Teaching of the month - May 2017

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Patiently Transcending Sufferings, An Enlightening Journey

33KuanYin 32


The way to Enlightenment is long, very very long! It has numberless obstacles, all kinds of obstacles, from pleasant to great difficulty. Yet each being is journeying towards it all the time.

Some may not know this and their life seem to be meaningless, others are aware of it, but they lack the strength to overcome all the barriers that are before them and so, instead of cross them over, become immersed with the barriers and end in confusion; but there are a scarce few who will energetically strive to overcome each obstacle, they know their goal and they will try with all their might to develop the wisdom to overcome all difficulties, their life is fulfilling, meaningful!

Patience is one great virtue that must be practised. Without it, Dharma practice will be impossible. There is no short cut to attainment and there is no attainment without struggles, and it is these struggles that make the attainment sweet and lasting! In the beginning a search is needed, to find the path that is suitable for practice. Having found it, one has to make the decision to enter the path which is his vehicle towards Enlightenment. To qualify being one who is on the path, there is much to learn and lots to practise which can be painstaking slow and difficult! The easy paths lead to nowhere or may even lead one to greater delusion, so one must not be tempted to take the easy way out. Dharma practice is self-purification of the body and mind of the immeasurable defilements that one has accumulated in the course of countless lifetimes of ignorant living. The awakened person who has found the path sets his mind to cleanse himself of all the defilements that he has inherited through his wrong actions.

Therefore two prominent features of the Dharma-farer are the enormous toils and sufferings that he must undergo. Sufferings which cleanse his mind will eventually lead him to the understanding of the Four Noble Truths - then, Wisdom, and the readiness to accept the struggles ahead! Therefore, those who wish to attain the state of a pure being must subject himself to certain amount of sufferings which manifest in unlimited forms, but its purification indeed, and as one with patiently understanding accepts the pains of life, knowing their causes and intelligently seeks the way to end such pains, he is steadily moving along the path of Buddhahood!

It should be clear to the mind that the arising of sufferings is not the doing of Dharma practice, that sufferings are not inflicted onto oneself by the Divinities to test one’s loyalty or endurance although one who is practising devotion tends to treat it from this perspective. And suffering is not unending for the practitioner too. It all depends on the karmic energy that has been released and he who has learned to be unaffected by it will surely experience the joy of transcending it! Then stage by stage, from one who enters the path, to one who has certain attainments, then to Arahatship, which leads to Bodhisattvahood, and then the goal, Enlightenment!

Friday, 21st March 1986
2nd Moon, 12th Day

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