Lessons I Have Learned Traveling In Buddhist Countries

luzcypher @luzcypherJanuary 2019 · 8 min read · #life

Traveling through Thailand, which is a Buddhist country, one comes in contact with many Buddhists. All Buddhist traditions share the goal of overcoming suffering and the cycle of death and rebirth, either by the attainment of Nirvana or through the path of Buddhahood. Buddhism is the world's fourth-largest religion with over 520 million followers or over 7% of the global population.

The more I've been exposed to Buddhism the more it seems to resonate with me. I just think it's a really cool belief system that excepts people for who they are without judging them and doesn't have all the guilt baggage other religions seem to carry.

In Buddhism, the law of karma, says "for every event that occurs, there will follow another event
whose existence was caused by the first, and this second event will be pleasant or unpleasant
according as its cause was skillful or unskillful." Therefore, the law of Karma teaches that the
responsibility for unskillful actions is borne by the person who commits them.

There are three main universal truths in Buddhism.

  1. Nothing is lost in the universe
  2. Everything Changes
  3. The Law of Cause and Effect

As I have traveled around Thailand, and now in Vietnam, and have been experiencing the teachings of Buddha, there are some lessons I've learned worth sharing. I hope you enjoy them as well.

Lessons From The Buddha That Will Help You Win At Every Situation Of Life

Have you ever wondered why all the statues you see of Buddha show him as calm, cool, and smiling?

Because Buddha has found the secrets of life by discovering the harsh realities of life. He had his ego completely annihilated and found the beauty of present moments. To be calm and cool like him, you will have to take in a few of his observations about life.

  • "Three things cannot be hidden: The sun, the moon, and the truth." No matter how much you try to conceal the truth, it will be known one day or the other. It's foolish to try to cover up lies because the truth reveals itself in the most honest way.

  • "You will not be punished for your anger; you will be punished by your anger." Anger is a lethal weapon. Apart from slaying the enemy, it also slays you. When you're angry, your words deceive you and hurt others. Therefore, it's advisable to remain silent and not speak when something annoys you.

  • "You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere." You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection. We often expect to receive love and affection from others. In that process, we start neglecting ourselves. We try too hard to get attention. However, we forget that loving one's own self comes before loving others. You cannot love selflessly, until and unless you understand yourself.

  • "We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves." The message here is to think happy thoughts that will keep you happy throughout the day. Being optimistic is better than having negative thoughts. Seeing the glass is half full is a way better perspective that seeing the glass half empty.

  • "You only lose what you cling to" Getting attached to a thing is the biggest mistake we can make in our lives. It is when we get too dependent on it that we start losing it.

  • "Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense." Indeed an enlightening quote! Here, Buddha wants us to learn from our own experiences and not from the review of others. What suits one person may not necessarily suit another.

  • "Physical charms attract the eyes, goodness attracts the mind." Good looks are an asset, however, a good character is an identity. It's completely wrong to judge someone only by their looks and not by their character.

  • "Just as on a rubbish heap swept up on the main road, a purely fragrant, delightful lotus may spring up there, even so amidst those rubbish heaps (of humans) does the savaka of the Perfectly Enlightened One outshine in insight the blind puthujjana." Even if you are surrounded by filth, but you're strong enough to resist the bad, you will grow like a lotus in a mud lake. If you're a student, with hard work, you will outshine all other ordinary students.

  • "When you like a flower you just pluck it. But when you love a flower, you water it daily." Buddha teaches us the difference between love and lust. In love, you nurture a relationship. In lust, you only satisfy your physical needs.

  • "A jug fills drop by drop." Starting small is the mantra for finishing big. It doesn't matter if your start is a small attempt. If you keep at it steadily, you will achieve what you want to one day.

  • "It is better to travel well than to arrive." Life is one big journey and you're a traveler. It's better to live and travel well, than thinking about the future and losing your peace of mind. Living the fullest in the present is the best way to enjoy life, rather than living in the past or the future.

While I haven't gone so far as to convert to Buddhism I still find these teachings to be very helpful. With a mindset like Buddha it's no wonder he's such a cool, calm, and joyful character. I'm not going to shave my head and become a monk anytime soon, but exemplifying some of these practices and thoughts will certainly help one as they go through life.

All photos were taken by me on a Canon T7i

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The Royal Park Rajapruek in Chiang Mai, Thailand is a feast for the eyes and a perfect opportunity to indulge in some photography. Originally built to commemorate His Majesty the King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s Accession, his 60th year as the king and his 80th birthday, Royal Park Rajapruek is now counted as the center of agricultural research in Thailand.

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Call me crazy but last week I flew to Bangkok, Thailand with nothing but a camera, half a suitcase of clothes, my trusty laptop, and an incurable case of wanderlust for new adventures. While that may seem impulsive to my close friends and family, some who've made their opinions concerning my sanity very clear, to me it's perfectly normal. Home is where you feel at home and for me, that's almost everywhere.

Just west of the Chaing Mai University at the base of the Doi Suthep mountains is the Chiang Mai Zoo and Aquarium, a 200 acre (81 hectares) zoo established in 1977. I'm not a big fan of zoos but when I was having lunch at a nearby place and heard a lion roaring in the forest my curiosity got the better of me. I spent a day visiting the place and snapping pictures.

Strolling through the Huay Kaew Arboretum in Chiang Mai, Thailand I imagined saving the world one forest at a time and stood in amazement under new-to-me trees, basking in hungry curiosity for this novel biosphere. Most of the trees in these parts are hosts to a wide variety of orchids growing on their trunks

Drinking mushroom shakes, buying joints at the bar (you have to smoke them here. That's the rule). Eating Pad Thai, drinking Chang beer and watching hippie chicks hoolahoop to lounge music. Another hard day at the office.



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Eddie @aftabkhan10January 2019

Dude, just because you are impressed with Buddhism doesn't mean that other religions are wrong.

What's your point? Who said anything about other religions being wrong?

Eddie @aftabkhan10January 2019

Hahaha. You kind of proved my point exactly. Out of all the positive words in this post all you chose to comment on was this one phrase. I find that very interesting. Still, nothing here says other religions are wrong. Thankfully, I feel no guilt about it.

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.

Eddie @aftabkhan10January 2019

It's not just a phrase buddy :)
Nor I am taking things negative.
I shared what I saw :)

I did not get as much out of the Buddhists when I was in their countries since I don't visit the shrines of other religions and I do not have the language.

I was asked what religion I was a lot in Buddhist countries, and they always seemed to be happy I am Christian. One man told me that "Buddha and God are the some person." I carry that sentiment with me now in all its complexity.

And I knew a guy pretty well who was supposed to be the monk of his family that washed out from the program. He was a monk at the age of 7 and again at 13. He told me the best thing about being a monk was that he felt like a rock star and this is why he has a career on stage today.

You now have my entire knowledge of this religion :)

Beautiful post @luzcypher, I have also been deeply influenced by Buddhism from when I lived in Taiwan and visiting Thailand several times. It’s amazing how honest people are compared with Christian countries. I noticed in Thailand that the street vendors simply covered up theor wares with a cloth when they went home each day. In a western country everything would be gone in the morning! I love to visit the Buddhist temple where I live. Once a month they cook up a huge feast and feed everyone who visits during the day.
The Krishna temples also provide food for anyone who visits their temples, they do this on a daily basis and all the food is cooked and blessed for the deities so it is sacred and is more than just physically nutritional. They call it Prashadam. The Buddhist temple food is also cooked for the monks and offered to Buddha first and has that same spiritual nutritional value to all those who consume it.🙏

Everyone rides motorbikes here and leaves their helmets unlocked on their bikes when they park it. No one steals them.

When I have mistakenly paid too much for something they always give me my correct change back.

Very friendly people.

It’s so nice to be somewhere where people actually respect the property of others. I think with the Buddhist Karma philosophy they are all raised to be aware that bad deeds revisit you, maybe in this life or in another life. They all care more about the state of their souls than Westerners do generally. So healthy for the whole community.

People are very kind, honest, and respectful of others here.