Our defining moments

I am not talking about those heroic moments we see in the movie where the hero does some awesome deeds to save the day. Instead, our defining moments happen throughout our waking moments. Our every word and deed defines who we are.

As we progress in mindfulness, we realized that we are actually defined by our every thought and action. If we do good but actually have ulterior motives, then we are hypocrite. Throughout our life, we either become a better person or we become worse. We have a choice over who we want to be.

In Buddhism, the reduction of craving, hatred and ignorance defines what is good. These 3 negative mental habits create negative karma. The good news is that we can train ourselves to be cured of these 3 negative mental habits.

We may feel that our personality is defined and cannot be changed. If that is so, then it is going to be the worst obstacle in our life. It is like giving up and remaining imprisoned. We will not change for the better.

If we wish to change ourselves, then we need to understand that our every thought, speech and action is what define us as a person. Some people develop a habit of defeatism. They already believe they cannot succeed before they even started something. Some people develop a mental habit to procrastinate. Some likes to cut corners. Some are impatient and may even take pride in that! All these negative mental habits have a cause. In another word, they do not just appear by itself, nor were they given by some god/goddess. No one made us a lazy bum but ourselves. Some of these causes can be brought over from a few previous lifetimes. When that is the case, that mental habit is stubborn; but nonetheless, can still be scrubbed clean through our practice.

Unfortunately, it is easier said than done and most people do not know how to go about it. This is because there isn’t enough determination and mindfulness. For most of us, our mental habits are our personality, and our personality defines who we are. In another word, it seems to be born with us and is a part of our identity. We tend to be attached to our sense of self.

When we practice Buddhism, we aim to change ourselves through our practices. When we chant or sit for meditation, we try to get in touch with our mind. When we observe the precepts, we develop strength to resist temptation and bad mental habits. All these practices will help us create new habits.

These new habits creates new defining moments and these new moments creates fresh karma.

In this manner, a practicing Buddhist can witness changes in their situations in life within a year. The key word is practice. We should start simple. Observe the 5 precepts and practice meditation and chanting for 15 minutes (minimum) every day. Start to create new defining moments for yourselves

May all be well and happy.

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