Why is it that when someone is given a wish, they always ask for something and never wish for nothing? If Nirvana is the ultimate state of bliss, or what we perceive as "Heaven", then we have to understand what defines it. Heaven, or a blissful state depleted from suffering, is attained by letting go. It is the exhale, which teaches us that we are much stronger without the breath than we are with it. The more we are able to release from our attachments and expectations, the happier our lives become.
In Buddhist teachings, they talk about letting go of the three poisons: greed, ignorance, and hatred. In order to stay on the highest life path, one has to stop creating "fires" that come from limited beliefs and perceptions. If we don't understand something, instead of becoming afraid of it, there is an opportunity to learn and grow. Much like walking into a dark room, all fear dissipates when the Light is turned on and we can see what is real. This absence of Light is the main cause of suffering. When our Light is turned on inside, we can see that there is enough for everyone and that we all create the realities we have manifested. We understand that we don't have all of the answers and that there is so much we don't know or haven't learned yet. It is also clear that misunderstandings, false beliefs, and limited perceptions are the cause of so many problems that could easily be resolved with the power of Love. Humility is the cornerstone of a powerful and healing transformation internally as well as in society.
There are 8 suggestions to reach nirvana in this Buddhic philosophy. The first is "Right View", meaning that the beliefs we hold in our minds are tuned in to a true understanding of how both reality and suffering are intertwined. There are huge gifts that birth out of our deepest sense of suffering and visa versa. The second is "Right Resolve", which is that no harm should come from the actions we take in our lives. Our lives are meant to be expressions of what we are passionate about and what we Love the most, without bringing harm to another living being. The third is "Right Speech", and this is the ultimate control of what we allow to come out of our mouths. Our words are meant to be Truthful, Wise, Loving, healing, and kind, and not abusive or divisive. Number four is "Right Action", which is more about living a life of virtue and not engaging in theft, rape, murder, or other abusive actions. The choices we make out of Love help to nurture the Loving vibration on the planet. The fifth is "Right Livelihood", and this relates to doing honest business. The work career path is an extension of who we are, and therefore should be honest, ethical, and sustainable. Number six is "Right Effort", or utilizing our energy to think, speak, and live our best lives. It takes energy, skill, and intention to say you put your heart into something, and this is true effort. The seventh is "Right Mindfulness", meaning holding awareness of how we feel, what we are thinking about, and what messages the body is sharing. When we listen to ourselves, we are able to course-correct when needed. Awareness is one of the most important attributes in our evolution. Finally, the eighth is "Right Concentration", and this is the practice of the seven previous principles. Concentration is another way of describing meditation, and meditating on how we live our lives allows us to see the Truth. The Truth will ultimately set us free. These are the eight steps on the path to awakening out of the limited dream, and into the infinite reality. The more we practice these principles, the less attached we become to the things, people, and situations that are destructive. May we each find the inner Light that guides us to our good, and may we have the strength and courage to continue to shine.