55207.07.13 : Gratitude | Are You A 'Convenient' Buddhist? | How Death From Enmity Was Averted | Super Short Stories
- Jul 6, 2013Quote: Gratitude
Do not only speak of having gratitude;
you have to manifest it as
action for repayment of gratitude.
- Ven. Shengyen
New Courses From July Realisation: Are You A 'Convenient' Buddhist?
If you look only selectively at the Buddha’s teachings, for shortcuts that conveniently suit your present way of life, your life will not transform much for the better, because you will be living more or less in the same old ways you do, with defilements mostly intact, at best with minor improvements due to small adjustments. However, if you look more completely and detailedly for the essence of the Dharma, including at aspects, such as committing to observation of the precepts, which challenges your way of life, your life will have more hope of changing radically for the better. While we should not be too hard on ourselves if we are beginners, there ought to be increasingly consistent efforts to stretch our limits, to further actualise our spiritual potential.
Despite being even long-time Buddhists, many of us are not fantastic Dharma practitioners with substantial spiritual breakthroughs in terms of realisation of deeper wisdom and expression of greater compassion – because we have been procrastinating commitment to be truly excellent disciples of the Buddha, giving ourselves all kinds of excuses to not do better due to our ‘constraints’. This has been going on for countless lives already! We might have even successfully tricked ourselves into thinking we are far from ready to learn more about the Dharma systematically, much less, to practise its more profound aspects diligently. This is how many remain as nominal Buddhists, or even, sadly, backslide to be non-Buddhists eventually.
Any ‘dread’ of commitment towards study, practice, realisation and sharing of the Dharma is really unfounded because there is no one forcing us to do so. Yet, we must see clearly that we have to take upon some ‘inconveniences’ in order to step out of our overly worldly comfort zones, to inch, not so much towards a less comfortable zone, but towards a more spiritually comfortable zone! Since the Buddha already clearly discouraged extreme ascetic practices that harm the body and mind, why imagine sincere Dharma practice to be ‘too difficult’, when it is really the journey to spiritual bliss and liberation? The fruitful result of good practice is the attainment of true lasting convenience – True Happiness! What can be more worth the ‘trouble’?
When worldly habits remain diehard,
even worldly life becomes more hard.
- Stonepeace | Get Books
Share Articles: tde@... Excerpt: How Death From Enmity Was Averted
'He beat me, he robbed me. Look at how he abused and injured me.' Live with those thoughts and you will never stop hating... Abandon such thoughts and your hatred and suffering will cease
- The Buddha (Dhammapada)
During the Ch’ing Dynasty in China, in Yang Chou, there was a person named Ch’eng Pai Lin. One day he had a dream in which Avalokitesvara [Guanshiyin] Bodhisattva told him, ‘Tomorrow the Ch’ing army will arrive. Out of the seventeen people in your household, sixteen will survive. But you cannot escape your fate. Tomorrow Wang Ma Tze will kill you, because in a past life you stabbed him twenty-six times and killed him.’ Then Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva added, ‘There is still an expedient method that may work. Prepare a fine feast tomorrow, and when he comes, invite him to eat with you. Afterwards, allow him to kill you. Perhaps that will change things.’
The dream was vivid and when Ch’eng Pai Lin awoke the following morning, he went out and bought food, brought them back, and had a feast prepared. Then noontime came, someone knocked at the door. He opened the door and said, ‘Are you Wang Ma Tze?’ ‘How strange,’ said the man at the door, ‘I’m from the north, how did you know my name?’ His host invited him in and said, ‘… You’re welcome; I’ve prepared a feast for you. Won’t you join me?’ Then he related the dream he’d had the night before. ‘Last life I killed you with twenty-six stabs of a knife, and so this life you have come to kill me. After we’ve finished this meal, you can do it.’ Wang Ma Tze pondered over this and said, ’But if you killed me last life, and I kill you this life, won’t you kill me again next life? It will just go on and on. No, I won’t kill you.’ Then he took his knife and scratched twenty-six marks on his host’s back to represent that the debt had been repaid.
Not only did Wang Ma Tze not kill his host, but afterwards they became very good friends. Wang said to his host, ‘The Ch’ing army is following en masse. They are not reasonable, so the best would be for you and your family to go to Su Chou. It’s safe there.’ So that is what Ch’eng Pai Lin did. This is a case of turning grievance into friendship and reversing the retribution that is due one. From this you can see that it’s possible to alter one’s fate.
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