HOMAGE TO OUR TEACHER FOR THE DHARMA
Buddhism has its charm. It is very practical. It is worth everyone’s exploration.
It addresses the issue of our afflictions and suffering.
By nature, all humans seek happiness and stay away from suffering.
Do you have suffering?
What caused them?
Contemplate if you are often moved by your emotions? Are you? Dragged by the nose by your emotions?
Is the turbulence of your emotions like the rise and fall of share prices in the stock market?
If share prices are affected by market forces, your turbulent emotions may often be driven by our views and perspectives.
A question for you to ponder:
Is there happiness in the world that is not driven by emotions?
Would you agree that your emotions are often influenced your views and perception?
Do you also agree that the attitude and perspective towards a similar issue can bring some people happiness and others suffering?
Which group do you belong to?
Think of a situation which can have one person almost exploding but brings happiness to another?
One possibility is “rain”.
One may hate the rain as it may wet and damage the new shoes or bags they bought or the material posessions they treasure.
Contemplate if the attitude you choose determine your receiving outcome of happiness or suffering?
It does, right?
There is a huge gap between these two resultant experiences. But YOU are the determining factor.
The adoption of a pessimistic attitude is based on your personal views. Thus, you are the source of your own suffering or your happiness.
Fear not, there is a solution!
There is structured step- by-step approach which our teacher advocates.
Take that first step towards happiness!
GO FOR IT!
Firstly, when the next affliction or turbulence occurs, ask yourself which would you choose?
Would you choose happiness or would you choose suffering?
Remember that your choice determines the end result.
However, that is not easy to do this. It takes time and practice.
Just remember this is definitely a worthwhile investment if the afflictions and suffering are affecting your lifestyle or your relationship with our loved ones.
Secondly, observe and write it down.
People can be categorized in many ways.
One possible way of categorizing people when they face adversities is as follows:
1. Those who blame others.
2. Those who reflect on themselves. Are they also responsible in any way for the adversity?
Observe yourself when you face adversity or at least do a post-reflection. Look out for your:
- body language
- facial experience
- does it affect your lifestyle
- your breathing
- the intensity
- what caused the turbulence or afflictions
- your eye contact with others
Thirdly, start working from within. Seek to adjust yourself from the heart. Instead of being dragged by your emotions.
During the discussion, I shared that I was once angry over one incident and cried for two days.
I spoke to at least seven people to answer that I was not over sensitive or implusive or blinded by anger.
I perhaps I wanted to ensure that I was thinking logically and not blinded by anger or driven by the hurt ego.
After two days, I made a life changing decision. And three months down the road, I had a chat with the person involved but with no more animosity.
My heart was at a good place. I shared how I was affected and I am excited with the new adventure which lies ahead.
The person mentioned that the turn of events was not planned or orchestrated in anyway.
It does not matter anymore. We wished each other all the best in our future endeavor.
Though I could observe the kindness as an opportunity to venture new terrain and did not blame anyone, I still did not see any fault in myself. I stood by my belief and my principles.
A word of advice from our Venerable who led the discussion.
Does the issue have other possible perspectives?
Was my view warped?
Did I have a blind spot or gaps that were not filled?
The words of wisdom were:
Translated, it would mean to stand by our principles and belief but not be overly attached to them.
An example would be, our Master Jih-Chang is very particular about punctuality but he is not affected by it if others are not punctual.
If we work on it and practice time and again, we will be able to control our afflictions and gain more happiness while reducing suffering.
It is how we look at the issue versus the actual nature of the issue.
May all who read this will become a happier person day by day, month by month until we all achieve ultimate happiness!
Grateful to our Teacher Zhenru and Venerable RuZheng for sharing such wisdom with us.
Penned by 妙矜