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 20110321 --- Refraining from Wrongdoing and Accumulating Good Karma (擇法慎行入菩提)

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20110321 --- Refraining from Wrongdoing and Accumulating Good Karma (擇法慎行入菩提) Empty
發表主題: 20110321 --- Refraining from Wrongdoing and Accumulating Good Karma (擇法慎行入菩提)   20110321 --- Refraining from Wrongdoing and Accumulating Good Karma (擇法慎行入菩提) Empty周五 3月 25, 2011 12:24 am

Date: March 21th, 2011 (Monday)
Lecturer: Master Zheng-Yan
Subject: Refraining from Wrongdoing and Accumulating Good Karma 擇法慎行入菩提

“Eating shark fins is inhumane and not eco-friendly. In a year, Taiwan catches 60 to 70 thousand tons of sharks. Yet we furthermore import it. In the past 5 years, we have imported 3,000 tons of shark fins which is equivalent to 10 million sharks.”

Humans are indeed very unwise and ignorantly create negative karma.
The shark fin soup is considered a luxury item so it has become a kind of status symbol for people eating it.
Such a way of thinking is truly deluded and ignorant.
Little do we know how shark fins are procured.
It’s actually very brutal and violent.

Some factories use industrial grade hydrogen peroxide and ammonia to bleach the fins.
When a reporter asked one of the workers: “Won’t the chemicals harm humans?”
He replied, “it’s not my concern. The shark fins are for the rich people. They like to eat them.”
See. It’s because the rich want to eat them that such negative karma is created.
They pay so much money for the delicacy which is harmful to their health.

The fins are procured very inhumanely but people eat them anyway just because they like their texture.
Oftentimes, as I quietly reflect, I can’t help but wonder why humankind remains so ignorant and blind.
Why can’t people seem to wake up and understand the reality of what they’re doing?
The teachings the Buddha gave seek to awaken our conscience.
Because we have an affinity with the Buddha, we have encountered Buddhism.

The Buddha teaches us about reincarnation and the Six Realms, so we shouldn’t treat animals cruelly or kill them for meat.
We shouldn’t do this.
Once we have learned about the Dharma, we can avoid doing things that are wrong.
As human beings, there are moral principles we should hold to.
We have to abide by moral ethics.
That’s what constitutes as being a human.
As long as we uphold moral principle and follow precepts, act according to the Buddha’s teachings, our hearts can be at peace.
If our hearts are unwholesome, the negative karma we create will give us a lot of afflictions.

Everyone, we have to be grateful.
We’re all Buddhist.
Before we take our meal, we put our palms together and do the Five Contemplations at meal time.
The first contemplation is to think of where the food comes from.
We should think about how much work the farmers have gone through, from planting to harvest in order to produce a bowl of rice, etc.
No matter what the food is, we should think about how it has come to the table.

The second contemplation is to reflect on how much virtue we have.
We should reflect on how much we have done for living beings.
Living beings have provided us so much, what can we do to contribute?
We need to contemplate this and be grateful.

The third contemplation is to guard our mind against faults.
When we sit at a table eating our food, we should remind ourselves as a human being, we need to cherish the Earth and not do things to harm it.
So, we have to guard against unwholesome thoughts and not do things that go against our conscience.
That’s the third contemplation.

The fourth contemplation is to regard food as beneficial medicine.
The food that we eat comes from the hard work of many people.
So, when we’re eating our food, we have to cherish it and regard it as medicine that can nourish our body.
So, when we’re eating, we shouldn’t eat the food for its taste, but for nourishing our body.

The fifth contemplation is to accept the food for the sake of spiritual cultivation.
The reason we eat is to nourish our body so that we can use the body to do good and spread the Buddha’s teachings.
Therefore, we don’t really need to eat the flesh of animals
We have to keep our body and mind pure.

We’re very fortunate to be born as a human being, the most intelligent species on Earth.
So we need to use our knowledge and intelligence to protect other creatures and protect Mother Nature.
We should take joy in the Bodhi Mind.
We should be joyful in awakening to the Buddha’s teachings and walk on the Bodhi Path, the path of awakening.

There is truly so much suffering around the world.
As I mentioned yesterday, there is now one more worry on my mind --- the human conflict in Libya.
It weighs heavily on my mind.
This morning’s news said that the Libyan regime has announced a ceasefire.
May the conflict truly come to an end quickly so that innocent lives will not come to harm.

And, at the Fukushima I Power Plant in Japan, some of the unclear reactors have begun cooling down.
This is good news.
We really need to care about what’s happening to people of all ethnicities, in all countries, let alone Japan which is very near to Taiwan.
But is this care only about knowing developments?
No, we must of course try to help.
But how?
I am grateful that EVA Air and China Airlines are both helping Tzu Chi to transport some supplies every day so that the 50 to 60 metric tons of goods we’re preparing can eventually all reach Japan.

I’m also grateful to our volunteers in Japan.
Yesterday, they were visiting shelters, to gather information on people’s needs.
Our volunteers are also considering the feasibility of issuing debit cards.
This is what our volunteers in Japan are doing.
In Taiwan, Tzu Chi members are inspiring people to pray for the world, and appealing for people to bring forth their love and care and joyfully give out of a sense of compassion.

I’m grateful that last night, Da Ai TV hosted a special program to inspire people worldwide to offer their love and care and make a donation.
We saw very heartwarming scenes.
I truly hope that in Taiwan, people will do good so that we can accumulate blessings for Taiwan while also sending our best wishes to Japan.
We in Taiwan need to build up our store of good karma.

Just this morning, sometime after midnight, Taiwan experienced a 4.0 magnitude earthquake.
Then, at 1:24 a.m. another earthquake, of magnitude 3.5, hit Taiwan.
These were shallow earthquakes.
Bodhisattvas, I truly hop that everyone remains vigilant and on guard
I hope all citizens can pray sincerely for the world and offer their love and care and furthermore joyfully make a contribution with compassion for people in suffering
All these create blessing to Taiwan and store up good karma for Taiwan.
So, I hope everyone can do good and sow blessings so we may be safe and well.

(Source: Da Ai TV 人間菩提)
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