In this article I want to discuss how Buddhism helped me out of a darkness and helped me to find the light. I haven’t posted in this blog in a while (4 months), mainly due to illness and also due to not really having any articles to post or anything I really wanted to talk about, but also because I’ve had this subconscious block as I describe it – which is hindering my ability to pray and meditate as I normally would. But, alas! The new year is here, and I hope that this year is going to be a year of spiritual progress as it was last year, but only time will tell…
Buddhism is such an amazing subject and I have spent some time lately really studying it particularly the eightfold path because the eightfold path is the means out of suffering and the path towards nirvana. I would qualify myself as a Buddhist, but I can see that I am not as well qualified to talk about Buddhism as some of the teachers I’ve learned from in this subject, so just take what I am saying about Buddhism as just a student learning about the subject and someone who has understood the eightfold path to a good degree.
I had for a period of time understood Right speech, Right action, Right mindfulness, Right effort, Right Intention, Right Concentration, Right Livelihood but I never understood Right View and Right View if you don’t know is seeing things as they really are because most people have views on things, but views can lead to suffering and the way we view things determines that. I didn’t understand Right View, and this led to me giving way to wrong speech, wrong action etc.
I realize now that a lot of the suffering I have endured in the past was down to not understanding the importance of having right view, because I would “go to sleep” as I described it, give way to evil towards myself and just give way to horrid things towards myself and that was mostly down to my views on things and how I just didn’t see things as they really were and was clouded in my judgments because I didn’t have right view.
But upon having a greater grasp on right view I realize now that I’m never going to give way to such suffering ever again and my advice to anyone reading this that wants to follow the path towards enlightenment is spend some time really reflecting and studying the eightfold path and trying to grasp in what ways you don’t adhere to a certain element of the eightfold path. You need to understand why not having an element of the eightfold path leads to suffering and this is something that takes some time to fully grasp and come to terms with.
Right View followed by Right Speech are my favorite elements of the eightfold path and I can see why Right View was described as the “forerunner” by the Buddha himself because it lays clear the path towards nirvana and all the elements of the eightfold path rely on it.
One author that has really inspired me on the Buddhist path is “Gil Fronsdal” and his articles on the five hindrances and his books have helped me on the path towards enlightenment.
From my own experience ill will is my favorite hindrance simply because how in his book unhindered, he suggested that you be mindful of ill will which will lessen its impact on you. I kept being mindful, but I kept going around in circles with it and I do recall last year I was getting quite frustrated at it because my mind always had a tendency to give way to ill will. But after much patience I eventually overcame my minds tendency to always give way to ill will.