I cannot take full credit for the following post. A version of this article was sent to me several years ago. Since that time I have made several revisions to it.
Learning it is difficult because our society teaches us about good and bad, right and wrong. We are programmed to believe in good and bad. If we have the things we want we are happy. If we don’t have what we want we begrudge our lives.
There are several things that prevent us from being productive and joyful. Two of them are: A mistaken view of our life (we don’t know who we are), and second we place too much attachment on material things.
We embrace our mistaken identities so deeply that they become our reality. Appreciation does not refer to things outside us. Appreciate your own life first. Appreciate when you fail. Appreciate when you try and try again and still fail. Appreciate when you embarrass yourself.
When we were young no one taught us how to walk. We were true to our own nature and learned ourselves. But as we get older, people (parents, teachers, etc.) wanted to control us, and we got angry. Be like a tree. A tree stays a tree no matter if you kick it or curse at it. It is in harmony with itself. It doesn’t care what you do. It is just being a tree. But this is not the same with humans. We do not live in harmony with our true nature, and we are swayed by the opinions and thoughts of those outside of us.
Our life has unbelievable power and wisdom, but we don’t trust ourselves and let it come forth. We always look for validation outside, and we will never get it. If we validate ourselves, we will be able to influence everything around us.
Here’s a challenge for the next month: “No matter where my life is at, I will pray with the determination that I will turn this situation around within one month. I’ll take the responsibility to make it happen. And in this one month, I’ll create a major benefit in my life.”
To turn my life around in one month:
- Perceive the truth of your life.
- Take responsibility for creating greatest benefit you’ve ever had.
- Everything begins and ends with you.
Don’t pray to overcome an obstacle. Rather, pray to perceive your own truth.
What does it mean to appreciate another person? It means that we have no judgments about them. No matter what the conditions, we will do anything for that person’s happiness. Don’t use anger as a form of judgment. It is fine to get angry, but don’t judge another person’s life just because today we are feeling anger towards them.
Being enlightened does not mean we are perfect. It means we always turn the negative into a benefit.
We usually think of Appreciation as something outside of us. We appreciate our possessions or what someone does for us. But appreciation is for our own life. We strive to appreciate the essence of our life, whatever we are going through in the moment.
We are all programmed from a very early age—by our families and teachers and TV, etc.—to believe that we are a certain person. But we have an incorrect view of our life.
Our goal is to develop a correct view of our life.
“He who perceives the greatness of his life is a Buddha. He who doesn’t is a fool.” ~ Nichiren Daishonin
Pray to realize that you are enlightened just as you are.
When we perceive who we are, we will naturally impact our environment.
It is not easy to appreciate your life, because your life does not want to appreciate itself. Just try praying for fifteen minutes exclusively focusing on appreciating your life. Your mind will get distracted and you will think about everything but appreciation. But strive to stay focused on appreciation. Just as you are.
In our minds we judge our lives. We see part of our self as good and part as bad. We believe we have to push everything to the positive side to be happy. But you cannot do that. We are just who we are. There is no such thing as Good human being/Bad human being. There is only being human. Just as we are.
We are all just human beings. And sometimes we will do terrible things. Good and bad exists because we are human. The only thing our stupidity proves is that we are human. And there is nothing wrong with that. Being enlightened means that we take the negative and turn it into a benefit.
When we take a negative circumstance and use it to validate a negative belief about our self we are in misery. Because you haven’t got the job you’ve always wanted is not proof that you are a terrible and worthless person. It is an opportunity to prove how wonderful you are as a human being.
We are all dysfunctional somehow, and we believe it is the cause of all our suffering. We buy into this belief so that we have a reason to fail. We always have to have a reason to fail. Then negativity only perpetuates itself and gets deeper. Our enlightenment exists inside our dysfunction, too. If we manifest our enlightened state and appreciate our life, then our “dysfunction” will become our greatest benefit.
Everything about our character is unbelievably wonderful. We think we have to fix what we believe to be broken, but in reality nothing is broken.
We need to find out how wonderful and powerful our life is. It doesn’t have to take years. We can do it in one night if we really appreciate our self.
Appreciation does not mean that you accept the circumstances. It is not about something outside of you. Appreciation has three qualities:
- No Matter what happens you do not betray your dreams/goals/self.
- No Matter what happens, you don’t make any judgments about yourself.
- No matter what the situation in your life, you must turn it around.
If you are angry, make it the function of your enlightened state of life. Whatever quality is fundamental to your life, pray and take action to appreciate it and it will bring out unbelievable power.