By Nhat Quan
Buddha Dharma refers to the source of the Buddha's liberating teachings. The world means to talk about ordinary life outside human society. In the past, religion, and life were always linked together and not far apart, like two faces of a hand. If there was no life, there would be no religion, life and religion depend on each other. In religion, there must be a real-life nature, in life there must be a religion to maintain moral values. Therefore, in Buddhism there is a saying:
- Buddhism is not separated from the world
People always think that Buddhism only teaches people about Nirvana and Ultimate Bliss of becoming Arahants, Bodhisattvas, Buddhas, etc. Such understanding is incomplete. Buddha was born, Buddhism is present in this life to help you understand the morals of life, and to solve the sufferings and afflictions of sentient beings living in the realm of desire, which is always covered by ignorance. Suffering only exists in human life in this ordinary life.
Life is a sea of suffering. This teaching is true, it is not a pessimistic view of Buddhism. Suffering, insecurity is always present around you and comes at any time. Indeed, like today you have a really good job and a good salary, but suddenly the company makes a loss, you have a salary reduction or you are fired. For example, there was an uproar on the internet that happened a while ago. On a United Airlines flight in Chicago, a Vietnamese doctor was forced out of the plane without reason. The incident was criticized internationally as well as domestically, and the problem of trading losses of billions of dollars a day. The position of the director of United Airlines was shaken. If you are in such a situation, you will certainly feel uneasy.
Or, today you are happy with the person you love, but maybe tomorrow they will leave you for no reason. Today you still have parents and relatives, but maybe someday death will take them away... a lot of changes in life will happen, and trouble.
Buddhism is there to listen and soothe your thoughts with miraculous sermons through the teachings of the Buddha. It is not a mantra, not a miracle, but sincere advice, lessons about human truth for you to realize, understand the common sense of life and accept them, transform them.
In the suttas of Ullambana, the Buddha taught about filial piety. Sutta on the Seven Types of Wives, the Buddha taught about the morality of husband and wife. In the Nikaya Sutra, the Buddha taught lay people how to live in peace and happiness, taught kings how to peacefully govern the people, etc. Therefore, he said:
- The Buddha Dharma is not separate from the worldly Dharma.
Indeed, the Buddhadharma never leaves life to teach things that are far-fetched, or theocratic but teaches people how to live in order to achieve happiness right from everyday life, right in the present moment. Dharma and the world are related. Wherever there is Dharma, there is the world; wherever there is the world, there is Dharma. Where there is defilement, there is one who conquers defilement, there is one who fights against defilement.
Fighting defilements is an inner battle. Fighting outside, you use bombs to drop and guns to shoot. If you use force to win, you will also be subdued. Dominating others is a habit of life. But in Dharma practice, you don't have to fight other people, but instead, you conquer your own mind with patience, and resist all your own moods. For example, your mood:
- Sad, happy, angry
- Greed, hatred, delusion
- There is always dissatisfaction or satisfaction
- Aggressive anger towards people around...
- Jitter
- Likes to follow emotions and always has negative thoughts...
When you practice Dharma, you do not harbor resentment and hostility in yourself. Instead, let go of all forms of malice in your actions and thoughts, freeing yourself from jealousy and anger. Resentment or restless states of mind can only be overcome by not harboring anger and aversion to hatred. The acts of harming others and taking revenge are different but closely related.
An action is considered terminated when you do not need to respond with revenge and hostility. Because revenge means continuing to act with the thought that you did for me, I will do it back for you. If you continue to seek revenge, hatred will never end. As long as you behave like this, that chain can never be broken and never ends. Wherever you go, the hatred continues.
As a Buddhist, you have to look at this and should choose things of real value. Buddha was trained in various war tricks as a prince, but Buddha found them not really useful, the world is limited by wars and aggressions. So in training yourself as renouncers of the world, you must learn how to:
- Abandon all forms of sin,
- Abandon all things that cause hostile causes.
You must conquer yourself, you should not try to conquer others. You fight, but you only fight against your own defilements:
- If you are greedy, you fight greed;
If there is anger, where do you fight with anger?
- If there is delusion, you try to get rid of it.
This is called:
- Fight for enlightenment.
If you are a Buddhist, you should reflect on this, to learn the art of fighting against greed, hatred, and delusion. That is your first responsibility. It is an inner battle, fighting the defilements. But few of you fight like that. Most of you fight other people, whom you consider your arch-enemies, but you rarely fight your own defilements. Because you don't see or rarely see your own defilements.
The Buddha taught you to get rid of all forms of sin and cultivate virtue. That is the right path. Teaching in this regard as the Buddha led you and placed you at the beginning of the path of the Noble Eightfold Path. After reaching the path, whether you walk on that path or not on that path is up to you. The Buddha's work was completed here. He shows the direction, which is right and which is not. It's more than enough, the rest is up to you. Now, when you reach the path, you still don't know anything, you still don't understand anything, so you need to learn. To learn you must be prepared to endure hardship, like the students of this world. You want to gain the knowledge, and understanding you need to pursue your career is difficult. You have to endure. When you think wrong or feel disliked or lazy, you have to push yourself before you can pass and get a job.
The practice of a monk, of Buddhists, is the same. If you decide to practice and reflect, you will surely see the direction, that is, see:
- What is sin?
- What is a blessing?
All these things lead you into a whirlpool from birth to death, never to fullness, just because of your inherent attachment. So the Buddha calls you to let go of ideas. If many people live together, as you live here, you can still be comfortable if your views are in harmony with everyone. But even two or three people can get in trouble if your views are not good or don't get along. When you humble yourself and let go of your views, even though there are many of you, you will live together in peace.
It is not true that there are people who say that there is discord just because there are too many people. You should look at a centipede with many legs, at first glance you will think it will be difficult to move, but its steps are also rhythmic without any obstacles, with no feet stepping on each other. Because it has its own order and rhythm. Your practice is the same. If you practice the noble dharma as the Buddha did, then it's easy. The Buddha's teachings have the ability to make:
- Good cultivators,
- The diligent cultivators,
- Those who practice overcoming suffering, and
- Those who practice properly.
These four qualities, established in the mind, will make you a true disciple of the Buddha. No matter how many of you are hundreds or thousands, no matter how many, you are all on the same path. You come from different backgrounds, but you have the same path of practice. Even if your views are different, if you practice seriously, there will be no collision.
Like raindrops falling from space, they gather together and harmonize into streams and rivers. Streams and rivers are harmoniously flowing into the sea. . . Once they pour into the sea, they all have the same taste and color. The same goes for humans. When you enter the stream of Dharma, there is only one Dharma. Even though you come from different places, you are in harmony and unity.
The reason why you don't get along is because of misunderstandings called Consciousness, which then cause all disputes and conflicts. So the Buddha taught you to let go of the wrong view. Do not let consciousness cling to those views beyond their relevance.
The Buddha taught about the value of mindfulness being frequent, reminiscing. Whether you walk, stand, lie down, or sit, wherever you are, you have the power to recall. When you have mindfulness, you see you, you see your mind. If you are not mindful, you are ignorant, you are not aware of what is happening. So mindfulness is very important. Always with mindfulness, you can always hear the Dharma of the Buddha. Because:
- The eye that sees the image is Dharma
- Ear hear the sound is Dharma
- The nose that smells the smell is Dharma;
- The tongue tastes the tastes is Dharma;
- The body touch to materials is Dharma
- When a thought arises in the mind, that is also the Dharma.
So if you want to always hear the Dharma of the Buddha, then you have to have mindfulness. Dharma is always there. Because of mindfulness, because you are conscious
As I said once, Mindfulness is recollection and self-consciousness. This consciousness is called Buddha. When there is mindfulness, understanding will arise. You know what's going on:
- When the eye sees the appropriate or inappropriate image?
- When the ear hears appropriate or inappropriate sounds, is it harmful? Is that wrong, or right?
And so on with everything. If you understand, you hear the Dharma all the time. That's why at present, at the pagodas, there are peaceful retreats, Buddhist recitation retreats, programs to help the poor, flood compatriots, release animals, etc. Good deeds, are just to save lives to help life, and to be a means to teach people about love. Share and eliminate the greed, anger, and delusion inherent in each person's heart with actual situations and images.
Buddha is a person of great compassion, great compassion for sentient beings, Buddha is not an indifferent person. As well as the sun radiates light to all beings, to the whole world, to the whole universe, not only to the rich, or to the poor. Not only for the United States, Canada, or for the earth alone but for the entire universe.
According to Mahayana Buddhism, a cultivator is a person who has made a vow to benefit himself, to benefit from others, and to go into life to save humanity. Therefore, even if you are a layperson living in the world, you are not sure to understand all the affairs of the world, so you also need to learn to be able to help the world. A monk may study psychology, psychoanalysis, sociology, anthropology, etc. to understand human diseases and also to more easily save sentient beings. You are a layperson who is still living with your family, now learn how to make your family happy, that is also the way to practice.
Life cannot be without the Dharma. Because religion is the spiritual food that helps you to nurture your morality. As society develops more and more, the inadequacy of evils is more and more, and the tragedy and injustice of life make you shudder, as cases have happened such as:
- Children kill parents, husbands kill wives, wives kill husbands lovers kill each other, etc. People create predestined karma to borrow and pay, pay and borrow.
Now you all understand that you are learning within the Dharma line. Whether you go forward or backward, you will still meet the Dharma, it is all Dharma if you are mindful. When you are mindful, you will see your state of mind. Whatever you think or feel, you must know it. Knowing this is called Buddha, one who understands, one who knows completely, who knows clearly.
So the serious way to practice is to have mindfulness. If you are not mindful for five minutes you will lose wisdom for five minutes. Any time you lack mindfulness you lose wisdom. Mindfulness is the core. To be mindful is to know you, to know the state of your mind and your life. Mindfulness is for understanding and commenting, listening to the Dharma at any time, you still hear and see the Dharma because the Dharma is everywhere.
So all of you, make sure to practice every day. Whether lazy or diligent, practice the same. Dharma practice is not about following your mood. If you practice according to your mood, it is not Dharma.
Some of you complain that you can't concentrate while meditating or reciting the Buddha's name, but don't be discouraged and just practice. Just like a child learning to write. At first, it was poorly written, with large circles and squiggly lines. But after a while, the writing gets smaller, more beautiful.
The same is true of Dharma practice. At first, you are clumsy... sometimes calm and sometimes not, you really don't know what is what. So, some people are discouraged. But don't be discouraged! You have to be patient in your practice. Persevere to try, like a student, when you grow up, write more and more beautifully. From bad handwriting to better writing, all due to correcting from the baby. Your practice is the same. Always be mindful when walking, standing, lying down, or sitting. When you perform your duties smoothly and well you find peace in your mind. When you have peace of mind, in your work, it is easy for you to meditate peacefully, they go hand in hand. So try. You have to make an effort to pursue the practice because of your future.
In short, Buddhadharma is never separate from life, life has meaning because of religion, but you should not be indifferent to life because of religion. And the Dharma that develops and sublimes is due to life, but anyway, don't forget the Dharma for the sake of life. Therefore, even if you are busy with hundreds of thousands of things, don't live a life far from the Dharma. Life in the world has gone through many ups and downs, but thanks to the Dharma, it teaches bạn how to cope, and how to protect you. So when you know how to use the Dharma to make a living, your life will be better with the values of morality, of love, and more positive thoughts.
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