Some of us know what we are worth but some of us think we are not worth much and not worthy of anything.
Lecturer Yarui shared with us, Shakyamuni Buddha’s final discourse before entering into Nirvana on this. This discourse has Buddha sharing how much we are really worth!
Shakyamuni Buddha shared that all of us, sentient beings have the potential to become Buddha like him!
It is just that we are now lost in cyclic existence and engulfed in suffering that keep us away from this state of ultimate happiness.
If we follow the Buddha’s teaching and practice, we all can become like him, free from suffering and have eternal bliss!
Thankful to our lecturer for this sharing during the BWM Auspicious Puja (Chinese). Reminding us to value our human life to learn and walk this noble path!
For the English Auspicious Puja, besides singing the Insightful Praises with the Auspicious Choir, I had the honour to do a short sharing.
Inspired by Venerable Bensi who in the last two weeks have been sharing on Karma, my sharing was also on the topic of karma.
Before I started my sharing, I had a question for the audience. They were not required to shout out their answer. They just have to answer it in their heart.
Here’s the question for you:
How many of you had worked with people who are extremely difficult? You have a face in your mind?
If not, you have many merits! For those who have, have you not asked yourself:
What have I done, to deserve this?
Well, I had such an experience. Not once but in cycles. At my first, work place, every colleague was fantastic. Too good to be true? Well, there is one exception! Just one.
Let’s call this person, A.
A is a fellow colleague whom I treated as a friend. One day, she requested to meet me specially after work and then advised me that I should not spend so much time at work. Instead, I should spend more quality time with my family and friends and do daily self-reflections.
Upon reflecting after our little chat, I felt I should still work diligently at work and that I was spending sufficient quality time with my family and friends. Though I do agree that I could do with more self-reflection.
When I had a promotion, this colleague soon left the company and didn’t keep in touch. I was sad that I lost a friend but my boss said that it was no loss if she couldn’t celebrate her friend’s success.
At my 2nd work place, similarly all the apples in this basket were good. Again, … except for one.
This time, B was pretty, well-liked, had excellent work standards but she felt that my boss favoured me more than her. She gave me a hard time in my 2nd year with the company. I accepted her cold treatment and carried on with my work, appreciating the other apples in the basket.
At my 3rd work place, you would have guessed it by now. All was good except for one!
I believe, you would have guessed it.
Was my life becoming predictable?
C was a senior. She was caught in the new IT wave of things. I spent many hours teaching her Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint. I too accompanied her to buy her hand phone and coached her personally. I even went property viewing with her during weekends on my own time so that she would stay safe in the apartment up for sale.
When tables turned, I had cried buckets of tears over many instances of unfair treatment. But I wanted to respect this senior for her experience. I didn’t gossip about her shortcomings or how she treated me. I even felt sorry for this person who was just very insecure. At that time, I may have practiced OMAK (observing merits and appreciating kindness) and it helped me to get by the tough times. I would still help this senior to buy her favourite Coca Cola when I went out for lunch. My lunch buddy who was among the few of those who knew of my predicament, scolded me for being crazy nice!
However, when things got so bad, my aunt then suggested that I should dedicate merits to this senior at annual pujas as she is one of my karmic debtors. At that time, I was lost in suffering and agreed. I did the dedication for maybe 2 or more years before deciding to dedicate the merits to all my karmic debtors and not just that senior.
Looking back at these cycles of similar turmoil with my karmic debtors… it is like what Venerable Bensi shared in the past 2 weeks. These are actually all due to my own past doings.
Buddhism has it that all effects of suffering came from non-virtuous deeds. They may not be from this life but the lives before. The truth is once a non-virtuous seed is planted, we will have to bear the effects of the cause until the day this debt is cleared. Until that day comes, the debt continues to grow!
I am glad that I persevered in not reacting in an overly non-virtuous manner for my encounters. So in the future, I don’t have to face added negative effects.
In addition, I am even more glad that I had in my past lives, planted majority of good seeds as many of my ex-colleagues are wonderful people!
The less pleasant individuals are just playing a role in our lives to let us clear our obstacles and move on in our pursuit for ultimate happiness.
The choice is ours: let the negativity grow life after life or to accept, face it and even better plant more good seeds and have happier future relationships.
At this juncture, I apologise to all my karmic debtors for the non-virtuous deeds that I have done and the harm that I have done to them. I dedicated the merits from today’s puja to them.
May we all have the opportunity to learn the Dharma and be blessed by the Triple Gems. Together may we attain Buddhahood!
Past sharing on Auspicious Puja: