In this Thanksgiving time, I recall this year in my life, who I should thank, and what I should thank. Every day when I practice my Buddhism homework, I always recite this phrase：”May the merit of my practice, Adorn Buddhas’ Pure Lands, Requite the fourfold kindness from above, And relieve the suffering of the three life-paths below ……”
There are four kinds of grace to be repaid in Buddhism: the first is the grace of the the Buddha, the second is the grace of the country, the third is the grace of parents, and the fourth is the grace of sentient beings.
The first one is Buddha’s Grace:
In fact, Buddha is the ultimate truth of the universe. The Buddha does not need us to repay the grace, but we practice with the goal of “repaying grace”.
The second type is “national grace”: today we can live and work here in peace and contentment. This is the blessing of the country. If the country is unstable, how can we live in peace? We hope that the government will have wise officials to lead, the people will be healthy, and the society will be stable everywhere. Pray for the prosperity of the country that we live in, be a good citizen, follow the laws. This is our way of repaying the country.
The third type is “parents’ grace”: Parents give us life and raise us up, and therefore we need to repay our parents.
The fourth type is “blessings of all beings” Who are all beings? It may be our parents, children, relatives or friends, or strangers. In this world, each of us cannot survive in isolation. There is no moment in our life that can be separated from the help and dedication of others, so we must be grateful to all people.
In addition to humans, there are animals, plants, and microorganisms. Without them, the world would no longer be perfect, and it would be impossible for us humans to exist independently. We should also be grateful for them.
Today when I recited this phrase, I pondered to myself: do I really understand the meaning of this phrase? This year, have I done anything to requite the fourfold kindness, and did I do it by heart or just by mouth?
At that moment a scene flashed in my mind. My husband’s angry face and flaming words: ”why you can’t do anything good and right, always make stupid mistake, such an idiot……” I kept quite in the beginning, but after a few minutes I shouted back at him : “Do it by yourself then, no one wants to work with you…“
A couple of weeks ago, we had an argument. When I recalled this scene, I felt unease. I have listened to H.H Dorje Chang Buddha III‘s prerecorded Dharma discourse for many years. In the discourse, Buddha always emphasizes the most important thing for our Buddhist disciple is self cultivation. We must practice Great Compassion and Forbearance, cut off self attachment, and make sure our three karmas can only benefit others….. Did I truly follow the Buddha’s teaching in my daily life? I felt very ashamed that I did not follow Buddha’s teaching. Thus I did not repay the grace of the Buddha.
I respectfully read the Dharma expounded by H.H Dorje Chang Buddha III “ What is Cultivation”. In the book, Buddha teaches: “it is more important that you must use as objects of introspection fellow disciples with whom you are familiar, people with whom you get along, people who are not good to you, negative karmic conditions, any conditions or people that make you unhappy, or people you find hard to get along with, to whom who do not speak, or who do not speak to you. You must use them as objects of your practice…”
I suddenly understood that my husband is a mirror to reflect the thoughts and attitudes deep in my mind. He constantly helps me to check if I have actually cultivated myself according to the dharma in a real way based on my three karmas of physical action, speech, and thoughts. I should deeply thank him, for without his irritation how could I find that there was so much ignorance, hatred, selfishness, secularity… in my deep heart.
At this Thanksgiving time I am grateful that I have the opportunity of living in the United States, the best country in the world to learn the great Buddha Dharma from H. H. Dorje Chang Buddha III. I am grateful that my parents gave me life at this Buddha living era. Also I am grateful that I have a close coach – my husband who helps me to “Let go of all feeling of mistreatment and dissatisfaction. Do not be attached to some small matters. Do not let the mind turn after external states….”
Thanks for all I have in my life, including my two wonderful sons; I can only repay all of these by cultivating myself earnestly.
With a sincere and humble heart,
Please note: This is only my personal experience and understanding of Buddha Dharma, it may not be completely correct.
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