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    The Magic of the Laughing Buddha

    By R. D. Robbins

    I just read a quote from a famous Buddhist monk. Basically it said that all meetings end in partings, all buildings end as dust and all life ends in death, so we might as well just work hard at our meditation. I thought this was a sad interpretation of Buddhism and, in my opinion, a bass ackwards way to live one's life.

    I believe that many spiritual people are more likely to say that all partings lead to new meetings, all buildings are made of dust and desire, and from death life blooms again. The Pagans have a phrase that fits, "Merry meet, merry part and merry meet again! "

    How can a learned Buddhist monk go so wrong? It's easy. Buddhism is usually understood as hinging on the Four Noble Truths, often stated as:

    1) Life is suffering
    2) Suffering comes from desire
    3) There is a way to end suffering
    4) The way to end suffering is to end desire.

    Another Buddhist sage, Thich Nat Hahn, suggested that we consider the Four Noble Truths this way (and I'm paraphrasing slightly here):

    1) Sometimes we suffer
    2) There are reasons why we suffer
    3) Sometimes we are at peace
    4) There are reasons why we are at peace.

    I believe the second description of Buddhism does a better job at getting to the root and solution of our problems. When we pay attention to what is happening in our lives and discover why we suffer (wrong job, saying hurtful things to people we love, trying too hard at things that don't matter), we automatically find the way to reduce suffering. When we discover those things that bring us peace (being in the right job, saying kind and loving words to people we care about, and working hard at things that DO matter), we automatically reduce suffering.

    So where to start on the path to less suffering and more peace? Try not hurting people and doing more of what you love and build from there. That's a very natural way of stepping onto the Wheel of Life. It's kind of like lighting a candle, doing a spell or saying a prayer, you try it and see what happens. You don't beat yourself up trying to push the river, trying to force the magic; you just take action, watch, and look for good things to happen. At least that's my Life Positive view on Buddhism and spirituality.

    About The Author: R. D. Robbins is the author of "My Romantic Spell" a fun, fast paced and surprisingly spiritual novel about a young woman growing up a witch in modern Salem. Robbins takes a broad view of spirituality and says, "I believe God speaks many languages." Visit his store at www.lulu.com/rodneyrobbins for more information.

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