‘Self’ is the root cause for all afflictions

From:Voice of Longquan     Author:Voice of Longquan     Time:2018-01-06 10:31:14
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‘Self’ is the root cause for all afflictions. The reason for your excessive concern about others’ opinions is your desire to prove your “self”. In this modern society, desires are constantly stimulated and everyone is caught in a mad rush. Thus, there is a grave need for the time and space to calm down and contemplate. And since everyone attaches so much importance to his or her ‘self’, conflicts and clashes are continuously on the rise. All these factors contribute to people’s increasing anxiety, inner chaos, and feelings of bitterness. All external things will leave us, and only matters related to the nature of life deserve our full attention.

Q: Master, I suffer a lot from frustrations in work and marriage. Am I taking myself far too seriously? How do I face up to and stay undisturbed by people’s opinions of me? I always feel anxious to prove that I’m not incompetent and that I can do better, dreading others’ hasty judgement or criticism. It feels like I am concerned too much with others and distracted from self-cultivation. Master, please help to disperse my confusion!

A: ‘Self’ is the root cause for all afflictions. The reason for your excessive concern about others’ opinions is your desire to prove your “self”. In this modern society, desires are constantly stimulated and everyone is caught in a mad rush. Thus, there is a grave need for the time and space to calm down and contemplate. And since everyone attaches so much importance to his or her ‘self’, conflicts and clashes are continuously on the rise. All these factors contribute to people’s increasing anxiety, inner chaos, and feelings of bitterness. Try to put your life through a process of subtraction — strip away others’ comments, meaningless comparisons with others, excessive desires and inner vanity, so as to identify the sources of your suffering as well as your true desires. All external things will leave us, and only matters related to the nature of life deserve our full attention. 


Q: Greetings Master! My father is weighed down with hatred and ignorance. Living an unhappy family life, he is almost worn out. Master, can you tell me how to help him?

A: Enhance your own strength. If you are incapable of helping him out right now, vow to enhance capability and help in the future.


Q: Master, I should know better than to be slothful. How do I persist in doing something? How do you persist in rising early every morning and answering netizens’ questions?

A:  The primary driving force in sticking to a course of action is your recognition of its significance. This will make you want to do it from the bottom of your heart. If you know what to do only by reasoning without a corresponding impetus from your heart, then you will have no strength to carry on. When this kind of motivation hasn’t yet taken root in your heart, the best course is to join a good team. The majority of people are somewhat lazy and yet can study in school for over ten years. Why is this? It is because they have a school, they have teachers and they have classmates. With this kind of environment and system, they can reach the goal without even realising it.


Q: Greetings Master! Please tell me how to eliminate afflictions and karmic obstructions, especially in those who are suffering from depression? Thank you, Master!

A: Don't focus on how to eliminate afflictions and karmic obscurations. They are like a black hole which will suck you further in, the more you concentrate on it.  Change course and look upward to seek the light – learn to appreciate the wonderful things around you; learn more virtuous teachings, get closer to virtuous friends, and open your heart.

Editor:Bella Liu
Tags:self, enhance one’s own strength, significance, team, seek the light

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