3 Buddhist Principles That Will Change Your Life for the Better

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Every day you wake up and fall into your usual routine. But deep down you want to curl up in bed and stay there all day long, walled up from life.

It’s very tempting to forget all your worries and pretend like you don’t have a job you need to go to, the bills you need to pay, or the boss you have to please.

But you also know that avoiding life is not going to make your problems go away. Tomorrow they will still be there, waiting for you.

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Is there a secret, or rather secrets to life, that can make you stronger, more resilient, and happier? Yes, there are three of them, and the Buddha realized them thousands of years ago.

In this article, we’ll explore the three Buddhist principles that can change your life for the better.

1. Buddhist Principle That States Everything Is Constantly Changing (And How That Benefits Your Daily Life)

You know the saying, “Don’t give up, it will get better.” At some point in your life, someone told you those words in a very comforting way.

But did you take time to reflect deeply about the reason why these words are so soothing and healing? Because they express one of the most powerful Buddhist principles: everything is changing and impermanent.

Here’s the Buddha’s quote from The Dhammapada (Words of Truth):

Sabbe saṅkhārā aniccā.

All conditioned things are impermanent.

(Dhammapada, Chapter XX, verse 277)

Whatever adversities you’re facing right now, whatever painful emotions you’re experiencing, they will all pass because they are impermanent.

2. Buddhist Principle That Uncovers a Simple Cause of All Unhappiness (And What to Do About It)

What is unhappiness? We use this word so often, but do we know its true meaning? Or better yet, do we know what causes it?

The answer to this question is linked to one of the previous Buddhist principles — impermanence. And here’s how: You feel unhappy when you cling or attach yourself to something that is impermanent.

As the Buddha puts it:

Sabbe saṅkhārā dukkhā.

All conditioned things are dukkha.

(Dhammapada, Chapter XX, verse 278)

When a loved one breaks your heart, you’re unhappy because you’re attached to a person whose feelings have changed, and he or she doesn’t feel the same way about you anymore.

When you experience a financial loss, you’re unhappy because you’re attached to material things which are subject to change and unstable.

When you’re old and frail, you’re unhappy because you’re attached to the image of a young and healthy body you no longer have.

3. Buddhist Principle That Shows There’s No Fixed Self or “I” (And How It Can Make You Happy)

What do you say when you meet someone for the first time? You say, “Hi, my name is…” Whatever comes after that phrase is your identity; it’s your sense of self, a sense of who you are in this world.

You believe that this self or “I” is constant and unchanging, but Buddhists believe that this is a misunderstanding. By completely identifying with your name, occupation, social status, you cling to unsatisfying, impermanent elements. And what happens when you’re attached to something impermanent? Eventually, it changes and you suffer.

Here’s the Buddha’s original saying:

Sabbe dhammā anattā.

All dhammas are without self.

(Dhammapada, Chapter XX, verse 279)

Buddhists believe that everything is impermanent and changing, including your “self”. Once you realize this through the study of Buddhist philosophy and practice of mindfulness meditation, it will give you the power to stop worrying and create your own reality every single moment of your life.

Complement these Buddhist teachings from The Dhammapada with our articles on the Four Noble Truths, the Noble Eightfold Path, the five Buddhist precepts, and 5 Best Buddhism Books for Beginners.

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