Teaching of the month - Sep 2019

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27 Pu Bei Guan Yin

- Life circumstances of suffering and happiness are both inter-linked and are there for one to observe, to experience and to discover the whole complexity of the teachings of the Dharma that reflects everything and points to the Truth

- Investigate the true nature of the duality of happiness and misery to arrive at the doctrine of causation, look deeper and the entire mystery of life can be learned

- Learn to sit, watch, develop and respect the mind and then to apply wisdom to control the mind


How fortunate are the spiritually advanced ones for their worldly problems are getting scarcer so that true happiness is experienced. True happiness has nothing to do with earthly happiness which are linked to possessions, either emotionally or materially. True happiness is to attain the state of desirelessness and those who are on this path are not so affected by worldly attractions of any kind. When their circumstances are good, they accept their good arising-karma with gratefulness but without attachment to it. At such times they realise how fortunate they are and how unfortunate the suffering ones are, and they proceed to practise compassion towards them so that they could at least be a source of hope and joy to others.

When their circumstances are difficult, they do not see suffering as suffering, but a natural occurrence of samsaric existence, and so they see that suffering is quite necessary for their well-being in many ways. When suffering arises a calm and wise mind will watch it but will not be affected by it. Suffering then becomes an awakener to the realities of life, as a purificator of past evil karmas so that it becomes the beginning of happiness. Suffering and happiness are both inter-linked and will make a play of the mind to cause all kinds of grasping and delusion.

Because they exist on suchness, the average mind will not be able to understand their purpose, their deeper meanings. With effort, one is able to discover the whole complexity of the teachings of the Dharma. It reflects everything and points to the Truth. Though happiness and misery must be faced by all sentient beings but only a scarce few may develop the interest to investigate their natures to arrive at the doctrine of causation. Looking deeper, the entire mystery of life can be learned, and then they will skilfully learn how to get out of this entanglement which has bundled up their wisdom, like an unending string that keeps turning itself, completely enveloping the clarity of mind!

These last few days have been days of observing and learning. Dharma is not all the time realised by scripture reading or listening, but also by observing the ways of the world. Seeing how circumstances of misery and happiness exist together, seeing how easily one is tempted by greed for material gains, when one is born in a materially advanced location, seeing how little opportunities there are for such people to appreciate Dharma, much less to practise it, do you not yearn for peace and bliss? So it is not the best of life to be born in a country which is lacking in spiritual values. Life is short and where is the chance for anyone to develop himself towards Ultimate Happiness? To be born in the richest family need not mean that such a person is the most fortunate one. It’s just the play of his good karma-arising which will come to an end and then to be under the sway of evil-karma arising. In the same way, to be born in a poor family is not always a curse. Therefore be happy to be where one is, is the best attitude. To be able to hear and to practise the Dharma is the most blessed thing to do in life. To be able to be unaffected by life’s lessons in the forms of happiness and misery is blessed indeed.

The mind is formless and therefore said to be empty. How can one make it happy with materialism? It will only cause ‘false thought’ for clinging, thereby causing it to lose its directions. The purpose of life is to learn to be aware of the uselessness of clinging, and then the desire for bodily and worldly existence will cease, then there is no need to be under the influence of this dualistic appearances of the world.

Where then is the necessity for samsaric life which begins with life and ending in death? Where then is the delusion that death is the end of all sufferings when indeed it could be the beginning of a much longer series of suffering? Where then is the need to be a sentient being?

Life is filled with meaning and purpose. Your observations and feelings of the people of the advanced countries have not been wrong. Learn to see the pains that could arise out of great material success and draw a line of contentment with what you have. Since life is not about yearning for suffering then why would any be so attracted by worldly success. The example of what ignorance and greed was exhibited by the case of the person in the hospital. How sad!

To be rich in wealth and empty in wisdom about the truth of life, this can be seen in many, all over the world. He who has no contentment with what he has, becomes a miserable person and he is then affected by all kinds of cravings, which are the causes of great sufferings, both in this life and in the next. Therefore, you have the best circumstances in the world. Anyone who reads this message too can be said to be the most fortunate person in the world, if they are able to understand its deeper meanings. No one who has the opportunity to hear the Dharma is unfortunate.

First learn to sit and respect the mind. Mind is all. Everything arises from it, so it must be respected and watched, and developed. Just sitting alone can be a great help to mind realisation. Then learn to think, to concentrate, to know what life is. Knowing is more important than anything else because it leads to keen searching. Before this life is ended, those who have found some wisdom will learn to control their mind for a certain extent, and they will realise the follies of useless and impermanent craving, they will generate good karma!

Monday, 6th October 1986
9th Moon,3rd Day

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