By Nhat Quan
The good cause that I mean is good karma. Good deeds have been praised and encouraged by Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and saints in the past. Regarding the Doctrine of Cause and Effect in Buddhism, there is a saying:
- Whatever you sow, you will reap.
And in the human world also often remind each other:
- If you plant beans, you get beans, if you plant melons, you get melons...
Maybe many of you don't know, or know without believing. Or you can believe but refuse to act for fear of wasting energy. Believe it or not, do it or not, it's up to you, but here's the truth:
- If you do good, you will be blessed.
Because of seeing you all wandering around in competition, stingy, the Venerable Ones always encourage you to try to cultivate good and gentle causes. Because when you give something to others, you will surely receive it in return. What you sow, you will surely reap. When you know how to give money to others, know how to give alms, you will definitely earn money very easily. If you despise others surely sooner or later you will receive that contempt back. Not only will you receive that scorn in return, but you will also receive back perhaps many times the seed you have sown. If you do nothing, you will get nothing in return. The saying that if you don't do anything, you won't receive anything seems simple, but in fact, inadvertently also enough to bring disaster to you, so in Buddhism, you are encouraged to:
- Don't do evil
But do all good deeds.
There are many mothers who complain that why mothers say things but children still do not listen, but really good children are because of the seed that the mother has sown to see good children; The bad child is also the seed that was planted in the mother's mind to see the bad child.
The seed in the mind determines how the mother views her child. Good or bad, how the wife perceives her husband as good or bad, and whether the husband and wife relationship is happy or unhappy.
It's all because of the seed you planted in the past that got you a good job. Money flows into your pocket like water, good children, happy spouses, good relationships, or vice versa.
For example:
- If you take something from someone today, you may lose your phone later;
- Seeing beggars lying on the street with an unsympathetic attitude and calling them dirty. Later you will be lonely, and unhappy in marriage.
- When you are jealous of others, you will not be happy. If you still feel suffering, you have sown bad seeds.
When you do good things, there is no way to prevent good things from happening to you. When you do bad things, there is no way to erase them, only make them smaller. This is the Buddhist teaching of karma.
There is cause and effect, and this is a true story that happened in 1892 at Stanford University.
An 18-year-old student is struggling to pay tuition. He was orphaned and did not know who to turn to for money. Then he came up with a really cool way. He and a friend decided to hold a concert at the school to raise money to pay for their tuition.
They went to the famous pianist Ignacy J. Paderewski. The musician's boss demanded that the boys secure payment of a fee of $2,000 for the piano recital. The contract was agreed and the two students were forced to sell tickets for the performance to be a success.
That big day has come. Paderewski performed at Stanford. But unfortunately, the two young people could not manage to sell out all the tickets. The total amount they collected was only $1,600. Disappointed, they went to Mr. Paderewski's home to explain their plight. The two students gave all $1,600 to Mr. Paderewski along with a check for $400 for the outstanding balance with the promise that they would pay the check as soon as possible.
Paderewski says:
- No, this is unacceptable.
He tore up the check for $400 dollars and gave back $1,600 to the two students and said:
- This is $1,600, you need to pay all the expenses that you owe and keep the money you need to pay for the tuition, I take nothing. The two students were surprised and thanked Mr. Paderewski.
It was only a small gesture of kindness, but it clearly showed that Paderewski was a man of great character.
Why did he have to help two young men he didn't even know? You all come across such situations by chance in your life. And most of you just think:
- If I help them, what will happen to me?
But great people think:
- If I don't help them, what will happen to them?
So they help people without expecting anything in return. They do it because they feel that it is the right thing to do.
Mr. Paderewski later returned to Poland and became Prime Minister of Poland. He was a talented leader but unfortunately, World War happened, and Poland was devastated. More than 1.5 million people in the country are starving and have no money to feed them. Mr. Paderewski didn't know where to turn for help, so he decided to turn to the US Food Relief Organization for help. The leader of this organization at that time was Herbert Hoover, who later became President of the United States. Hoover agreed to help and quickly sent tons of grain to feed the hungry Polish people.
Disaster is averted. Prime Minister Paderewski felt relieved. He decided to go to America to meet Mr. Hoover to personally thank him. As Paderewski began to thank Hoover for his noble deed, Hoover quickly interrupted and said:
- You don't need to thank me, Prime Minister. You may not remember this, but many years ago you helped two young students continue their college studies in the United States, and I was one of them.
This story gives you a lesson:
- If you want to have a lot of love, you must treat each other beautifully with a sincere heart,
- If you want to have a lot of money, you have to give your parents a lot of love, give them a lot of money because parents are the heaviest seed, the most fertile land, so being unfilial is also the heaviest sin.
And while helping others you will find solutions for you. You often have the mentality that when you find a solution, then you help you to finish it, no need to waste time helping others. If you stop helping, you are seriously wrong, and later your work will always be unfinished.
This world is a magical world. Sitting here listening to the Dharma and studying the Way is a great blessing, and it's also a miracle because there are still many people who are bedridden, sick, and unable to walk. You are fortunate enough to have a pure ashram to study and listen to the Buddha's teachings. Everything is amazing
In the direction of sowing good causes and producing good results, you must practice contact with joys and mysteries to nourish yourself. There are very mysterious things in you and around you. Such as:
- You have two eyes, that's a very mysterious thing.
- You have a normal beating heart.
- You have a normal working liver.
- You have two legs to go to the temple to chant and listen to the Dharma.
- You have the ability to laugh, the ability to have fun.
- You have the ability to enjoy the good, the beauty in life.
All those things are in you, must know how to contact them. You can contact them yourself, or you can ask people around you to help you get in touch. In you, everyone has in mind the seeds of happiness, of love just waiting to germinate:
- Light rain in spring,
The soil of the garden of the mind is wet,
Dried beans of the past
Now it has sprouted by itself
The old peas are the seeds of joy, happiness, talent, and love available in your mind. It hasn't rained long, so the beans have not sprouted. And spring here is the Dharma and fellow practitioners. Living with people who have cultivated, then you have the opportunity to receive the rain of Dharma. The practice of fellow initiates helps you to water the good seeds within you. When you go to practice, look at the moon or grow vegetables, or wash the dishes, you must use these opportunities to get in touch with the mysteries of life. It is selective exposure. You only choose to be exposed to what is positive. Only come into contact with things that are therapeutic, and have the ability to nourish. Look at the flower, look at the moon, walk in the sun, listen to the birds sing, and sit quietly drinking tea with a friend. All of these things are valuable for nurturing the good cause in you to germinate. There are many seeds, but there are basically ten kinds of good seeds that need to be planted based on actions, words, and thoughts:
- Three types of action seeds,
- Four kinds of seeds of speech,
- Three kinds of thought seeds
You have to see which seeds give you good results, and you have to see which seeds bring you bad consequences.
* Sow the seed with action
Seed #1: Protects life, on the contrary, does not protect life
Seed #2: Generosity, the opposite of stealing, stingy, stingy
Seed #3: Respect the relationship, on the contrary, do not respect the relationship.
* Sowing seeds with words
Seed #4: Tell the truth, the opposite is a lie
Seed #5: Bringing people closer together, the opposite is saying the division
Seed #6: Good speech, the opposite is rude speech
Seed number 7: Say something meaningful, otherwise say something meaningless
* Sow seeds with thoughts
Seed #8: Congratulations on the success of others, and vice versa with jealousy and envy
Seed #9: Empathy with others, the opposite is malice
Seed number 10: The worldview is right, the opposite is the worldview that is wrong
In short, from the past, from the point of view of religion or society, you are also encouraged to be kind. So far you have two things to practice. With the seeds of grief and with the habit, you have to practice recognizing. With the seeds of happiness, you must be exposed to nurture. If you practice these two things for a while, the balance between happiness and suffering will naturally be balanced, and the sorrows will gradually be transformed
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