20210930盤點生命積陰德Eliminating Greed and Making Vows to Do Good
The Buddha said that everything is empty in nature. Indeed, nothing an be retained forever, for everything undergoes decay and annihilation. There are many people suffering in the world, sow we must find ways to end suffering. We've often seen erratic climate conditions and disaster brought about by the imbalance of people's minds.
Nature's elements have become imbalanced, and not only is there a large world population but people give rise to complicated thoughts due to their desires and ignorance. We often see waste gases constantly coming out of factory chimneys. When the economy took off, more and more chimneys were set up along with factories that manufactured what people wanted.
Lands and sea floors have been excavated for crude oil, which is then refined and made into various resources to satisfy people's needs. And, to boost the economy, consumption is encouraged. More resources are used as a result and many things get discarded after only being used once. This is one of the many vicious cycles that harm the environment.
The air and the land have been polluted. The land is dotted with excavation pits. Some mountains are scarred with pits, some have shrunk in size, and some have even been leveled completely for construction or other purposes. Landscapes are changing constantly because of damage. People's desires and met at the cost of land damage and air pollution.
When can people's desires be fully satisfied? Many cannot fully have their desires satisfied throughout their lives. They always think about how to enjoy life and often give rise to greed, anger, ignorance, and arrogance. I often say that when we pass away, we take nothing with us but karma. We all hope to eliminate our bad karma.
How can we do that? We must get rid of our afflictions. To do that, we must clearly understand why we give rise to afflictions. We all hope to eliminate the Three Obstructions and all afflictions. How can we get rid of our afflictions if we do not understand why we give rise to them? In order not to give rise to afflictions, we must know what we should not do and remind ourselves not to do it. By keeping our greed in check at all times, we will not do things that harm living beings.
Also, we must aspire to walk the Bodhisattva Path life after life. We must give of ourselves for the common good ceaselessly. Recently, I often say that we must look back at how many merits we have created. Let us count how many good deeds we have done and how many true principles we have taken in.
When asked if they have faith in those principles, people might say they do, and when asked if they've vowed to practice them, they might say they have. Yet, when asked if they've lived out their vows, they might say they'll do it when they have more free time, when they retire or when their grandchildren grow up. They have many excuses.
Many of us have faith in walking the Bodhisattva Path life after life and have vowed to do so, but we do not take action to live out our vows. If we do not take action, we will always be where we are and cannot make progress. So, to make progress, we must take action. Instead of thinking little of small good deeds, we must have the heart to do all that is good. When we speak good words and do good deeds, we are also creating merits for ourselves.
Even if we can only save a little money at a time, bits of money can accumulate to help the needy. To rid the Three Obstructions and all afflictions, we must eliminate our greed. Take a balance for example. When we reduce greed, the goodness, which is on the other side, will weigh more. By curbing our greed, we can give of ourselves and thereby create good karma.
Everyone, we must have faith in giving with love, vow to do so, and live out our vows. We've all vowed to rid the Three Obstructions and all afflictions, attain wisdom and true understanding, and guide all to eliminate their bad karma and to walk the Bodhisattva Path life after life. If we can live out our vows, we'll become genuinely virtuous. We can cultivate by practicing these few things. So, cultivating ourselves is very easy. Let us humble ourselves to embrace all.