“When I was 18 years old, I suffered from anxiety and stomach problems. The practicing Buddhist physician referred me to a Taoist monk who was a specialist in meditation and martial arts. I finished curing these anxiety and stomach problems by doing the meditation, and it was a great journey of self-discovery. ”Underlines Robert Piper, author of this publication.

Lessons from a Taoist monk

These are the lessons that a young man learned when he was studying with a Taoist monk, and he wanted to share them with the whole world.

1. Keep trying until you get it right

The most important life lesson I learned was to try something three times (maybe even four times) before giving up trying and moving on. Also, this monk taught me that even after several attempts, you must work at different angles to get closer to things that are difficult.

If you keep trying, at some point you are going to get where you want to go.

2. The answer to your question is within you

As part of the original formation of the monastery, a monk does not respond to direct questions from a student unless it is a topic to be developed. A Chinese proverb says: “ Teachers open the door, but you must introduce yourself. 

Some forms of Zen Buddhism use a very similar style of training. An old saying (by Taoist monks) is this: “ By making a four-corner board, the teacher shows the student how to make one of the corners. It is the student’s job to figure out how to make the other three corners. 

In life, every time we try new things, we have to go to new places with only a small amount of information. The real world doesn’t give us all the answers. The best teacher is within us.

3. True wisdom in life comes from doing something and not doing it.

I remember when I started doing meditation, I ran into various problems. For example, at first it was difficult for me to calm down, but if we stick to it, it gets easier and easier. I tried only a few minutes, and then every day, and thus I have added more time to my meditation.

When we fight, we can learn about ourselves and what we have to do to be stronger.

4. When you start to meditate you recognize the egotistical mind

Everything in the world of the ego is the result of comparison. Myself, compared to other sellers I will feel inferior and guilty for not making as much money as them.

When I started doing meditation, I started to build separation from this selfish mind, which is constantly making these comparisons.

Many of us try to do something and give it up because we feel inferior, so we give up. What’s worse, we blame ourselves for a long time and become depressed. When I started doing meditation, I began to identify my ego and was able to build separation from it.

That’s what happens when we meditate: we detach ourselves from the part of us that dwells in comparisons, and we begin to learn to live a life that is not driven by our ego.

5. We must be both compassionate and resilient

The monk would not meet with me for training unless I called him a minimum of three times. I hated this part. I used to call and call and never answer. But this is life. How many times do you have to call or wait to do something in the real world? Usually several times.

Most of us blame ourselves when we try just once to do something and fail. At the time, I hated that part of training, but now I think it was the most important lesson in life.

6. Patience is a virtue

The monk has always kept me waiting. For example, when I came to his house to train, he would make me wait a minimum of half an hour, sometimes longer. We were going out to dinner on Friday night and he showed up at the restaurant an hour late.

He was telling me about a meeting in a private restaurant at 7:00. I would arrive and discover that he was not there. So usually I’d be sitting in the restaurant with my phone, acting like I was texting someone, while worrying about what everyone in the restaurant was thinking of me. However, he showed up late, as if nothing had happened.

His first question was always: “How are your mother and father?” (Of course, in my head I’m thinking, “What do you mean, ‘How are my mother and father?” I waited here for an hour and fifteen minutes. “)

But behind the urgencies that I imposed on myself, there was the lesson of patience, which is the gift of inner peace.

7. Separate ourselves from the ego

By putting aside the needs of the ego, it is easier to accept, and even benefit from everything that comes to you and also to learn to let go of what does not belong to us.

8. In Taoism, they say, “If there is no self, there is no enemy.”

The self is the internal enemy that makes all our fears, worries and insecurities take on enormous force. If you come to terms with this enemy within, you will have an impact in every area of ​​your life. It is the identification with the “I / ego” that causes all the problems in life.

9. Happiness comes from within, and it also comes from outside

I learned this from the observation of the Buddhist physician I met. This doctor used meditation in his office before he could interact with his patients. He was one of the happiest and most compassionate people I have ever met.

By creating happiness within, he was able to increase that emotional state by spreading it to other people.

We must cultivate happiness from within, and the job is to spread it to everyone who interacts with us. The monk used to say, ” Everyone has a purpose or a mission in life .”

We have to find happiness within, and also find our purpose on the outside.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses.He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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