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There are several principles in Buddhism. I began losing sleep over concepts and opinions. We are brought into the world only with bare perceptions of things:  visual consciousness simply aware of some raw sensory data. But, soon after, the conceptualizing part of your mind dresses up the bare perception in a huge assortment of notions, ideas, preferences and other dualistic judgments. I began to lose sleep because I started to play in my head how many times I missed out on knowing someone because of these notions.  I thought about how many times I hurt someone because of these ideas.  I thought about what a waste these preferences had on my actual experiences in life.

It’s true everyone has opinions but those opinions have the chance to do nothing more than separate.  The right kind of school, the wrong hair style, the right friends, the wrong cut of steak; these are all categories that can bring both pleasure and pain but can you accept what is and just be? This is my goal following a Buddhist way of life.  I endeavor to become neutral and accept what life has to offer.  It’s not being complacent or a spectator in life. I can still make decisions to lead to a happy outcome, but I hope not to be as disappointed when life takes me somewhere else.

Those who aren’t familiar with Buddhism might feel it is checking out.  That a Buddhist loses sight of reality just to be more idealistic(this is an opinion).  These opinions are dangerous.  One can simply look back in history and see what opinions on race and religion have had on society.  One can look at their own opinions and see where if they had taken the other side, how much things could have been different. And often times the decisions we make aren’t based in direct knowledge, it’s fear or even learned from another.

I fear I’m not being as eloquent as I would like. When I decide based off opinion on the character of a person, and it can even be based off experiences with someone “like” that person, I close myself off to possibilities. I judge that person when all I needed to do was ask, investigate.  Even then if after asking I get an uneasy feeling from that person, I’m sure I can dig deeper to find something worth cherishing. And why go through all that effort?  Why not?

Decisions need to be made on fact, not opinions, blind faith or guessing. Opportunities are always around us. Make informed decisions to really live life and steady yourself. Don’t stop yourself because of something you think may happen. Don’t think you are living your life on certainty when the  lives you live are based on other’s recommendations. We too often listen to others, accept what “experts” tell us, and go with what is “normal”. Be strong, be open, be without dead end opinions.