Realizing the utmost value of our life

From:Voice of Longquan      Author:Voice of Longquan      Time:2018-02-07 20:55:29
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True love has no attachment and is about compassion and loving-kindness.

Q: Master, what is true love? Does it surpass our most basic emotions, such as lust, fear, anxiety and pleasure? Does suffering cease where there is love?

A: True love has no attachment and is about compassion and loving-kindness. The root affliction for human beings is self-attachment. The self is delighted when you yield to it ; the self is unhappy when it is defied; the self fears in the face of things that may hurt it. The more one loves with attachment, the more one suffers from loss. Love with attachment may even turn into hatred. Only if we transcend the barrier of self-attachment, can we sublimate our love.  

Q: Master, lately I had an awful experience and learned the truth  about something which had perplexed me for a long time. Had it not been for that incident, I would be living in my small world as I did before. Despite huge pain and paying a high price, I’ve realized what my  problems are and determined to change. Is it only possible to grow on the basis of pain and loss? If we frequently experience small frustrations in life, can this help us to escape from greater misery?

A: A first-rate horse knows his riders’ intention immediately at the sight of the shadow of a whip; a second-rate horse learns it at the slight touch of the whip on its skin;  the next level of horse does not come to know it until whipped; and a fourth-rate horse learns it only when its skin is split and flesh torn by a merciless whip. The same is true with Buddhist practitioners. Those of sharp capacities become enlightened instantly at the sight or hearing of suffering; second-rate practitioners become alert only when people close by suffer;  third-rate practitioners remain numb till  their family and friends suffer; and fourth-rate practitioners can only improve when they themselves experience frustration and suffering. No matter which category you belong to, it is good to grow and learn from experience. Never let suffering go to waste. 

Q: Most humble greetings Master! I detest my current working environment very much and am tired of how people deceive and scheme against each other. What should I do?

A: More often than not, it is for lack of noble aspiration (to make the world a better place) that people get sick of, reject, or stand aloof from others or things. They feel self-righteous and find fault with the external circumstances. Various problems, such as unhealthy phenomena at work or in some professions, social evil, and worldwide environmental pollution, make them feel fed up, yet they fail to escape these problems, which upsets them a great deal. 

As a matter of fact, their suffering is caused by their narrow mind: they are only concerned with their own joy and misery and feel independent of the environment, ignorant of interconnected relationship between themselves and the environment, and the relationship between collective karma and individual karma. 

From the Buddhist viewpoint, we and other beings share the same Buddha nature, and we and the environment share the same destiny. We cannot create good karma or live happily without a favorable external environment. Improvement in our own life is closely correlated to our devotion to others. People of smaller capability can take the initiative in bettering the immediate environment around them; people of greater capability  can even make a difference to  society. If we take part in this movement, we can benefit others and realize the utmost value of our own life, thus  external difficulties do not cause our suffering but become a driving force to spur us on. 

Q: Master, do Buddhist practitioners have to be immune to affection, desires, love and hatred? I feel very confused. Please instruct me.

A: You’ve misunderstood Buddhist practice. It is indeed about enhancing our mental intelligence and purifying our minds. A practitioner is not deprived of senses, desires, or emotions, nor does he or she become a being of stone; rather, a practitioner is a being of flesh and blood with profound feelings, noble aspirations, great compassion and loving-kindness, tremendous wisdom and courage.

Tags:love; no attachment; Buddhist practice

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