Spirituality & Faith in times of COVID-19
by Venerable Kwang Sheng

The COVID-19 pandemic continues relentlessly even today, causing great disruptions to our daily life, society and economy. In particular, it is causing immeasurable psychological distress to people, who are experiencing anxiety, worries and fears. As Buddhists, how should we strengthen our faith and adapt ourselves to overcome this current calamity?

Faith is the gateway to enter Buddhism and the basis for sustaining the Buddha Dharma. According to the Avata_saka Sutra: Faith is the foundation to cultivate the Way, and the mother of merit and virtue, because it is capable of nourishing wholesome roots. The Buddha Dharma is like a vast sea; only by faith can it be entered. Therefore, the single word “faith” is the key to escape from birth and death and is the wonderful means for returning to the source.

It is also said in the Mahaprajnaparamita Sutra that “the Buddha Dharma is like a vast sea; only by faith can it be entered.” In the immense oceans of Buddhist wisdom, the prerequisite to obtain tangible benefits from the Buddha Dharma is to possess the Right Faith. The Right Faith is the abode for our mind and the basis for the three Dharmic, karmic and wisdom bodies. Only with Right Faith in Buddhism will we derive the impetus and motivation to study the scriptures in depth, and sever the roots of our doubts and ignorance, thereby putting the teachings into practice, and thus experiencing first-hand the joy and bliss that comes from having our mind purified with the radiant light and cool cleansing water of the Buddha teachings.

In Buddhism, “faith” refers to the unity of body and mind, an alignment between our inner and outer activities to pay homage and apply the Buddha’s teachings so as to attain liberation. By imbuing and manifesting these teachings personally, we purify our minds, enact good moral values, improve the quality of our daily living, and discern the truth of our existence.

Buddhism objects to blind or unquestioned faith but promotes Right Faith based on wisdom and understanding. The Buddha cautioned in the Nirvana Sutra that “Faith without understanding fosters ignorance; whereas understanding without faith breeds the wrong views.” In other words, having faith without the correct understanding gives rise to ignorance and worries. Moreover, the activities of such a person may not be in accordance with the Buddhist teachings. On the other hand, having understanding without faith generates false or mistaken views. Therefore, the basis of faith in Buddhism is wisdom. Buddhists should strengthen their faith through wise discernment and cultivate their religious piety through wise practice, which would result in their faith deepening with growing wisdom. That is why the Buddha emphasised the paramount role of wisdom in the Avata_saka Sutra: “Of all the teachings, wisdom is foremost.”

The Buddha taught four ways to keep Right Faith steadfastly.

➊ Seek and keep spiritual guidance. We should surround ourselves with a spiritual community. We do this by getting acquainted with learned practitioners with the right views and understanding, namely the Buddhist Sangha. As noted in the Avata_saka Sutra:“All Buddhist teachings achieve fruition through the efforts of conscientious practitioners, who are the pillars.” Moreover, “One who seeks the Bodhisattva path, who wishes to attain the Perfect Wisdom, should diligently seek out good company. Seek them out without fatigue; and when one encounters them, do not grow weary or complacent; comply instantly with their teachings without defiance.” Thus, it can be seen that seeking and keeping good spiritual guidance is the first step in practising Buddhism.

➋ Listen to the true Dharma. This means that we should listen frequently to the teachings of the Sangha. As stated in the Verses about Hearing (Srutivarga):

Through much hearing, one understands the Dharma. Through much hearing, one distances oneself from wrongdoing. Through much hearing, one discards what is meaningless. Through much hearing, one attains Nirvana.

Only by listening extensively to the right teachings can we gain insight into the true empty nature of phenomena and discern the ultimate reality of our existence.

➌ Ponder wisely: After listening to the teachings, we must continually reflect on them based on the correct understanding of Buddha Dharma, to deepen our understanding and truly grasp the spirit and meaning of the teachings. This is in sharp contrast to thoughtlessly or superstitiously following what is said.

➍ Apply the Dharma in our daily life. This means that we apply to real life what we have learned or understood about the Buddha Dharma, achieving unison of thought and action. All four methods are interconnected. Starting with seeking out spiritual guides, we get to hear the true Dharma as a result, thereby leading to us acquiring right views and understanding, which we then put into everyday practice.

The current pandemic is a common crisis confronting humanity. In this scenario, Buddhists should strive even harder to enact the Buddhist values of compassion, gratitude, wisdom and rationality. We should steady ourselves, reframe our mindset, strengthen our faith and deploy the right understanding to overcome this challenge together. During this pandemic, the medical front-liners have stepped up selflessly to answer the call of duty, the cleaning staff have worked tirelessly without complaints, volunteers have served willingly, and the law enforcement officers have discharged their responsibility admirably. They are demonstrating the goodness inherent in human nature and spreading warmth to all others around them. Due to their staunch commitment to forge ahead, we can have some respite and sense of security. Therefore, we should be grateful and show our appreciation.

Only people who are grateful can face the daily grind with optimism and positivity, accepting life’s challenges. As the pandemic rages on, all Buddhists should start with themselves by maintaining Right Faith and views, unite and collaborate cohesively, comply proactively with safety measures, so that we can surmount this challenge together.

Self-discipline will lead us to freedom, and having a common goal will allow us to march forward in tandem. I sincerely pray for strength and protection for all beings to Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, and that the pandemic will end soon so life may return to normalcy. May everyone stay healthy, happy, safe and blessed.

Ven Kwang Sheng 16.


It is important for us to reflect on how we got to where we are today and how we can change in the future. Let me illustrate how our thoughts and feelings can change the quality and direction of our life. Unfortunately, if I use a negative story, it might be easier for us to get the point, as we are all personally well versed in such things.

So, say that we have an unpleasant exchange with a co-worker one day. It isn’t significant, but we keep thinking about it and feeling dislike for that person. Soon, whatever this person says or does, whether it actually touches us or not, annoys us. Every exchange, whether smiling or frowning, triggers harsh feelings in us toward them. After some time, even seeing this person’s e-mail in our inbox can make our heart skip a beat. Then, merely thinking about this person makes us feel frustrated and miserable. It doesn’t matter if they are miles away. It consumes us. We constantly bring their annoying demeanour vividly to mind and keep hearing their irritating voice loudly — as if they were right in our face.

Obviously, real harmful actions and harsh words will fly back and forth when you actually meet. We may force ourselves to smile, but whatever we say or do relating to this person will become harmful. Our forced nice gestures won’t charm anyone, as they came from an agitated state of mind. This illustration is probably familiar to many of us.

But it is ourselves that we harm most. We accumulate poisonous emotions that hurt the elements and energy systems of our body and can lead to sickness and disease.

— Tulku Thondup Rinpoche

Tulku Thondup Rinpoche 42.

The more we attune to peace, the more radiant our lives become.

— Zen Proverb

Lotus 291.

We Are The Earth
by Thich Nhat Hanh

At this very moment, the Earth is above you, below you, all around you, and even inside you. The Earth is everywhere. You may be used to thinking of the Earth as only the ground beneath your feet. But the water, the sea, the sky, and everything around us comes from the Earth. Everything outside us and everything inside us comes from the Earth. We often forget that the planet we are living on has given us all the elements that make up our bodies. The water in our flesh, our bones, and all the microscopic cells inside our bodies all come from the Earth and are part of the Earth. The Earth is not just the environment we live in. We are the Earth and we are always carrying her within us.

Realising this, we can see that the Earth is truly alive. We are a living, breathing manifestation of this beautiful and generous planet. Knowing this, we can begin to transform our relationship to the Earth. We can begin to walk differently and to care for her differently. We will fall completely in love with the Earth. When we are in love with someone or something, there is no separation between ourselves and the person or thing we love. We do whatever we can for them and this brings us great joy and nourishment. That is the relationship each of us can have with the Earth. That is the relationship each of us must have with the Earth if the Earth is to survive, and if we are to survive as well.


If we think about the Earth as just the environment around us, we experience ourselves and the Earth as separate entities. We may see the planet only in terms of what it can do for us. We need to recognise that the planet and the people on it are ultimately one and the same. When we look deeply at the Earth, we see that she is a formation made up of non-Earth elements: the sun, the stars, and the whole universe. Certain elements, such as carbon, silicon, and iron, formed long ago in the heart of far-off supernovas. Distant stars contributed their light.

When we look into a flower, we can see that it’s made of many different elements, so we also call it a formation. A flower is made of many non-flower elements. The entire universe can be seen in a flower. If we look deeply into the flower, we can see the sun, the soil, the rain, and the gardener. Similarly, when we look deeply into the Earth, we can see the presence of the whole cosmos.

A lot of our fear, hatred, anger, and feelings of separation and alienation come from the idea that we are separate from the planet. We see ourselves as the centre of the universe and are concerned primarily with our own personal survival. If we care about the health and well-being of the planet, we do so for our own sake. We want the air to be clean enough for us to breathe. We want the water to be clear enough so that we have something to drink. But we need to do more than use recycled products or donate money to environmental groups. We have to change our whole relationship with the Earth.

We tend to think of the Earth as inanimate matter because we’ve become alienated from it. We are even alienated from our own bodies. We spend many hours every day forgetting that we even have a body. We get so caught up in our work and our problems that we forget that we are more than just our minds. Many of us are sick because we forget to pay attention to our bodies. We’ve also forgotten the Earth — that she is part of us and that we are part of her. Because we’re not taking care of the Earth, we have both become sick. When we look deeply at a blade of grass or at a tree, we can see that it’s not mere matter. It has its own kind of intelligence. For example, a seed knows how to grow into a plant with roots, leaves, flowers, and fruit. A pine tree is not just matter; it possesses a sense of knowing. A dust particle is not just matter; each of its atoms has intelligence and is a living reality.

This understanding of the deeper non-dualistic nature of things is called advaya jñana in Sanskrit. This means the wisdom of nondiscrimination. This is a way of seeing that goes beyond concepts. Classical science is based on the belief that there is an objective reality that exists even if the mind does not. But in the Buddhist tradition, we say there is mind and there are objects of mind, and that they manifest at the same time. We can’t separate them. Objects of mind are created by the mind itself. The way we perceive the world around us depends entirely on our way of looking at it.

If we understand the Earth as a living, breathing organism, we can heal ourselves and heal the Earth as well. When our physical body is sick, we need to stop, rest, and pay attention to it. We have to stop our thinking, return to our in-breath and out-breath, and come home to our body. If we can see our body as a wonder, we also have the opportunity to see the Earth as a wonder, and healing can begin for the body of the Earth. When we go home and take care of ourselves, we heal not only our own bodies and minds, but we help the Earth as well.

The Earth is a beautiful planet; it has a multitude of life forms, vegetation, sounds, and colours. In the sky, we can see the light of Venus and faraway stars. Looking at ourselves we see that we, too, are beautiful. Our mind is the consciousness of the cosmos. The cosmos has given rise to the beautiful human species. With powerful telescopes, people have been able to observe the cosmos in all its splendour. We have had glimpses of faraway galaxies. We have seen stars whose images take hundreds of millions of years to reach the Earth. The radiant and elegant cosmos that we can observe is in fact our own consciousness itself and not something outside of it.


When you contemplate the planet Earth, you see that she has many virtues. The first virtue is stability. She is steadfast when faced with challenges and continues to offer perseverance, equanimity, and forbearance in the face of many human-created calamities.

The second virtue is that of creativity. The Earth is an inexhaustible source of creativity. She has given birth to so many beautiful species, including humans. Although there are many talented musicians and composers among us, the most wonderful music of all is composed by the Earth herself. There are those of us who are excellent artists and painters. But the Earth has created the most beautiful landscapes. If we look deeply, we can discover a multitude of the infinite wonders that appear on the Earth. Even the best scientist can’t match the beautiful petal of a cherry blossom or the delicateness of an orchid.

The third virtue is nondiscrimination. Nondiscrimination means that the Earth does not judge. We, humans, have done many careless things that have harmed the Earth and yet she does not punish us. She brings us to life and she welcomes us back to her when we die.

If you look deeply and feel this connection to the Earth, you will also begin to feel admiration, love, and respect. When you realise the Earth is so much more than simply the environment, you will be moved to protect her as you would yourself. There is no difference between you and her. In that kind of communion, you no longer feel alienated.


In his book, The Lives of a Cell, biologist Thomas Lewis describes our planet as a living organism. After some reflection, he arrives at the insight that the whole planet is like a giant living cell whose parts are all linked in symbiosis. He describes the miraculous achievement of the atmosphere as the world’s biggest membrane. Lewis finds it so astonishing that the Earth is alive. He is struck by the amazing beauty and exuberance of the Earth in contrast to the barren, cratered moon and other planets. He likens the Earth to an organised, self-contained being, a “live creature, full of information and marvellously skilled in handling the sun.”

We too can see that the Earth is a living being and not an inanimate object. She is not inert matter. We often call our planet Mother Earth. Seeing the Earth as our mother helps us to realise her true nature. The Earth is not a person, yet she is indeed a mother who has given birth to millions of different species, including the human species.

Our Mother Earth has brought us to life and provided all the conditions for our survival. Over the aeons, she has developed an environment from which humans can manifest and thrive. She created a protective atmosphere, with air we can breathe, abundant food for us to eat, and clear water for us to drink. She is constantly nourishing and protecting us. We can see that she is our mother and the mother of all beings.

We are a child of the Earth and our planet is a very generous mother who embraces us and provides us with everything we need. And when one day we cease to exist in this form, we will go back to the Earth, our mother, only to be transformed so that we may manifest again in a different form in the future.

But don’t think that Mother Earth is outside of you. Looking deeply you can find Mother Earth within you, just as your biological mother who gave birth to you is also within you. She is in each of your cells.


If the Earth is our true mother, then the sun is also our true parent. Together they make life on Earth possible. The sun’s energy enables life forms to exist on our planet. The sun offers light and warmth for plants to grow. Without the sun, there would be no life at all.

Countless civilisations have paid homage to the sun. In the Buddhist tradition, there are many who praise Amitabha, the Buddha of Limitless Light, and they believe his Pure Land lies to the west. We can call this Buddha Mahavairocana Tathagatha, the Buddha of Infinite Light and Life. We can say that the sun is a true Buddha, because he shines his light upon the Earth, providing warmth, light, energy, and life every minute of the day to all species on the planet. The sun is not only to be found in the sky; the sun is on Earth and in each one of us. Each of us has the sunshine within us. Without the sun, life on Earth wouldn’t be possible; living beings couldn’t exist. We can think of the sun and the Earth as our true parents, and as the true parents of our biological father and mother, and of all our ancestors. The Buddha, Mohammed, Jesus Christ, and all our wonderful teachers are children of this planet. We are all children of the Earth and the sun. Just as we carry the DNA of our biological mother and father within us, we carry the sun and the Earth in each of our cells.


We can feel a tremendous sense of awe and wonder at the immense energy of the universe, and we may be tempted to believe it was created by a humanlike God. Impressed by the powerful forces of nature, we often imagine there is a god behind the raging storms, a god of thunder, a god of rain, or a god controlling the rise and fall of the tides. It’s easy to think that this highly creative force could have a human form.

However, I don’t think God is an old man with a white beard sitting in the sky. God is not outside of creation. I think God is on Earth, inside every living being. What we call “the divine,” is none other than the energy of awakening, of peace, of understanding, and of love, which is to be found not only in every human being but in every species on Earth. In Buddhism, we say every sentient being has the ability to be awakened and to understand deeply. We call this Buddha-nature. The deer, the dog, the cat, the squirrel, and the bird all have Buddha-nature. But what about inanimate species: the pine tree in our front yard, the grass, or the flowers? As part of our living Mother Earth, these species also have Buddha-nature. This is a very powerful awareness which can bring us so much joy. Every blade of grass, every tree, every plant, every creature large or small are children of the planet Earth and have Buddha-nature. The Earth herself has Buddha nature, therefore all her children must have Buddha nature, too. As we are all endowed with Buddha-nature, everyone has the capacity to live happily and with a sense of responsibility toward our mother, the Earth.

In the Bible, Jesus said, “I am in the Father, and the Father is in me” (John 14:11). The Buddha also taught that we are all part of each other. We aren’t separate entities. The father and son aren’t entirely the same but they aren’t completely different either. One is in the other. When we look into our own bodily formation, we see Mother Earth inside us, and so the whole universe is inside us, too. Once we have this insight of interbeing, we can have real communication with the Earth. This is the highest possible form of prayer.

To worship the Earth is not to deify her or believe she is any more sacred than ourselves. To worship the Earth is to love her, to take care of her, and to take refuge in her. When we suffer, the Earth embraces us, accepts us, and restores our energy, making us strong and stable again. The relief that we seek is right under our feet and all around us. Much of our suffering can be healed if we realise this. If we understand our deep connection and relationship with the Earth, we will have enough love, strength, and awakening so that we both can thrive.

When we suffer we need love and understanding. We ourselves don’t have enough of these qualities, so when we suffer we try to find them outside ourselves. This is very natural. We hope someone else or something else can give us the love and understanding we need. Someone with love and understanding embodies goodness, truth, and beauty. We know that we possess some goodness, truth, and beauty, but maybe not enough to bring us happiness. We don’t know how to help these virtues grow in order to gain true insight and wisdom.

The Earth has all the virtues we seek, including strength, stability, patience, and compassion. She embraces everyone. We don’t need blind faith to see this. We don’t need to address our prayers or express our gratitude to a remote or abstract deity with whom it may be difficult or impossible to be in touch. We can address our prayers and express our gratitude directly to the Earth. The Earth is right here. She supports us in very concrete and tangible ways. No one can deny that the water that sustains us, the air that we breathe, and the food that nourishes us are gifts of the Earth.

Thich Nhat Hanh 174.

Seeing through wisdom that all defects of defiling emotions arise from the view of substantiality, and knowing the ‘ I’ to be its object, the yogis negate the ‘I’ .

— Chandrakirti

Chandrakīrti (月称菩萨) 11.

The Spirit of All Traditions
by Kalu Rinpoche

Westerners have achieved an astonishingly high level of technological sophistication. Mass-produced machines allow us to travel through the air at great speed, explore the depths of the ocean, and witness instantly whatever is happening in any corner of the world and even beyond our own planet. Yet our own mind, which is so close to us, remains impenetrable: we do not understand what our own mind really is. This is a paradox because, even though we have extremely refined telescopes to see light-years away and microscopes powerful enough to distinguish the atomic details of matter, the mind, which is the most basic and intimate aspect of our being, remains the most unrecognised, mysterious, and unknown.

Scientific developments and control over our material conditions have brought us a relatively high level of comfort and physical well-being. This is certainly wonderful, but even so, progress in science and technology does not prevent the mind from remaining in ignorance about itself and therefore conditioned and afflicted by suffering, frustration, and anguish. To alleviate these problems, it is crucial to discover and understand the actual nature of our own minds.


The main point here is to understand our real nature, or what we actually are. Many of you know many things; you are educated. Try to use your capacities to study the mind.

You mustn’t think this kind of investigation applies only to a small elite. Each of us has a mind whose nature is the same as everyone else’s. We are all alike; we all have the feeling of existing with an ego which is subjected to all kinds of hardships and suffering, anxieties and fears. All of this results from ignorance about our basic nature. If we can reach the understanding of what we actually are, there is no better remedy for eliminating all suffering. This is the heart of all spiritual practices.

All spiritual traditions, whether Christian, Hindu, Judaic, Islamic, or Buddhist, teach that the understanding of what we are at the deepest level is the main point. This understanding of the nature of mind sheds light from within and illuminates the teachings of all traditions. In every tradition, whoever gains first hand, experiential understanding of mind and retains that kind of awareness is led to a worldview that would not have been possible prior to this direct experience. Knowledge of the nature of mind is the key that yields an understanding of all teachings; it sheds light on what we are, the nature of all our experiences, and reveals the deepest form of love and compassion. The actual realisation of the nature of mind opens onto a complete understanding of Dharma and all the traditions. To have a good theoretical knowledge of Dharma or any other spiritual tradition and to effectively realise the ultimate nature of mind, however, are profoundly different. Even a realised being who is not involved in a particular spiritual tradition would have while living in the ordinary world, an extremely beneficial influence.

I would like to emphasise that this is true regardless of the spiritual tradition Every tradition is illuminated by this awareness. But it is especially the case in the Buddha’s teachings, in which this knowledge constitutes the heart and goal of all his instruction.

Kalu Rinpoche 31.

The ego prevents us from helping ourselves by presenting a false notion of what it really means to help ourselves.

— Gelek Rimpoche

Gelek Rinpoche 7.



第一部分 学习佛法 认识宇宙人生的真相








第二句话是“去后来先作主公”。是指阿赖耶识最后离开。人断气以后,临床诊断为死亡,但是,第八识不一定马上就离开。所以佛教主张在人死后八小时至十六小时之内不要搬动他,不要哭,而最要紧的是要给他念佛,就是根据这个来的。因为阿赖耶识去得后,“来得先”,初来投生,就是这个“中阴身”。躯壳死了,断气以后,还没有投生以前叫做中阴身。中阴身投胎时间有长有短,一般来说,长的可以到四十九天或更长时间才去投生。中阴身投生,就是受一念淫欲心的驱使。十二因缘中“无明缘行”,无明就是淫欲心。缘行,就是以淫欲心为条件,而产生男女的性行为。中阴身就是因为这一念淫欲心而去投胎的。所以《楞严经》上说:“淫心不除,尘不可出”。淫欲心不断除干净,想要出离生死轮回是不可能的。我们投生就是我们的中阴身与父母的精血相结合而形成胚胎,所以说它来得最先。“作主公”,大脑皮质和神经系统都属于物质体,都是受第八识的指挥。从哪里证明?当第八识一旦离开人体以后,大脑皮质、神经系统虽然没有被破坏,但是它不起作用了。语言、感觉这些功能都消失了。阿赖耶识是受业力的支配, 是接受善恶业报的主体。这个业力很大,业力贯通三世,我们生从哪里来,死了往哪里去都是受业力支配。业就是因,实际上就是因果规律在支配。佛经有一首偈颂就把这个道理说得很清楚:“欲知前世因,今生受者是(果);欲知来世果,今生作者是(因)”。

我们要想知道前世种的什么业因,开悟的人都知道,而我们凡夫却不知道,但是你也可以知道。从哪里知道?今生受者是,今生所受的就是前世所种因的果报。你从果可以推及因。比如疾病缠身,必定是过去生中的杀业很重。我们现在时时刻刻都在受果报,但是,时时刻刻又在种业因。我们的身、口、意时时刻刻不断在活动,就是在种业因。现在种的业因,又决定着未来的果报。所以说困果规律不同于算命看相说的:“铁板数”,它是可以转变的。我们下一世受什么样的果报?今生作者是。我们现在时时刻刻又在造业因,因缘变了,果也必定要变。我们这个身体是由业报所生的,也是来受善恶业报的,所以叫做“报身”,也叫“业报身”、“果报身”。一个人相貌好丑不同,寿命长短不同,富贵贫贱不同,这就是正报不同。也就是各有各的因不同。一个人所处的社会、家庭、环境、亲属子女的关系,以及他一生的生活享受等等,都是属于依报。所以单单从遗传学来讲是解释不清楚的。为什么同一父母所生的弟兄姐妹甚至于双胞胎,而他们的命运,生活遭遇相差很大,这怎么解释呢?只有佛法的三世因果才能解释得清楚。这就是虽然他们的“缘”相同,但过去所种的“因”有所不同;而“因”是各人自己种下了的,并且是起主要作用的;缘是次要的,是从父母那里得来的。依报和正报之间的关系,以正报为主。依报随着正报转,正报有福分,依报必然丰富圆满;正报没有福分,依报必定贫穷困苦。 我们今生所受用的正报和依报,都来源于过去种的善恶业因。从佛教的观点看,一个人的命运就是善恶业报的体现,佛教不讲“命运”,而强调因果。这些东西并不是有一位什么神在掌握着,也不是别人能够操纵,而是可以完全由自己掌握,那就是“自种因,自受果”。

佛法从根本上揭示了算命、看相的由来和原理。但是,佛教却不主张看相算命,因为这是舍本逐末,徒劳无益的。命和相,算是这样,不算也是这样。佛法决不同于宿命论,它认为命运是可以转变的,不是什么命中注定的“铁板数“。而转变的关键,就在于一个人自己的心地。因为“心能转业,心能造业”,“相随心转、命由心造”,就是这个道理。目前社会上有许多人,片面认为只要到寺庙里去烧烧香、拜拜佛,就可以保险,可以消灾免难了。而自己并不懂得应该依照佛陀的教导来做人做事,止恶行善。比如说,有的年轻人在家不孝顺父母,但他却到寺庙里祈求菩萨保佑自己的儿女顺利成长。这是不符合因果规律的,是不可能如愿以偿的。有一副观世音菩萨像前的对联说得就非常明白,上联是:“居心作恶,谁替你救苦救难?” 常言说得好:百善孝为先。你连自己的父母都不孝敬,不孝父母就是罪恶,就种下了恶因,也直接给儿女做了坏榜样,在你的这种“熏陶”下,你的儿女能成才吗?即便“成才”,将来能成为孝顺你的好儿女吗?能成为社会的栋梁之材吗?这就是上行下效的道理!谁替你救苦救难?你种了恶因,如果观音菩萨接受你的供养,那就是受贿,就是包庇恶人了。下联是:“回头向善,何须我大慈大悲?”只要你能回头,转恶为善,也就能转祸为福。善业恶业,唯心所造;福报祸报,惟人自招。要改变命运,并不是依靠别人,也不是求菩萨,而是依靠自己。佛菩萨教导我们应该怎样做,我们就按照佛菩萨的教导去做,按照佛菩萨的教导去待人接物;不按照佛菩萨的教导去做,而只是求佛菩萨保佑,那是不可能实现的事情。




《易经》讲:“积善之家,必有庆余”。这就是贯通三世的因果规律所决定的。中国历史上著名的文学家、政治家范仲淹,是一个虔诚的佛教居士。在他当宰相时,虽身居高位,但家里的开支却非常节俭。他有三个儿子,却只备有一件礼服,因此三个儿子不能同时出外。他将他的工资收入,除了留很少部分作为生活费用外,其余都全部用来救济贫困。他还在苏州办了一个“范氏义庄”养活了三百家人,这个不简单,三百家人啊!他去世后,却连安埋费都没有着落;但他得到很大的善报是在他的后人身上。他的儿子范纯仁官至宰相,子孙后代,代代出人才,一直繁衍发达到现在。《人民日报》海外版曾经刊登过一则消息:“来自世界各地的范氏家族在台北市举行了一个隆重的集会,与会者将近两百人,纪念范文正公的一千年诞辰。” 范文正公种下善因,自然就会得到善报。如果一个人能够损已利人,这就更加了不得。损已,从现在来看仿佛是“吃亏了”,但从长远来看,你的行为受到了别人的尊敬,并且你这种行为会感化别人,你自己虽然并不求福报,但却自然会得到更大的福报。清代末年的林则徐,也是一个非常虔诚的佛教徒。他做钦差大臣每次出巡时,虽日理万机,却必然把《阿弥陀经》等课诵写成的小册子随身携带,每日必定抽出时间来完成他自己的早晚课。至今还留有林则徐亲写的《行舆日课》。他撰联:“苟利国家生死已;岂因祸福趋避之。”“海纳百川,有容乃大;壁立千仞,无欲则刚”。在禁烟中焚毁鸦片的时候,他很清楚,明白做了这件事立刻会丢官,甚至会被杀头。他有充分的思想准备,完全没有考虑个人得失,考虑的仅仅只是国家民族的利益,为了利益国家民族,不惜这样做。这就是损己利人,就是修菩萨行。













































Ven Chang Zhen (昌臻法师) 4.

Healing the Body and Mind
by Tulku Thondup Rinpoche

To find true well-being, the best place to look is close to home. We could travel around the globe a hundred times, turning over every stone on earth in the quest for happiness. Yet this would not necessarily give us what we seek. Money does not necessarily grant well-being either, nor does a youthful or healthy body. Health and money can help us, of course. But the real source of peace and joy is our minds.

The mind wants to be peaceful; this is really its natural state. But there are so many distractions and cravings that can obscure our peaceful nature. A characteristic of our time is the speed of our daily lives, especially in the West. Everything is a rush. Meditation can slow us down so that we touch our true nature. Any meditation can help us. The object of our contemplation could be a flower, a religious image, or a positive feeling. Or it could be our own bodies.

One especially rich way to develop a peaceful mind is to meditate upon the body. By doing this, we promote the welfare of our whole being.

Through meditation, we can learn how to encourage our minds to create a feeling of peace in the body. This can be as simple as relaxing and saying to ourselves, “Let my body be calm and peaceful now,” and really feeling that this is happening. It is the beginning of meditation — and of wisdom, too.

This approach is a kind of homecoming. We are reintroducing ourselves to our bodies and establishing a positive connection between mind and body. Quite often, we have a rather strained and distant relationship to our own bodies. We think of the body as unattractive or ugly, or maybe our health is poor. Or else we like the body, cherish it, and foster cravings around it. But even if we cherish the body, we worry that it could be better than it is or that it will get sick or grow old. So we are conflicted and ambivalent. The body is an object of anxiety.

The meditations in this book will help us approach the body with a realistic attitude, accepting it as it is. Then we will practice how to see the body as very peaceful, a body filled with light and warmth. So many mental and physical afflictions are associated with the body, and meditation can help to heal them.

Mind and body are intimately connected, and die relationship of mind to body in meditation is very interesting. When we see the body as peaceful and beautiful, who or what is creating these feelings? The mind is. By creating peaceful feelings in the body, the mind is absorbed in those feelings. So although the body is the object to be healed, it also becomes the means of healing the mind — which is the ultimate goal of meditation.

When our minds are peaceful in meditation, there is no other mind. Even if the peaceful feeling goes away, we are developing the habit of a peaceful mind. Our minds are becoming accustomed to their true nature. Really, it all comes back to the mind. This is where our true happiness is. The Buddha said:

Mind is the main factor and forerunner of all actions.
Whoever acts or speaks
With a pure thought
Will enjoy happiness as the result.

Like a physician treating a patient, Buddhism deals with mental, emotional, and physical afflictions by diagnosing the cause and treating it.

In this world of ceaseless change, the mind tends to develop a grasping quality and gets attached to all kinds of illusory wants and desires. This is at the root of our suffering. We heal ourselves to the extent that we can release that grasping.

As it was first practised in the ninth century, Tibetan medicine viewed the body as composed of four elements — namely, earth, water, fire, and air — and as having hot and cold temperatures. Western medicine has given us a wonderfully detailed and up-to-date knowledge of the body and how it works, and we can take advantage of this. Yet even today, the ancient Tibetan picture of the body is very useful, both as an aid to meditation and as a way to understand the various qualities of the mind.

According to this view, when the four elements are in balance, we are in our natural healthy state, but when there is disharmony, emotional or physical disease can take root and flourish. The third Dodrupchen writes:

The ancient masters said that if you do not foster dislike and unhappy thoughts, your mind will not be in turmoil. If your mind is not in turmoil, the air [or energy of your body] will not be disturbed. If the air is not disturbed, other physical elements of your body will not experience disharmony. Harmonious elements [in turn] will help the mind stay free from turmoil. Then the wheel of joy will keep revolving.

The mind is the source of true well-being. So before we get to the guided meditations upon the body later on, we would do well to consider the qualities of the mind and how we can improve our lives.

Tulku Thondup Rinpoche 16.

You should approach things with an open heart-mind that gives you a wider, more spacious environment where you feel less fear and have greater focus.

— Dza Kilung Rinpoche

Dza Kilung Rinpoche 13.