Love Your Fate and Embrace Change: a primer on Zen Budhism and Stoicism

This week is #stoicweek a period of seven days that people who consider themselves stoics atributed to themselves. Even though I don’t consider myself a stoic per se I can see the value in the philosophy, mostly by the westernized way of translating many similar concepts from Zen Budhism and Taoism.

There are two concepts, one from each philosophy, one from the West and another from the East, that compliment each other perfectly and are both highly misunderstood.

First, amore fati. Sometimes sand his kick in our eyes and there isn’t much we can do. We are scammed, tricked or outmanouvered and before we realize it is too late. We are left in pain, discomfort, we outburst in anger and get stuck with that idea for weeks. We are unable to move on and the sole condition for this is because we resist it.

Of course that you don’t like to get dumped by your significant other, neither you like that some prick bumped in your car and got away before you could take his license plate number… but honestly, can you do anything about it?

If you can’t, stop tricking yourself about it and move on. The moment that I accepted that my girlfriend had broken up with me only came when I realized that there wasn’t a thing that I could do. Nothing, it was her decision and there was no turning back. The only thing I could do was to accept it…. and then, like by magic, it stopped. All the pain vanished.

Like if you are being washed away by the current of a river you don’t swim against it, you need to go with it until you can reach one of the shores.

Amore Fati is exactly the acceptance of your fate, actually is more than that it is LOVE for your fate, love whatever happens to you. That is the ultimate ground of being.

And let me present you a Eastern concept that you are well aware off but that you probably don’t know what it means:

Karma. Karma is not your good energy, is not a balance between sins and good deeds and it has nothing to do with the idea that if you do something good then good things will happen to you. Let me rephrase it:

Karma is what happens to you, it is the non-dual distinction that what happens to you and what you do are the same. Your actions are your karma. Simple.

Do you see the enormous potential contained in these two concepts: in one you love your faith, the things outside of your control, and in the other you realize that what happens to you and what you do are the same thing.

How can you be anxious about the future this way? How can you fumble through decisions and surprises coming in your way? You don’t, you can’t… You simply are, you are one with everything around you.

Have a good #stoicweek!