The meaning of Buddhism is to liberate us from the limited perspective given by natural selection, and to observe and experience the world from a higher level.
Buddhism is a complex topic that has been the subject of debate among scholars and practitioners for centuries. Some see it as a religion, complete with supernatural deities and reincarnation, while others view it as a secular philosophy of life or a therapeutic practice. In his book “Why Buddhism Is True,” Robert Wright offers a nuanced perspective on Buddhism that combines elements of these different approaches.
At the heart of Buddhism is the idea that the reason we suffer, and cause suffering for others, is that we don’t see the world clearly. We are deluded by our own emotions and desires, which evolved as survival responses to our environments but may no longer make sense in modern society. By practicing mindful meditation, we can learn to see the world more clearly and gain a deep and morally valid happiness.
Wright draws on science, especially evolutionary psychology, cognitive science, and neuroscience, to support this perspective on Buddhism. He argues that the direct experiences gained through contemplative practice can weaken the hold of our once-needed delusions, making us less likely to wreak havoc on ourselves and the world around us.
One of the key strengths of Wright’s approach is its nonsectarian nature. He does not argue that people need to become Buddhists to practice its truths, and he acknowledges the value of other spiritual and philosophical traditions. Instead, he focuses on the practical benefits of mindful meditation and contemplative practice, which can be applied to any belief system or way of life.
Importantly, Wright emphasizes that simply reading about Buddhist insights into human beings is not enough. To truly benefit from the practice, one must commit to a regular practice and be willing to confront the delusions within themselves. This is why it is called practice – it takes time, effort, and dedication to see results.
Overall, Wright’s blend of Western Buddhism offers a compelling perspective on Buddhism that is rooted in science, applicable to everyday life, and inclusive of other belief systems. While it may not be the definitive answer to the question of what Buddhism really is, it is certainly a valuable contribution to the ongoing conversation about this ancient and fascinating tradition.
In September 2016, I had the good fortune to attend the Dharma Assembly of Empowerment by Kuan Shi Yin Bodhisattva’s Great Compassion held at Hua Zang Si and received very magnificent benefits. I would like to take this opportunity to share my experience and feelings on that day with my fellow cultivators.
At the beginning of the dharma assembly, the presiding master told us to chant the mantra first. The rhythm of chanting was rather slow and the sound was very wonderful and beautiful. My feeling was completely different from my experience of the chanting I normally did.
After chanting for a short while, without knowing any reason, my father, my husband, and my two children suddenly appeared in my mind. The appearance of my father was especially clear. Sadness rose in me and tears streamed down through my face. I thought that they had not taken refuge in Buddhism and did not have the affinity to learn the true dharma of the Tathagata. That was the reason that I could not bear the sad feeling.
I stopped weeping and continue to chant. At that time, my grandparents from both my mother’s side, who have passed away and my father’s side as well as some other family members and relatives all appeared before my eyes. Though the view just flashed by me momentarily, I felt that I saw each of them clearly. I thought about the fact that some of them had not taken refuge while some others, though had taken refuge, were still not diligently making a good effort to learn and practice Buddha-dharma. Thinking that they would surely be in very miserable and lonely situations in the future, I could not suppress my sad mood and wept again.
Then I stopped weeping and continued to chant. Next, the faces of my father, husband, and children emerged before my eyes again. Every time I saw them, my heart was painfully pulled. I could not keep myself from weeping.
I once again stopped weeping and joined the chanting again. At this time, my ears clearly heard the voices of chanting the mantra from the crowd. However, my heart felt that I heard a voice of shouting for rescue. It sounded like a desperate yelling for help from someone who was completely surrounded by a situation of despair and horror. I had a very shocking feeling at the time. Clearly, this is the call for help from living beings, begging Buddhas and Bodhisattvas to rescue them! We are sincerely beseeching Buddhas and Bodhisattvas to save us and cross us over, to lead us to leave the abyss of pain and suffering in samsara forever! At this time, the sadness and bitterness in my heart were beyond description by words. Thus, I cried again with my face covered by tears.
After chanting the mantra, the dharma master announced that the dharma assembly would formally begin. I kept my body in a fixed posture and closed my eyes. I did my best to stay calm.
Very soon, the sound of patting came from behind. Also, people on my right side generated different kinds of sound. Someone before me was crying and fell to the ground. I sensed that she later moved to lie next to my feet (not sure whether she was actually lying down or not) and touched me a few times. I tried not to think about that. Shortly after that, she moved to behind me and started to pat the rear of my left foot and then my right foot. My right foot was hit with more power and more frequently. I dared not move myself at all and tried my best to keep my mind calm. However, I was still somewhat at a loss since I did not know what she might do to me next. When the patting stopped, I felt that she was still behind me. After a while, my right foot was again patted a few times. After that, she seemed to have left me. My eyes were always closed during this period. I dared not open my eyes.
My two arms felt more and more tired. I put my arms down twice and raised them again. After putting down my arms the last time, I felt that my neck began to rotate very slowly from right to left. After rotating two rounds, it went the opposite direction. At that time, I could not be sure whether this was an empowerment from Kuan Shi Yin Bodhisattva or a response made by myself due to being eager to receive empowerment.
Next, my both shoulders began to turn from the front to the back.
After that, I heard singing. I could not hear the words of singing clearly. At this time, my shoulders continued turning and the speed seemed to be faster.
Finally, I could hear clearly that the song was the Six Character Great Bright Mantra and “Namo Kuan Shi Yin Bodhisattva.” I first followed the singing with humming and then joined with my open voice. At this time, the movement of my two hands became bigger. My hands were swinging back and forth and left and right, as if doing a stretching exercise. However, all movements were spontaneous and beyond my own control.
At this time, I heard a fellow sister behind me speaking loudly in Cantonese. She seemed to be saying that we have committed lots of sins and evil deeds in the past and therefore we now must repent earnestly and so on.
My hands continued swinging. I followed the singing and joined from time to time. At this time, my hand movement changed and turned into a movement of dancing. That was the hand gesture in a Chinese classic dance. I was dancing to the singing. My heart was filled with the joy of the dharma. With a smile on my face and while singing lightly, I made all kinds of wonderful movement with my hands (At least I felt that my hand movement was very wonderful.). Totally without any control, I felt that all movements were so smooth, fluent, and natural. Though my eyes were always closed, my mind was very clear and very much open. I was clearly aware what gestures and movements were performed by my hands. However, the dancing and moving of my hands was not directed by my own mind.
My two hands kept waving and moving. However, when the master leading the dharma practice called out “Stop!”, my hands gradually moved to a position before my chest and stopped there.
After the perfect conclusion of the dharma assembly, the attending crowd went together to perform the ending practice of saving living beings from captivity. On the trip of driving back home, I unexpectedly noticed that my two feet were warm. This was something extraordinary to me. For quite a number of years, my two feet were rather cold. In particular, I must have a hot water bag prepared before going to bed. Otherwise I would not be able to fall asleep. Even if I went to sleep after having a hot bath or having my feet soaked in hot water, my feet would still be cold. Sometimes when I did not use a hot water bag, I would wake up at night with my feet being ice-cold. I could feel the chilly air from my bones and would even tremble. At that time, I had to have the hot-water bag ready immediately. After attending that dharma assembly, I fell the warmth from my two feet and no longer need to use a hot-water bag to help me fall asleep. Even when I wake up at night, I would pleasantly find that my feet warm.
I am grateful to the empowerment bestowed on me by the greatly loving and greatly compassionate Kuan Shi Yin Bodhisattva!
Additionally, I also had an unexpected discovery. The ankle joints in my two feet were no longer in pain. I could not remember since when my ankle joints started to ache, but it should have been for quite a while. I did not know what the cause was either. Normally, there was no pain if I do not touch them. However, it was very painful if the spot was pressed. Therefore, when I sat crossed legged to practice meditation, a towel or a blanket must be placed under my feet. Otherwise I would not be able to keep myself in a sitting position.
Yesterday evening, while chatting with my family members after dinner, I reached out to massage the ankle joints on my right foot as I used to do. I did not even feel any pain at all. I immediately pressed the ankle joints on my left foot and did not feel any pain either. I dared not believe that fact at the time and repeatedly pressed the spots many times. It was really true that I had no pain at all.
I once again express my gratitude to the greatly loving and greatly compassionate Kuan Shi Yin Bodhisattva!
This dharma assembly was very magnificent. The attending crowd were also empowered by Kuan Shi Yin Bodhisattva’s great compassion and were full of the joy from the dharma. Had I not experienced the occasion in person, I absolutely would not be able to imagine the inconceivable feeling and benefits I had when the empowerment from Buddhas and Bodhisattvas came to me!
Over 2,000 years ago, Shakyamuni Buddha came to the Saha world, established Buddhism, and began to spread the Buddha Dharma. Now, the karmic conditions related to the good fortune of living beings have matured, and the contemporary Buddha H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III has come to our world once again to bring more Dharma to us. The Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva Great Compassion Empowerment Dharma is the Dharma that His Holiness has brought to us this time.
When a Dharma Master practices this Dharma, it can convene people, empower them, and lead them into a supernormal state. The purpose is to eliminate negative karma, improve one’s health, and increase spiritual mentality. H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III has transmitted the Dharma to a few qualified Rinpoches and Dharma Masters, and these Rinpoches and Dharma Masters have hosted the Dharma Assembly many times around the world.
I have participated in the assembly four times so far. The first time, I heard many people crying, singing, or laughing, and some walking around, but I myself didn’t experience any specific motions. I was kind of disappointed. The second time, I had very strong feelings. When the assembly just started and everyone was chanting the Great Bright Six Syllable Mantra, I began to cry and couldn’t control myself. I kept on crying and crying, and it seemed like I cried out all my sorrows and pains in my life. Then I started to sway my body, shake my head and neck. The third and fourth time I joined the assembly, I had more motions and stronger expressions. I still cried hard at the beginning, then I sang the name of Namo Dorje Chang Buddha III, swung my two arms, and spun around. I bent my neck backward so hard, and I even lay down on the floor feeling so peaceful and comfortable, feeling the energy flowing through my body. I did all those without any intention from my mind. I felt the assembly was too short to end. Every time after the assembly, I felt my whole body loosen up, and I was so relaxed and rejuvenated.
The assembly actually has two parts. One is held inside, such as a conference center or grand hall in a hotel, where the master performs the Dharma. The second part takes place outside, where living beings are released from captivity.
H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III emphasized many times in the Dharma discourses: “The concluding practice of the Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva Great Compassion Empowerment Dharma is the finest, the best. Were it not for its concluding practice, I would not advocate practicing this Dharma. I all the more would not transmit this Dharma in this world. Why release captive living beings? All living beings have been our family members since beginningless time. They are the same as humans. It is just that their degree of intelligence and appearance are different from those of humans. Still, their consciousness is the same as that of a human. That is why in real life, we see that some animals can even rescue people, some can do math, some can sing, and some can dance. I even saw a dog that was able to play a highly difficult piano melody. Moreover, the dog played it very precisely. We must help them and rescue them. Furthermore, we must not even slightly harm any living being. We can only rescue them.
Because the Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva Great Compassion Empowerment Dharma is based on the power gathered from the greatly compassionate mind of Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva, at the end of each Dharma assembly, the one performing the Dharma must lead the attendees in a concluding practice to release captive living beings, do good deeds, and help other people. It is best to conduct the concluding practice on the same day. If there is not enough time, doing it on another day is also acceptable. However, the concluding practice must be completed within fifteen days.
People who attend an Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva Great Compassion Empowerment Dharma Assembly should make offerings. However, in order to comply with the Dharma, it would be best if they personally helped the Dharma assembly staff arrange that the monetary offerings received at the Dharma assembly be spent on the main subject of the Dharma assembly—the concluding practice of releasing captive living beings, helping other people, and doing good deeds— as well as on the related expenses of the Dharma assembly, such as renting the site, transportation, meals, and lodging for the master performing the Dharma and those accompanying the master.”
Today is the auspicious occasion of Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva’s holy birthday, and on this special day, I offer my sincere prayers: May the great Bodhisattva bless all living beings with a life full of auspiciousness, prosperity, and happiness. May the compassionate energy of Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva radiate throughout the world, bringing peace, harmony, and love to all sentient beings.
It once occurred to a certain king that if he always knew the right time to begin everything; if he knew who were the right people to listen to, and whom to avoid; and, above all, if he always knew what was the most important thing to do, he would never fail in anything he might undertake.
And this thought having occurred to him, he had it proclaimed throughout his kingdom that he would give a great reward to anyone who would teach him what was the right time for every action, and who were the most necessary people, and how he might know what was the most important thing to do.
And learned men came to the king, but they all answered his questions differently.
In reply to the first question, some said that to know the right time for every action, one must draw up in advance a table of days, months, and years, and must live strictly according to it. Only thus, said they, could everything be done at its proper time. Others declared that it was impossible to decide beforehand the right time for every action, but that, not letting oneself be absorbed in idle pastimes, one should always attend to all that was going on, and then do what was most needful. Others, again, said that however attentive the king might be to what was going on, it was impossible for one man to decide correctly the right time for every action, but that he should have a council of wise men who would help him to fix the proper time for everything.
But then again others said there were some things which could not wait to be laid before a council, but about which one had at once to decide whether to undertake them or not. But in order to decide that, one must know beforehand what was going to happen. It is only magicians who know that; and, therefore, in order to know the right time for every action, one must consult magicians.
Equally various were the answers to the second question. Some said the people the king most needed were his councilors; others, the priests; others, the doctors; while some said the warriors were the most necessary.
To the third question, as to what was the most important occupation, some replied that the most important thing in the world was science. Others said it was skill in warfare; and others, again, that it was religious worship.
All the answers being different, the king agreed with none of them, and gave the reward to none. But still wishing to find the right answers to his questions, he decided to consult a hermit, widely renowned for his wisdom.
The hermit lived in a wood which he never quitted, and he received none but common folk. So the king put on simple clothes and, before reaching the hermit’s cell, dismounted from his horse. Leaving his bodyguard behind, he went on alone.
When the king approached, the hermit was digging the ground in front of his hut. Seeing the king, he greeted him and went on digging. The hermit was frail and weak, and each time he stuck his spade into the ground and turned a little earth, he breathed heavily.
The king went up to him and said: “I have come to you, wise hermit, to ask you to answer three questions: How can I learn to do the right thing at the right time? Who are the people I most need, and to whom should I, therefore, pay more attention than to the rest? And, what affairs are the most important and need my first attention?”
The hermit listened to the king, but answered nothing. He just spat on his hand and recommenced digging.
“You are tired,” said the king, “let me take the spade and work awhile for you.”
“Thanks!” said the hermit, and, giving the spade to the king, he sat down on the ground.
When he had dug two beds, the king stopped and repeated his questions. The hermit again gave no answer, but rose, stretched out his hand for the spade, and said:
“Now rest awhile – and let me work a bit.”
But the king did not give him the spade, and continued to dig. One hour passed, and another. The sun began to sink behind the trees, and the king at last stuck the spade into the ground, and said:
“I came to you, wise man, for an answer to my questions. If you can give me none, tell me so, and I will return home.”
“Here comes someone running,” said the hermit. “Let us see who it is.”
The king turned round and saw a bearded man come running out of the wood. The man held his hands pressed against his stomach, and blood was flowing from under them. When he reached the king, he fell fainting on the ground, moaning feebly. The king and the hermit unfastened the man’s clothing. There was a large wound in his stomach. The king washed it as best he could, and bandaged it with his handkerchief and with a towel the hermit had. But the blood would not stop flowing, and the king again and again removed the bandage soaked with warm blood, and washed and re-bandaged the wound. When at last the blood ceased flowing, the man revived and asked for something to drink. The king brought fresh water and gave it to him. Meanwhile the sun had set, and it had become cool. So the king, with the hermit’s help, carried the wounded man into the hut and laid him on the bed. Lying on the bed, the man closed his eyes and was quiet; but the king was so tired from his walk and from the work he had done that he crouched down on the threshold, and also fell asleep – so soundly that he slept all through the short summer night.
When he awoke in the morning, it was long before he could remember where he was, or who was the strange bearded man lying on the bed and gazing intently at him with shining eyes.
“Forgive me!” said the bearded man in a weak voice, when he saw that the king was awake and was looking at him.
“I do not know you, and have nothing to forgive you for,” said the king.
“You do not know me, but I know you. I am that enemy of yours who swore to revenge himself on you, because you executed his brother and seized his property. I knew you had gone alone to see the hermit, and I resolved to kill you on your way back. But the day passed and you did not return. So I came out from my ambush to find you, and came upon your bodyguard, and they recognized me, and wounded me. I escaped from them, but should have bled to death had you not dressed my wound. I wished to kill you, and you have saved my life. Now, if I live, and if you wish it, I will serve you as your most faithful slave, and will bid my sons do the same. Forgive me!”
The king was very glad to have made peace with his enemy so easily, and to have gained him for a friend, and he not only forgave him, but said he would send his servants and his own physician to attend him, and promised to restore his property.
Having taken leave of the wounded man, the king went out into the porch and looked around for the hermit. Before going away he wished once more to beg an answer to the questions he had put. The hermit was outside, on his knees, sowing seeds in the beds that had been dug the day before.
The king approached him and said, “For the last time, I pray you to answer my questions, wise man.”
“You have already been answered!” said the hermit, still crouching on his thin legs, and looking up at the king, who stood before him.
“How answered? What do you mean?” asked the king.
“Do you not see?” replied the hermit. “If you had not pitied my weakness yesterday, and had not dug these beds for me, but had gone your way, that man would have attacked you, and you would have repented of not having stayed with me. So the most important time was when you were digging the beds; and I was the most important man; and to do me good was your most important business. Afterwards, when that man ran to us, the most important time was when you were attending to him, for if you had not bound up his wounds he would have died without having made peace with you. So he was the most important man, and what you did for him was your most important business. Remember then: there is only one time that is important – now! It is the most important time because it is the only time when we have any power. The most necessary person is the one with whom you are, for no man knows whether he will ever have dealings with anyone else: and the most important affair is to do that person good, because for that purpose alone was man sent into this life.”
This story reminded me of something that Henry Shukman, an English Spiritual Director Emeritus and a Zen Buddhism practitioner, once said: ‘Now… is always and ever the most important thing… there is only one place that fulfillment can happen: here and now.’
Kazuo Inamori, born in 1932 in Kagoshima, Japan, was one of seven children. During his elementary school years, he showed a strong interest in science and machines, particularly those in his father’s printing shop. However, in the sixth grade, he contracted tuberculosis, which led him to read a book by a Buddhist monk, sparking his interest in religion. When Inamori was young, his father took him to see a monk who advised him to recite “Namo Amitabha Buddha” every day. He has been chanting it every day since then without interruption.
According to Inamori, the initial 20 years of life should be dedicated to learning, growing, and preparing for entry into society, while the following 40 years from age 20 to 60 should be focused on working hard and contributing to society. He also maintains that at least 20 years of preparation are necessary to face death.
At the age of 65, Inamori decided to shave his head and embrace Buddhism. His intention was to rediscover the meaning of life and prepare for death.
The philosophy of Dr. Kazuo Inamori, who founded Kyocera, centers around the mission “to do what is right as a human being.” This concept is included in all decision making, emphasizing the importance of fairness and diligent effort.
When Inamori’s start-up business faced dissatisfied employees who demanded regular salary increases and guaranteed bonuses, he spent several days and nights negotiating with them. This incident made him realize the importance of securing the future of his employees. He adjusted the company’s business philosophy to be “a place to protect employees’ self and their family’s material and spiritual life.”
In Buddhism, there is a saying called “self-interest and altruism.” It emphasizes that if one wishes to benefit oneself, they must also benefit others. This philosophy encourages individuals to not only focus on their own interests but also consider the well-being of others. As a leader, I often encourage my employees to lend a helping hand to others during business operations.
In Japan, there is a saying that goes, “Human affection is not for others,” implying that treating others kindly will ultimately bring rewards. However, Mr. Inamori disagree with the notion that Buddhism is incompatible with capitalism and corporate profits. In fact, he believe that conducting business operations based on Buddhist principles is far more admirable than conducting business solely for profit.
Inamori founded KDDI with the lofty spirit of devoting himself to society and the world, leading to its success as the second-largest communication company in Japan after NTT.
In 1985, Kazuo Inamori founded The Kyoto Prize, which is considered Japan’s most prestigious private award for lifetime achievement in the arts and sciences. The prize is bestowed upon individuals who have not only excelled in their respective fields but also contributed significantly to the advancement of human knowledge, culture, and spirituality.
In 2010, at the age of 77 and with no prior experience in the industry, Inamori became chief executive of Japan Airlines. The following year, he returned the carrier to profit and led it out of bankruptcy. He relisted it on the Tokyo stock exchange in 2012. Inamori changed employees’ mentality by printing a small book for each staff member outlining his philosophies, emphasizing the company’s dedication to their growth, explaining the social significance of their work, and outlining Buddhist-inspired principles for how employees should live.
Kazuo Inamori holds the belief that the universe has an expectation for us when we are brought into the world. While it may be a question beyond human wisdom on how we should live in accordance with this expectation, he firmly believes that the only answer lies in “enhancing the mind”.
He has often expressed his desire to depart from this world with a heart that is kinder and more beautiful than when he was born.
When asked about his future goals in a 2002 interview with the New Sun, Inamori answered, “As long as I live, I would like to continue to contribute to the material and spiritual happiness of humanity and society.”
Kazuo Inamori’s “Working Method” is an incredibly inspiring book that has completely transformed my perspective on my job and career. I used to view my job solely as a means to make money, which often left me feeling frustrated whenever I encountered obstacles in a project. I believed that I could only start enjoying life after I retired and had enough savings. However, the reality is that I spend one-third of my time at work, and if I’m not happy there, how can I be happy in my life?
Why we need to work?
Kazuo Inamori observed that many people have lost the correct understanding of the goals and meaning of their work, leading to more and more confused lives, especially among young people. He believed that the fundamental significance of work for individuals is to help develop their personality, sharpen their minds, and elevate their souls to become more noble and better.
Inamori’s life achievements have attracted worldwide attention. He started his own business at 27, establishing two Fortune 500 companies, Kyocera and KDDI, with his bare hands over 40 years. At the age of 65, he retired, only to be repeatedly asked by the Japanese government to serve as chairman of Japan Airlines for bankruptcy and reconstruction. Within a year, he brought JAL back to life, achieving the highest profit in its 60-year history, which is still the highest among aviation companies worldwide. With his background as a scientist, entrepreneur, and philosopher, Kazuo Inamori has become a global marvel, juggling three roles at once.
Inamori’s success did not come easily. When he entered the workforce at age 23, he lamented his fate, wondering, “Why do misfortune and suffering come to me again and again, and what will my life be like in the future?” Fortunately, he found a solution: to face up to the “view on labor” and “view on work,” and to treat work as a “good medicine for curing all diseases.” Inamori believed that work could also help overcome the hardships of life and turn fate around.
The “Working Method” is a work methodology based on Inamori’s life experiences, which seems to describe how to work effectively. However, Inamori’s focus is on a more profound question: why do people work, and what is the purpose of labor? He used his own experiences to deeply interpret the “concept of labor” and the “concept of work” that one should stick to. He firmly believed that if one could understand the profound meaning of “labor” and “work,” their mentality towards work would change, and the god of fate may favor them.
Inamori emphasized that the purpose of work is to improve one’s own aspirations, not just to earn money. Life is not always smooth, and the same goes for work. Only by working hard and persevering in adversity can one develop a strong character, remain steady, and not falter in life. When a person has the tenacity to work hard and persevere, even in the face of setbacks, those difficulties will eventually accumulate into experience, which may become the greatest “lucky” moment in life.
Diligence and a sincere attitude towards work are key elements of a successful career. Kazuo Inamori believes that we can derive true happiness from work itself, rather than just from hobbies or recreation. Neglecting work may provide temporary pleasure, but it won’t bring lasting satisfaction. We spend most of our lives working, so finding a sense of fulfillment in our work is crucial.
According to Kazuo Inamori, there are only two ways to have a fulfilling life: either “do what you like” or “make yourself like work.” However, the chances of finding a job that one truly likes are slim. Instead of constantly searching for a job that one loves, it’s better to give up this fantasy and fall in love with the work in front of them.
By changing their mindset, the world around them will also change. Despite countless days and nights spent in the research room, and countless failures, Inamori found that he started to enjoy his work. From infatuation to love, he fully embraced his work, and success followed as he persisted.
When we focus on our work with diligence and earnestness, we can experience unfettered happiness from accomplishing something meaningful. The best way to motivate ourselves is to love our work and put in all our effort to do it well. With each success, we gain a sense of achievement, confidence, and the desire to take on new challenges. Repeating this process reinforces our fondness for our work and helps us to achieve wonderful results.
Only when we reach this state of mind can we accomplish truly outstanding work. So, let’s strive to love our work, be diligent and sincere in our efforts, and find true happiness in our careers.
From “ordinary” to “extraordinary
When it comes to electrical products, Japanese manufacturing often overwhelms us with its sophistication. Behind each of these products lies the operator’s attitude towards achieving excellence. This is the fundamental reason for their transformation from “ordinary” to “extraordinary”.
But how much effort does it take for a person to make this transformation? Inamori Kazuo has two mantras that answer this: “Run at the speed of a 100-meter race” and “Pay no less than anyone’s efforts”. He demands these from himself and every Kyocera employee.
Kyocera’s corporate goal, according to Inamori Kazuo, is “There is never a product that Kyocera cannot develop.” This is not because of their advanced technology and equipment, but because as the last company to enter the race, their only chance to survive is by accepting products that their competitors cannot make.
Therefore, only through efforts that are no less than anyone’s, and by running at the speed of a 100-meter race, can Kyocera overcome technical difficulties and ultimately produce perfect, high-quality products to meet their customers’ demanding requirements.
Inamori Kazuo believes that success is very difficult to achieve with the same effort as ordinary people. Only through extraordinary “efforts no less than anyone else” can we achieve outstanding results in fierce competition.
According to Kazuo Inamori, it is essential to adhere to correct values and moral principles, whether in work or life. Doing so is critical to achieving success and making progress in both personal and professional endeavors. By upholding these values, one can navigate challenges more smoothly and reach greater heights in their career and life. Inamori believes that a commitment to ethical principles and values is key to building a fulfilling and meaningful life, both personally and professionally.
Have you ever wondered why some people succeed in both their work and personal lives while others struggle? Is there a set of rules to follow? In his studies of successful work and life, Kazuo Inamori uses an equation to express the results:
Results of life and work = way of thinking x passion x ability
By using the correct way of thinking and being filled with enthusiasm, you can do your best work, and the happy life you desire may not be too far away.
I wish I had read this book earlier, as it would have given me a different experience in my profession. It could have improved my performance and relationships with my co-workers.
Gadu Rinpoche is the fifth venerable Yundun Duojibai. Having a supremely wonderful karmic destiny in this lifetime, he received profound initiations from H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III. He cultivates himself diligently. The venerable one has become deeply accomplished in the practice of second-level Great Perfection Dharma and attained the nirmanakaya state. In his book Cultivate Honestly, he recounts his experiences upon receiving the Niwan Crown-Opening Heaven Mandala.
Several years ago, at one day my Buddha Master told me “I will open the mandala and transmit the very profound Buddha-dharma to you. This Buddha-dharma is the state practice empowerment dharma from The Supreme and Unsurpassable Mahamudra of Liberation and belongs to the dharma of the heaven realm. Once you receive the empowerment, within two hours, a hole will be opened at the Niwan spot on the top of your head. Your spirit and consciousness can come out and appear from there.”
At that time, however, although I felt fortunate to learn the dharma, there was doubt in my mind that I could not get rid of. I simply could not believe what my Buddha Master stated about having my crown opened at the Niwan spot within two hours. The more I thought about this, the more I was worried. This was truly peculiar and absolutely unheard of. Having a hole opened on the crown was definitely not an ordinary matter. How could the person be alive after that? On the other hand, based on my Buddha Master’s holy realization, I kept telling myself not to have doubt because it is in violation of the precepts. However, I just couldn’t remove the doubt in my mind. Now I think about this, I felt that I was really very inferior and my karmic impedance was too heavy. Being Yundun Duojibai V – Gadu, I am still a tiny speck before my Buddha Master. I am really ashamed and ashamed!
My Buddha Master selected a good time on an auspicious day at the solemn mandala to hold the initiation of the empowerment dharma from The Supreme and Unsurpassable Mahamudra of Liberation, Niwan Crown-Opening Heaven Mandala. My Buddha Master discoursed to me, “This dharma is a very important one. Very few people have the opportunity of learning this dharma. After learning the dharma from the master, true form of realization will arise quickly within two hours. You will then attain the Niwan Daoguo. You should make a good effort to practice this dharma and benefit living beings.” Thus I entered the state of receiving the very profound empowerment. My Buddha Master sat on a high platform at a far distance. However, my Buddha Master did not touch my head and only let me visualize practicing the tantric rituals. The ceremony was conducted to open the door to acquiring the correct Buddha-dharma. Two hours passed. At that time, the frontal fontanel spot at the top of my head warmed up. I had a very unusual feeling but I really did not know whether my crown opened or not.
On the seventh day of my practicing the dharma, an extremely strong force of empowerment was felt at the position of frontal fontanel on my forehead. This is the location of the soft spot on the head of a new-born baby where movement corresponding with the heart beat can be seen. It is called the Niwan Palace. Taoists call it the Heaven Gate. This huge force of empowerment poured in from the Niwan Palace with the magnitude of a tidal wave and the momentum of an avalanche. Then my body received a very strong electric shock. With a loud sound of cracking, the Niwan spot opened up. At this time, my mind was in a state of ignorance in terms of knowing where I was, either in existence or emptiness. Very quickly, this ignorance transformed into boundless light beams. I transformed out of a “me” who was meditating in a cross-legged sitting into another “me.” Then I flew up, with incredibly fast speed, into the sky. Strong pressure from wind was felt on top of my head. My ears also heard sharp and harsh sounds from the wind. At this moment, I was not in the state of ignorance. I saw clearly and unambiguously my second nirmanakaya.
At that time, all scenes I saw of mountains, rivers, lands, Sun, Moon, stars, homes, crop fields, farms, and pedestrians on streets were true existence and real in front of my eyes. I was not in a dream state. My biggest concern was staying outside for too long and risking my original body getting harmed. I thought about the story of Taoist Iron-Crutch Li. His body was destroyed by other people because of his late return. Then he could only settle into the body of a crippled and hunchbacked beggar. Although this is a legendary story of Taoists, it is true state in my current reality. Do I want to follow the path of Iron-Crutch Li? So I felt very worried and immediately started to return to the mundane world. I clearly saw that the spot of the Niwan Palace on my head was emitting light. I followed the light and re-entered my body. Since then, I experienced endless wonders that cannot be described in words.
When I reported my experience and feeling from practicing this dharma to my Buddha Master, my Buddha Master transmitted a secret mantra to me. Sometime later, in recorded dharma lessons that were distributed to the public, my Buddha Master mentioned that my dharma practice had reached the preliminary stage of the state of nirmanakaya, or simple nirmanakaya.
Several years later, in order to let living beings know the greatness of Buddha-dharma, on December 29, 2009, I took a magnetic resonance image (MRI) exam on my head at the Sincere Medical Imaging Center. The result showed a deep gap at the position of the Niwan Palace with a width of 1.5 cm. Also, the images captured the real situation of my spirit and consciousness rushing out of my head. The doctor conducting the examination was very surprised but was not able to explain it and attributed it to non-human cause. I was really very clear because this is where my nirmankaya came out and returned. Please see the scan films from my MRI exam.
My life journey has been accompanied by a multitude of disasters and suffering. Even though I protested and complained, I could never find the answer to why I had to endure so much. At the same time, I felt lost and was at a loss as to what my life path should be.
Perhaps, because I had suffered so much, the compassionate Buddhas and Bodhisattvas provided an opportunity for me to finally listen to the dharma discourse “Do you Truly Believe in Cause and Effect,” expounded by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III. From the unfathomable expanse of the universe to a minor thought rising from our consciousness, the law of cause and effect never errs. It became clear to me; all my trials and tribulations, from birth, were of my own doing since time immemorial.
I was born in a rural village to parents who did not receive much education. I was the second child and, because I was short, was nicknamed “the little one.”
One day, at the age of one, my parents had to work in the mountains, so they left me alone in the house. When I woke up, I climbed onto a table and knocked over a lantern, which fell onto my bed. The bed immediately caught fire as the whole house quickly filled with dense smoke. Our neighbor saved me from the fire just in the nick of time.
When I was three years old, I fell from the 3rd floor and struck my forehead on a rock just missing my eye. There was no surgeon to sew up my injury. Consequently, a deep scar would forever remain on my forehead. Later, for unknown reasons, I dislocated my shoulder and fractured a bone. At the time, the neighbors speculated that I would not remain in this world much longer. Not only were boys heavily favored over girls, but I was born in the year of the tiger. My family thought I would bring bad luck upon them. If not for my mother’s love and insistence, my grandfather would have given me away.
Later on, due to economic hardship, my parents travelled extensively to make a living for the family. I remained behind, in the care of relatives and neighbors, alternating from home to home.
I started to look after myself when I was only eight years old. I raised rabbits, a hen, and a pig. Finally, my grandfather took me in when I entered the third grade of grammar school. As young as I was at that time, I often wondered what was the purpose of living? Was there any purpose to life? To me, life felt like nothing more than chewing on bitter grass and swallowing acrid and nauseating liquid. I thought about gulping down pesticides to end my life, thinking there would be no more suffering after death.
Perhaps the benevolent Buddhas and Bodhisattvas instilled a reason for me not to take my own life – I would break my mother’s heart. I could not bear the thought of my mother suffering so much for my actions…
So I did not take my own life, but misery seemed to enjoy my company. How could my misfortunes not be attributed to retribution for past transgressions? My suffering had nothing to do with unfairness or fate, but as the direct result of my past actions motivated by greed, hatred, and ignorance. The laws of cause and effect require there be no diminishment to retribution.
Through respectfully listening to dharma discourses expounded by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III , I finally realized that suffering was not imposed upon me by accident, but the unavoidable retribution of my past transgressions. The only way to steer clear of suffering and disaster is to undertake all righteous actions, regardless how minor, and avoid wrongdoing, no matter how minuscule. From the bottom of my heart, I repented all of my past wrongdoings and began facing every misfortune without fear. Life is but a dream; good fortune and suffering are equal in many ways, but for me, suffering carries even greater significance. It’s imperative to face the consequences of one’s own actions. Now, I am able to face them from a very different mindset. Suffering was the genesis that led me to understand why I need to learn Buddhism. From the teachings of the Buddhas, we discover the purpose and true meaning of life. To eliminate greed, hatred, ignorance, pleasure-seeking, happiness, anger, sadness, and joy; to let go of our egos; to guide and encourage more people to do all that is good and avoid committing wrongdoings. We shall follow the great teachings of H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III to transcend from this mundane and afflicted world to reach true liberation and enlightenment!
Our second stop on the road trip was Zion National Park. Zion National Park is a stunning natural wonder with over 200 sq. miles of diverse landscapes, towering cliffs, and diverse flora and fauna. It attracts more visitors than Yosemite National Park last year. Zion offers a unique blend of adventure, beauty, and inspiration.
One of the hikes we did was the Angel’s Landing trail, a 5-mile round trip that is considered to be very challenging. The trail is steep and zigzags up the mountain, and a permit is required to complete the entire hike.
Despite the difficulty, my older son and husband were determined to reach the summit. They persevered and eventually made it to the top, where they were rewarded with breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. In winter time the mountain top gets really icey, micro spikes are highly recommended.
I was unable to finish the Angel’s Landing trail, due to the challenging winding path resembling Lombard Street. I had to stop just before the permit-required section, feeling exhausted. Nevertheless, I still appreciated the views from my stopping point. Although I didn’t reach the summit, the overall experience was still memorable.
It’s worth noting that the Angel’s Landing trail can be dangerous, and since 2004, 17 people have died while attempting it. It’s important to be prepared and take all necessary precautions when tackling this challenging hike.
We explored other trails at the following day, like the Riverside Trail, but the weather didn’t cooperate. Despite heavy rain and feeling cold and wet, we were unable to fully enjoy the hike. However, we look forward to returning to the majestic and awe-inspiring Zion National Park in better weather. Overall, Zion National Park was an amazing experience and it is a must-see destination for anyone who loves nature and outdoor activities.
Winter break is a time for family, fun, and relaxation, and this year my family and I decided to take a road trip. My sons planned all the details, from where to go and what to see, to where to stay. Our itinerary included stops in Las Vegas, Zion National Park, Antelope Canyon Valley, and Grand Canyon National Park. We set off right after Christmas, with our first destination being Las Vegas.
During the 9-hour drive to Las Vegas, my husband and two boys took turn to drive. To my surprise I felt a sense of calm and relaxation that I had never experienced before while on a road trip. In the past, I would have been sweating and nervous while my sons were driving, but this time I was able to enjoy the scenery, nap, and snack while calmly chanting the Buddha’s name in my mind. This experience helped me to understand the Heart Sutra more deeply, which states “…. Without any hindrance, no fears exist, far apart from every perverted view, the bodhisattva entered complete nirvana….”
The Heart Sutra teaches about the nature of reality, and this passage in particular expresses the idea that when we let go of our attachments and fears, we can experience true freedom and peace. This is what I felt during my road trip – a sense of having no worries, fears, or hindrances. I was able to fully enjoy the beauty of the landscape and the company of my family without any distractions.
Not only did I have a great time on the trip, but I also feel a sense of progress in my personal cultivation. I am happy to see that I have made some progress in my mindfulness and relaxation practices. This road trip was a perfect opportunity to put them into practice and experience the benefits firsthand.
A road trip is a way to disconnect from the daily stressors and focus on the present moment. It is also a great opportunity to explore new places, create memories with loved ones, and reflect on your personal growth.
First Stop: Las Vegas
The first stop on the road trip was Las Vegas, and we had a great time exploring the city. One of the highlights of my trip was seeing the beautiful music fountain and Christmas-themed conservatory at the Bellagio. The water was choreographed to the beat of the music and the colorful lights added to the visual spectacle. It was a perfect way to relax after a day of sightseeing.
In addition to the music fountain, I also got to experience the festive holiday atmosphere in Las Vegas. The city was decked out in holiday decor, with colorful lights and decorations adorning the streets and buildings. It really added to the holiday cheer and made me feel like I was in a winter wonderland.
To get around the city, we took the monorail, which was a convenient and easy way to travel. It was a great alternative to driving or taking a taxi and it allowed me to see some of the city’s landmarks and attractions from a different perspective.