Try to identify afflictions and combat them

From:Voice of Longquan     Author:Voice of Longquan     Time:2018-02-11 10:14:53
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In a human mind, there is always a mixture of virtuous thoughts and afflictions. When afflictions arise, people are likely to create non-virtuous karmas. If we are blind to our afflictions or have no idea about how to reverse, we are making troubles for our future life, which will hurt ourselves as well as others. Therefore, we must learn to identify afflictions and combat them, and to nurture strength of kindness in us. You can read the book A Life of Empathy--Living Beyond Afflictions for reference.

Q: Most humble greetings to Master! I am a senior student in high school. I've been having affection for Buddhism and Guan Yin Bodhisattva since childhood. I did well in study in primary school and up to middle school, effortlessly, and I was accepted by a wonderful high school. Thinking that the lessons would be as simple as before, I did not study hard, and resultantly my grades plummeted. I've been fooling myself that the situation would become better. However, things go against my wishes. Worse, my poor academic performance even causes tension in my family atmosphere. Whenever I determine to do something, I give up halfway through it because of laziness. I do have dreams, but for lack of spiritual pillar and of courage to break through barriers in reality, I often choose to give up when encountering with difficulites. I feel very bad and lost. Master, what should I do? 

A: Are you willing to live this way for the rest of your life? Actually, a bad habit of being lazy and evasive affects more than this life, rather, it will affect your future lives. If you don't make efforts to overcome it, the situation will get worse. Never waste your life in fantasies! 


Q: Greetings to Master! Amitabha! I always think I'm a person with a kind heart, but recently I feel bad so much so that I want to cry loud. The day before yesterday, a car, when passing by me, did not slow down, so some dirty water on the road splashed on me. I was very furious and even cursed that driver maliciously secretly. I knew it was not right, but I could not control my thoughts. Master, does it mean I am a person heavy with hatred? What should I do? 

A: In a human mind, there is always a mixture of virtuous thoughts and afflictions. When afflictions arise, people are likely to create non-virtuous karmas. If we are blind to our afflictions or have no idea about how to reverse, we are making troubles for our future life, which will hurt ourselves as well as others. Therefore, we must learn to identify afflictions and combat them, and to nurture strength of kindness in us. You can read the book A Life of Empathy--Living Beyond Afflictions for reference. 


Q: My most humble greetings to Master! I've been perplexed by something for long. Right now I’m preparing for the entrance exam for postgraduate study. Whenever I'm working on a math problem or doing English reading comprehension exercises, I find my mind bubbling with some past situations or someone's remarks, which is out of control. So I cannot stay focused for long and this problem has a negative impact on my study. I feel very annoyed. Master, please help me. 

A: You are easily distracted. This problem is likely to go unnoticed, yet it surfaces whenever high concentration is demanded. As a matter of fact, now that you're aware of the distracting thoughts, your concentration is on a higher level than before. There is no quick fix to this problem. What you can do is to improve your concentration bit by bit. For example, you can practice sitting-meditation 5 minutes every day, counting your breaths and feeling every breath; while walking alone, do not talk or do phubbing, and count your steps instead; when you realize your attention is wandering during your study, call it back. Do such small exercises in your daily life and keep at it for long, you will have your concentration to be improved quite a lot. 


Q: Master, I attach much importance to mutual care between me and my friends. If a friend does not show much care to me, I'll feel disappointed, get mad and probably end the relationship. For this reason recently I broke up with one good friend. Am I wrong? What's wrong? How should I deal with my friendship? 

A: You use your friendship, under a plausible pretext of “mutual care”, to trade for your own interest, which is indeed your primary consideration. Learn to be more independent so that you will not extremely rely on external circumstances to gain a sense of security; only in this way, can a friendship with true equality, mutual respect and tolerance be established. 

Editor:Bella Liu
Tags:bad habit, future lives, afflictions, concentration, independent

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