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.
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.
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!
New Year’s resolutions have long been a way to take stock of what’s truly important in our lives, allowing us to pause and reflect on the year behind us, as well as plan for the year ahead. If living through a global pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that we shouldn’t take health and wellness for granted. In 2023, improving your body, mind and soul is a great way to organize your long-term goals for the new year.
Focusing on your health and well-being doesn’t have to translate to starting a new diet or workout plan, though. You can set your sights on taking charge of your mental health, finally optimizing a better sleep routine or diving headfirst into reclaiming your space (wave goodbye to messy closets and disastrous bathrooms).
Your resolutions don’t have to be big, instead of workout everyday for two hours you could just set a goal like walking 15 minutes a day. Doing small things persistently, will bring big changes.
Keep your new resolutions by using a planner to help you stay on track, checking off daily fitness goals and tackling frequent decluttering tasks. This year, it’s time to put you first!
Here are some ideas to help you to kick off the year with a stronger, well-nourished body and an enriched mind.
Do some low intensity breath focusing exercise
Each week, try to do 15 to 30 minutes of slow and mind focusing exercise, such as Yoga or Tai chi. Tai chi is an ancient Chinese tradition that, today, is practiced as a graceful form of exercise. It involves a series of movements performed in a slow, focused manner and accompanied by deep breathing.
Yoga is also a mind and body practice. Yoga combines physical postures, breathing techniques, and meditation or relaxation. Yoga involves movement, meditation, and breathing techniques to promote mental and physical well-being. According to the National Institutes of Health, scientific evidence shows that yoga supports stress management, mental health, mindfulness, healthy eating, weight loss and quality sleep.
Do a short prayer
Each night, before you go to bed, do a short prayer. Praying can reduce anxiety and promote relaxation, gratitude, and thankfulness. In less than 3 minutes, you can express your gratitude to your body, your family, your friends, society, and your country. In this quiet time remind yourself to admire others, to accept others, to be attentive of others, and to forgive others. Wish for everyone to have a happy, healthy and auspicious life, wish for peace and harmony of the world, and wish that tomorrow will be better.
Build a better budget
If there’s one New Year’s resolution that will help you the most in the long run, it’s making a vow to save more money.
Before you head back to the office in January, outline a rough budget that works for you — and make a plan for how you’ll stick to it. Budgeting apps can help you do this as painlessly as possible. And supercharge your shopping habits by rethinking when and how you buy things for your home and family; often, there are savings you’re leaving on the table.
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Anxiety can nag at anyone during any season, in all parts of life — and it can be easy to let the idea of the future or past experiences inform your reality of the present. Practicing mindfulness means doing everything you can to be grateful for what you have in the moment, where you are in life, and who you are right now. Some leading psychological experts say committing to mindfulness can help you become a better person in less than a year’s time.
Read more books
January is the perfect time of year to snuggle up with a new book. Some of us like to unwind with a great fiction book that transports us to places we’ve never been, into lives that differ from our own. Others love the shiver that goes up your spine when you crack open a creepy ghost story that makes you think twice before turning off the light to go to bed. And who among us can resist a juicy romance novel that reminds us that chivalry isn’t dead? Of course, the best nonfiction books can also open our eyes to lived experiences far beyond our own perspective. Needless to say: books can change lives, whether they’re intended to be inspirational or just come to us at the moment we need them most.
Commit to a healthier sleep routine.
So many issues can be traced back to a poor night’s sleep. And yet, there is so much more that we can aim to improve beyond a reasonable bedtime. Creating a plan to improve your sleep hygiene — the habits you maintain to get good sleep every night — may look different for everyone, as it depends on when you need to be active and working throughout the day. Your brain actually relies on cues to regulate your internal circadian rhythm, and the choices you make throughout the day can interfere with these. Start taking charge of your sleep by mastering these 10 to-dos as the year progresses.
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Research shows that pitching in regularly can lead to less stress and lower blood pressure. Try to schedule an outreach mission of your own on a day of service; many recognize Martin Luther King Day as a prime opportunity, or even Veteran’s Day in November. So use this day to jumpstart a longer-term personal commitment — and consider working on this goal with loved ones all year round.
Explore new hobbies.
Another sleepy Sunday? Today’s the day you try Ethiopian food, attend a ballet, or take a painting class — whatever feels fun. When researchers followed 7,500 people for 25 years, they found that those who complained of major boredom were roughly twice as likely to die from heart disease.
Start walking more
Even if you can’t keep track of a new fitness routine, keeping yourself moving on a simple walk around the neighborhood is a must. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services maintains that adults should spend as much time moving each day as possible — and some physical activity (even just walking!) is better than none.
Do one thing at a time.
Multitasking doesn’t make you more efficient, but it does stress you out, says mindfulness expert Pedram Shojai, author of Focus: Bringing Time, Energy, and Money Into Flow. “If your focus is fragmented, you’ll likely find yourself getting anxious as new items come up when old ones are still incomplete,” he says.
Instead, he suggests, organize your activities into chunks of time, such as kid time and cooking time, and then “commit to being focused in those allotted minutes and see what happens.” It’ll help stop you from overthinking everything.
Give yourself more compliments.
Repeat after us: “Today is my day. I’m thankful for me.” Positive self-talk can help you focus on what’s good in your life, says psychologist Joy Harden Bradford, Ph.D.
Research shows that a little vitamin G (for gratitude) can make you feel happier and more satisfied and even improve your sleep. “If you repeat an affirmation related to gratitude in the morning, you’re likely to show and feel more of it throughout that day,” Bradford says. You’re so welcome!
Head outside without your phone
In a previous GH survey, 83% of people told us they lost track of how long they spent on their devices. But short of deleting all social apps, it can be hard to trade screen time for more productive pastimes like walking the dog and coffee with friends. Whether you’re Team iPhone or Team Android, download the latest software to access built-in tools that help you track your personal app usage. Set screen downtime is also very helpful to remind you need to stop.
Add more citrus to your grocery cart.
When you see all those gorgeous in-season grapefruits, oranges, clementines, and pomelos in the produce aisle, grab an armful.
Winter citrus can help keep skin looking healthy thanks to vitamin C, which aids in collagen production. In fact, an American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study found that people who ate foods high in C had fewer wrinkles and less age-related dry skin than those who didn’t. Try clementine sections sprinkled with pistachios or sweet grapefruit dipped in Greek yogurt for a snack.
In today’s high-tech, high-speed, high-stress world, communication is more important then ever, yet we seem to devote less and less time to really listening to one another. Genuine listening has become a rare gift—the gift of time. It helps build relationships, solve problems, ensure understanding, resolve conflicts, and improve accuracy. At work, effective listening means fewer errors and less wasted time. At home, it helps develop resourceful, self-reliant kids who can solve their own problems. Listening builds friendships and careers. It saves money and marriages.
Here are 10 tips to help you develop effective listening skills.
Step 1: Face the speaker and maintain eye contact.
Talking to someone while they scan the room, study a computer screen, or gaze out the window is like trying to hit a moving target. How much of the person’s divided attention you are actually getting? Fifty percent? Five percent? If the person were your child you might demand, “Look at me when I’m talking to you,” but that’s not the sort of thing we say to a lover, friend or colleague.
In most Western cultures, eye contact is considered a basic ingredient of effective communication. When we talk, we look each other in the eye. That doesn’t mean that you can’t carry on a conversation from across the room, or from another room, but if the conversation continues for any length of time, you (or the other person) will get up and move. The desire for better communication pulls you together.
Do your conversational partners the courtesy of turning to face them. Put aside papers, books, the phone and other distractions. Look at them, even if they don’t look at you. Shyness, uncertainty, shame, guilt, or other emotions, along with cultural taboos, can inhibit eye contact in some people under some circumstances. Excuse the other guy, but stay focused yourself.
Step 2: Be attentive, but relaxed.
Now that you’ve made eye contact, relax. You don’t have to stare fixedly at the other person. You can look away now and then and carry on like a normal person. The important thing is to be attentive. The dictionary says that to “attend” another person means to:
apply or direct yourself
remain ready to serve
Mentally screen out distractions, like background activity and noise. In addition, try not to focus on the speaker’s accent or speech mannerisms to the point where they become distractions. Finally, don’t be distracted by your own thoughts, feelings, or biases.
Step 3: Keep an open mind.
Listen without judging the other person or mentally criticizing the things she tells you. If what she says alarms you, go ahead and feel alarmed, but don’t say to yourself, “Well, that was a stupid move.” As soon as you indulge in judgmental bemusements, you’ve compromised your effectiveness as a listener.
Listen without jumping to conclusions. Remember that the speaker is using language to represent the thoughts and feelings inside her brain. You don’t know what those thoughts and feelings are and the only way you’ll find out is by listening.
Don’t be a sentence-grabber. Occasionally my partner can’t slow his mental pace enough to listen effectively, so he tries to speed up mine by interrupting and finishing my sentences. This usually lands him way off base, because he is following his own train of thought and doesn’t learn where my thoughts are headed. After a couple of rounds of this, I usually ask, “Do you want to have this conversation by yourself, or do you want to hear what I have to say?” I wouldn’t do that with everyone, but it works with him.
Step 4: Listen to the words and try to picture what the speaker is saying.
Allow your mind to create a mental model of the information being communicated. Whether a literal picture, or an arrangement of abstract concepts, your brain will do the necessary work if you stay focused, with senses fully alert. When listening for long stretches, concentrate on, and remember, key words and phrases.
When it’s your turn to listen, don’t spend the time planning what to say next. You can’t rehearse and listen at the same time. Think only about what the other person is saying.
Finally, concentrate on what is being said, even if it bores you. If your thoughts start to wander, immediately force yourself to refocus.
Step 5: Don’t interrupt and don’t impose your “solutions.”
Children used to be taught that it’s rude to interrupt. I’m not sure that message is getting across anymore. Certainly the opposite is being modeled on the majority of talk shows and reality programs, where loud, aggressive, in-your-face behavior is condoned, if not encouraged.
Interrupting sends a variety of messages. It says:
“I’m more important than you are.”
“What I have to say is more interesting, accurate or relevant.”
“I don’t really care what you think.”
“I don’t have time for your opinion.”
“This isn’t a conversation, it’s a contest, and I’m going to win.”
We all think and speak at different rates. If you are a quick thinker and an agile talker, the burden is onyouto relax your pace for the slower, more thoughtful communicator—or for the guy who has trouble expressing himself.
When listening to someone talk about a problem, refrain from suggesting solutions. Most of us don’t want your advice anyway. If we do, we’ll ask for it. Most of us prefer to figure out our own solutions. We need you to listen and help us do that. Somewhere way down the line, if you are absolutely bursting with a brilliant solution, at least get the speaker’s permission. Ask, “Would you like to hear my ideas?”
Step 6: Wait for the speaker to pause to ask clarifying questions.
When you don’t understand something, of course you should ask the speaker to explain it to you. But rather than interrupt, wait until the speaker pauses. Then say something like, “Back up a second. I didn’t understand what you just said about…”
Step 7: Ask questions only to ensure understanding.
At lunch, a colleague is excitedly telling you about her trip to Vermont and all the wonderful things she did and saw. In the course of this chronicle, she mentions that she spent some time with a mutual friend. You jump in with, “Oh, I haven’t heard from Alice in ages. How is she?” and, just like that, discussion shifts to Alice and her divorce, and the poor kids, which leads to a comparison of custody laws, and before you know it an hour is gone and Vermont is a distant memory.
This particular conversational affront happens all the time. Our questions lead people in directions that have nothing to do with where they thought they were going. Sometimes we work our way back to the original topic, but very often we don’t.
When you notice that your question has led the speaker astray, take responsibility for getting the conversation back on track by saying something like, “It was great to hear about Alice, but tell me more about your adventure in Vermont.”
Step 8: Try to feel what the speaker is feeling.
If you feel sad when the person with whom you are talking expresses sadness, joyful when she expresses joy, fearful when she describes her fears—and convey those feelings through your facial expressions and words—then your effectiveness as a listener is assured. Empathy is the heart and soul of good listening.
To experience empathy, you have to put yourself in the other person’s place and allow yourself to feel what it is like to be her at that moment. This is not an easy thing to do. It takes energy and concentration. But it is a generous and helpful thing to do, and it facilitates communication like nothing else does.
Step 9: Give the speaker regular feedback.
Show that you understand where the speaker is coming from by reflecting the speaker’s feelings. “You must be thrilled!” “What a terrible ordeal for you.” “I can see that you are confused.” If the speaker’s feelings are hidden or unclear, then occasionally paraphrase the content of the message. Or just nod and show your understanding through appropriate facial expressions and an occasional well-timed “hmmm” or “uh huh.”
The idea is to give the speaker some proof that you are listening, and that you are following her train of thought—not off indulging in your own fantasies while she talks to the ether.
In task situations, regardless of whether at work or home, always restate instructions and messages to be sure you understand correctly.
Step 10: Pay attention to whatisn’tsaid—to nonverbal cues.
If you exclude email, the majority of direct communication is probably nonverbal. We glean a great deal of information about each other without saying a word. Even over the telephone, you can learn almost as much about a person from the tone and cadence of her voice than from anything she says. When I talk to my best friend, it doesn’t matter what we chat about, if I hear a lilt and laughter in her voice, I feel reassured that she’s doing well.
Face to face with a person, you can detect enthusiasm, boredom, or irritation very quickly in the expression around the eyes, the set of the mouth, the slope of the shoulders. These are clues you can’t ignore. When listening, remember that words convey only a fraction of the message.
For at least one week, at the end of every conversation in which information is exchanged, conclude with a summary statement. In conversations that result in agreements about future obligations or activities, summarizing will not only ensure accurate follow-through, it will feel perfectly natural. In conversations that do not include agreements, if summarizing feels awkward just explain that you are doing it as an exercise.
The lucky door in life is always inadvertently opened. Maybe it’s the blessings from the Buddha and Boddhisatva.
I remember that day, a critical turning pointin my life.I was exercising in the community that day, a surnamed Meng dharma sister asked me to worship the Buddha in the Buddhist Hall nearby. I agreed with her as soon as I heard the invitation. The dharma brothers and sisters made me feel at home. It’s totally different from the people I met in my life, most of whom treated me courteously but without sincerity. So I decided to chant sutras and listen to the recorded discourses expounded by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III with dharma brothers and sisters. I felt like it’s the place that I should come. Then I couldn’t help crying when chanting sutras, and I would repent. Every time after listening the recorded Buddha dharma discourses, I was filled with endless power.
To my shame, I never settle down to study, but hurry to come and leave the Buddhist Hall owing to busy work. With my diligence for listening the dharma discourses, I make progress and schedule time for study in the Buddhist Hall. Undoubtedly, we want to lead a good life, but learning Buddhism is more important, we can and we have to plan enough time for study.
On the National Day in 2016, I gave up travelling with my family but took part in the Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva Great Compassion Empowerment Dharma Assembly, from which, I truly knew the great Buddha Dharma is true and real. The next day I converted to Buddhism. I was earnest and pious in studying Buddhism after conversion.
The Buddha taught us to conduct cultivation and introspection, to conduct three introspections in the course of a day. I found myself did many things that I should not do in the past, including killing other living beings. When I realized the retribution of killing, I decided not to kill, while turned to vegan at dinner, and on the first day and the fifteenth day of the lunar calendar.
I’ve been doing prostrations since the dharma assembly. Now I have a fit body and my wine tummy is gone. My blood pressure used to be a little bit high, but now it’s stable. I don’t feel panic or worried if travelling by plane or driving. I sleep well all night after chanting H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III.
Some people think that it takes time to learn Buddhism and it will affect the business and work. However, my business is more prosperous since I’ve taken Buddhism. Numerous long-term orders come for me. Several days ago, the municipal government called me for delivery. I was surprised, because I didn’t have the resource superiority. I focused on social engagement and seldom stayed at home in the past. Now I cherish and care about my family. My son usually asks me to spend time with him. Taking Buddhism makes me healthier and my family relationships more harmonious.
I truly know that Buddhism brings me happiness, so I am determined to do my best to make offerings to Buddha Halls. With the help from dharma brothers and sisters, I set up a Buddha Hall at home. My family also join me to study Buddhism.
All above is my own experience. I hope everyone has the karmic affinity to study the true Dharma of Tathagata. We all eager for a happy life, but making money is only a part of it. The health and happiness we have on this side is temporary, while attaining the accomplishment and liberation on the other side is the truth.
My husband and I have a son and a daughter. My daughter was employed in a bank and my son ran a chemical business in the bonded area. Although the competition was fierce, my son was smart and flexible, he made his career. Soon the children grew to the age for marriage, we bought a car and a big suite at the lake scenic area. Then we had a daughter-in-law, married our daughter. We became grandparents the second year. My husband and I learned Buddhism and cultivation while taking care of our grandchildren. We lived a full life and enjoyed the happiness of our family. After two years’happy life, my son wanted to switch to project contraction because of the hard competition and low profit in the chemistry business. No matter how we discouraged him, he didn’t change his mind. Finally, we urged him not to gamble or turn to high-risk lenders, he should think twice and keep wits on dealing matters. My son flew to different cities to struggle for business. The assets could reach to ten million at most. At the peak of his career, he undertook hundreds of millions of decoration projects and led hundreds of workers. We often asked him about the business, he always understated the situation and told us not to worry, he said what we need to do was learning Buddhism and taking good care of the grandchild. Later, my son came back home more and more frequently, and he avoided answering phones in front of us. We became nervous. It was after different people came for millions of debts that we knew what was a bolt from the blue. I used to hear that Jack was bankrupt, Tom was cheated and John had an accident, but I didn’t expect that it was our turn. It turned out that my son put a lot of money into the project, and he also borrowed millions of money for emergency. The first party has to pay some money after the project passed the acceptance checks, but it withheld the money and didn’t fulfill the contract. My son sued the first party after he failed to get the money back in several months. However, the creditors were demanding to be paid every day. It is compulsory to pay what you owe. We deeply knew that we couldn’t err on the causality, so we tried our best to help our son to settle debts, but the money we had was still far from enough. We borrowed money from all people we knew without caring about losing faces. However, people usually busily embroidering more flowers on the brocade rather than sending charcoal to the needy on a snowy winter day. In this situation, we sold the house and car to repay most of the debts.
During the process, I remembered what H.H Dorje Chang Buddha III taught us: everyone knows to cultivate themselves in prosperity, the problem is how to deal with it in adversity? When you rise with money and power, or when you’re down and out with pain, can you remain the inner peace no matter how the circumstances change? This is a litmus test for me and my family. Taking Buddhism makes me realize that the process of impermanence is the truth. Our body will go bad, the wealth we have will dwindle, so are the house and car, now they’re just gone in advance. It’s all about causality. As long as we can make ends meet, nothing weighs more than life and death. No matter how rough life is, you must move forward, to make choices between the gain and loss and be strong in the experience. We will experience all kinds of hardships in the way of practice. Only if you want to extricate yourself from suffering do you truly cultivate yourself. To establish a mind determined to leave the cycle of reincarnation helps us leave suffering and obtain happiness in the end.
Though we are difficult in material condition, we have a rich spiritual life. We are lucky to have H.H Dorje Chang Buddha III imparting Buddha dharma in this world, we happily took refuge to the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, and we listen and learn from the recorded Buddha dharma discourses with great joy. These can’t be bought with gold and silver. Anyway the wind blows, doesn’t really matter to me. With the light of Buddhism, my family and I will walk down the path firmly. My son becomes mature after this setback. I believe the lesson is a supporting condition for his life. If we don’t study Buddhism and believe in causality, this disaster may push my family into a doomed vortex. Crying our eyes out, holding grudges, be in a violent rage, collapsed after the straits and trying to commit suicide? No, we don’t behave like that. We settle our debts in causality, and demand unpaid money from the first party through legal methods. Buddhism gives us wisdom and power to deal with everything reasonably and calmly. All negative karmic conditions and sufferings make me and my family to cherish Buddhism and the chance for incarnating as a human being, guiding us to the path of bodhi. I believe every struggle after the hardship is the chance to change fate.
Don’t let everyday stresses and problems get you down to the point where you think the only relief is heavily drinking or some other drug-related solution. Not only will your so-called relief be temporary, it can also be harmful to your health, contribute to possible addiction, and leave you more incapable of dealing with stresses on your own the next time they occur.
HERE ARE 8 WAYS TO SELF-SOOTH WITHOUT USING A MIND ALTERING SUBSTANCE
READ Develop a reading habit and you will find that you look forward to your time with your latest book. While you are reading, let this be your time for yourself. Set aside whatever amount of time you can and devote it wholeheartedly to reading.
MEDITATION Meditation has been practiced for countless centuries to relieve stress, anxiety, depression, to treat a variety of illnesses, to help during treatment for addictive behaviors, reduce high blood pressure, and alleviate pain and to relax. Practice meditating every day at a regular time, for a regular duration. Ultimately, your perspective will start to evolve and you will grow more able to choose your moods and reactions instead of them choosing you.
YOGA No need to be a master practitioner or a contortionist to reap the benefits from yoga. Yoga can be described as a collection of spiritual techniques and practices that seek to integrate mind, body and spirit in the quest to achieve enlightenment or oneness with the universe.
TAKE A HOT BATH AH, the satisfaction of soaking in a hot bubble bath, one of the best natural ways to relax and unwind. Give it a try! Light a candle, dim the lights and bring your awareness to the breath. Deep inhales through the noise, exhales out the mouth. Try this for sets of 5. You’ll absolutely feel less anxiety and much more able to cope with the challenges of day to day life.
VOLUNTEER There’s no question there are many deserving charities and organizations that can use help. Volunteer to help serve meals at homeless shelters, or give of your time to visit with senior citizens at assisted living centers. When you look outside yourself and your own problems and give of yourself, it’s a selfless form of generosity that rewards you with a sense of inner peace.
WALK IN NATURE Walking in nature helps you to decompress, as it magically increases the bodies natural feel-good chemicals. Breathing in the fresh air, noticing the beauty, and listening to the sounds around you will no doubt elevate your mood, leaving you with a feeling of completion and relaxation.
BECOME MORE SPIRITUAL Spirituality is something that is actively pursued, cultivated, and nourished. You don’t need to be religious to reap the rewards of a heightened spirituality. You can develop your spirituality by looking inward and trying to improve your outlook on life. Becoming more spiritual will give you a new appreciation for life and how precious it is. You will be able to give more of yourself to others, and gain richness beyond measure in return.
MAKE A GRATITUDE LIST Get into the habit of writing down 5 things you are grateful for every morning. Goodness has a way of spreading its way around. When you are positive in your outlook, and act in a manner that inspires others to do likewise, you are helping to lift others out of themselves and into a better appreciation of life.
Life is all about living. Let’s make this life the best we can for as long as we have. You won’t need drugs to help you relax. Living life to the fullest will be your gift — to you and to those you love. Namaste.
There are so many beautiful, powerful and life changing lessons you can learn from studying Buddhism and from reading many of Buddha’s quotes.
Here are 20 Life Changing Lessons from Buddha:
1. Love heals all things. “Hatred does not cease by hatred, but only by love; this is the eternal rule.”
2. It’s not what you say but what you do that defines you. “A man is not called wise because he talks and talks again; but if he is peaceful, loving and fearless then he is in truth called wise.”
“A dog is not considered a good dog because he is a good barker. A man is not considered a good man because he is a good talker.”
3. The secret of good health is to live fully in the NOW. “Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.”
“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, nor to worry about the future, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly.”
4. Words have the power to both hurt and heal. “Words have the power to both destroy and heal. When words are both true and kind, they can change our world.”
5. Let it go and it will be yours forever. “You only lose what you cling to.”
6. No one can walk your path for you. “No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.”
7. Happiness never decreases by being shared. “Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”
8. Be kind to all. “Resolve to be tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant with the weak and wrong. Sometime in your life, you will have been all of these.”
“Have compassion for all beings, rich and poor alike; each has their suffering. Some suffer too much, others too little.”
“Teach this triple truth to all: A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity.”
9. Don’t believe everything you are told to believe. “Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.”
10. As you THINK so shall you be “All that we are is the result of what we have thought: it is founded on our thoughts and made up of our thoughts. If a man speak or act with an evil thought, suffering follows him as the wheel follows the hoof of the beast that draws the wagon…. If a man speak or act with a good thought, happiness follows him like a shadow that never leaves him.”
11. Let go of fear. “The whole secret of existence is to have no fear. Never fear what will become of you, depend on no one. Only the moment you reject all help are you freed.”
12. The truth has a way of always leaking out. “Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.”
13. Control your mind or it will control you. “To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one’s family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one’s own mind. If a man can control his mind he can find the way to Enlightenment, and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him.”
“It is a man’s own mind, not his enemy or foe, that lures him to evil ways.”
14. Doubt separates. Trust unites. “There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.”
15. Nobody is more deserving of your love than you yourself are. “You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”
16. Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is enlightenment. “It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell.”
17. Let go of attachment. “To live a pure unselfish life, one must count nothing as one’s own in the midst of abundance.”
18. Choose your friends wisely. “An insincere and evil friend is more to be feared than a wild beast; a wild beast may wound your body, but an evil friend will wound your mind.”
19. There is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way. “There is no path to happiness: happiness is the path.”
20. Love. Live. Let go. “In the end these things matter most: How well did you love? How fully did you live? How deeply did you let go?”
My dharma name is Hua Yong. I am very grateful for having the good fortune to attend the Guan Yin Bodhisattva of Great Compassion Empowerment Dharma Assembly led by Dharma Master Ruo Hui. Dharma Master Ruo Hui is Abbess of Hua Zang Si at San Francisco.
We started off by diligently reciting the Six-Character Great Bright Mantra. After a dozen of recitations, tears kept emerging as I kept reciting the Six-Character Great Bright Mantra. I did not know why I had tears, but it felt comforting and soothing. Minutes later, a bright white light shone towards my face, the light then transformed into a rainbow colored beam of light and eventually formed into a very large lotus flower of clouds. Immediately, I felt energy surging from the floor where I stood up through my entire body. My eyes were shut and I stood still as I felt my body very heavy. Sounds of a lion’s roar and footsteps were coming from the hallway People behind me started to pat their own bodies. Sister Hua Rui walked passed me while singing out loud. Qinbu Rinpoche joined in shortly after. Eventually, I started to recite “Namo Guan Shi Yin Bodhisattva.” Every syllable was dragged out loudly.
Suddenly, Sister Hua Rui began to deliver Guan Shi Yin Bodhisattva’s message out loudly in Cantonese, “We are all destined to be here today. You have acted sinfully in your past lives. You must repent your actions!” I thought to myself, “Of course, of course.” I felt a moment of despair as I began to cry while reciting “Namo Guan Shi Yin Bodhisattva.” Moments later, all I could see was a red circle in the middle of darkness. This could possibly be the symbol of my karma, I thought. I immediately requested a blessing from the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas to clear my karma, be diligent in my practice as well as bring my husband and daughter to practice Buddhism! After requesting this blessing, I began to sing even louder and more passionately. My arms naturally began to swing from side to side, however, both of my feet remained still.
Meanwhile, while Qinbu Rinpoche was singing, she came behind me and started to slap my shoulder all the way to my lower back. It felt very painful as I felt that Qinbu Rinpoche’s palms were very large, however, I continued to stay still and recite “Namo Guan Shi Yin Bodhisattva” out loudly and prolongly. Sounds of people crying, falling to the ground, slapping, people reciting the Six-Character Great Bright Mantra and “Namo Guan Shi Yin Bodhisattva” were being heard everywhere in the hall. Shortly after, I heard the master say “Stop”, but I kept going on. I did not know when, then Qinbu Rinpoche came behind me and slapped from my shoulder to my lower back again very intensely and I could not stop singing in a high pitch. It was until the master came to me and tapped my head that I stopped.
It felt as if time flew by really quickly as if the Dharma assembly ended really quickly. However, I am sure I received an extraordinary amount of empowerment and blessings even though my body still felt heavy. After the Dharma assembly ended, a lot of sisters and brothers went up on stage to share their personal experiences. I also went up to the front, knelt on my floor with my palms together, and from the bottom of my heart, I shared my experience and expressed my utmost gratitude to H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III, Namo Guan Shi Yin Bodhisattva, and all other Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.
Returning home, I found out that 10 years of pain and failed treatment on my right shoulder and spine has disappeared! Back then, because of my right shoulder pain, turning my head to the right was not possible. But now, I can do that without any problems! 10 years of pain has disappeared!