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September 23, 2023

New habits

Ever since the Covid-19 pandemic entered our lives we have had to change the way we do things quite a bit. We are careful about who we encounter, we wear our masks, we practice social distancing, we wash our hands more often, and we clean with wipes like never before. 

Now we are moving into a new “tier” here in our county and things are beginning to open up.  The habits we have acquired since last March will be hard to let go of for some. These new habits are a good thing, in my mind. We are making life cleaner and healthier for us and those around us. It wouldn’t be so bad to continue practicing the new habits we have acquired.

If we can do that we can also develop new habits in other ways. The Buddha taught us to look at the world with the eyes of truth. What that means is that we can develop the habit of seeing the world of cause and effect. Everything we possess comes to us by a series of causes and conditions. Every experience good and bad comes about by a series of causes and conditions as well.

The next time you take a breath of air, think of your relationship to all the plants around you and the oxygen they provide. The next time you taste your favorite food, savor it and think of the grocer, the farmer and the cook that provides you with the joy and sustenance you receive. 

If we can develop the habit of seeing the world this way, two things will happen. One we will develop a deeper sense of gratitude for the things we enjoy and the people we love. Secondly we will develop a deeper understanding of the events in our life resulting in an acceptance of the world as it is, and compassion for others.

These are good habits to develop. Like wearing a mask and cleaning our hands, we can keep ourselves and our bodies healthy. By developing the habit of seeing the world as it truly is, we can keep our minds and hearts healthy.


Rev. Hosei Shinseki leads the Watsonville Buddhist Temple. His opinions are his own and do not necessarily represent those of The Pajaronian.


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