Every day we wake up and fall into our usual routines. But deep down we want to curl up in bed and stay there all day long, walled up from life. It’s very tempting to forget all our worries and pretend like we don’t have a job we need to go to, the bills we need to pay, or the boss we have to please. But we also know that avoiding life is not going to make our problems go away. Tomorrow they will still be there, waiting for us.
Is there a secret, or rather secrets to life that can make us stronger, more resilient, and happier? Yes, there are three of them, and the Buddha realized them thousands of years ago. We don’t have to give up everything and move to a monastery to benefit from these Buddhist principles. All we need to do is to start our path of learning the Buddha’s teachings and practice them in our daily lives.
#1. Buddhist Principle that States Everything Is Constantly Changing (And How that Benefits Our Daily Life)
We all know the saying, “Don’t give up, it will get better.” At some point in our life, someone told us those words in a very comforting way. But did we 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 Dhammapada (Words of Truth):
Sabbe saṅkhārā aniccā.
All conditioned things are impermanent.
(Dhammapada, Chapter XX, verse 277)
Whatever adversity we’re facing right now, whatever painful emotions we’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… We feel unhappy when we cling or attach ourselves to something that is impermanent.
As the Buddha puts it:
Sabbe saṅkhārā dukkhā.
All conditioned things are dukkha.
(Dhammapada, Chapter XX, verse 278)
When someone breaks our heart, we’re unhappy because we are attached to a person whose feelings have changed and he or she does not feel the same way about us.
When we experience a financial loss, we’re unhappy because we are attached to material things which are subject to change and unstable.
When we get older, we’re unhappy because we are attached to our bodies that were young and attractive, but have become old and frail.
#3. Buddhist Principle that Shows There Is No Fixed Self or “I” (And How It Can Make Us Happy)
What do we say when we meet someone for the first time? We say “Hi, my name is…..” Whatever comes after that phrase is our identity. It’s our sense of self, a sense of who we are in this world. We believe that this self or “I” is constant and unchanging but this is the biggest delusion of our lives. By completely identifying with our name, occupation, social status, we cling to an illusion created by our mind. And what happens when we are attached to an illusion? Eventually, it dissolves and we 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 our own “self”. Once we realize this through the study of Buddhist scriptures, and rigorous practice of mindfulness and meditation, it will give us the power to stop worrying and create our own reality every single moment of our lives.