- Life must be lived in a positive state of mind with the dharma knowledge to generate the confidence to move forward and to face all eventualities bravely for a meaningful and happy life.
- An environment can influence one’s mental states which in turn, depending on our choices made, will create the conditions for a meaningful and happy life or a life of sufferings and pains.
OM MANI PADME HUM
Life must be lived with confidence if it is to be meaningful and happy. This really means that one should be prepared to face all eventualities bravely. When this is possible, one’s mind is clear and a clear mind is capable of removing all kinds of hindrances and delusions. Many begin worship with a doubt and then disturbing thoughts arise to cause greater doubts. Then even the little bit of faith that one has, will be clouded by such enveloping thoughts. The result will be one of frustration and the losing of confidence in oneself and the teaching - worship becomes meaningless!
The state of mind that one has will determine the on-coming thoughts. When one is in doubt, then unclear thinking takes hold of the mind which result in wrong views; when one is gloomy and frightful and life will not be happy; when one has a positive mind, Dharma knowledge becomes more meaningful and one generates confidence, then life can be faced bravely!
Environment has a lot to do with one’s mental states. Therefore it is up to one to be ever mindful of the conditions, and environment that are affecting one’s line of thinking. A person who is in the company of superstitious people is easily led to false thoughts; a person who is in the company of sensual people will easily be attracted by worldly passions; a person who is in the company of spiritual-minded ones will prefer to improve his mind and cultivate peace. So it is entirely up to an individual to decide what he or she wants out of life. Then a goal in life is set and all that is needed to do is to earn it! Life then becomes a great challenge instead of a struggle because the goal is there, waiting to be claimed!
How soon will one’s prayers be answered will depend largely on one’s wisdom and method of practice. Many are praying for blessings but why is it that only a mere few will receive the benefits of their efforts? It is because they have understood the way to achieving a quick result. First of all they pray with full confidence, then they cleverly move away from negative environment and head for the favourable conditions that will change and benefit their mental states.“They know that in order to become dry, they must first of all get out of the rain - even though they have an umbrella!” It would be useless to just wish for the thunderstorm to cease when it is much easier to seek shelter. The mind of man is very creative and is able to solve all kinds of situations. It is entirely up to a person to develop the wisdom by himself.
Life is a process of learning. From birth till death, every moment offers ones the opportunities to learn. All learning eventually leads to the same goal even though they do not appear to be so at first glance. It’s the learning of how to end suffering! Those who follow the Buddha’s teachings are told to recognise that this is the real goal of life. No matter what a person is doing in life, striving for this or that, it is ultimately because he is hoping to be happy and that he fears any kind of suffering. Without Dharma knowledge, a person gropes around delaying his journey towards the ‘end of suffering!' So many people follow the various Paths that promise ‘freedom from suffering’. Even those who have no religion are working towards it. But they are going about it differently and are taking a longer road.
A Buddhist is placed 'on the Path to Liberation’ towards the abode of Peace and Bliss! This is very fortunate situation for he has a greater advantage over his fellow beings - but only if he will learn to move forward - bravely and confidently! In the beginning the journey is difficult. This is because he has not yet acquired the wisdom to transcend false thoughts and views which are represented by the dualities that he encounters. That is why this world has such a great hold on all beings, causing them to cling on instead of renouncing. It will take great efforts to find the intuitive wisdom that lies dormant within oneself. This then is really ‘a world of patience’. Once duality is transcended, wisdom will arise then the world will be seen in its right perspective, it is a world of suffering!
Monday, 15th June 1987
5th Moon, 20th Day