Most people believe that feeling focused and calm is mission impossible, given the stressful events busy, busy schedules, and many bugaboos of modern life. But, how come those Buddhist monks appear present, focused and peaceful all the time? Is there any hidden secret to feeling calm at all times? Interestingly enough, there is!
Buddhist philosophy has long been primarily focused on how to reduce suffering and keep the mind focused. Here are the most important principles and habits of Buddhist monks, which are difficult to adopt but life-changing at the same time.
Habit 1 – Outer decluttering
Buddhist monks keep material possessions to a minimum, just like Buddha abandoned his palace, being aware of the frustrating nature of materialistic possessions.
Buddhists hold only the things they truly need and completely declutter their lives.
Habit 2 – Inner decluttering: taking care of others
Buddhist monks are taught to do things for greater good, rather than for themselves. For instance, when they meditate, it is for the good of everyone. They try to obtain enlightenment to reach their potential and offer help to those who need it.
If you manage to develop this form of selfless attitude, you will feel less focused on personal issues and your mind will become calmer. This is called inner decluttering, as it helps you make room for others, rather than accumulating selfish habits.
Habit 3 – Meditating A LOT
Monks spend most of their time meditating. They wake up very early and meditate for one to three hours and then do the same at night, at bedtime. This practice changes the brain, reduces stress, boosts concentration, increases self-awareness, increases happiness, and promotes a healthy lifestyle.
Do reap these benefits; you don’t have to drastically change your schedule. All you have to do is to start the day half an hour earlier with a meditation.
Habit 4 – Following the wise
Have you ever noticed that people in the Western society tend to have an unhealthy relationship with elderly individuals? Buddhist monks, on the other hand, consider elder people as sign of wisdom. For this reason, they seek elder guides on their path, knowing that they offer numerous life lessons.
Habit 5 – Listen mindfully and without judgment
According to Buddhism, the purpose of communication is to help others rather than judge them. Mindfulness is judgment-free and its goal is to receive what someone is saying without evaluating it.
Habit 6 – Change is the only law of the universe
“Without accepting the fact that everything changes, we cannot find perfect composure. But unfortunately, although it is true, it is difficult for us to accept it. Because we cannot accept the truth of transiency, we suffer,” according to Buddhist master Suzuki.
As he explains, the only way to overcome this suffering is by acknowledging that the contents our minds are in perpetual flux. Realizing this is the heat of the moment can diffuse grasping, despair, anger, fear…
Suzuki says: “Whatever you do, it should be an expression of the same deep activity. We should appreciate what we are doing. There is no preparation for something else”
Habit 7 – Living the moment
People find it difficult to embrace the present moment, rarely thinking about the past or the future.
Mindfulness helps us refocus and redirect the thoughts back to what we are engaged in. Although it takes time and discipline, it is possible to train the mind to be present.