Date: March 1st, 2012 (Thursday)
Lecturer: Master Zheng-Yan
Subject: Respecting All Life with Love and Compassion 萬物相依並相生
Every time when an earthquake occurs, everyone will be alarmed. But, after the quake, if we are safe and sound, we should be grateful. So, we must hold Mother Nature in awe and reverence.
See, when Nature’s Four Elements are imbalanced, disasters will occur, be they earthquakes or storms, and everything we have can be destroyed. That is why we should all nurture love in our hearts and care for one another with love.
For example, in the U.S., there is a homeless man who received free dental treatment from Tzu Chi ten years ago. Although it has been ten years now, he has always been very grateful to Tzu Chi. This is truly very touching. So, we must care for others with love and nurture a loving heart so that we can give of ourselves at all times. When we give unconditionally, what we receive in return is the warmth of being remembered forever.
For all this to be possible, we must first take in the water of Dharma to cleanse unwholesome thoughts, such as greed, away from our minds so that we can be inspired to give of ourselves with Great Love. This is how the Dharma can benefit us. This pure water of Dharma can not only cleanse our minds and bring forth our inner light, but also inspire our compassion and respect for all life. As long as we harbor a loving heart and give rise to great compassion within, we’ll naturally respect all forms of life and give of ourselves unconditionally with a heart full of gratitude.
When we have gratitude and love within, our hearts will be pure and clear at all times and we’ll be able to take in more of the Buddha’s teachings. When we’ve learned the Buddha’s teachings, we can cleanse impurities from our hearts so that they can be as clear as mirrors. That is how clear our wisdom should be. We also need to understand that our hearts must be broad and our love must be all-embracing. We need to have compassion fro all living beings and not harm or kill them as all living beings on this planet are interrelated. The Earth is home to all living beings that live together in this world. So, this Earth we live on is truly beautiful. It is beautiful in that it’s where different kinds of life inhabit together. Living on this planet, we truly must be grateful to be born as humans and further work hard to care for all life.
Unfortunately, people kill other lives for food. The mouth is indeed a bottomless hole that can never be filled up. Mother Nature already provides us with all kinds of grain for our sustenance. But humans still cruelly kill other animals for food as they think that animal meat can better nourish their body. Is that really so? Now, researchers have found a neurotoxin known as BMAA in shark fins. Studies have shown that such a toxin may pose a significant health risk for brain diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. So, if we eat shark fins, we might be affected by the toxin and develop these diseases. This is what we’ve seen from findings of scientific studies.
We’ve also heard Supt. Chien explaining how our brain works in his health program on Da Ai TV. His analysis is very insightful and supported by medical evidence.
Supt. Chien in health program on Da Ai TV explains: “This MRI scan shows how our brain becomes active when we do things. The highlighted parts are the parts that are active. When we speak, this part becomes active. But when we speak and look at things, more parts of our brain become active. This is because the neurons in our brain communicate with one another by means of branch-life nerve fibers, which transmit signals to and receive signals from other neurons. So, if we often stimulate the nerve fibers in our brain, we can improve our memory or learn things more easily. If we don’t use our brain, it’ll degenerate and we’ll become forgetful. So, we must often exercise our brain just like how we exercise our muscle. Many people eat pig’s brain or ginkgo thinking that they are good for Alzheimer’s patients or can make them smarter. In fact, these things do not help us at all. The only thing that helps is to exercise our brain often is to exercise our brain often. Don’t watch TV all day long. We should do more activities that can help exercise our brain.”
A while back when I was expounding the Lotus Sutra, I spoke of how the Buddha gave out a light from the white hair between his eyebrows while he sat in meditation. Isn’t that the same as what Supt. Chien said? When the Buddha sat in meditation, he was contemplating the truth of all things in the universe. At this time, every brain cell in the Buddha was radiating light. That’s why the Buddha gave out light as described in the sutra. So, we must often exercise our brain to keep our brain cells active. We mustn’t worry that we’d overuse our brains and lose our brain cells as a result. We must keep these cells active so that they won’t fall into disuse. Moreover, we must use them to think good thoughts. If we give rise to unwholesome thoughts, we might commit all kinds of wrongdoings when we give in to our desires for the sake of momentary pleasure. All this depends on what we use our brain for. So, we must train our brain to think wholesome thoughts so that more brain cells can become active and “radiate light” like the Buddha’s. Then, we’ll have wisdom, which is like a clear mirror that can clearly reflect whatever comes before it. No matter what surroundings we are in, we’ll be able to clearly see the truths in everything. This is wisdom.
All in all, we must believe in the Buddha’s wisdom and what he teaches us. In everything we do, we must harbor a heart of utmost sincere piety and prudence. We must refrain from all evil and sincerely do all that is good. Only then can we create a Pure Land on earth. All creatures have their own living environment. We must treat them with respect and not harm them. Only then can a Pure Land on earth be possible.
(Source: Da Ai TV 人間菩提)