I wrote this on August 3rd but couldn’t post til now(August 4th).
Rule of thirds
I’m not sure if my picture today (Aug. 3) follows the rule of thirds accurately but I like it!
I haven’t quite grasped the rule yet.
But at least my subject isn’t directly in the center of the picture, which is the point for Day 3. And my attempt is all that matters anyway!
(I think this picture may also submit to the rule of negative space?)
This is my Buddha green aventurine bracelet.
It’s supposed to attract positive energy, optimism, amazing opportunities, increase confidence, help us connect more deeply with nature, help with depression, anxiety, be calming, good luck…and all kinds of other stuff.
Aventurine is considered by some to be the luckiest stone!
My sister and me both have one. She loves stones and what they represent.
Unlike my sister, I don’t believe that stones, real or fake, can really bring good luck and things but they can be symbolic and a great reminder! Also, this has a little Buddha head on it! Isn’t he cute?!
His expression is so calm like he hasn’t a care in the world and I feel so calm and peaceful just looking at his face on my bracelet. True calmness is within and not about our environment. We can be in the most hectic, distressing, painful environment but still stay peaceful and joyful. We may or may not naturally be calm & peaceful but whether or not we are, with practice we can develop and deepen and maintain a generally calm mind.
All Buddha figures represent calmness & love but not all of them are crafted as well and look this good. Some Buddha statues and charms just creep me out. It’s a kind of heavy bracelet too, of great quality. I love it!
Along with sharing my picture, I will share some of his sentiments. Buddha’s teachings can benefit everyone in some way, even just a few of his ideas put into practice can be life changing.
Last night I had a Buddhist dream.
Did you ever have one of those experiences where you are dreaming and something happens in real life while you’re dreaming and the thing that happens gets incorporated into your dream? Like a dog barking for real then in your dream a dog appears and is barking in your dream but it’s the real one you hear and you awaken to the real dog barking.
I had an experience like this in the morning.
Only it wasn’t barking that was incorporated into my slumbering dream.
I was in class during a Buddhist ceremony and we were doing some ritual. The monk who teaches our class was, in my dream, performing a ritual and all of a sudden something wet and messy dropped on my head during class. I was drenched in liquid and chunks and slop and heard a retching noise and woke up! Unfortunately it wasn’t just a dream! My big pitbull was in my bed hanging over me throwing up! All over me! My head, my arm, my side… Lol She’s not sick; she just has a weak stomach, she always did.
What a way to wake up!
This is my pitbull, my fuzzy sausage girl, my furry soulmate, Isis Summerjo. How can anyone resist the cuteness?!
I had no idea what I was going to get a picture of today. I went out and forgot my phone then I had to go to work and at work I was thinking of what to get a pic of then I thought oh of course, my Buddha bracelet!”
Then I remembered my Buddhist dream and that unfortunate experience! Lol
So here are some of Buddha’s views.
Do not wish for gratitude.
Help other living beings just to help, not to receive gratitude in return. Someone may be greatly helped or uplifted or inspired by what we do and that’s enough even if the person isn’t thankful to us. We don’t need people to gush over us for helping them or complimenting them and we don’t need credit or something tangible in return. Love to love, not just to be loved in return.
Do not be boastful – sometimes we will be really good at something that others suck at, we will do something great, we will have what someone else doesn’t, we will accomplish something good, we will learn and come to know things that are important that other people won’t seem to grasp, we will be wiser than some people. But let’s remain humble anyway and use our gifts and fortunes to benefit others. It’s ok to be confident in our abilities and gifts and be thankful but not good to act arrogantly with others or be proud at their expense.
Rejoice in the fortunes and success of others –
Let’s not be jealous. Let’s be happy for others when something good happens to them. Remember how it feels to have something good happen to us then know that’s how they feel and take pleasure in it. It gets us nowhere to feel jealous and unhappy because someone else succeeds, it just feels unpleasant and can lead us to act in unpleasant ways to those around us. It generates negative energy. And remember there’s enough goodness for all of us. When one person wins, we all win. We can even let their happiness and success motivate us and inspire us to take action to better our selves.
Do not retaliate – when someone does something to hurt us, whether physically or emotionally, or to hurt someone we know, we may feel like seeking revenge, lashing out, holding a grudge…this isn’t good for anyone. It’s detrimental to harbor anger and loathing for someone and it doesn’t usually make the situation better and it often worsens it.
Act on compassion instead of anger, reach out to help and console the one hurt, not act on fury against the one who hurt the person/other sentient being. And if we are the one hurt, we can reach out to others in a similar situation or just be sure to never do to others what someone did to us. We know how it feels to be hurt, let’s try to avoid doing that to others when we can.
Use every occasion with a person who angers us, as an opportunity to practice patience and cultivating an attitude of compassion, instead of acting on anger. We don’t have to repress the anger, just take a few breaths, consciously, and imagine how acting angry just worsens things, often. It’s good for us and everyone around us to stay calm and loving no matter what. It doesn’t mean not speaking up, just not acting negatively.
Don’t be consumed in guilt – guilt, when it’s excessive or delusional, does no good. Even if we really are guilty, we can be sorry, vow to try to never hurt someone or do something like it again, then move forward. Nearly everyone makes mistakes, acts unkindly, messes up, is wrong sometimes and there’s always hope, just keep going and help others along the way.
Cherish others above the self.
Pay close attention to your mind and thoughts, attempt to have positive, loving thoughts.
When you catch unpleasant thoughts, redirect your mind.
Offer the victory to others and accept defeat upon our self. Let others be right even if they aren’t. It’s ok to speak up. But it’s more important to be loving & kind than to be right.
Advice from Atisha’s Heart
“Profit and respect are nooses of the maras, so brush them aside like stones on the path.” ~ Atisha
Let’s not be concerned with gaining material/monetary wealth or the respect of others. Do what you know is right deep inside.
“Avoid places that disturb your mind, and always remain where your virtues increase.”
When we can, let’s avoid places that drain the life out of us, tempt us to do negative things, and are just not good for us. And visit places that nourish our goodness. But remember it’s mostly not about our physical environment but our attitude and perspective that lead to happiness or pain.
“Avoid friends who cause you to increase delusions, and rely upon those who increase your virtue. This you should take to heart.”
Same with people. We can love them, wish them the best, and go our separate ways.
“Do not be jealous of others’ good qualities, but out of admiration adopt them yourself.”
“Do not look for faults in others, but look for faults in yourself, and purge them like bad blood.”
“Do not contemplate your own good qualities, but contemplate the good qualities of others, and respect everyone as a servant would.”
“Always keep a smiling face and a loving mind, and speak truthfully without malice.”
“Generate compassion for lowly beings, and especially avoid despising or humiliating them.”
“Have no hatred for enemies and no attachment for friends.”
Loving our friends is good, being attached is not. Let them go if they leave and not depend on them for our general happiness. Love them unconditionally. But keep in mind that the relationship as it now is will one day come to an end either through death or a breakup or drifting apart. Most things do not and cannot last forever. Acknowledging this and accepting it while cherishing those we currently have will help it be easier to cope with loss.
See, these things can apply to everyone, not just Buddhist people.
We may not always live up to these things but it’s good to try and each moment we display these qualities is amazing! Whenever we fall, we can just get back up and keep going, lifting others every step of the way.
Much love to you!
Xoxo Kim 😀