When I was 14, I discovered Buddhism. I’m not sure how, but I remember finding stuff online. (Buddhism also led to me becoming pescatarian/vegatarian/vegan) I then started researching and checking out Buddhist books from the library. I was so fascinated in how true and logical Buddhism is. It really opened my eyes and helped me to realize how materialistic our society is today. When we grow up, we want to have a good high paying job, lots of money, big house, nice car, kids, a husband/wife… the list goes on and on. We grow up thinking about the future. We never stop to be mindful and grateful of what we have now. I am truly grateful to have a roof over my head, to have delicious foods, clothes, a bed, and a family. Isn’t that enough? Without food, a shelter, and a family, I wouldn’t be alive. When people get things, they tend to want more. That’s why you see so many rich people become greedy and stingy as the amount of money they have grows. However, I learned that suffering and pain will always exist. It is inevitable. But what I learned is that in order to relieve my suffering, I must give up attachment to items. Think about this logically. You are given an item that you adore. You love it and cherish it (and even become attached emotionally.) Now imagine this item taken away from you. You may be angry, sad, upset, or all of the above. The reason why is because you were attached to them. You created your own sadness. You chose to be sad. The item is just an item. You are still alive. You are still well. Attachment causes suffering. Now that does not mean to get rid of everything you have, but it simply means that if those items were taken away from you, you wouldn’t be attached unnecessarily.
I also started to get into a minimalist lifestyle in terms of living. The only pieces of furniture in my room are a bed, drawers, and a desk. I don’t have all of these unnecessary tables, couches, etc. Sure they make it more livable, but my point is that it’s not necessary. I would actually love to get rid of my drawers (because I hang all of my clothes up) and trade my bed for a Japanese futon so I could create more space. (My room is tiny.) But I don’t have anywhere to put the bed right now so I have to deal I guess.
I get so upset when I see people getting unnecessarily sad or angry over materials and items, or certain ideals. Girls resorting to calorie restriction to get the perfect body, boys having to act “manly” all the time or they’re gay, young high schoolers pressured into getting into a college, etc. And then getting a boyfriend/girlfriend and eventually having kids. Personally, I’d be totally fine being single. I understand the want to have someone by your side, but if you’re truly comfortable and confident with yourself, you don’t need a companion to prove that.
Of course it is natural for humans for feel sad or angry, at least at first, but what I do is simply remind myself to be calm and mindful because getting angry withholds you from nirvana.
The last part of Buddhism that I wanted to discuss is dukkha. I see this as suffering, anxiety, etc. Your dukkha increases if you harm living things, so that is why I wanted to become a vegetarian. Later I became a vegan because I learned about the ethical side of eggs and dairy, so yeah. I hope you enjoyed my thoughts. Please leave your comments below so we can have a chat! 🙂