A Right Path is Never an Easy One

From:Voice of Longquan     Author:Voice of Longquan     Time:2018-04-19 11:39:20
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Aspiration is made actively; what you passively receive is the karmic result. If we do not take an active part in changing ourselves and knowing the world, we would be defined and controlled by external circumstances.

Q: Most humble greetings Master! What is non-self like? Life experience tells me that we must stick to some principles, and we should not have any attachment. I must have misunderstood the meaning of “nonself”. Please instruct me, Master.

A: To stick to something shows your strength, whereas self-attachment is an affliction. The state of non-self is unconceivable for unenlightened beings, yet they may experience a state of light self-attachment. For instance, a baby neither envies others nor abases himself; he is not afraid of failure or takes others’ opinion to heart. The innocent beauty in children, which the adult find admirable, is the result of light self-attachment. To practice, on the one hand, is to enhance mindfulness, compassion and wisdom in oneself; on the other hand, it is to reduce afflictions, self-attachment and ignorance; they are two sides of a coin and should be conducted at the same time.


Q: Amitabha! Master, I’ve been keeping a vegetarian diet for almost two years. People around me think of me as an odd person. All girls, with whom I dated, found my diet unacceptable and broke up on the excuse that they would not eat well with me. I want to marry someone with a shared diet, but it proves not at all easy. Sometimes, I would doubt about the road I choose: am I wrong? Worse, my work does not go very well. I really want to cry loud in front of the statue of Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva. Master, please instruct me.

A: A right path is never an easy one.


Q: Most humble greetings, Master! We Buddhist practitioners are taught to practice in our life and integrate our life with practice. But I find it hard to stay steadfast in the environment which is unfavorable to my practice. What should I do?

A: To practice in life needs a vigorous faith and great aspiration, without which, to practice would be reduced to a lip service and swept aside by torrents of life. Your goal, faith and aspiration, during their infancy, should be fostered in a good environment. This is why our practice would not get anywhere without a team of good teachers, Dharma and fellow practitioners.


Q: Master, I feel lost. I have no great aspiration and have no idea where to find it. So I always wait passively for opportunities. What should I do?

A: Observe, learn and think. Observe people around or elderly relatives or your peers: what is their ambition in life? What is their life trajectory like? Among them, you may find your role model. You can also learn from people of great achievements: read their biographies and find your own deficiencies. Then think: what is your most genuine desire? What kind of life can be counted as a valuable one? What should you do accordingly? Aspiration is made actively; what you passively receive is the karmic result. If we do not take an active part in changing ourselves and knowing the world, we would be defined and controlled by external circumstances.

Editor:Nina
Tags:self-attachment, affliction, practice, observe, learn and think

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