The Dharma, my refuge, my solace.

cynthia - west covina, California
Entered on November 9, 2008
Age Group: 30 - 50

I believe in the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha, the community of Buddhist practitioners. As an oncology nurse practitioner, I bear witness to the sufferings of others and see the fragility of life. The Dharma, the teachings of the Buddha, is my source of refuge, my solace in this tumultuous world.

The essence of the Buddha’s teachings is that one suffers because we do not understand or see reality as it truly exists. The Buddha did provide for us the means of transcending this suffering with his teachings. One of the fundamental means of finding inner peace is the practice of mindfulness and being in the present moment.

What does that mean to me on a daily basis as I engage with others in the world. It means that I am conscientious of how my thoughts, words and deeds affect others and myself. It means that I have the patience to be kind to someone with whom I find disagreeable. It means that words such as equanimity and blamelessness are contemplated during my interactions with others and if internalized can provide some respite from my suffering.

I am grateful for being able to practice, to meditate and to breathe without effort. I try to take nothing for granted, such as my health, my family, my home and my practice. I realize that this present existence is due to many causes and conditions and it is in a constant state of flux. I am fortunate that I am able to devote this precious life now towards my inner development and not having to expend my energy to my physical survival.

Often I find myself repeating this mantra: Be mindful, be present, be kind and be quiet.

My hope is that as my inner world evolves to a calmer and more peaceful presence that others will also find peace and tranquility in their world as well.