Relieving our mental stress

From:Voice of Longquan     Author:Voice of Longquan     Time:2016-08-24 21:20:37
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As soon as we choose to switch our inner mode of thinking toward brightness, our mental stress will be relieved, with our inner being unfettered.

The pressures of modern life are greater than before due to the faster pace of work-life.  When we get the occasional chance to look at our hearts, we often find them tired and heavy, which weighs down the chest and makes us unconsciously sigh; or on the other hand, we find them unsettled, restless, and even sleepless.

In observing quietly our inner being, we'll find that "spirit” does not have the form of volume and weight but that of space and power. In that space are stored all the memories of experiences and feelings of every moment towards everything. We have all experienced a lot in our life: successes and some inevitable failures. Those failures are left in our spiritual world as images of pain, which, helplessly, we immerse ourselves in by reviewing them - like freeze-frames of a TV show. As the saying goes, “Once bitten by a snake, for ten years one shies away from a coiled rope.” Negative or painful experiences situate us in worry, anxiety, self-condemnation and agitation about the future. Because our spirit is powerless to deal with these emotions, the negative ones keep returning, and, as time goes by, more and more of them accumulate. Accordingly, over a long time, they became some insurmountable obstacles to success or happiness in our hearts.

Then, is there any chance for us to overcome the obstacles and attain inner freedom? Will the worries, anxiety, self-abasement and tension be replaced by tranquility, serenity, optimism and joy?

A story in Chan Buddhism relates how, before Patriarch Bodhidharma came to China, he sent two disciples, Fotuo and Yaśas, to disseminate the Dharma of Sudden Enlightenment; the visit and the spread of the Dharma grew into Chan Buddhism later. At the beginning the two visitors didn't expect the cold welcome they got. Later they met with Ven. Huiyuan who taught people how to chant Buddha's name. Ven. Huiyuan asked, “What are you, two monks from India, teaching? How come nobody pays attention to you?” Due to language barriers, Fotuo andYaśas had to reply by hand sign. One such sign meant to ask, “How fast can I change my palm into a fist, and then back to palm again?” Ven. Huiyuan answered, “Very quickly” adding, “As quickly as affliction turns into Bhodi.” Ven.Huiyuan was enlightened instantly.

The conversion of affliction to Bhodi can be as quick as thought and emotions.

Everyone faces difficulties and experiences failure, but the difference lies in the attitude one has towards them. Avoid dwelling on difficulties. Don't presume  a bad outcome. Instead, keep the goals in mind and look for the path to achieve them. Look at the sunshine instead of the shadow. In other words,  pick the bright side.

Take watching TV as an example, we are not just passive receivers of the programs  because we have the controller in hand. We may switch to annother channel when a pessimistic episode shows.  Focus your attention on the more beautiful aspects of life and make a better life for our own.

In such a way, we can relieve our mental stress, unfetter the inner being, and give us freedom.

Tags:pressure, freedom, tranquility, serenity
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