As time progresses, information systems are becoming more efficient and convenient at an unprecedented rate. The barriers among countries are lessened. Cultures are becoming more inclusive. While these are positive signs, our traditional culture on ethics and morality is being assimilated by the Western influence. A worrisome phenomenon would be the dominance of Western values, which the younger generations are forgetting about many virtuous qualities of the traditional values.
"Culture" is a vital adherence to the intellectual achievement of a particular social group. In the Great Learning (Daxue), a Confucian classic which explains that world peace is unattainable unless a ruler first regulates his own country, but no ruler can do this without setting his own household in order. This action in turn indicates that he has oriented his personal life by adjusting his mind and acquiring sincerity. Having loving parents and filial children, a family is united. Such a familial relation reflects the core value of the Chinese culture. Cultural heritage is the backbone of history. Mankind relies on it to thrive. Nowadays, our lives are manipulated and oriented by information. Unfortunately, we are bombarded by mass information. We've become disoriented that we can't make the proper judgment and use of the information. Our lives have spun out of control. That's why mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder, panic attacks, depression, etc., are becoming more prevalent among people.
What is our culture? For five thousand years, the integration of Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism have a great impact on the Chinese people. Confucianism sets the social order with ethics and morality. Taoism emphasizes respect for nature and methods for good health and longevity. Buddhism offers the excellent wisdom that could guide us on the path to ultimate liberation.
Being able to cross paths with Buddhism today, all of you are very fortunate. By learning the wisdom of the Buddha, our minds and thoughts can be straightened out. Eventually, we can see the truth, approach the truth, and uncover our spirituality – to be free from delusions. In sum, Dharma practice allows us to optimize our life and time by engaging in virtuous acts.
“Karma” paves our life. It is a live show with one activity after another. Our past karma links to our present karma, which will connect to future karma. The unbroken links make up a show after another. The effect of each link is termed, “karmic influence”.
There is positive and negative karma. With lessened negative karma and increasing positive karma, our society will be stable. If many people engage in nonvirtuous acts, the society would be chaotic and hostile. Hence, our personal luck, familial welfare, and national prosperity. Every unit is closely knitted with one another under the collective karma.
The Buddha has explained to us the working of the karmic principle. From our level of understanding, interpersonal relation is also the working of karma. Should our values and conceptions be virtuous, our actions would also be virtuous. Consequently, our society and nation will prosper and be at peace. Conversely, if we swing along with the three poisons (greed, aversion, and ignorance), we'd be tangled up in greediness, conflicts, and grudges.
Buddhadharma teaches us to refrain from nonvirtues as they only lead to suffering. Hence, we should be mindful and engage in virtues by all means. Perform the spirit of the four immeasurables (loving-kindness, compassion, joy, equanimity). That way, our family, society, and nation will surely prosper.
Friday, 19 February 2021 11:13