Teaching of the month - Aug 2017

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Leading And Guiding Others In Spiritual Practice

02LongTou GuanYin


Everyone knows how to recite a meaningful prayer, but very few can derive benefits out of their meanings. That is why you will find that most people who have been praying or involved with acts of worship over a great number of years are still in the dark of what their practice really is.

To have realisable and effective results, all causes must be well-motivated which in turn leads to good-practice. Without a goal, how can a journey be made? Even with a goal, one must first seek the path of practice and know how to practise its requirements. Then the journey is with a proper direction and all is well.

Just ask those who have been worshipping Deities and Buddhas and you will find it unbelievable that their spiritual knowledge is so shallow. For such people you must live your life to benefit, bring to them the sense of knowing, and the proper reasons for spiritual practice! In your own way, do the best that you can and do not allow an excuse to discourage your work! Helping someone who is lost is a great meritorious act, what of helping the thousands that you shall be meeting, who are travellers, who are completely lost and having forgotten their destination!

Their future lives are at stake! Without a proper path could mean rebirth into suffering states, and without any compassionate guide, how are they to head towards the right direction? It may seem an insignificant task, it may be unrewarding as well, but why worry of what’s in it for you if you are truly spiritual?

The path of happiness is open to all! It is the duty of every being to help each other to reach it! Who in the universe do not wish for happiness? How can happiness be possible if only oneself is happy while those around us are in a state of woe? Can one truly be happy in his heart in the midst of unhappy, angry and wicked people? In the midst of war and strife?

With a selfish mind, one may shut his eyes of awareness to the realities of life, and he may force himself to pretend being happy! But in his heart of hearts, he will be disturbed and he cannot be happy. This is because inherently all beings also have the compassionate nature. Deep in his mind he cares, no matter how cruel he may seem to be, and it will only need a skillful guide or teacher to point it to him to let his ‘trapped’ energy of love flow out! Or he may need a situation to wake up him or any other possible methods! Those who are here with you are already trying to develop this wonderful compassionate nature! It is your joyful duty to help them because they too have helped you to develop your newly flowered nature of compassion! They are truly your spiritual friends, they are your treasures if you know how to polish them! Life for you has great purpose and meaning, do not waste it!

In the coming festival all the prayers that need to be recited should be planned by you - but help them to be in that state of mind where they can derive the benefits of those meaningful prayers. Ensure that their motivation is pure and noble! See to it that prayers that they recite will hold their mind. Make it so meaningful that they will develop the love for worship and prayers in the future! This is your year of learning and you must not depend on others but yourself to perform beneficial spiritual practice. To do so you need to be reflective, even in a contemplative state... you need to spend more and more time with yourself! Prayers are necessary but secondary!

Be in a state of prayers while you are awake, it takes greater effort to be so than to recite prayers throughout the day! Then your mind is filled with right thoughts and negative energy will not easily distract you! Develop around you then, this ‘energy shield of love’ which protects you day and night! All the various methods of practice that you know are workable. But you are still seeking for other ways so as to appease your mind! This is a natural tendency but it is best not to change from one method to another until you have given it sufficient practice over a period of time.

Here is a good method which you may practise now until the festival day. If you find it exhilarating and wonderful to the mind, practise it with others!

With a relaxed mind and body, sit before the holy image of the shrine or just facing the open sky. Sit in the most comfortable manner as you would in meditational practice. Lightly close your eyes and concentrate in a short recitation of the Mani by which you invoke the energy of Love and Compassion. Imagine that a tiny Divine Light is slowly appearing, it grows and changes into the form of your Beloved Guru! Guru is smiling and looks at you with compassionate eyes, you are practising purity of mind and Guru is pleased! The heart of Guru emits dazzling but soothing lights! Their rays shine in every direction, indicating that it is selfless for all who seek it! Then the rays become concentrated and they are beamed at your heart!

Now visualise your own heart glowing with the great cosmic energy that is flowing into it from Guru’s heart! Make a bow of gratefulness and at this moment, your heart has been changed into Guru’s Holy Heart! No more are there selfish feelings, no more defilements of any kind! Guru has implanted the Holy Heart into you. Look at your heart, imagine it filling up with nectar of love, which is overflowing, filling up your entire body. This visualisation causes your bodily and mental obscuration to be purified!

And now you must think of all other beings in the universe who are lacking of this nectar of love! Without hesitation send forth, from your heart, rays of light to all directions. This is your commitment you must remember, you will always treat other beings with love henceforth! They are dear to you, they have been mother beings to you before, but even if you feel that some possibly could not have been, still you could act as their mother or father being! Your kind Guru has sent you the Holy Heart! Who are you to deserve it? Why did Guru’s heart become one with you? You are in the Path of Dharma, you are supposed to be freed from aversion - clinging and preferring those who are near and dear, and avoiding those who are distant to you. Feel oneness with all just as Guru feels oneness with you! Allow these rays of love to touch the hearts of all sentient beings, burning up their evilness and dispositions, and purifying them. Through you, all beings of the universe are receiving the rays of light from your Guru.

You are the bridge, your effort is their benefit and your life is henceforth lived to help all beings whom you meet to be on the path of love and happiness. At the end of this contemplation, imagine that all beings have been purified, withdraw the rays. Only your heart is seen now. It is glowing with energy which can be directed to other beings at any instant, whenever there is need. This glow will always be with you throughout your life as long as your practice is well motivated with selflessness. Keep this glow within your heart throughout your life, throughout all future lifetimes until Enlightenment is reached. The power of the glow within your heart can be seen by those who can see. And those who can see are the spiritual ones - both Pure and Wicked. The Pure Ones will be adding blessings to you by sending their rays of love energy to you whenever your own is discharged to others. You have limitless sources of replenishment, you need not worry when it will end! The negative forces will shun you and avoid you. It is easier for them to disturb those who do not have this ‘shield of love’ to protect them. Love conquers all. It is the root to all virtues. It develops the energy field that even the Gods will envy! Live your life then with love, developing it to its highest limit and feel the benefits of this great shield of protection that becomes part of you at every moment of the day. Then prayers have become effects! The light of love radiates from you to protect others, the shield of love energy radiates from you to protect others, the shield of love energy in turn protects you fully!

Friday, 14th March 1986
2nd Moon, 5th Day

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