Dharma Teachings

Buddhism of Our Time

Buddhism of Our Time - MasterHsinTaoAs time progresses, we must reflect on the relation between the modern age and Buddhism. Should Buddhism tag along with time or vice versa? Or, they are both the same? Being propagators of Buddhadharma, we must study and analyze this.

Buddhism of Our Time - MasterHsinTaoIn fact, the meaning of religion is to encourage kindness within everyone. To become a kind person, we must refrain from nonvirtues and engage in all virtues. Most importantly, Buddhism emphasizes the learning of karmic principle. One receives the corresponding fruit of the seeds sowed. This is an important idea that we must help others to understand that, "Kindness begets kindness and a bad penny always comes back". By affirming the understanding of the karmic principle, we can learn to manage ourselves for the welfare of others.

If everyone learns to manage their acts properly, our future lives will get better and become positive. Buddhadharma points out the natural principle of karma to sentient beings. That's why we must encourage others to be kind and engage in virtuous acts. As monastics, we must be the role model and a light of hope for others. We must refrain from nonvirtues and engage in all virtues thoroughly in every detail in life.

Buddhism of Our Time - MasterHsinTaoLastly, we should “purify one’s intentions”. Every one of us is troubled by grave habitual tendencies. How could we purify our intents? It is none other than “self-management”. The accumulated karmic genes of habitual tendencies from past lives are carried forward to this lifetime. Hence, we must apply the Three Higher Trainings (ethical disciplines, meditative stabilization, and wisdom) to transform ourselves. Through Chan practice, mantra recitation, the recitation of Amitabha's name, and sutra reading, we can purify our minds and expand our wisdom. Chan practice helps to stabilize our minds whereas ethical disciplines help monastics with their conduct. When we are guiding others, our training with ethical disciplines becomes crucial. Keep in mind that sentient beings are magnetized by the influence of sangha. Next, they’d learn to venerate the Three Jewels and study Buddhadharma.

That being said, the Buddhist teaching on “refrain from non-virtues, engage in all virtues, purify one's intention” plays an important role in the values and norms of society. This is a positive enhancement and transformation for mankind at large.