Teaching of the month - Jan 2017

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Challenges, Motivations And Commitments Of A Cultivator

33KuanYin 28


Seeking the way to attain meaning in worship is difficult if you are only praying for the well-being of yourself and for those who are close to you. To have such a desire is not to be considered as charitable at heart or holy in intentions.

With this mental state, the mind of enlightenment will not arise and worship will become half-hearted causing one to be strong in worship in times of want and so the way to attain the meaning that will hold the mind to worship is absent.

It is necessary that one must be able to embrace all beings in the universe as his own immediate family. It is important to feel the pains that are encountered by others and also realise that you too must go through some kinds of pains during this and all future lifetimes. The mind must be clear in the doctrines of the Buddha and must have the great urge to set oneself free from these suffering realms. Only when the dissatisfactions of samsaric existences are felt can there be the energy to move forward and begin the process of learning, purification practice and participation. The way to cultivate will then be opened to him who is sincere and true to himself. Seeking the meaning can then be achieved but there will be the great need for perseverance to continue despite difficult situations which are bound to arise whether you are a cultivator or not, but because you are now one, you will be more aware and more dissatisfied with such situations which you may tend to accept as the result due to your worship or any other reasons. Remove this superstitious mind and be ready to face all kinds of situations, no matter how tough they are, treating them as part of the purification process, the repayment of past karmic debts, the way to awakening you further, to toughen you more, to be tests of your perseverance, to be tests of your faith and so on. With this line of thought, you will be able to accept all life’s situations with fortitude, you will appreciate life better and you will be thanking for all the good deeds that are performed not only by yourself but others as well.

You will need to be committed to your practice and be ready for changes which may affect your way of life. To be able to discard all bad practices may cause you to part with things which are painful, for you will have to practice detachment. To be able to practice good will mean so much sacrifices that you may not have the strength to sustain your practice. But knowing the impermanence of all things, you will soon be able to grow with strength. So walk the path with care and do not force yourself to be extreme in views and practices. Apply wisdom, practise contemplation with honesty and soon all sacrifices that you are making for the sake of living meritoriously will not mean a thing to you. You will move on gradually from material to spiritual and the contentment of life shall no longer be measured by selfish wants and possessions but whether those about you are happy or not, then you have found the meaning that you have been searching for. Then you will realise how lost you have been and how really unhappy you have been because of all those unfulfillments and desires. Once you are on this plane of development, you are ready to walk the Compassionate path and then the taking of the great Bodhisattva Vows will become meaningful, then the recitation of the five Good Precepts will become ‘practice’ and the days ahead will always be meaningful as you realise your weaknesses and how much you will need to practise to correct yourself. You will pursue and develop confidence in yourself and your reliance on your divine teacher will be more and more meaningful. You will be a new person, with a new set of ideals in life, the former you has died and the new life begins from this point. You are then the bodhisattva who has entered into the arena of practice which will develop you into a highly evolved being who does not care so much for your own self any more. Then the meaning of worship will be with you at each moment of your life so that through this practice, you will learn appreciation, humility, sympathy, loving kindness and all the great virtues that the sages, Bodhisattvas and Buddhas of the past have accumulated. With this great determination to follow the way to enlightenment, you will also be more keenly aware of the weakness of the majority of the beings and you can see and understand their sufferings in life very clearly. You must then make the resolution to help them to free themselves from the great sufferings no matter how much you must sacrifice. Then and only then will Bodhicitta arise and the meaning to practise diligently will be attained. Each morning as you sit and pray and meditate, there will be so much that you would like to do for others, but you will feel so helpless and therefore seek the assistance of the Bodhisattvas to assist these suffering beings, you will also want to become such a being who is able to help. With this great motivation in practice, how can you ever fail, how can you not attain the meaning of worship and cultivation?

Let this year be one of stricter practice and all the laxities of the past years be dispelled. You must set the examples for others to follow. You must be ready to set the rules too so that those who also have this keen interest to practise strictly will appreciate you more and thereby willingly give their hands of support. Or you will bear the responsibility to help the many who are drawn to this Altar. Be the son that I have chosen to do some works which will cause others to practise the good path, be ready to pray alone and continue to practice and serve. The way to attain deeper meanings can only be found through your own cultivation and how much you may know will depend on how much you deserve to know. This is the life of great learning and accumulation of spiritual knowledge, do not waste it by weak commitments. All that you do will benefit others in the future and if it be your vow to serve Me in all your other lifetimes then serve Me as well as you can in this life!

Thursday, 5th January 1984
12th Moon, 3rd Day

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