To let go of unhappiness is an act of transcendence

From:Voice of Longquan     Author:Voice of Longquan     Time:2017-08-16 21:14:28
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The more we seek outward, the more we feel empty, confused, and exhausted inside, since external factors are changing constantly and out of control. We need to find our directions and dreams and to enrich our inner world so that we can be self-motivated instead of being motivated by others’ approval.

Q: Prostrate to Master! I am going through a nasty divorce with my husband. If I do not fight back, he might think I can do nothing about his misconduct; on the other hand, I’m afraid my counterattack would cause other malign effects and start a vicious cycle. However, my inner voice keeps saying, "Don't make excuses for your cowardice." Can I use his misconduct to justify my revenge? What is a Buddhist viewpoint of this matter? 

A: The evil karmas you’ve created in previous lives are responsible for his hurting you in the present life. By taking revenge or counterattacking, you give temporary vent to your anger, but your action will bundle you and him into future rebirths and hurt you both; only a deep conviction of the law of cause and effect will truly free you and uplift you to a bright future. A genuine Buddhism believer understands that to let go of hatred is not an act of cowardice, but of transcendence. 


Q: Venerable Master, please help me! I was once badly hurt. Although it happened long ago, I would still burst into tears at a mere mention of the incident. Master, how much strength does it take for one to forget the previous wounds? 

A: What you should do is not to forget, but to transcend that experience. Our physical growth helps us to step over a previously impossible barrier. Likewise, our mental growth helps us to get over previous wounds. If you choose to stay in the same place, you will not heal no matter how much time elapses. 


Q: Master, I’m always criticized by others, and I feel I have no merit at all. Master, could you recommend some Zen books to me? I feel quite restless and want to become peaceful.

A: who are "others"? How many people have criticized you? Why did they criticize you? Are the criticisms justified? Take some time to calm down and think about it. We should go deeper to analyze causes and conditions instead of simply yielding to transient emotions. Many people only see things on a superficial level and then get trapped in their own opinions and feelings and suffer from distress. 


Q: Greetings Master! I care too much about others’ opinions of me, and especially so during socializing context. My happiness and sorrow are decided by others’ response. I am eager to show others my good performance; when I fail to do well, I would have a sense of inferiority. Anxiety tires me out. Please, Master, what should I do?

A: When we are lack of true self-confidence, self-esteem, goal and direction, we will build our sense of security and achievement upon others’ opinions, therefore constantly seek other’s approval. The more we seek outward, the more we feel empty, confused, and exhausted inside, since external factors are changing constantly and out of control. We need to find our directions and dreams and to enrich our inner world so that we can be self-motivated instead of being motivated by others’ approval. 

Editor:Bella Liu
Tags:transcendence, mental growth, be self-motivated

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