Happy readingOriginally posted by redstone:Looks like i've got lots of reading up to do.
Hmm thanks for sharing your views... but.. no comments and dont want to offend any Christians hereOriginally posted by Dan008:Most of the Chinese in Singapore who accepted Christianity are the weathly and english educated. I am not saying Christianity is bad or something just that I feel that these "weathly Singaporean Chinese" who they thinks that by accepting Christianity and go to church every weekend with their big BMWs and Mecs and speaks english all the way and dress up just to go church. Do they really understand what is going to a church? Instead of going to church to know more about Christianity and understanding it, they focus more on being "happy" and going to heaven! If one day Jesus says no one goes to Heaven, will these people still help others and so call pray for them? You see they are using "going to heaven" as a reward method, as no one wants to go to hell. If Jesus ask you this question, in order to save more people from going to hell, you have to go to hell. Will one do it? This is question people should ask themselves first. Willing to sacrifice oneself in order to help others. Just like what Jesus did. Did he die because he can go to heaven? (Need not to say he is the son of god).
I would says it must come from the heart if you really wanna help others. And ask for no rewards.
Your post is quite well said... there are a few points I would like to post. Burning papers for the dead is not a Buddhist practise... in Buddhism, we dedicate merits through offering the Sangha (monastic community) and Pujas (i.e Ullambana Pujas performed during 7th month includes chanting Ullambana Sutra and Ksitigarbha Sutra) to the dead in hope they can be reborn in better realms, but we do not believe that burning any papers will have any helps on the deceased. It is more of a Chinese cultural practise or religious Taoism practise. Also see about the myth of Ghost Festival: Ullambana Dharma - Not Festival Of Hungry GhostsOriginally posted by Dan008:In Buddhism, there are no required of burning joss stick or papers for the dead. Only prayers will do. Somehow chinese like to mix the Toaist way with the Buddist way. Buddist - practice on one's mind, only take what is needed. We do not need to kill in order to live. Besides killing is a circle, never ending. Thats why we need to get out of this "circle of life and death". And we are not idol worshipers for sure, the idol of Buddha is there for us to remind ourselves of the correct path to enlightenment and not for us to pray for blessing and 4D... please stop doing all these. And we bow is becuase to show our respect to the great Buddha not to worship him. Don't understand why some temples still have joss stick there.
Please understand your/our religion.
Correct me if I am wrong, as I am only human.
Thanks for your compliment... but what I know and my experience is also very limited.. so I have also much to learn from others.Originally posted by cycle:Hi AEN,
Have been reading your various posts for the past few days and I just want to let you know that you are a great Dharma teacher for me!
I'm very impressed with your comprehensive knowlege in the Dharma given your young age. I've taken refuge under the Triple Gem since age 20 and have been studying the Dharma whenever I can, but am still very ignorant. Bad karma.
I've also met many Buddhists distorting or totally misconstrue the actual meanings of the Dharma, even after going through Dharma classes themselves! Some even look down on the Sangha or other monastic places, mostly due to self delusion of one's ( false) intelligence. This is indeed the ending of Dharma era.
Your answers to many doubts and queries, challenges included, are clear and accurate with lots of references and links. I'm especially impressed with your wisdom and patience excercised when dealing with forumers out to put you or Buddhism down. My kudos to you.
Wish that there will be more young Buddhists like you, then there is hope for Singapore Buddhism.
Looking forward to your postings. Jia you!
Originally posted by Eric Cartman:Some dumbfcuk, upon hearing i was into buddhism, went to set up a taoist medium place and claimed that a deity "psychicly" knew my name and etc, and wanted to meet me up. Then he proceeded to tell me all the wrong info lol, and he still had the galls to tell me to go there frequently to offer some incense LOL!
9. THE FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS
The Four Noble Truths, suffering, its cause, its end, and the path that leads to its end, are fundamental to the teachings of the Buddha. He was fond of summarizing his whole teaching in terms of them. Actually, when asked to be really concise, he would just say the first and third: suffering and the end of suffering. This was what he taught. Like the other little lists here, they have great profundity on many levels and are worth exploring in depth.
TRUTH NUMBER ONE: SUFFERING
The first truth is the truth of suffering. Hey, didn't we just see that in the Three Characteristics? Yes! Isn't that great! We also just saw it in The Three Trainings Revisited. There must have been something important about it for it to start off something called the Four Noble Truths that is not immediately obvious. Why do we practice? Suffering, that's why! It is just that simple. Why do we do anything? Suffering!
Plenty of people balk at this, and say that they do lots of things because of reasons other than suffering. I suppose that to be really correct I should add in ignorance and habit, but these are intimately connected to suffering. This is worth investigating in depth. Perhaps there is something more to this first truth that they may have missed on first inspection, as it is a deep and subtle teaching. Actually, to understand this first truth is to understand the whole of the spiritual path, so take the time to investigate it.
The basic gist of the truth from a relative point of view is that we want things to be other than they are, and this causes pain. We want things that are nice to be permanent, we want to get what we want and avoid what we don't want. We wish bad things would go faster than they do, and these are all contrary to reality. We all die, get sick, have conflicts, and constantly seem to be running around either trying to get something (greed), get away from something (hatred), or tune out from reality all together (delusion). We are never perfectly happy with things just as they are. These are the traditional, relative ways in which suffering is explained, but these definitions can only take us so far.
At the most fundamental level, the level that is the most useful for doing insight practices, we wish desperately that there was some separate, permanent self, and we spend huge amounts of time doing our best to prop up this illusion. In order to do this, we habitually ignore lots of useful information about our reality and give our mental impressions and simplifications of reality much more importance than they are necessarily due. It is this illusion that adds a problematic element to the normal and understandable ways in which we go about trying to be happy. We constantly struggle with reality because we misunderstand it, i.e. because reality misunderstands itself.
Â“So what's new?Â” one might say. Good point! It isn't new, is it? This has been the whole of our life! The big question is Â“Is there some understanding which makes a difference?Â” Yes, or we wouldn't be bothering with all of this spirituality stuff. Somewhere down in our being there is a little voice that cries, Â“There is another way!Â” We can find this other way.
Connecting with the truth of suffering can actually be very motivating for spiritual practice. Most traditional talks on the Buddha's teachings begin with this. More than just being motivating for spiritual practice, tuning into suffering is spiritual practice! Many people start meditating and then get frustrated with how much suffering and pain they experience, never knowing that they are actually starting to understand something. They cling to the ideal that insight practices will produce peace and bliss and yet much of what they find is suffering. They donÂ’t realize that things on the cushion tend to get worse before they get better. Thus, they reject the very truths they must deeply understand to obtain the peace they were looking for and thus get nowhere. They reject their own valid insights that they have obtained through valid practice. I suspect that this is one of the greatest and most common stumbling blocks on the spiritual path.
There is a flip side to suffering which can help, and that is compassion, the wish for there to not be suffering. Wherever there is suffering there is compassion, though most of the time somewhat twisted by the confused logic of the process of ego. More on this in a bit, but it leads directly to the second Noble Truth, the cause of suffering.
TRUTH NUMBER TWO: Â“DESIREÂ”
The Second Noble Truth is that the cause of suffering is desire, also rendered as craving or attachment. We want things to be other than they are because we perceive the world through the odd logic of the process of ego, through the illusion of the split of the perceiver and the perceived. We might say, Â“Of course we want things to be great and not unpleasant! What do you expect?Â” The problem isn't actually quite in the desire for things to be good and not be bad in the way that we might think; it is, in fact, just a bit subtler than that.
This is a really slippery business, and many people can get all into craving for non-craving and desiring non-attachment. This can be useful if it is done wisely and it is actually all we have to work with. If common sense is ignored, however, desiring non-attachment may produce neurotic, self-righteous, repressed ascetics instead of balanced, kind meditators. A tour of any monastery or spiritual community will likely expose you to clear examples of both sides of this delicate balance. So, don't make too much of a problem out of the fact that it seems that one must desire something in order to seek it. This paradox will resolve itself if we are able to experience reality in this moment clearly.
Â“Craving,Â” Â“attachment,Â” and Â“desireÂ” are some of the most dangerous words that can be used to describe something that is actually much more fundamental than these seem to indicate. The Buddha did talk about these conventional forms of suffering, but he also talked about the fundamental suffering that comes from some deep longing for a refuge that involves a separate or permanent self. We imagine that such a self will be a refuge, and so we desire such a self, we try to make certain sensations into such a self, we cling to the fundamental notion that such a self can exist as a stable entity and that this will somehow help. The side effects of this manifest in all sorts of additions to mind states and emotions that are not helpful, but these are side effects and not the root that cause of suffering that the Buddha was pointing to.
As stated earlier, a helpful concept here is compassion, a heart aspect of the practice and reality related to kindness. You see, wherever there is desire there is suffering, and wherever there is suffering there is compassion, the desire for the end of suffering. You can actually experience this. So obviously there is some really close relationship between suffering, desire and compassion. This is heavy but good stuff and worth investigating.
We might conceive of this as compassion having gotten caught in a loop, the loop of the illusion of duality. This is sort of like a dogÂ’s tail chasing itself. Pain and pleasure, suffering and satisfaction always seem to be Â“over there.Â” Thus, when pleasant sensations arise, there is a constant, compassionate, deluded attempt to get over there to the other side of the imagined split. This is fundamental attraction. You would think that we would just stop imagining there is a split, but somehow that is not what happens. We keep perpetuating the sense of a split even as we try to bridge it, and so we suffer. When unpleasant sensations arise, there is an attempt to get away from over there, to widen the imagined split. This will never work, because it doesnÂ’t actually exist, but the way we hold our minds as we try to get away from that side is painful. When boring or unpleasant sensations arise, there is the attempt to tune out all together and forget the whole thing, to try to pretend that the sensations on the other side of the split are not there. This is fundamental ignorance and it perpetuates the process, as it is by ignoring aspects of our sensate reality that the illusion of a split is created in the first place.
These strict definitions of fundamental attraction, aversion and ignorance are very important, particularly for when I discuss the various models of the stages of enlightenment. Given the illusion, it seems that somehow these mental reactions will help in a way that will be permanent. Remember that the only thing that will fundamentally help is to understand the Three Characteristics to the degree that makes the difference, and the Three Characteristics are manifesting right here.
Remember how it was stated above that suffering motivates everything we do? We could also say that everything we do is motivated by compassion, which is part of the fundamentally empty nature of reality. That doesnÂ’t mean that everything we do is skillful; that is a whole different issue.
Compassion is a very good thing, especially when it involves one's self and all beings. It is sort of the flip side of the Second Noble Truth. The whole problem is that Â“misdirectedÂ” compassion, compassion that is filtered through the process of ego and its related habits, can produce enormous suffering and often does. It is easy to think of many examples of people searching for happiness in the strangest of places and by doing the strangest of things. Just pick up any newspaper. The take-home message is to search for happiness where you are actually likely to find it.
We might say that compassion is the ultimate aspect of desire, or think of compassion and desire on a continuum. The more wisdom or understanding of interconnectedness there is behind our intentions and actions, the more they reflect compassion and the more the results will turn out well. The more greed, hatred and delusion or lack of understanding of interconnectedness there is behind our intentions and actions, the more they reflect desire and the more suffering there will likely be.
This is sometimes referred to as the Â“Law of Karma,Â” where karma is a word that has to do with our intentions and actions. Some people can get all caught up in specifics of this that cannot possibly be known, like speculating that if we kill a bug we will come back as a bug and be squished. Don't. Cause and effect, also called interdependence, is just too imponderably complex. Just use this general concept to look honestly at what you want, why, and precisely how you know this. Examine what the consequences of what you do and think might be for yourself and everyone, and then take responsibility for those consequences. It's a tall order and an important practice to engage in, but don't get too obsessive about it. Remember the simplicity of the first training, training in kindness, generosity, honesty and clarity, and gain balance and wisdom from the other two trainings as you go.
Sometimes looking into suffering and desire can be overwhelming. Life can sometimes be extremely hard. In these moments, try looking into the heart side of the equation, compassion and kindness. Connect with the part of your heart that just wishes the suffering would end and feel that deeply, especially as it manifests in the body. Just this can be profound practice. There are also lots of other good techniques for cultivating a spaciousness of heart that can bear anything, such as formal loving-kindness practices (see Sharon SalzburgÂ’s excellent Loving-kindness, The Revolutionary Art of Happiness). Finding them and practicing them can make the spiritual path much more bearable and pleasant, and this can make it more likely that we will be able to persevere, gain deep insights, be able to integrate them into our lives, and use them to benefit others.
The take-home message is to take the desire to be happy and free of suffering and use its energy to do skillful things that can actually make this happen, rather than getting caught in old unexamined patterns of searching for happiness where you know you will not find it. The Three Trainings are skillful and can inform the whole of our life. By following them we may come to the end of many forms of suffering and be in a much better position to help others do the same.
TRUTH NUMBER THREE: THE END OF SUFFERING
This brings us nicely to the Third Noble Truth, the end of suffering. Now, as noted before, there are three types of suffering pertaining to the scope of each of the three trainings. Traditionally, the Buddha talked about the end of suffering as relating to mastering the third training and thus becoming highly enlightened. The first point is that it can be done and is done today by meditators like you from many spiritual traditions. Yes, there are enlightened people walking around, and not just a rare few that have spent 20 years in a cave in Tibet. This is really important to understand and have faith in. The other point is that with the end of fundamental desire, which we will render here as the end of compassion and reality being filtered through the odd logic of the process of ego, there is the end of fundamental suffering. That's it. Done is what has to be done. Gone, gone, gone beyond, and all of that. All beings can do it, and there is, to make bit of a mystical joke, no time like the present.
Now, it must be said that the Buddha also praised those who had mastered the other two trainings and thus eliminated what suffering could be eliminated by those methods. Even very enlightened beings can benefit from mastering the concentration states. However, there are some complex and difficult issues related to eliminating all of the ordinary suffering in the world and thus related to mastering the first training, which is an endless undertaking. It is because of this particular issue that such teachings as the Bodhisattva Vow arose, and I will deal with these complexities towards the end of this book.
TRUTH NUMBER FOUR: THE PATH
The Fourth Noble Truth is the Noble Eightfold Path that leads to suffering's final end. Another list! Hopefully you have come to like these little lists by now, and so one more will hopefully be seen as another manageable little guide on how to find the end of suffering. Luckily, we have already seen the whole of the Noble Eightfold Path in other parts of some of the other lists, and it is summarized in the Three Trainings of morality, concentration and wisdom.
The morality section is just broken down into three specifics: skillful action, skillful speech and skillful livelihood. Skillful means conducive to the end of suffering for us and for all other living beings. Be kind, honest, clear and compassionate in your whole life, in your actions, speech and work. Notice that nothing is excluded here. The more of our lives we integrate with the spiritual path, the better. Simple to remember and also a powerful guide.
The concentration section contains three things we saw in the Five Spiritual Faculties and the Seven Factors of Enlightenment: skillful energy, skillful concentration, and skillful mindfulness.
The wisdom section has the two last parts of the path: skillful thought or intention and skillful understanding or wisdom. These two are often rendered in different ways, but the meaning is the same: understand the truth of your experience and aspire to kindness and wisdom in your thoughts and deeds. Again, simple but powerful.
You can take a look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karma#In_the_Dharmic_religionsOriginally posted by Herzog_Zwei:How about a quick explaination of Karma in Buddhist terms and in Hindu terms?
NP, anyway, read a post or two everyday, you'll finish reading in no timeOriginally posted by TWE:Wah eternal now i really very impressed with your patience to type so many stuff here . Good work pal the buddhist community needs pple like you . Frankly speaking i couldn't find the time to read every words that you type .
Up to you... honestly I still kill mosquitoes sometimes due to reasons such as that you mentioned.. but know that every unwholesome intentional action (which is 'bad karma') will lead to unwholesome karmic effect in future.Originally posted by i_luv_erky:I learned not to kill ant or even mosquitoes.
But Aedes how?
If they Breed, we will bleed.
Hello, my master Ven. Shen Kai offered a solution to Ants and $*[email protected] He also mentioned about mosquitoes (but I can't remember well for that one). I will summarise a few points below.
Ants - put some Mei2 You2 near their home, they dislike the Mei2 You2 and will definitely move away from their home to somewhere else. To give the ants a sense of direction where to go you may put some food nearby, and they will go and live there. But don't put the food too far as it may be difficult for them to travel that far distance.
$*[email protected] - get some empty Wu3 Jia1 Pi2 Jiu3 (a type of Chinese traditional beer?). $*[email protected] love to have a beer and will all go inside. Then you can throw the cans into a dirty place i.e trash can and let them live in their paradise. I don't know about other beers, you all could experiment yourself.
Mosquitoes - I can remember only he mentioend two ways - burning that mosquito 'incense', or using some kind of electronic device that could make them sterilised and not be able to reproduce babies.
So we do not necessarily need to kill them to get rid of the pests. Wisdom will be of good use.
My Master taught - to develope Great Compassion one must start by not harming, and protecting animals no matter how tiny they are.
Even though these animals may be tiny - if you can kill small animals, one day you might kill bigger animals, then killing humans no longer seem a difficult task to do.