Dharma Teachings

The Fourfold Grace

The Fourfold Grace-MasterHsinTaoMay is a month of appreciation and gratitude. Vesak and Mother's Day fall under the same month. During this time of appreciation, we are reminded to uphold gratefulness as the children of our fore-parents and the student of our teachers. In the dedication of prayers, we’d “reciprocate the fourfold grace and the relieve the suffering of the three lesser realms”. It is a reminder of gratefulness. Christians thank God and all in their prayers. They also begin from appreciating. In Buddhism, we talk about four subjects of grace, “the grace of the Buddha; the grace of parents; the grace of teachers; and the grace of fellow beings.

The Fourfold Grace-MasterHsinTaoThe grace of the Buddha. Shakyamuni, the founder of Buddhism is our subject of reciprocation. Buddha is the "awakened one". Every one of us has a luminous nature. However, we need someone to help ignite such luminosity so our spirituality can shine. Without ignition, our nature remains in darkness. Buddha is the one who points us to the light. He shows us the interconnectedness between oneself and other beings. With his guidance, we know how to stay on the right track. We’d know how to optimize the benefit for oneself and other beings.

How does life come about? Surely, we know we come from parents. Parental love is unconditional without any prejudice. They are forever caring and love for us. They have dedicated their lives to us. We must keep their kindness in mind at all times. In this time of diverse cultural shock, we have the generational mission to preserve social ethics. We must preserve and pass on the traditional Chinese culture on filial piety and morality.

Then, we must not leave out the grace of our teachers. They've educated us with the path, trade, and answers for our confusion. We have received education and inspiration from teachers. The knowledge acquired allows us to sustain livelihood in society. Furthermore, our understanding of life broadens, opens, and deepens. Then, we could accept this diverse world with an open mind.

The Fourfold Grace-MasterHsinTaoLastly, we must thank all the sentient beings. What is the relationship between beings and us? They are the parents in our numerous lifetimes. A Dharmic life constitutes three dimensions of the past, present, and future. What you experience now is the result of past causes. The good or bad events in the future are determined by our present deeds. The connection between sentient beings and us is interdependent.

Buddhadharma teaches us these so we can realize, cherish, and dedicate life. Be sure to uphold gratefulness. Then, resonating power is formed. This power further inspires loving-kindness. A life full of gratefulness can generate a driving force. The vitality and force allow us to appreciate life more than ever.