If You Don’t Want Your Kids to Suffer From Anxiety and Depression…

Dear Friends,
Today, I had a very interesting conversation with a visiting most senior monk. We both were having some tea around 5pm and he told me that he has been noticing I was seeing a lot of young people for counselling. He was kind of curious to know the major issues these young people are facing in their life. I said, well … they are complaining about their life, they are suffering from anxiety, panic attacks, stress, tension and depression. This senior monk’s reaction was … They have all the basic needs, but they are still suffering? I said, yes. But, although they have all the basic needs, there are many things triggering anxiety and panic attacks, a little and minor thing could trigger anxiety and depression in these young people. Then, what this senior monk said was an eye-opening experience for me. “See, we are so fortunate and lucky to have Dhamma in our life. Right from the beginning of our life as monks were taught to think about others, care about others, be generous and kind to ourselves and others. Moreover, we were taught and trained not to sweat over little things. We were taught to let go, not to cling to, to forgive and to move on with little things we have. We were taught and trained to think about others, to be concerned about other’s wellbeing and happiness. We have been practicing selflessness from our preteenhood. But, unfortunately, today children are not like us. They are growing up with a me, me mentality and me, me attitude. They are thinking about themselves and they are selfish. It is me, me, me and only me mentality and attitude triggering anxiety and depression. Today’s kids are being brought up with selfishness. As a result of this, they are not able to think beyond the box. When a little thing happens, they take it as a big thing and they suffer from it. If today’s kids are taught to be selfless, to think about others, and to be contented with whatever they have, they will not be suffering from anxiety and depression.”
With many blessings !
Bhante Saranapala
The Urban Buddhist Monk

Good Minds are True Blessings !

Good Day to You, My Friends!

All bad thoughts are unhealthy and they make us sick. Bad thoughts are the root causes of all evil in the world. Bad thoughts make our minds dirty, stinky and filthy. They make our life miserable and very unhappy. We live a very painful life with bad thoughts. The creator of all bad thoughts is our own minds. If we keep feeding our minds with more bad thoughts based on bad actions, our entire life is going to full of miseries, pains, sufferings. At the end we die with regrets, guilt, pains, miseries and suffering. I think we should be concerned about this matter and we should take actions and fix our own mind. If we are concerned about this matter, we need to do a huge paradigm shift. This is why we need to learn to purify our own minds. Let us get trained to feed our minds with good thoughts based on good actions. Good thoughts are the major reasons for healthy and happy life. Nobody can give us happiness, unless we earn it by thinking of good thoughts and by doing good deeds. Good minds of love and kindness are true blessings and a good mind is wonderful gift we can give to the world. Irrespective of race, nationality, faith and gender, let us share true blessings of happiness and peace with all our friends, colleagues, family members, neighbours, fellow citizens and people around the globe. Let us accept and embrace all citizens of the world with love and compassion !
With many blessings !
Bhante Saranapala
The Urban Buddhist Monk

Mindful Breathing, kind and loving thoughts for immediate anxiety-relief

Dear Friends !

Anxieties, panic attacks, depression are real. Last week I got to see a young lady who was suffering from the anxiety and panic attack. She was shivering and crying nonstop right before me. Although I have seen people suffering from anxieties and panic attacks to certain extent, this is the first time I have ever witnessed someone who was really, I mean reaaaaaaalllllyyyy, suffering. It was too much that she did not want to live anymore and wanted to end her life. Her father told me that she was seeing doctors for sometime and was on medications for anxieties. But, it still did not work for her. They heard about me from a student of my weekly meditation class. So, the father thought of bringing his daughter to me for spiritual healing. I really felt compassion, goodwill for her and wanted to help her become immediately free from anxiety attack she was suffering from. First, I tried my best to calm her down with some positive, kind and soothing words. I said everything will be fine soon. Just trust my words and try to relax right now. I asked her to breathe in and breathe out with me. When I say, “just breathe in,” she would just breathe in. When I say, “just breathe out,” she would just breathe out. We did this for 20 minutes. As she was just breathing in and out with me, I noticed she was calming down. She stopped shivering an crying. After 20 minutes breathing in and breathing out, I have asked her to cultivate some loving and kind thoughts: May I be well. May I be happy. May I be peaceful. May I be free from anxieties. May I be free from depression, May I be free from pain. May I be free from fear. May I be free from danger. May I be well, happy and peaceful! I have asked her to believe in these loving and kind words and repeat after me. Like a little child, she was repeating all the loving and compassionate thoughts after me. We did this for another 20 minutes. At the end of this mindful breathing with loving and compassionate thoughts, this young lady felt a huge relief and retook charge of her life. She left the temple with a happy and smiling face ! Today I heard from her father and told me that she is recovering and feeling much better after talking to me.
With many blessings !
Bhante Saranapala
The Urban Buddhist Monk

Drop what is not yours !

Dear Friends,

We have a habit of hanging on to what is really not ours. As a result of that we tend to suffer deeply. What is not ours? Anything we experience through the eyes, ears, nose, tongue and body, that is not ours. However, we have a tendency to personalize these experiences as “I, Me, Mine and Myself.” We make a BIG “I” with all that experience. This “I” has a habit of believing in it as permanent, hence this “I” has the tendency to control everything it experiences. When the “I” loses the control of experience, the “I” gets bruised and suffers deeply. This “I” wants the experience to be there for it unchanged. But, the reality is what we think ours constantly change. The “I” wants to control the change by simply begging: “Please don’t change. I want you. Without you, I cannot survive.” Despite the begging, when all experiences change, this “I” suffers big. To understand this, we need to meditate. Without meditation, we can’t understand it. What we need to understand is that all experiences we get through the senses are just there for a split second. Then they cease to exist. Although we think they are ours, they are not really ours. Pleasure, displeasure, anger, hatred, stress, anxiety, depression, pain, fear, envy, jealousy, greed: these are not ours. They are simply based on a particular condition. Observe all experiences with the law of cause and effect. If we can see this truth, then we can drop what is not ours and live a happy and peaceful life!
With many blessings !
Bhante Saranapala
The Urban Buddhist Monk

Becoming a good husband & wife and a good father and mother

Dear Friends,

Today, on the way to a place for a memorial talk, I had a very interesting conversation with a friend who belongs to a branch of Christianity. His wife is a Buddhist. I personally know their children were brought up in both Buddhist and Christian values. When I was talking to him about wonderful qualities of his kids, he told me something that deeply touched my heart, “If you are a man, be a good husband to your wife and be a good father to your children. If you are woman, be a good wife to your husband and be a good mother to your children.” Then, I added, how nice! All men and women in the world should become the good husband and wife and good father and mother full of love, compassion, faith, respect, gratitude, generosity, caring and good character who follow moral principles, there will be peace and harmony in the family and there will be peace and harmony in the society and the world! Let us become the best husband/wife and father/mother with five golden principles: 1. refrain from violence/taking life, 2. refrain from taking what is not freely given, 3. refrain from sexual misconduct, 4. refrain from false speech and refrain from consuming alcohol and drugs.
With many blessings !
Bhante Saranapala
The Urban Buddhist Monk

Let Go or Be Dragged !

Good day my friends!

There are certain things in our life that we need to let go. I know we all have a fear of letting go. Although it is a difficult task, we have no other choice but to simply let go. Why? Because they are poisonous, toxic, deadly. They make us sick and miserable. The poisonous, toxic and deadly things are the emotional baggages we are carrying from the past to the present and then to the future. These emotional baggages are full of negative stories, memories, experiences, feelings, people from the past. Money, power, fame, ego, conceit, pride and control are also in these emotional baggages. We fail to notice that they are becoming heavier and heavier in our life. Most of the time we think we need them in order to survive. If we do not choose to let them go, they will drag us with upset, sadness, anger, hatred, jealousy, envy, anxiety, stress, pain, suffering, distress and depression. We know letting go is one of the most difficult tasks to do. But, we have to learn to let go if we truly love ourselves. We have only two choices: (1) Either we let go and live a happy life and then die peacefully, (2) or be dragged with pain and suffering and eventually die with regret and guilt. Now choice is ours. Which one are we going to choose?
With many blessings !
Bhante Saranapala
The Urban Buddhist Monk

COME AND BELIEVE vs COME AND SEE

Good morning, Friends!
Today I would like to highlight a very interesting point from the candid conversation I had this morning with two of my fellow monks. There are two traditions seen in the world. One is “COME AND BELIEVE” and other is “COME AND SEE.” The first one may force people to believe through fear, and the second through wisdom, free from fear. Fear is based on lack of knowledge and wisdom. Fear leads to more clinging and suffering. “Come and see” is an open invitation based on experience, knowledge and wisdom and this would help people to remove fear and become free !
With many blessings !
Bhante Saranapala
The Urban Buddhist Monk