cultivating compassion

Hi everyone,

I hope you all have had a great weekend and are ready to start a new week! (I can just feel the groans through the screen haha). Normally, when I write blog posts the main focus is on fashion or specific products or causes, but one thing that I have never really touched on is spirituality. Although to most people spirituality may be a completely different topic altogether, for me it is something that I try to incorporate in all aspects of my life. So for this Sunday Inspiration post I decided to write about a book that I am currently reading by the renowned Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh called ‘Living Buddha, Living Christ’.

Untitled In this book Thich Nhat Hanh marries the core beliefs of Buddhism and Christianity whilst giving his own anecdotes of encounters where he has been inspired and has encouraged people of other faiths and backgrounds. The idea of finding links between different faiths plays quite an important role in my life as I have been surrounded by people from all walks of life as a child but as I have gotten older my personal beliefs have amalgamated all the other religions and thus been separated from my Christian upbringing – in short it can be quite confusing to understand exactly what beliefs I am committing myself to.

There was one particular part of this book that, so far, has stood out to me the most: Cultivating Compassion – which is a section in chapter seven. Hanh writes about there being Five Precepts in Buddhism that gradually help us to transform and thus transcend suffering. The first precept that is mentioned is the “awareness that lives everywhere are being destroyed” which is the origin of suffering. The recognition of the impermanence of life as a whole is one of the core truths for transcending suffering on a personal level but just focussing on ourselves is equally as limiting as not understanding this truth. Hanh takes this notion one step further by discussing the destruction of life and suffering in relation to killing stating that “No act of killing can be justified. And not to kill is not enough”.  It cannot be the case that we merely strive to ‘not kill’ and not cause suffering on a personal level but “We must also learn ways to prevent others from killing”. There should be a proactive effort to incorporate your belief against suffering as much as you can, especially when you are aware that there is more to be done! This very simple message resonates with me as it is this core belief that inspired my blog in the first place; my blog is not just about the products and causes but about us really embracing these values of kindness and compassion in our life like we do with the values from our cultures. I hope the message resonates with you all as it did with me, regardless of whether you are spiritual and religious or not.

“When we appreciate and honor the beauty of life, we will make every effort to dwell deeply in the present moment and protect all life.”

I would love to know all of your thoughts on the topic of spirituality & life and whether there is anything (book, film, quote, can literally be anything) that has moved you.

 

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