we make, the vegetables in our garden, the temperature in our homes, the weeds in our backyard, our children and our relationships…having control, for many of us brings a sense of security. Unfortunately, is a false security because once control is lost, we become angered, violent, and again back to square one, unsecured because you lost control of the situation.
Buddhism, on the contrary teaches us to open your eyes to this world, and adapt to these changing situations to avoid suffering and to have mastery of the self and the universe. But how is that possible?
By understanding yourself, by understanding reality, you acquire mastery of yourself. Reality is the sum of your cultural background, your environment as interpreted by your senses, ear, nose, tongue, touch, eyes and finally your mind. When you put all these together, it brings you to your reality…and everybody on this planet has his own reality living in a collective reality…confused yet? Don’t be…
You know yourself and you are pretty sure of whom you are. But remember the old saying “When in Rome, do as Romans do”. This world where you live is the collective reality in which you do what everybody else does, even though s not the correct thing. At work, we behave one way, at home; we behave in another way, when we are with friends and in a party, in another way. Think about how you behave in a football game, in Las Vegas or in a wrestling match. When you don’t understand this concept of reality, you follow like a sheep without knowing why. It is the “monkey see, monkey do” mentality that can make us very unhappy. It makes you spend money when you don’t have, make you eat when you are not hungry or make you hate another person, because is not like you or the others around you.
Once you understand this concept of reality, you must realize that everything comes from the mind and we have control of it (except of course from weather, natural events and death). The Buddha said that everything comes from the mind and is true…if you want to be happy and successful, that is your state of mind. If you want to dwell and pain and misery, it is also in your mind. That is how people create hells and heavens, we all have choices but it is all in your mind!
Understand that you are interconnected with this universe, with every sentient being. That your actions, bad or good affect you and others around you and finally, understand that everything is impermanent, nothing lasts forever…That is how you avoid suffering and live a more mindful and fulfilling life..
Once you master the concept of self, you had conquered yourself and once you had conquered yourself, you become the master of your universe…