What is important in Life?
How do most of us spend our lives?
Let’s face it…
Most of us spend 1/3rd of our life in Earning a Living
And probably the other 1/3rd to Miscellaneous and things we like to do
And say 1/3rd of our life in Sleep!
- Earning a Living
Right livelihood should be based on harmlessness, and essentially not to engage in trades or occupations which, either directly or indirectly, result in harm to other living beings or systems. Such occupations include “trading in arms and lethal weapons, intoxicating drinks, poisons, killing animals, [and] cheating”, among others… As are several other dishonest means of gaining wealth, such as “[s]cheming, persuading, hinting, belittling, [and] pursuing gain with gain”.
Finding a peaceful occupation…is essential since you might spend around 1/3rd of your life…and it’s fair enough to be happy with your job…it should give you enough remuneration at the same time should bring happiness to you and be beneficial to other beings!
Let’s not engage in five types of business. Business in weapons, business in human beings (Prostitution, slavery etc), business in meat, business in intoxicants, and business in poison.
We should choose a careful Livelihood…in which we are skilled and which we like and by which we make some kind of Good difference to the society.
Strike a Balance between your income and expenses lead a balanced life, neither extravagant nor miserly, knowing that your income will stand in excess of your expenses, but not your expenses in excess of your income.
It’s a Joy to have a peaceful occupation.
2. Spending the most part of our 1/3rd of our waking Life!
Here there are a number of things which we can do in this 1/3rd of our waking life…what do most of us do?
Watch TV, Watch Movies, Play sports, play games, surf the internet, Travel etc
Well, Entertainment takes most part of our waking lives, we are social beings we like to have fun, play sports, enjoy at water parks, play computer games watch movies and be entertained.
But at the same time, they should not be the BE all and END all of Life…
…if they are!!! then what is the purpose of this advanced human life?
Even normal animals are capable enough to do the same to eat, have sex, play and have fun! Human Life is more advanced therefore can be used in a more productive way!
Human Life is…more worthy than giving most of our time to mere entertainment.
Benefits of Simple living!
Simple livelihood is Good because Let’s face it what is it that’s necessary for Basic survival
Food, Clothing, Shelter & Medicines these are the necessities and these probably for people reading this is abundant enough.
As the saying goes “Health is the greatest gain & Contentment the greatest Wealth”
Benefits of simple living are
- Stress reduction
- Reducing your carbon footprint
- Good health
- Quality time for friends and family
- And to yourself
Benefits of Being a Vegetarian!
It’s good to be a Vegetarian!
How humans are not physically created to eat meat (google it-to find answer)
Modern medical science concurs with this finding. Heart disease, cancer, and many other illnesses have been linked to foods too high in animal protein and fat.
If you consider the different levels of vegetarianism, the minimum amount to be called a vegetarian of “Lacto-Ovo” (no meat, but will eat animal products, such as eggs and dairy) does not look so extreme. For example, there are vegetarians who do not eat eggs (Lacto-vegetarians), vegetarians who do not eat dairy products (ovo-vegetarians), vegetarians who do not eat any animal products (vegans), and some vegetarians who only eat macrobiotic, organic, raw vegan foods. And then there are those who take even that a step further, like the Jain food diet where foods are eaten only from plants where the source plant did not die. For example, in this diet, you only eat greens that are trimmed from the top of the plant so that the plant is not killed.
In India, there are millions of Jains who only eat greens from plants that are trimmed. They check their seats before sitting down to make sure they are not sitting on any insects. The Jains also put a cover on their mouths, thinking that it will prevent the death to microorganisms in the air. Seen in this way, with all the levels of vegetarian diets, the lacto-ovo vegetarian diet does not look so extreme.
Every person can make a difference. In a typical first world country, the average person eats about 50 animals per year. This is from cows, pigs, chicken, fish, and others. One person becoming a vegetarian saves all 50 of those beings per year. Over a 20 year period that is a saving of 1,000 animals from being sent to slaughter; from grain being fed to animals purposely bred for slaughter, and prevents or slows the pace of the depletion of species in the oceans.
From the above example if there are 100,000 vegetarians in a city and each saves 1000 animals…they save over a staggering figure of 100,000,000 +…that is …One Hundred Million animals from being sent to slaughter over a 20 year period. Imagine if the entire population of 6 Billion+ of humanity on this earth were Vegetarians???????????
This also saves the depletion of rain forests and other deforestation to the environment for the purpose of growing grain for animals to be slaughtered. The deforestation not only hurts the environment to make more room for land to grow grain for slaughtered animals, but this also depletes the Supplies of grains and other foods that could have been produced and fed to humans in famine areas. Every small step and every person can and does make a difference.
These are some of the myths about the vegetarian diet. Objective studies have repeatedly shown that diets high in fruits, vegetables, and grains are the most healthy and have the lowest rates of heart disease and cancer. Studies have shown that both vegetarians and non-vegetarians consume too much protein. On average, vegetarians consume about twice as much protein per day as they should. Non-vegetarians consume about three times as much protein as they should. Green leafy vegetables, legumes such as lentils and soybeans are loaded with protein and iron. Cholesterol is a leading culprit to heart disease and is found in meat and animal products, such as eggs and cheese. There is no bad cholesterol in any vegan whole (un-processed) foods.
Another leading cause of heart disease and also many cancers is trans fat foods. These are saturated fats which clog the arteries and do severe damage to our health. Trans fats include hydrogenated oils which are in some packaged foods, including vegetarian ones. But there is no need to add hydrogenated oils to vegetarian foods and many countries have banned its use. Meat and animal products naturally have trans fats in them. While we could voluntarily remove trans fats from vegan (pronounced vee-gun for vegetarian without animal products) foods, it is impossible to not have trans fats in meat and animal products, because they are naturally there.
Omega 3 oils found in fish have been shown to be quite healthy for the heart. But you do not need to eat fish to receive this beneficial nutrient. Flax seeds, hazel-nuts, and walnuts have omega 3 oils as well and are just as healthy. Flax seeds and their products can be found in cereals and other foods found at natural foods stores.
Although fish contains this valuable nutrient, the negatives of fish consumption outweigh the benefits. Fish still have fatty tissue, even though it is less than the fat found in red meat, it can still be dangerous. Fish also contains mercury which has been shown to be very damaging to people’s health. For the environment, fish consumption has been much too high. The oceans are being depleted of fish to a point where many species have gone extinct.
The vegetarian diet provides all the nutrients a human needs. The only exception is the vegan who does not eat any animal products could be missing vitamin B-12. This vitamin can be found in miso (fermented soy paste) and shitake mushrooms.
The lacto-ovo vegetarian has no problem as animal products contain high amounts of Vitamin B-12.
The cause of nearly all diseases, especially in developed countries, is not the lack of any nutrients, but rather the excess of too much food and fat. We do not hear on the news of anyone dying from lack of protein or lack of iron or lack of amino acids. The real problem is too much food and fat.
People in developed countries eat too much fat and protein. The excess iron and protein leads to the health problems listed above. An example is vitamin B-12, discussed above. We only need very miniscule amounts of this vitamin and it is stored in the body. The amount of vitamin B-12 that we need is a very puny one milligram for every 667 days (almost two years)!
Yet, some meat eaters continue to argue that vegetarians are not getting enough nutrients such as protein and vitamin B-12. If you watch the news and live in a developed country such as the U.S., ask yourself how many times you hear of people dying of scurvy or protein deficiency and other nutrient deficiencies? It just does not happen. The problem in developed countries’ nutrition is excess protein and excess fat which has made heart disease the number one killer in men and women.
Benefits of Leading a Moral Life!
As the saying goes…
“When wealth is lost, nothing is lost;
When health is lost, something is lost;
When the character is lost, everything is lost.”
The five steps towards Ultimate Happiness!
- Abstain from killing any sentient being!
- Abstain from Stealing
- Abstain from sexual misconduct (either by force or mutual understanding…have sex only with your spouse)
- Abstain from lying or hurtful speech
- Abstain from Intoxicants and drugs!
Why because it gives us Joy… It is good for oneself; it is good to society at large! It gives peace of mind (especially to OUR conscience) of having done nothing wrong in life!
Benefits of Having a Goal in Life?
It’s good to have a destination, a goal to achieve in life to keep us focused along the path.
But we should not be disappointed, depressed when we don’t achieve it…here’s where our perseverance comes into focus!
Give more importance to the process of achieving that goal rather than the goal itself!
As long you give it your best…there’s nothing to be disappointed about…if it goes wrong ….accept the situation and making peace with it is the secret of happiness!
So, for example, a doctor has to operate on the person to save his life! But if he is unsuccessful…are his efforts futile? No
It is rather in his effort to save that person that is more important rather than the result itself!
So give importance to the PROCESS! Not the Result!
By doing so we are not being affected in a negative way and yet we can try again to achieve it happily!
Benefits of NOT having Blind Beliefs!
Many Humans have many beliefs and views on different aspects in life
Human Being is a Rational Being!
Well, it’s good to have a rational approach to GOD, SOUL, and RITES & RITUALS, ANY BELIEFS etc!
We should not believe in something just because our sacred book says so or simply because someone says so…believe in something only if you have experienced it by yourself!
So neither accept nor reject…Accept only when you experience it yourselves!
Benefits of Education!
You wouldn’t be reading this if you weren’t educated! I think that says it all the power of education!
As the saying goes “Knowledge is POWER”
But remember Knowledge without character is evil
So then the triple formula for a Happy Life!
1. Do Good
2. Abstain from Evil
3. Purify your mind
Many will know the first two. Every religion has this wholesome core of Goodness! No religion tells you to do Evil!
Your own consciousness will guide you whether you are a religious person an atheist or a rationalist it is the same for all!
Law of Nature is same for all! Understanding this is very essential…just as we are governed by certain laws like Law of gravity etc
There is a Law that governs the entire universe…The Universal Law of nature that governs all that exists in the universe animate, inanimate, living, non-living matter etc…
Many a times you can see Universal Law of nature in action in this very life…if you generate any negativities in the MIND like anger, hatred, animosity, ill will towards other beings! Or negative actions or speech! You are the first victim of your negativity and only then you harm others in the same way…when you generate positive qualities in the mind like universal love, compassion or positive actions and speech! You are the first person who is benefited…you become so happy and only then you start helping other beings to start leading a better…Happier…Joyful Life!
You can call that Universal Law of Nature, God, Eshwar, Allah anything! Doesn’t make a difference! Because the Universal law of nature is the same for all!
But what about the last
Just Having Good health, Good Body, Good Family, Friends!
Living a Simple Life, Moral Life, Vegetarian Life, and Generous Life is enough?
How can we ignore OUR MIND!
Because MIND! Is very powerful
You can try to purify your mind with Abstaining from evil thoughts and sacking it with thoughts of Goodness!
Having Compassion for All beings, Having Loving kindness for all beings, Having Sympathetic Joy being Happy for others only increases our own happiness! These three can Sack us with Happiness!
“Of course Ultimate Aim is Happiness! Happiness for oneself and other Beings around as well!”
And having an equanimous mind is even more beneficial because if your mind is equanimous to any situation whether good or bad you are not affected!
You are Happy in any circumstance life can surprise you with!
And for that, we need to train the mind and it can be trained by meditation and practicing meditation we have loads of benefits in life!
Here is a Good Source of Meditation
www.dhamma.org (For FREE 10 Day meditation retreats worldwide-choose your location)
Do haste to do good else the mind delights in evil, every moment of thought, speech, action try to indulge in what is good, abstain from evil and try to purify the mind through meditation.
3. Benefits of Good Sleep
Welcome…to the next 1/3rd of your Life…Sleep
Of course, your body needs some rest…especially in modern day lifestyle!
We shouldn’t be obsessed with sleep! We should sleep just the right amount of time to give rest to our body!
We cannot exactly say the length of time…since occupations, lifestyles, environmental conditions vary and so does the pattern of sleep for every individual!
Probably out the generally accepted 8 hours of sleep…ideally, you can take out 2 hrs and Gift it to meditation…1 hr in the morning and 1 hr in the evening…It will only prove to be beneficial J
The REAL Joys of Life!
- Joy of being Able enough to support one-self, one’s parents, one’s family and people who depend on YOU! In terms of basic necessities such as food, shelter, clothes and medicines!(If more…then more JOY!J)
- Joy of Giving (in kind, money, service etc) for the welfare of Humanity and other beings! In various fields, sectors like environment, helping old age homes, orphanages, animal shelters etc (in an NGO, in groups, individual random acts of kindness etc …J)
- Joy of Having Good n virtuous Family, Relatives, Friends & Neighbors!
- Joy of NOT having Anger, Hatred, ill will, animosity towards anyone!
- Joy of Having a Healthy BODY and MIND!
- Joy of having Contentment in Life!
- Joy of having & developing Gratitude for any HELP received!
- Joy of having & developing Patience & Tolerance
- Joy of having & developing Persistent effort (perseverance)
- Joy of being Truthful & Honest in Life!
- Joy of having Determination!
- Joy of not having any Blind beliefs and rituals!
- Joy of Living a Simple Lifestyle!
- Joy of having a Peaceful Occupation (Job)!
- Joy of Having Good Education! (Both Moral & Materialistic)
- Joy of leading a pure and virtuous Life!
- Joy of Blood Donation-(Donating YOUR Blood for the sake of others!)
- Joy of pledging our Body Organs for the benefit of others after we are dead!
- Joy of planting a Tree! For the benefit of all beings!
- Joy of having loving-kindness towards all beings!
- Joy of having compassion towards all beings!
- Joy of seeing anyone achieve Success and Being Happy for that person!
- Joy of Feeding Animals!
- Joy of removing pain and distress of Animals!
- Joy of Meditation!
- Joy of Having a Strong MIND! That does not bend in any situation that life can throw us upon!
Then at the END of Life! At the time of Death!
You might experience Joy of Dying! Since if you reflect upon the life lived! It would have been lived well and those joys (maybe few of the above-mentioned ones) might sack your heart with happiness at the time of death!
Please share your views and what you feel are the real joys of life! Let’s enjoy sharing, doing and indulging in these joys.
May all beings be Happy!