Last night after I came home from Starbucks, I took a long, hot shower and got ready for bed in hopes of a better day. So far today has been a major turn around from yesterday. I had trouble sleeping last night even after taking some melatonin to help me relax and send my ass off to dream land. That was a semi-fail. Anyways, I woke up feeling very stressed out. I tried to start off my morning with chores and whatnot. Eventually I got ready and out the house. My first stop before the car wash and cafe was the temple.
Not many people know that I have a spiritual side. It shocks some people when they find out that I’m pretty into Buddhism. No worries I’m not gonna get on your case and bug the shit out of you to join me to go to temple or anything haha. From time to time in the past I used to read books on Buddhism. I found it very relaxing. Whenever I have a bad day or something negative has happened, I just curl up in bed and read these books that provide such great comfort. It helps ease all of my anger and sadness.
Last night before bed I reached for this book that an old friend from high school got for me for Christmas. It’s called “365 Buddha: Daily Meditations” by Jeff Schmidt. The title is self explanatory. That definitely gave me some affirmation before I went to bed. It’s a book that’s found a permanent place on my night stand. So I double checked to see what number day in the calendar we were in. Today is day 282 and the meditation read:
Turn away from mischief.
Again and again, turn away.
Before sorrow befalls you.
Set your heart on doing good.
Do it over and over again.
And you will be filled with joy.
– Dhammapada 117-118
I haven’t gone to temple in a very long time. After chatting with a close friend last night she made a useful suggestion that I already had in mind. She told me to go to temple and I took her up on that. I have relatives that are hardcore Buddhists and they’ve harassed me to go with them to temple, but my schedule was so chaotic before. But that still wasn’t a good enough excuse that I couldn’t take 1-2 hours of my day to go pray. Luckily there’s a temple down the street from my place. I’ve looked into checking it out one time, but failed on going for whatever reason I came up with.
I was nervous when I got there. I felt scared and all of my sadness kicked in. I greeted a monk with a smile as I was walking towards the court yard to go pray. It was such a beautiful place. I didn’t feel comfortable to take pictures of this beautiful place, but it definitely wasn’t a time for a photo opportunity. It was my place for peace and solitude. Plus, I thought it was kinda disrespectful. Anyways, I grabbed several sticks of incense to light and eventually made my way to go pray. I came to a realization of how much I missed the smell of the incense. Call me a weirdo, I know haha. Anyways, I kneeled on the padded cushion, closed my eyes and held the incense above my forehead.
The moment my eyes closed and I got into position, I started crying. I cried instantly and silently the moment I started praying. I prayed for forgiveness, hope, and protection. I prayed for happiness for my family and friends that has provided so much for me. I pleaded for forgiveness in my prayer and to just give me the strength that I once endured. I prayed for my heart to be healed. I asked for some guidance to help me become a better person. When I was done praying, I felt like I barely stayed there long enough. I definitely rushed my prayers because I felt so much fear. After I left, I told myself I need to go back tomorrow and everyday to pray. I need to be more patient with myself. Overall, I felt a bit better to have let those emotions out.
My friend asked me last night what could make me feel better. I told her a hug. I know it sounds so childish and immature, but such a simple gesture can do so much. I’m already a very simple minded person. Since I can’t get a hug some time at the temple shall suffice.
Tomorrow will be a better day.