Concentrate only on Cultivation

From:Voice of Longquan     Author:Voice of Longquan     Time:2017-08-21 17:14:06
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Do not focus on the result. Consider the cause. Did you make up your mind resolutely? Could you have been more resolute? Did you work hard? Could you have worked harder? If you are always wrestling with difficulties and problems, even if you think about them again and again, what good can it do?

Q: Venerable Master, nowadays domestic violence against women is rife. Some Buddhists believe that this is an unpaid debt that can be traced back to a past life and that the victims ought to endure this in order to pay their debts. Is this a correct way of thinking? What is the right way to handle this according to the Dharma?

A: If you can suffer injury without giving rise to any vexation and still maintain faith that karma will bear fruit, that is an ideal state. However, you should in no way impose such requirements on others. Disciples of the Buddha are required to use the Dharma to purify their hearts of indignation and not to allow hatred to grow. However, this does not mean that you have to allow someone to do harm to you. Protect yourself and eliminate negative karma by repenting of wrongdoing in a way that is in accordance with the Dharma


Q: My humble greetings to you master. The impermanence of life bewilders me. I worked hard at my job but was suddenly let go. I feel totally disconcerted, drowsy and without any energy. I have to make ends meet but I’m overwhelmed by helplessness. When will I break free of this futile mental state? Please could you shed some light on this issue?

A: Do not focus on the result. Consider the cause. Did you make up your mind resolutely?  Could you have been more resolute? Did you work hard? Could you have worked harder? If you are always wrestling with difficulties and problems, even if you think about them again and again, what good can it do?


Q: Master, for a lay Buddhist, there are almost no opportunities to get to know a master. How would you suggest that lay Buddhists should practice in order to make progress?

A: You should get to know a wisely led team of teachers and Dharma companions and integrate yourself with them. In the same way education at primary school, secondary school and university undergraduate level adopts a teaching method involving large classes, while education at masters and doctoral level is guided by supervisors, involving one-on-one mentorship. Buddhist practice is similar to secular education in that it takes different forms at different stages and under different sets of causes and conditions. The different styles of Buddhist practice are also all individual.


Q: My humble greetings to you master. As a mortal person, I do now know who I was in my last life, nor do I know who I will be in my next life after dying and being reincarnated. Therefore, if I pursue liberation, who is it in the end who is pursuing liberation? Or, in other words, in this life, I could just indulge myself, because in the next life whether I meet with suffering or joy doesn’t matter to my present self. (I wouldn’t be able to complain about my present self.) Therefore, what is the point in dedicating oneself to Buddhist practice and trying to improve with each life? I humbly request your merciful advice. 

A: Do you care about suffering or joy in this moment? No matter whether in the past, the present or in the future, people always cling to the “I” of that immediate instant as if neither the suffering or joy of the past nor of the future can have any existence. They always remain in the suffering or joy of the present moment. As long as this clinging is unbroken, this is their reality, and yet this “suffering or joy in the moment” has an intimate connection with deeds done in the past. 

Editor:Bella Liu
Tags:suffering or joy in the moment, deeds done in the past

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