Armies should be trained and maintained for years just in case of rare battles

From:Voice of Longquan     Author:Voice of Longquan     Time:2018-04-04 17:57:44
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Unenlightened living beings dread bad karmic effects, while in sharp contrast, Bodhisattvas are afraid to create nonvirtuous karmic causes. The former slack off and indulge in sensual pleasure when their blessings have not yet exhausted; when disasters befall, they weep bitter tears, but it's too late to make any remedy. Bodhisattvas face karmic effects differently -- they accept what is happening calmly, and stay focused on creating virtuous causes in the present moment.

Q: Humble greetings Master! Gratitude to Master! When browsing through the posts in your blog where you answer netizens' questions, I often find that I have the same confusions. You often advise that we should join a team which consists of good teachers, Dharma and fellow practitioners. Would you please tell me how and where I may find such a team? Is there any standard by which I can judge whether a certain team is a proper one? Thank you, Master. 

A: Such a team is guided by a good teacher, with Buddha Dharma as the core and practice as the purpose; it is composed of lay and monastic practitioners. The laity should follow the monastic to learn Buddhism, pay visits to some universally acclaimed monasteries to listen to Dharma, make aspirations and pray for blessings. 


Q: Master, it's hard for me to do my job well. My boss always finds faults in whatever I'm doing and criticizes me. Very helpless, I want to quit. Do you have some suggestion? A: Work hard at improving yourself. The current situation shows that there is a long way ahead of you. 

A: Work hard at improving yourself. The current situation shows that there is a long way ahead of you. 


Q: Master, can you tell me some methods which will help to calm me down when I become anxious, worried, or angry? To my dismay, I lack a strong will, which is essential in practice. So very often I fail to control myself. Whenever afflictions arise in me, I feel vexed as if I fall prey to the devil inside and cannot break free. 

A: Buddhist practice is not about finding some methods to suppress your thoughts when the afflictions arise; instead, you need to work hard in daily practice, with a view to fostering and familiarizing yourself with the right views and ways of thinking, which then will be utilized immediately when you encounter some problems. It's almost impossible to change the situation when your mind is already preoccupied by afflictions; it is not because you lack willpower, but because you have not yet engaged in earnest practice. As an old Chinese saying goes, armies should be trained and maintained for years just in case of rare battles. If you have never ever taken practice, how could you avoid being crushed at the first encounter with the enemy of afflictions? 


Q: Most humble greetings Master! When I'm tired, I would often think of Bodhisattvas. Do they suffer or feel tired since they are always busy helping the needy and relieving the distressed? Aren't we ordinary people happier than them, since we have much entertainment and merry-making? As far as I know, to learn Buddhism is intended to liberate ourselves and others from suffering and obtain happiness. If Bodhisattvas have no fun but suffering, why should we learn Buddhism? Master, please instruct me. 

A: You neglect two points: the nature of impermanence and the Dharma joy experienced by Bodhisattvas. Unenlightened living beings dread bad karmic effects, while in sharp contrast, Bodhisattvas are afraid to create nonvirtuous karmic causes. The former slack off and indulge in sensual pleasure when their blessings have not yet exhausted; when disasters befall, they weep bitter tears, but it's too late to make any remedy. Bodhisattvas face karmic effects differently -- they accept what is happening calmly, and stay focused on creating virtuous causes in the present moment. For example, a diligent farmer, when cultivating the field and sowing good crop seeds, is filled with joy and ease; a lazy farmer who lives off his surplus grains from the previous year may seem relaxed, but he can hardly deny or be free from the feeling of confusion and exhaustion inside, and his spirit must be low compared with that of the diligent farmer. 

Editor:Bella Liu
Tags:team, Buddhist practice, impermanence, Dharma joy

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