20210625學而時覺道乃行Walking the Path as We Gain Insights from Learning 中英
Today’s world is polled because people’s hearts are contaminated. It is because od greed and desire; with greed, one does not care about others, and he only wants to satisfy his own desires. Such desire is a bottomless pit, no matter how you fill it, it’ll never be full.
It’s like our mouths. Think about it, within the several decades of your life, how lives have you eaten? Beside the Karma from taking animal lives, we pollute the world as well. It takes several months to raise an animals, and the feed they eat far exceed the amount of food we eat. Furthermore, humans not only eat livestock, we also eat many other animals as well.
Therefore, like desire, the human mouth is a bottomless pit that is never full. The mouth will keep eating in one’s lifetime, but it can never be filled up. Speaking of this, there are many inconceivable things in life. Whether it’s living beings’ breath or their excrements, they all create pollution. As such, our desires have contributed to this pandemic.
As this COVID-19 pandemic impacts the entire world, keep mentioning that the pandemic is the grand lessons for humans. It is for us to reflect on our deeds, to stop, listen, and look. Let us stop our desires and take a little break. Why do I say that this pandemic has something to do with karmic affinity? Because it’s time for us to learn the grand lessons.
Our heart is like a lake, which we have not let the sediment settle. Our desires have muddled our intrinsic pure nature. When our intrinsic pure nature is stirred by desires, it turns into ignorance. It used to be very pure and as clear as water. Because desires disturb and stir up the water, the water becomes muddy.
This is explaining the principle using an analogy. The Dharma tells us to keep our mind calm and still, like a mirror or a lake. The Buddha taught people with all sorts of analogies to suit their different capacities, such as the analogy of water. Some people cannot understand, and they cannot draw the connection between water and their hearts. The cannot understand this analogy, so this explanation is not suitable to them.
Those who are sharp-minded, they understand the moving and the stillness of the water and the mud at the bottom, know the difference between muddy water and clear water, and how to settle the mud. In this case, the analogy works for them. If people are clear about this, then the Dharma has helped them. If people don’t understand this, their minds remain restless and cannot calm down.
In Confucianism, Confucius’ disciple talked about “manifesting one’s bright virtue, loving people, and stopping in perfect goodness.” To stop in perfect goodness requires one’s heart and mind to be calm and still. Speaking of this, whether it’s the sages of Confucianism or Buddhism, or the different paths, they all end at the same destination and emphasize the same important message.
So, we’ve very grateful that, living in this era, we are able to learn the principles that the sages of the past had realized and that, throughout the times, there were people who put the principles into practice. The sages point a path for us to create and turn it into a broad, smooth path. This has helped our heart and mind to be pure, clear, and beautiful.
Such truth, goodness, and beauty is genuine. As we walk solidly on this true path in the direction of goodness with the beauty of not deviating slightly from the path, by going forward, one can truly become a sage. Ordinary people like us can be sages, too, and one can transform suffering into something sweet.
I often say to Tzu Chi volunteers, “You’ve worked hard! You are blessed.” I understand the hard work you do when you serve, and it’d be a lie to say it isn’t hard work. It’s truly very tiring work. However, it is sweet, too because we serve willingly and accept everything joyfully, and we’re very willing. Whatever we receive, it comes from our serving steadily with a correct direction. Since we have not let ourselves down, we’ve not lived a life that is lacking.
Every day, I feel that, I have lived my life to the fullest, because I have done meaningful things with my life on earth. For each second, minute, hour, and day, I have spent it on the Bodhisattva Path, helping living beings in suffering. Bodhisattva help living beings in suffering. I’ve kept on measuring the worth of myself, how heavy or how light is it?
In reality, it is not something to be measured, can I say it weights one pound or 8 ounces? How much is it? Can you show it to me and let me appraise it? It has no form, so it is called boundless. When one says, “Oh, that’s boundless merits!” it is because we cannot measure it, yet if you’ve always done good deeds, you are a good person. As a good person, you’ve truly done deeds. This path of doing good is easy to walk in the world; it is very broad.
Everyone, no matter where you are, I am right here, and when you hear a principle, learn it mindfully so you’ll gain insights. Insights come only when you learn, so, we truly need to learn mindfully. What is there to learn? Let us learn the Buddha’s way, and being a bodhisattva is the starting point. On the Bodhisattva Path, let us encourage one another and be diligent, however, please remember, we can only travel when it is safe.