Teaching of the month - May 2019

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THE WAY TO RAISE THE MIND TO HIGHER LEVELS

23 Liu Li GuanYin

- Know That It Is Silly to Get Angry With The ‘Self’ Which One Cannot Even Pin-Point
- Be Aware, Calm The Mind, Know And Watch The Agitated Or ill-Feelings To Stop Generating And Spreading Anger, And Thus Turning It Into Rare Opportunities For Mind Training
- Overcome ‘Wrong Day’ With A Stronger Motive To Practise And To Increase One’s Energy For Cultivation In Order To Ensure The Continuity Of One’s Years And Lifetimes Of Spiritual Practise Or Else All Will Be Lost

OM MANI PADME HUM

There will always be days when one feels disgruntled with the world with no apparent reasons. On such days one becomes moody and easily distracted as concentration will be very difficult. Even to recite prayers may become unmeaningful so that during the midst of it, the mind drifts - here, there, everywhere, on all kinds of irrelevant topics. Then one is angry with oneself!

What can one do on a day like this? There is no point being angry with oneself! It is silly to get angry with the ‘self’ which one cannot even pin-point it. It is like getting angry with the wall or a tree. Only a mad person can get angry with a wall or any inanimate object. Then one gets angry with the most convenient living object, an animal or a person. Again one is being angry with ‘nothingness’ and this anger is another act of a mad person. But anger once generated may be contagious so that those who have been targets of such anger may in turn generate their anger towards others. And so it spreads, from one to several, so that such days become unbearable for oneself and many others.

One who is practising Kuan Yin practice must avoid acting like a mad person on such days. One should be aware that such are perfect days of practice and instead of being down-hearted and disgruntled, welcome these rare opportunities for mind training, for they come only once in a long while. Feelings may be agitated but the mind must not be so, it must be calm and be able to watch such feelings! It then becomes an opportunity to practise concentration, patience and perseverance. Once the mind knows, watches, and reasons, then such ill-feelings towards ‘emptiness’ become truly empty! When such feelings have been removed, a new surge of confidence arises and one is able to enter into the state of prayers and tranquillity eventually.

Actually each day is the same, it is nothing and it should not be causes of happiness or despair. It’s like a road which has existed and many people travel along it day by day. When one sees this scene from afar, it is just a road with many travellers, but when one gets nearer and is able to see the faces of the people, one is able to discover that some are happy, some neutral and others in some form of agitated expressions. So the people’s minds are being affected by emotions which are not caused by the road.

In the same way, each day is to be welcome and not to be seen differently. One must learn how to subdue one’s mind from such delusive thoughts that generate false feelings. On such days, it is best to meditate on feelings, for their sensations have been felt strongly. Do not just give up, thinking that there are wrong days to practise Dharma or the mind may become attached to such conclusions. Then such ‘wrong days’ will begin to multiply because the mind is naturally bent towards indiscipline. If one needs a stronger motive to practise, then think that such days really signify that the end of one’s spiritual practice is near, that one’s limited energy for cultivation is near to exhaustion and that unless one begins earnestly to gather or increase such energies now, all will be lost. The years and lifetimes of practice is coming to an end. Then meditate with ‘fear’ that this could also be the end of this lifetime and to die with such a disturbed mind would be a great loss. Moreover, knowing that a troubled mind will not bring about a good rebirth, should generate sufficient energy for one to change the attitude. Bearing in mind that to attain good rebirth into the higher realms can only come about as a result of a calm and happy mind and that entering into the suffering realms require ‘no effort’ whatsoever, this will bring one back onto the path of practice. To have a human mind is such a rare gift that one must not waste it.

Life is indeed short and uncertain. Do not give way to wrong views of an undisciplined mind. The sole purpose of life is to learn to know the nature of the mind, to purify it and to raise it to higher levels. There are may kinds of mind in existence but the ‘human mind’ is the rarest and most precious. It has the right vehicle or the body for it to work with. Pains and joys of human life bring forth the determination to remove sufferings and to seek for everlasting happiness, which means seeking for the ‘way’ for achieving it. The way is the Dharma. It is the proven Path that the Buddhas have trod, it is for all to seek and tread it!

Monday, 28th Apr 1986
3rd Moon, 20th Day

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