Dharma Teachings

Starting from Good Connections

Starting from Good Connections -MasterHsinTaoHow many conditions consist of our journey of life? There are families, class-mates, friends, business partners, and more. They make up our life activities. Among these causes and conditions, there are negative connections, positive ones, and neutral.  Strive to live optimally to the fullest. We need to know how to cherish this life and do what we need to do. We should serve and dedicate ourselves with all opportunities and conditions. That way, we’re creating a smoother and happier life for times to come.
Starting from Good Connections -MasterHsinTaoI have a story on making a positive connection to share. As Buddha is perfected in merits and wisdom, many beings are naturally happy and magnetized when seeing him. However, there are three “unattainables”: 

1.     Fixed karma that can’t be turned; 
2.     Without established connections, beings couldn’t be helped; 
3.     Unable to liberate all beings at once.
Once the Buddha saw an old lady and wanted to speak to her, but she was un-willing to interact. When Buddha stood in front of her, she’d close her eyes so not to look at him. Buddha tried to influence her to learn about Dharma, but he also realized the absence of a connection between them. Buddha was wondering who may have a connection with her. It turned out to be Mahakashyapa. Therefore, he sent Mahakashyapa to help the old lady.

Starting from Good Connections -MasterHsinTaoHow can Mahakashyapa influence and help this particular being? In one past lifetime, Mahakashyapa saw a dead rat lying on the roadside. He felt compassion for the rat so he dug a grave and buried it. The dead rat was a former life of this old lady.  This is how a positive connection between the two was made. The old lady was very thankful and felt an affinity with Mahakashyapa. He was then able to help her.
What is the purpose of Dharma practice? To part from suffering and acquire happiness. But how? One is through Chan practice, which enables us to stay away from the suffering of afflictions. Second is to be compassionate. Compassion brings immense benefits to oneself and others. Such benefits come forth with aspiration. Having aspiration, one would work for two accumulations of merit and wisdom. Working without compassion cannot lead to accumulation.
What are “accumulations”? They are the nourishment of life. Should our life be devoid of nourishment, we’d find it difficult with interpersonal relations. With-out recognizing the interconnectedness among all beings,  life wouldn’t be happy. Loving-kindness is the happiness of life. Without loving-kindness, there’s no happiness. If we can touch all beings with loving-kindness, we’d be the happiest person on Earth.
Learn the loving-kindness of Buddha cultivates our wisdom and compassion. Which our wisdom and compassion grow. By applying these two to all beings, we’d find happiness and felicity all the time. Take your time to train and cultivate yourself. Allow compassion and wisdom to fill this life of ours so to develop an infinite life of the future.