February 7th, 2019, was also the third day into Lunar New Year. Many students come back to Ling Jiou Mountain, home of spirituality, to celebrate. Our new year wishes are good health, happiness, fulfillment, and best of luck always. However, it depends on individual’s virtuous act to achieve these.
Virtuous acts include physical virtues of no killing, no stealing, and no sexual misconduct. Verbal virtue is to rejoice others often. Mental virtue is to uphold good intention. If we can practice these three, our virtues would be complete. We wouldn’t be making bad connections with others. In other words, Buddhadharma is the propagation of virtues, which is an activity of lifetimes. If we manage it properly, it’ll lead to libration free from samsaric wandering.
When we recognize the importance of virtues, we can create a good life and luck. How though? Be generous. When our life is dedicated to giving, we’ve made positive connections with sentient beings. A Dharmic life is all about “giving”. Therefore, “generosity” acts as the footnote of our virtues.
As of the principle we behave with others and matter is called, “ethical discipline”. It is a principle of life. When we act accordingly, our fortune also improves. Besides, people need to be more patient with one another. “Patience” can break off negativities and give rise to virtues. Hence, those we contact would receive warmth and joy if we have a warm and loving heart.
Be committed to positive acts is “exertion”, which makes our lives valuable. How can we find a valuable life? Through mindful awareness, contemplative analysis, and insightful understanding - we can act properly without harming others. Therefore, we need to have the right values and actions so as not to hurt sentient beings.
All beings are our partners for lives. As we die and reincarnate, we’d contact with different sentient beings anywhere we end up at. If we had made positive connections with others already, we’ll receive their care, adoration, and love. “Live to serve, dedicate life to lives” is all about virtuous acts.
Life is a network of memories. Our spirituality has been connecting with numerous sentient beings since beginningless. There are positive, negative, and all kinds of connections made. How do we work through them? With right values, clear direction, believe in cause and effect (karma) and engage in virtues. Then, ensure our intention is pure so our mind doesn’t get stained. Through Chan practice, recitation of mantra and Amitabha’s name - our mind would be more capable of awakening and insightfulness. We can see the right direction for life and know to manage it better.