“Three obligations” to be healthy according to Tibetan Buddhism


I will not describe here the sadness that we have experienced in recent days, the burning anger caused by what we have witnessed, the deep despair and hope that persists despite everything. Such are those who neglect human life, who do not miss any opportunity, great or small, help or pretend to be visible only in order to be visible, cannot empathize, much less avoid establishing it.

Yes, the last few days have taught me how common evil can be and how bad ordinary can be, but I won’t continue to call this article “Resistance to Evil.” We must live for ourselves, and not against others, not against others. That’s why I’m writing this post to talk about how to stay healthy no matter what.

I have a wonderful book by Pema Chodron, A Wonderful Life with Uncertainty and Change, from Sinek Eight Publications. This is the book I take refuge in times of crisis, given so often where we live.

Over time, I learned very well that the Buddhist teachings make everyday life easier and help heal wounds. Now, with your permission, I would like to talk to you about the Three Commitments, which are also mentioned in this book.

Tibetan Buddhism speaks of three vows to live a beautiful and dignified life. These three vows alone may not make us change the world, but they can help us change the way we perceive ourselves and the world. This is probably not a trifle. If we can make sure that the changes we want to see in the world begin in our own minds, perhaps we won’t feel so helpless in the face of great evil.

First commitment: do no harm. Of course, we are talking here not only about other people, but also about non-human animals. I myself became a vegan many years ago because I didn’t want to be held responsible for harming any living thing. That’s why I think that when we talk about peace, love, brotherhood, equality and freedom, we should look at the food on our plate.

According to Tibetan Buddhism, not harming anyone or any living being is one of the three keys to a beautiful and dignified life. For me, this is the key to peace, happiness and good sleep. This is only possible through “avoidance”. With inertia. That is, turning away from thoughts and actions that can cause harm.

The second obligation is to take care of each other. This is pretty much what we are all trying to do during these difficult times. However, in this process, I think we should often ask why we do what we do.

Help, protection, care can be sincere and really effective only when they coexist with a sense of compassion. Without any self-interest, without crying, “I’m here, look at me!” do good without words, calmly, quietly. Especially without waiting for the great tragedies! This is one of the three doors to a beautiful and dignified life: making kindness a way of life, rather than seeing it as a one-time thing.

The third and final obligation is to accept the world as it is.. Of course, we are not talking about passive, fatalistic and frivolous acceptance, when we do not speak out against injustice, but pour out our anger inside ourselves. The form of acceptance implied here requires complete clarity of mind and an unprejudiced outlook.

Seeing something for what it is, not labeling it as “beautiful” or “ugly”, leaving aside our prejudices… Not resisting the fact that we are mortal, coming to terms with it. To be able to surrender to the flow of time and events, breaking your resistance to change. Do not be afraid of change, open your heart, be vulnerable, and most importantly be able to look at things and events with an open mind, without inventing stories.

All things considered, the act of “accepting” doesn’t really sound passive at all, does it? On the contrary, this is perhaps the most difficult of these three obligations to fulfill, although it is so difficult for us to accept ourselves as we are.

However, if we accept that “otherness” is the cause of all wars, I think we can better understand the importance of this commitment, because this commitment can teach us to love and accept the “other” within us. This is enough for us to look at the world with happier eyes.

We are responsible for each other’s well-being as well as our own. And not only in chaotic times, but every day and every minute while we live. If we dream of a better society, we must become stronger and resist rather than give up in the face of evil. In order to find stability, we may need to turn our gaze inward rather than outward.

Because whether we know it or not, we need resistance is already here in our hearts.

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