Mahayana Buddhism

Reality exists only where we create a focus. -Heart Sutra of Mahayana Buddhism

This wonderful saying speaks to me because it reminds me that when I apply consistent, continuous attention to a matter, consciously or unconsciously, that which I bring my focus to, emerges into my reality. When my attention is on being joyful, joy does flow into my reality. When my attention falls upon the aesthetics of something, the beauty of that object fills me. This simple yet profound realization seems to ring true in every aspect of my life.

Similarly, when I focus on what seems "undesired" or "unpleasant", my frame of attention is colored by the quality of that "undesired-ness" or "unpleasant-ness". Knowing that I have a choice to re-frame my attention to that which is positive, uplifting and loving about a person, an experience or an object, empowers me and raises my sense of aliveness. And this knowing is a key for me to the door to my happiness.

Does that mean I never look at that which is unpleasant or worth changing? Not yet! I would love to reach a stage where nothing is unpleasant. All is just the way it is meant to be, say the teachers of consciousness.

A little story I heard recently goes like this:

Say, you want to make an apple pie. You go to your kitchen and pick out those ingredients that are best suited for your pie. These may include: flour, butter, sugar, cinnamon and of course, apples! (I can imagine a mouth-watering apple pie as I write this...hmmm!) So you pull out those ingredients, yet you are not upset that the kitchen also holds chillies or rice or tomatoes or tofu or basil leaves and a host of other things that you do not need currently for your apple pie. And because you do not want these ingredients in YOUR pie does not make them inherently unwanted. You simply pick up what you need and desire and apply your focus on creating your pie.

With this understanding, less and less things become unpleasant and I learn to draw my focus on that which I desire to create in my reality: in this case, a delicious, juicy apple pie!

-Sophia Ojha