January 24th, 2020 was the Lunar New Year Eve. Many lay students returned to the head monastery of LJM to spend the night with fellow monastics. Some of them are senior students who've been learning with LJM for two or three decades. We're very touched for the yearly gathering and their persistence in practicing Dharma.
Life is precious that mustn’t be wasted. Appreciate life with joy instead of being gloomy. Allocate your time in happy endeavors. How do we obtain happiness? It is to have proper intentions and actions. What does “proper” mean? It is to practice Buddhadharma. It is for the benefit of oneself and others. Not only personal problems can be solved, but we can also help others with their issues with Dharma.
What about karma? It is a combination of intention and action. Karmas are stored in the karmic memory drive. Every event of karma involves oneself or others. Some are good while some aren't so good. Non-virtues create negative energy whereas virtues result in positive energy. How do we fuel ourselves with positive energy? It is to uphold the right mindfulness or proper intentions.
Right mindfulness is to be aware of impermanence at all times. Just like a flock of birds in the woods. They gather and scatter. In a blink of an eye, they fly away without leaving a trace. Likewise, life is transient that comes and goes swiftly. Therefore, we should appreciate life and optimize their value with virtues.
By “virtues”, we’re propagating virtuous causes. It is to plant every virtuous karmic DNA in the memory drive. We sow the seed in the memory of others and vice versa. Having every seed of virtuous cause sowed, the fruit will also be ripening.
How we treat our family, children, parents, society, country, and all mankind depends on how big of a heart and how wise we are. Dharma teaches us that we are interdependent on one another. Every corner is a shared space of interdependent diversity. Every person or being is the subject of our field of merit. When our wisdom is uncovered, we’d treat every being like our parents with care and love. The positive connection expands from families to communities, countries, and mankind. We must encourage kindness. By being kind to all those around us, we are sowing the seed of virtues.