by Wayne Ren-Cheng
See Right View: Individuality Paradox Part One
The Buddha awakened to unnatural craving being at the core of unsatisfactoriness, discontent and anguish experienced by human beings. That was true then and it is true now. In the contemporary Western culture there is an aspect of societal interaction that is a major causal factor for feelings of unsatisfactoriness, discontent and anguish. Human beings crave associations based on group, interest and worldview, etc. Current and possible interactions and interconnections are decided upon based on those associations. This way of determining interconnections can, and often does, result in the arising of violence, hatred, envy and mistrust. Associations are natural expressions of individuality, and are causal factors in how a person is, but they should not be the determining factors in how a person connects and responds to the others.
In the sutras, legacy texts or teachings there are no teachings…
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We’re constantly sending love and material aids to Nepal, hometown of the Sakya clan, birthplace of our Lord Buddha. Keep your prayers with Nepal and for countless of volunteers who are working tirelessly to bring life back to normal.
Although the rebuilding of this city will take months to years and volunteers will be streaming in and out of the country, but the love and warmth from people around the world will stay there. Stay Strong!
2nd Sunday of May is widely known as Mother’s day, but for Tzuchi volunteers it is known as Tri Celebration Day: Buddha’s day, Mother’s day and Tzuchi anniversary. Buddha’s day aka Vesak day is set on the same day as Mother’s day in Taiwan.
It is the 2nd time that my parents are attending the world peace prayer ceremony, but its the first time we are attending it together and joining in the prayer contingent. I’m really thankful that they are able to stay throughout and experience the spiritual atmosphere that touched me deeply. Volunteers also brought them around to understand the missions that Tzuchi is doing across the world and the teachings of Master Cheng Yen.
Ma and Pa were impressed with Daai Technology that transformed recycled plastic bottles into comfortable thermal blankets and clothes. Rather than keeping the earth warm(carbon footprint), these blankets are given to the needy and for disaster relief. Another project that impressed them was the development of Instant Rice by a venerable master from Jingsi Abode.
Quoted from Tzuchi USA website:
During a flood relief effort in China, Dharma Master Cheng Yen was dismayed to see the elderly walking many miles to find relief of hunger. Also hoping to prevent disciples from spending too much time laboring over meal preparation and thus sacrificing valuable time that could be spent in Dharma lessons, Dharma Master Cheng Yen entrusted Master De Han to start the development of Jing Si Instant Rice.
What i did to show my appreciation? Other than being extremely nice on this specia day.. I also gave Ma a huge red packet and this bouquet shared by the sibiling.. Ma never liked to receive fresh flowers because they represent impermanence, but what is Mother’s day without carnations? Pa wrote a mushy message to her on fb to thank her for being his wife.. After the ceremony we went shopping and had dinner before i booked in to camp again.
I find it important that i do not go astray from the middle path and my daily actions should not be against my own conscience or cause hard feelings to another one. The Mangala Sutta is a exemplary model to look upon to.
The Discourse on Great Blessings:
Thus have I heard. On one occasion the Exalted One was dwelling at Anathapindika’s monastery, in Jeta’s Grove, near Savatthi. Now when the night was far spent, a certain deity whose surpassing splendor illuminated the entire Jeta Grove, came to the presence of the Exalted One and, drawing near, respectfully saluted him and stood at one side. Standing thus, he addressed the Exalted One in verse:
“Many deities and men, yearning after good, have pondered on blessings.Pray, tell me the greatest blessing!”
“Not to associate with the foolish, but to associate with the wise; and to honor those who are worthy of honor — this is the greatest blessing.
To support mother and father, to cherish wife and children, and to be engaged in peaceful occupation — this is the greatest blessing.
To be generous in giving, to be righteous in conduct, to help one’s relatives, and to be blameless in action — this is the greatest blessing.
To loathe more evil and abstain from it, to refrain from intoxicants, and to be steadfast in virtue — this is the greatest blessing.
To be patient and obedient, to associate with monks and to have religious discussions on due occasions — this is the greatest blessing.
Self-restraint, a holy and chaste life, the perception of the Noble Truths and the realisation of Nibbana — this is the greatest blessing.
Those who thus abide, ever remain invincible, in happiness established. These are the greatest blessings.”
Cohesion, a new word i learnt after entering the army. I didn’t know there will still be bonding sessions with our coy mates even though we see each other 24/7, 5 days a week. These chill out sessions can be fun sometimes and it helps to understand your mates better outside of military environment.
Army – training ground for the mind and body. It is important to know the survival skills in order to survive living in a community. Despite the differences we have, everyone attempts to be at peace with one another and avoid escalating any conflicts known/unknown. But unfortunately lots of conflict remain unresolved. definitely not the female hormones that is causing all this.. you know how girls can make a big fuss out of a small issue.
Accepting one another flaws is one difficult thing to do, but it is part of survival skill. You will really meet all kinds of people whose lifestyle, character, actions, goes against your own beliefs and ethics. It need lots of practice of understanding and tolerance. “Keep a safe distance, does not only applies to mechanical work and train stations.” But lastly, putting aside differences for a larger good is more important than anything else.
Good friends are hard to come by, but there are nice people around. I’m thankful to meet really good commanders.. and especially my plt sergeant whom is always supportive of what i do. They are probably the only motivation to continue when difficult times comes by.
to be con’td…