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Teaching of the month - Aug 2016

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A True Practice

33KuanYin 23


Just as you have shown love and concern towards the welfare of others, they too have responded in kindness. It was very touching, and Kuan Shih Yin was well pleased by the efforts of those who thought of her son.

It is to be treated as an indirect blessings bestowed upon you through the prayers that they have recited. This is, in actuality, karma in action so that it should be a lesson to all that good actions will bring about similar rewards.

The new room has been blessed by the prayers of love and goodwill and all those who held such views have been blessed too. At all times one’s heart must be filled with love and concern for the happiness of others. At all times one must remember that there are countless beings who are in a woeful state so that there is no time for one to be really contented with his own happiness. The beings of the world, of all the realms are all inter-related. One must know that all beings have at one life or another been related to oneself. One must not hold the narrow view that only those who are related to him in this life time are worth caring. Each being must be cared for and even though there are times when it is not possible to give help to them, at least let there be a wish, through a sincere prayer, that their sufferings be over soon, that happiness will be bestowed on them. At all times let not hatred arise in the heart towards even those who had caused you hurt. Meditate on the point that they are under the influence of delusion which cause them to act in such ways and that because of your own bad karma, they are there to antagonise you. You are therefore their causes of future sufferings which may cause them to do even more harm to themselves. Self-blame is therefore one of the best ways to remove anger and hatred towards others. Have Dharma in your mind, all who are unkind to you should this day be treated as great teachers who have taken such forms to teach you. If this is difficult for you to accept, at least stop and think of the consequences of anger before retaliating or remember the teaching of the Buddha that ‘hatred can only be won by love.’ He who recites Kuan Yin prayers must empty his mind of anger each day, and all other non-virtuous thoughts too. Let there be room only for love and concern for others’ happiness. See in their happiness as your very own and let peace of mind rule the day.

Each day, go back to the practice that has found you faith. Do not be too greedy for greater and better methods of practice. Just between you and Kuan Yin, you make your bond firmer, your faith stronger and your life simpler and contented. Let others practise their method of worship of self purification, but if you should be able to remain humble and ever conscious of the spirit of Kuan Yin within you, you will be much more superior than anyone else who knows much more than you. How painful to the ear to hear so-called practitioners comparing their methods of practice, their abilities to recite sutras, mantras and dharanis, how many initiations they have received. How empty they all are!

A person in pain is a pitiful sight indeed. Such a person may have done wrong but he has acted out of ignorance, he has not been fortunate to have received Dharma teachings which point the way to right views, right actions and happiness, what little that you can do, you will do for the sake of bringing future happiness to others’ lives. Even the cruelest man can be moved by Dharma teachings if he has the good fortune to hear them from one who is patient and kind. With a true heart he may repent and become a saint! But this is an extreme example and it is not right to expect such a thing to happen or teachings will be reserved solely for such persons.

All beings must have the opportunity to benefit by the teachings which lead them to develop the causes of happiness. Those who have heard, read and understood the teachings will be blessed with patient understanding even though they are not in their happiest states. They will realise that pains and sufferings that arise after they have put to practise, the Noble Path, are but the fruition of their past evil karma and not the punishment of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.

Since such pains are bound to arise someday, it is indeed a blessing that they have surfaced earlier than later; for it will mean that the future will be less painful. These unpleasantries of pains will then awaken them to the truth of reality so that they will, in the future, refrain from generating evil karma, or it may cause them to become more compassionate towards others through their own realisation of the pains of suffering. The wise ones will see sufferings as a benefit instead of a great punishment.

Pain is real. Pain is in the hearts and minds of each living being. To the foolish it is a curse but to the wise, it is that which directs them to the path of liberation. In the midst of pain, the mind is alerted, sharpened and can become wise. Pain itself has been the opener to the spiritual path for many, so is pain good or bad? In the same way one should look at happiness and all other worldly feelings so as to arrive at the truth of the reality of life. Looking at life from that viewpoint one will soon become a wiser person, a more serious cultivator.

Each day put your mind in the right perspective and do away with wrong views which are selfish and harmful. Life can be one of great happiness if one knows how to live it. The way to attaining such a life can be found in the life of the Buddha and from his teachings. Only those who are ready to renounce, to sacrifice, to be contented with what they have, are ready to become true Buddhists. Those who wish for happiness for their own selves will most likely find that Buddhism is a ridiculous religion. Those who look for convenience of practice will also find Buddhist practices to be impractical. Their minds will be filled with ‘reasons to object’ and many ‘buts’. Buddhism is therefore not easily accepted by mankind for even those who have accepted it often find it difficult to practise. Are you ready to accept this great path that promises happiness not only for yourself but for all other beings as well? Accepting the idea of practice is easy but really living a life which is in accordance to the Buddha’s directions may be very hard indeed.

Search your heart then and see whether there are easier paths at all and whether there is any path nobler than the Noble Eightfold Path which the Buddha has taught. Any path that does not require the purification of self, that does not require the good practice of love and concern for the happiness of others, that does not require effort and sacrifice, is not likely to be the path that leads to liberation. Kuan Shih Yin Path is one of such (noble) paths. Those who are on it should strive very hard not to be toppled by hindrances and other weaknesses, so that this life will be lived meritoriously!

Sunday, 6th October 1985
8th Moon, 22nd Day

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