Serenity Does Not Stand in the Way of Dedication

From:Voice of Longquan      Author:Voice of Longquan     Time:2017-11-19 13:55:25
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Buddhism requires a lot of dedication yet at the same time, brings a great sense of peace. It not only helps people to pursue a serene life but more importantly, it teaches them how to pick themselves up and let go.

Q: Greetings Master! Recently I have found that, however dedicated I am, I just can’t achieve my goals even though others are able to achieve theirs. Nevertheless, I am quite happy for my friends’ accomplishments. I know clearly that the “fruit” I have received today is the result of having failed to plant good “seeds” previously. I am also very much aware that I must take action and practice Buddhism properly in order to plant food seeds for the future. Despite this, I am still miserable. Can you tell me why?

A: This is because you have not truly understood and accepted how karma (cause and effect) affects us. You are still making comparisons between yourself and others regarding karmic effects and this makes you ‘miserable.’ An example of this principle can be highlighted in this way: Will a mom of a three-month-old baby be envious of the fact that a two-year-old child can already talk and walk? Of course not. There are no grounds for comparison between the two kids. Similarly, we don’t have grounds to compare people who have completely different predestined relationships and diverse starting points. You must return to your inner self in order to realize the true nature of all conditions and make your current condition one that is pure and whole. In this way, you will make a better future. This is how Buddhism views the world.

Q: Master, why do I care so much about others’ opinions? How can I overcome this? Also, how would you define mercy and kindness?

A: In most cases, when you claim that you care about others’ opinions, it is yourself that you truly care about. It is how others view, treat and think of YOU that you are concerned about and whether their words or deeds are in accord with your interests. This is because the concept of ‘me’ is very much the focus of your entire life. Mercy is exactly the right weapon you need in order to confront the ego. If you care for someone wholeheartedly and sincerely, hoping that she is happy and genuinely praying that she faces no suffering, and without expecting anything in return, then you will be able to sense real happiness within because you will have let go of the ‘me.’ 

Q: Thank you for reading my message Master! I am often filled with senseless anger, which leads me to hurt others around me without reason. I always feel regret once I realize that it is my fault. However, it is just that I have trouble controlling my rage. What should I do? I have tried in vain to chant when I am on the point of losing my temper, but I have never succeeded in containing myself. I do not want to be possessed by emotion, still less do I want to hurt anyone. Master please show me the way! 

A: Rome was not built in a day. As is the case with controlling fire, prevention is always most important. It is crucial that you listen to and ponder Buddhist teachings every day and regularly contemplate peace and mercy.  Thus, you will be able to better control your temper when a difficult situation arises. If, on the other hand, your regular practice is very little, it will be difficult for you to quench your anger in the moment even if you try chanting.  

Q: Master, recently this disciple has noticed the occurrence of mood swings. Although I am sure of the reason, I still cannot resolve them. What is even worse is that I have become more sensitive to the impact of external factors, and sometimes cannot even control my temper and negative emotions. Is the condition I am experiencing a normal one?

A: This is a manifestation of low determination. It is as though your reserves of Dharma-energy are low and you need to recharge them.

Editor:Bella Liu
Tags:return to your inner self, me, mercy, regular practice

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