DHARMA IN EVERYDAY LIFE
- LIVE YOUR OWN KINDNESS
By Nhat Quan
talk about how to live with the people around you, such as
how to behave in family, in society, with neighbors, at
work, in public places. ... But few people say, or pay
attention to how to live to be considered honest with
themselves. But actually, this is the foundation to start an
honest way of life with your loved ones, and with the whole
This idea is
actually nothing new but has been around for a long time.
Your oblivion is a loss to yourself, for you cannot see the
true self and your blessings as thoroughly as they really
being honest with yourself, first of all about cultivating
yourself. Nowadays, you learn a lot, but it seems that
people don't care as much about cultivation these days as
they used to. Therefore, there are many degrees and
knowledge, it is impossible to count them all, but it is
difficult to find a person whose style is worthy of
admiration and learning!
yourself with knowledge is a necessity in this day and age
when knowledge has become one of the essential elements to
earning a living. However, having a wide knowledge does not
mean being a really good person. The ancients often
distinguished two factors of talent and virtue to make a
perfect human being. Talent can be acquired to some extent,
but virtue can only be acquired by knowing how to cultivate
the body. Even if you read hundreds or thousands of books
and don't know or don't care about self-cultivation, you
still can't become a full-fledged virtuous person.
practice means to correct. Correction here is correcting the
wrong things. If you were born not knowing, you can learn to
know, but if you want to improve yourself, the only way is
by training your own awareness, taking responsibility, and
correcting yourself. Because most of you were born
imperfect, making mistakes all the time. But at the same
time, you also have the ability to correct and correct
mistakes to get better and better. That's how important the
practice of self-cultivation is.
is, what does self-cultivation have to do with being honest
Self-cultivation is also a way to live honestly with
yourself. When you treat others well, you make them happy.
In return, you will also receive affection or respect.
Improving yourself to become better is the most effective
way to bring joy to yourself, while also eliminating
inferiority or guilt. If your self-improvement is done
effectively, you also develop a legitimate sense of pride in
yourself. Understood in this way, self-improvement is
clearly one of the ways, to be honest with yourself.
words, living honestly with yourself means living how to
improve yourself more and more, bringing joy to life and an
upward and honest soul. Only when you yourself have an
upward lifestyle and have a joyful and healthy soul, can you
truly become an honest person in the middle of life.
realizing the importance of self-improvement, and building
your own inner joy, you can see many ways to get there. Each
person may have different environments and circumstances, so
there will also be different ways to apply. As a general
rule, however, you can still agree on some of the basics of
Your Own Health.
No one loves
you more than yourself, so it makes sense to take care of
your own health. In the past, you often thought that
maintaining and exercising health was for the benefit of
yourself, your family, and society. It is always easy to see
these benefits without having to be pointed out because they
are always evident in your daily life. However, you rarely
think of maintaining and practicing health as a
responsibility, an obligation, or an honest practice for
Why say that
keeping and exercising is an honest way of life for
cannot enjoy life and do nothing if you yourself are not
healthy, and in good health conditions. And if that is
clearly the basic foundation to bring you a happy life, so
that you can do many meaningful things, then you have a
responsibility to preserve and protect it.
really want to be an honest person, and at the same time you
want to have a happy life, then you have to know how to be
honest with yourself and change this perception first. See
staying healthy and exercising as a responsibility, rather
than just a thing to do.
You are a
person of will, capable of fully realizing and regulating
all your behaviors. This is an advantage, but if you do not
have the right perception, it is also easy to fall into the
position of going against your natural instincts. You were
often easy to see the immediate benefits of overwork,
without looking beyond the detriment of worn-out health.
force others to work too hard for you, you will be
criticized, or even opposed. But when you exhaust yourself,
you don't listen to your own objections. You only know how
to be nice to people, but you can't live nice to yourself.
The way to live honestly with yourself is to listen to your
own health voice.
2- Trying to
When a human
is born, no one is perfect. And making mistakes is almost a
natural thing for anyone. There are mistakes that bring
about remedial consequences, there are also serious mistakes
whose consequences last for a long time or forever. The
person making the mistake himself needs to be aware of the
extent of the mistake, and work to correct it so that it
doesn't happen again. If you have encountered such a
mistake, and have also managed to overcome it, then you need
to forgive yourself without needing to let guilt weigh on
you make a mistake, you often think about that mistake, and
if it leads to certain damage to yourself or those around
you, you feel even more frustrated. Self-blame is the first
essential element of self-improvement. The problem is that
you are often too hard on yourself. If you think about it
for yourself, you'll sometimes find that there are plenty of
situations where that doesn't really help.
successful businessman was asked the secret to his success
and he said:
- I make a
lot of mistakes, but I never make any mistakes a second
extraordinary person and well-deserved to succeed. I myself
am not like that. Many of you are not like that either. You
often make the same mistake five or seven times, even dozens
or more times before you can get rid of it forever. However,
the problem is that you are self-aware of the mistake and
determined to correct it. Don't ask yourself what you are
not capable of. Because that only makes your soul become
heavier and heavier and lose the joy of living.
it's not like you accept the easy way and then let yourself
go. What I want to say here is, if you have sincerely
admitted your mistake and tried to fix it, even though it
may not be possible to fix it right away a few times, be
willing to forgive yourself, just like you already are
willing to forgive others.
with others, you often try to be able to show your
tolerance, and generosity, even more than it really is. And
indeed that is a beautiful way to behave because it brings
more harmony and unity to the community. But when it comes
to judging yourself, you don't hold the same way of
If you want
to be an honest person to beautify your life, first be
honest with yourself. Show it by being tolerant and generous
with yourself. Do your best to correct the mistake, but
don't be too harsh on yourself than necessary.
Greed is one
of the human instincts. Right from infancy, right out of
your mother's womb, you've had simple, natural instinctive
desires to survive. Growing up, you have more and more
desires. And unfortunately, your instincts don't distinguish
between positive and negative desires on their own. You need
to learn, need certain knowledge, and a correct perception
to be able to distinguish them. When you have solid
knowledge, it is not difficult to distinguish your own
desires. Because in your mundane life, not all desires are
the same or have the same effect. There are desires that
help you to grow better and better, but there are desires
that only drag you deeper into squalor. The desire for
knowledge, reputation, and even material possessions in a
legitimate way... can be considered positive motivations.
Desire to drink, gamble, play too much... can be considered
as the causes of corruption. I'm not doing the
categorization here, but I'm just covering it in a general
way so you can see the difference between these two
different types of desires.
On the other
hand, there are desires that are positive to some extent but
become negative when their appropriate limits are exceeded.
Thus, in addition to distinguishing between positive and
negative desires, you also need to control your desires to
an appropriate degree.
It can be
said that most of you have instinctive desires, but you can
only control lust through your own efforts. No one naturally
has that ability, but needs to study, practice, and even
cultivate to be able to achieve it.
used to say:
yourself is the most glorious victory.
others is wisdom, and winning against yourself is strong. To
conquer desire is to conquer oneself. Only by controlling
your desires can you open the door to a happy life.
desires can motivate you to live on, then negative desires
are the direct and indirect cause of most of life's
suffering. Buddhism teaches that desire is the source of
suffering. In this mundane life, you naturally accept a
certain amount of suffering, but most of your suffering can
be reduced if you know how to control your desires.
A lot of
times you have enough knowledge to see which desires need to
be relinquished, but more importantly, harder to do is to
have the willpower to give them up. Although not easy, this
is really doable, if you have enough determination and will.
Of course, outside support is also very important, but your
own efforts are a very commendable example of effort.
you in many ways. Often you have to struggle to follow your
desires, when actual necessities may not be necessary.
Moreover, once you do not achieve what you want, you
yourself fall into misery and torment. Life is inherently
full of beautiful things, but once you have surrendered to
your desires, you often no longer have the ability to feel
those beautiful things.
of your desires is like a gardener letting the weeds destroy
your crops. In the same way, if you follow irrational
desires, all your good qualities will not have the
conditions to develop. If such a gardener is irresponsible.
Similarly, if you do not control your own desires, you are
not being honest with yourself.
Be honest with yourself
often lie to others, of course you yourself know this bad
habit, sooner or later someone will remind you. But if you
lie to yourself, sometimes it's hard to recognize, and
there's no one to remind you. Therefore, it easily becomes a
bad habit deeply rooted in the bone marrow.
admit to your true limitations. If you fail, there are
usually a lot of reasons that are immediately given to prove
that you can do it, just because of this, that should only
fail. If this happens for the first time, you can tell
yourself that you are lying, and just hope that others
believe it so you won't be blamed. But the longer it becomes
a habit, the less shy or embarrassed you will be. Anyone who
forms such a bad habit has erased your own upward path. It
will be very difficult for you to admit your mistakes and
more important than the joy of living naturally if you have
ever known what a happy life is. The reasons that motivate
you to form the habit of hiding your true mood, at times are
really worth the cost of the harm they bring. Many
psychologists still recommend revealing all of your
emotions, rather than hiding them.
If you want
to have an honest lifestyle, first live beautifully, live
honestly with yourself. You may not be perfect in many ways,
but just being true to yourself is always a good start to
5- Take Some
Time For Yourself
often attracted to the requirements of work, the essential
needs of your family, yourself... And what you achieve is
never equal to or more than what you want. Therefore, you
have to constantly try and try... Not only is the effort to
work harder, more productive, but it also usually takes more
conditions, you rarely think about yourself. But actually,
as a human, you cannot maintain your physical and mental
conditions forever without a reasonable recovery after a
certain period of work. So, if you think it's beneficial to
cut off time for yourself, you're wrong.
for yourself is not just limited to resting, but has many
other deeper meanings. Westerners have a saying:
- Rest while
you are not tired.
compare to see the difference here. You work hard, after
all, just aim for a happy and joyful life for yourself and
for those around you. But the material gains that you
achieve by selfless labor are often just for you, but not
enough for a happy life. To have a happy life, you also need
to know how to live. And one of the signs of being alive is
knowing how to make time for yourself. This is actually
reasonable, fair, and necessary.
for yourself is not just for rest, but you need to see it as
a reasonable and fair need that you must give if you want to
live honestly with yourself.
specific time budget, set aside a reasonable amount of time
for yourself. And since it's a reasonable and fair need for
yourself, you're never allowed to give any excuses to take
that time away.
yourself to restore physical as well as mental capacity.
Therefore, you can spend it on rest, entertaining as you
like, and sometimes doing nothing at all.
You can also
cleverly spend time for yourself in ways that don't take too
much time at work. In the afternoon, on your way home from
work, you might stop at a suitably secluded spot. Or maybe
it's when you're almost home and spend about five or three
minutes admiring the beauty of nature or simply doing the
end of the day on a street. Let go of all worries and
thoughts at that moment, and smile at yourself for getting
through the day with all the difficulties and busyness. It
only takes a few minutes, but your mood when you walk home
will change a lot in a more positive direction.
morning, too, before going to the office to start working
for the day, you do the same thing. Just practice this habit
for a short time, and you will find you are not wasting any
time at all.
How you use
the time for yourself is up to each person's unique
circumstances and creative use. However, taking some time
for yourself is an honest way of living for yourself, a
sensible thing to do.
Food is one
of the most important things in life. It is a nutritional
requirement for the body to survive. The English have an
aphorism that says:
- You are
what you have been eating.
cultures, eating also plays an important role. Even in
traditional medicine, food and drink are considered as one
of the factors that cause disease or can also be used to
that are harmful to health are still regularly used by you.
It's not fair to you to do so, because your body deserves
proper attention, even more so than you normally give
others. If you wait until your body actually has to protest,
it will be too late.
When you do
not choose the right food and drink, you torture your body
often, because your body has to fight many toxins or
difficult-to-digest, unsuitable foods. Even a lack of
moderation in eating, too much or too little, too early or
too late, are punishments that your body has to silently
you must have a minimum knowledge of eating and proper
interest in your own eating. That is one of the essentials
when you want to be honest with yourself.
Understanding the benefits of each food and drink is not
easy, but you can learn to know it, and also get help and
guidance from many others such as:
nutritionists, even through books...
right awareness of the importance of the problem will play a
more important, essential role. Because only then can you
seriously consider taking care of your own food and drink as
when it comes to being honest with yourself, perhaps some
people might consider it a somewhat unusual concept.
However, through some of the typical problems that I have
just suggested, perhaps the concept is no longer so abstract
or difficult to understand. Because, if you can't be honest
with yourself, how can you be honest with others?
being honest with yourself is something very close and
practical in everyday life. But it is because it is so
common that sometimes you often forget. Even so, their
importance is undeniable, as you have seen when looking
through each issue.
know how to live honestly with yourself, you care about
treating yourself fairly and rationally, forming and
protecting the best health and mental conditions. This makes
an indispensable premise for a beautiful lifestyle and an
honest way of dealing with each other in life.
contrary, a selfish lifestyle is formed on the idea of
only knowing how to mistreat yourself, which often means
thinking a lot about enjoyment but is not necessarily
healthy and good. Selfish people sometimes still torture
themselves because of ignorance, and of course, can not live
honestly with anyone else in life.
honestly with yourself, therefore, is both a starting point
and an indispensable condition for forming a beautiful
lifestyle in the middle of life.
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