Teaching of the month - Dec 2020

YEAR-END SELF-REFLECTION AND SELF-CORRECTION

KuanYin-q09

Using The Noble Eightfold Path as a Way of Practice to guide the ordinary lay person with practicable set of instructions for self-reflection and self-correction on one’s life lived unwholesomely thus far.

This teaching contains a concoction of the “Spiritual Vaccine” to protect one against the “dis-eases of the mind”, the “Spiritual Medicine or Antidote” to cure the “dis-eased mind” or to neutralise the “poisoned mind”, and the “Spiritual Nutrients” to maintain a heathy mind as well as to purify the mind.

 

OM MANI PADME HUM

It is time to reflect deeply of what this year has been so that one will become more determined to commit lesser unwholesome acts next year and there should be the wish to practise so that one’s faults are reduced to half, one’s merits are increased many folds, and one is ever aware of the need to bring happiness to others through skilful actions, good intentions and right speech.

 

Be a True Cultivator

Removing the last traces of anger, greed, lust and all kinds of delusion is the aim of practice. There is no use believing that being committed to a faith will lead to the end of suffering. Only those who put the teachings of the faith into action with right intention of self-purification will benefit, only the true cultivators will actually benefit ultimately. With this understanding, be resolute and be firm about what next year shall be. Faults must be corrected, weaknesses must be recognised, hindrances of the mind must be removed and all traces of selfish thoughts must be extinguished. It is so sad to see a person practising in a hypocritical manner, it is simply ugly and disgusting to see him acting with selfish intentions, speaking in a manner which will bring credit to himself, speaking in a way that will cause doubt and hatred to others, and kneeling down in prayers which are absent of love and compassion.

 

Practise Love and Compassion

Active love and compassion can be practised quite easily by all. Visiting the sick and rejected ones to give them the joy of companionship should be one of the main activities of this Order. It needs not be performed in group, it needs not be only a monthly affair, but individual actions which may be performed at any moment of each day. Live in cultivation. Do not fix time to improve yourself and ensure that humility and gentleness must be present in all actions.

 

Watch One’s Speech

Watch the speech. It is the most harmful part of the body that will cause hurt to others. One wrong word may mean a lot of difference to many people. It is better to keep views to oneself instead of speaking senselessly and foolishly. Karma of the speech have brought many beings to be reborn into the lowest realm.

 

Drop Anger, Be Forgiving

Be forgiving and drop anger as if you are holding a lump of burning coal - that is what anger is to you. Those who get angry too easily are always living in a mental state of hell. Ignorance dulls their minds from realising this truth and so they burn up their merits and burn up their lives. At the same time such people will also cause great misery to others, especially those who are below their positions in life. Hell awaits those who enjoy causing pains and grief to others.

 

Jealousy Is The Poison, Rejoice In Others’ Goodness Is The Antidote

Be free from jealousy so as to free oneself from wrong thoughts and views which will only bring misery to oneself. The jealous person has a dull mind which may lead him to hold unclear and stupid views, which in turn will develop all the other negative emotions. Such people are likely to end up in the suffering realms or at best become an animal in the next birth. How often do you hear of jealous person doing silly deeds that harm others. They may even end their lives through it and believe that sorrows can be terminated through this act. If they only know how much more and even greater sufferings are waiting for them in their next existences. Accept what you are and be ready to rejoice in the good done by others, in the happiness of others’ good fortune, you will laugh at any jealous thoughts that may arise. If you are always jealous of your mate, you are only entertaining a suspicious mind and you will end up in a mess. Let wisdom rule the heart, cancel off emotions that cloud the mind and be ready to overcome jealousy with patience and understanding. Only a calm person can see the evil effects of the jealous mind!

 

Act Considerately, Live Beneficially

Be considerate and avoid living for your own happiness. There are many opportunities for one to practise considerate acts. Stinginess is one of the main causes of inconsiderate acts, therefore practise generosity and develop the wish to see happiness in the faces of those about and around you. Practise concern for other’s well-being and it will not be too difficult to live considerately and beneficially. And most important of all, practise the way of life that is most suitable for all, the Noble Eightfold Path which brings about total freedom from all kinds of suffering. Avoid those actions which will bring harmful effects, avoid company which can sway you away from practice and avoid learning complicated practices which you are uncertain of even though they may promise you the rewards of heaven. Live simply, live contentedly, live in harmony with one and all. Let there be peace of mind, let there be pure practice that will develop loving kindness and compassion and then there is no more need to find quicker methods to enlightenment. Whatever ways there are, they need not be suitable for you. Be ready to develop your spiritual practices slowly and firmly. Knowing your practice is much more important than anything else.

 

Live The Bodhisattva Spirit and Be Patient

Put the Bodhisattva Spirit in you and no matter how long it takes for you to gain enlightenment, what does it matter? It is not for you to decide when enlightenment should be, it is up to you to do your best and live your best, making sure that all actions of life are as clean and good as possible. Patience is one of the most precious virtues to practise and patiently you should live. If it will take a million years to attain Buddhahood, it is not wise to hope for instant attainment. Remember well that the quicker path may lead one to abandonment when foundation is lacking. All that you can learn from this room will lead you to the directions that are most beneficial if you will continue to strictly follow the instructions. This easy path may even be a much quicker path than very many existing ones.

 

A Practicable Yet Non-Describable Way of Practice

Recall how much you have learned and how meaningful it has been. Yet can you really describe that way that you are following? It is a way of practice that you have no-way to describe and yet it is practice itself!

Take to heart, the putting of full faith in your Namo Guru, in the holy mantra which consists of only six sounds, in your own ability to follow simple instructions and inclinations.

 

May the next year be a much more meaningful year, a more active year, a more meritorious year, and may it benefit more and more people in every way. May you and all with you receive guidance and blessings!

 

Monday, 31st December 1984
11th Moon, 10th Day

Read 324 times