As we’ve chosen the path of monasticism, we must ask ourselves every day, "How did I spend my day today? Have my afflictions and greediness lessened? Did I engender the supreme bodhicitta? Did I do my best for Dharma practice? What have I done today that is meaningful?" Daily reflection in practice is important.
By becoming a monastic, one’s sole responsibility is to “transmit Dharma, benefit sentient beings”. This world is uncertain as everything is constantly changing. Life is impermanent, and so are interpersonal relations. How should we work with impermanence then? Keep in mind that, “all that is conditioned are impermanent. All perceptions are suffering. All dharmas are empty and devoid of self." Our minds must enter the essence that is unarising and unceasing. What is this essence? It is devoid of delusions. Be sure to reflect on that "All conditioned dharmas are like a dream, an illusion, a bubble, a shadow." Considered that all the compounded dharmas are dreamlike, what is there to compete for? What is there to compare and compete for? What are the losses and gains? Through this angle of contemplation, we can enter the peaceful nirvana, the essence of life. The essence of all lives is a state of bliss that is ungraspable. Abide by our minds within this state.
At all times, we must engage in virtues, benefit beings, and believe in the karmic principle. By cultivating the proper causes, the fruitions will certainly be positive. Conversely, if one cultivates the improper causes, the results would not be what we expected. Hence, we must be mindful to examine and reflect on our minds. Check if you're still on the right path constantly. What is the path? It is “non-abidance, such mind comes forth”. Therefore, examine yourself if you’re in this state of mind at all times. Try to abide in this state of mind unobstructedly.
A Dharma practitioner cannot slack for a moment. Look at the biographies of great masters, all of them observed their practice by all means, such as tying the hair to the beam or to stab their thighs so as not to doze off. They watched the changes in their minds so carefully. So, we must adjust our lives in the right direction and goals through the Three Higher Trainings (ethical disciplines, meditative stabilization, and wisdom). The happiest things in life for us monastics are none other than passing on Buddhadharma and benefiting beings. We must recognize the importance of Dharma practice. Such recognition is to understand living and dying. With a clear understanding, we’d strive to live this life to the fullest. Without such understanding, our time and life would go wasted.
Monday, 01 February 2021 10:56