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Dharma Practice and Politics
It has been more than a year since Malaysians went to the polls on March 8, 2008. Yet the rollercoaster political developments continued unabated in the country. Despite the recession that is now threatening Malaysians from all walks of life, the political leaders seem unable to veer away from the lingering political issues. Someone recently commented that unlike the Malaysian Christians who are vocal on political and social issues, the Malaysian Buddhists tend to be silent and passive most of the time. Is it true that Buddhists are not bothered with politics but only with their own individual Dharma practice? As Buddhists as well as citizens of Malaysia, should we not be concerned with politics? It is true that the central focus of Buddhism is our personal spiritual development and transformation. But contemporary Buddhist leaders such as Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, and Burmese icon Aung San Suu Kui have all advocated individual practice with a response to social conditions. In his Peace is Every Step, Thich Nhat Hanh wrote that “Mindfulness must be engaged. Once there is seeing, there must be acting. We must be aware of the real problems of the world. With mindfulness, we will know what to do and what not to do to be of help.” In his autobiography Footprints in the Snow, Chan Master Sheng Yen (1930-2009) explained that the aim of Buddhism is to create a Pure Land on earth, a place free from vexation. Another contemporary Buddhist master, Master Hsing Yun, spoke of the same when espousing Humanistic Buddhism. So if we follow the advice of these great masters, Buddhists should not just focus on their own personal development but be involved to help create a peaceful society that is free of suffering. This is also the message of the Buddha when he said that his sole intention is to show the path out of suffering, and into happiness. The aim of Buddhism is not to create new political institutions or to establish political arrangements. It seeks to approach the problems of society by reforming the individuals in society through ethical values, greater humanism, improved welfare, and more equitable sharing of resources. There is a limit to what a political system can do to safeguard the happiness and prosperity of the people. No political system, no matter how ideal, can bring about peace and happiness as long as the people in the system are dominated by greed, hatred and delusion. So the aim of Buddhists is to firstly eliminate these three poisons within themselves, and to support political parties that share similar beliefs to create a peaceful society, but through non-violent, legal, and non-discriminative means. The Buddha himself is concerned about the well-being of society. In the Dasa Raja Dharma, he gave advice on ten ways how a good leader should govern the nation. Among others the leader should not be corrupt nor discriminate against the people. In the Cakkavatti Sihananda Sutta, leaders are told that immorality and crime arise from poverty. And in the Kutadanta Sutta, the Buddha suggested economic development instead of force to reduce crime. It is important therefore for Malaysian Buddhists to understand their role as citizens of the country. They should work closely with the political leaders from both the Government and the Opposition so as to share with them the time-tested principles of good governance as taught by the Buddha, and to engage them at all levels to help create a peaceful society among all Malaysians. In this way, they are combining their own Dharma practice by developing wisdom, and putting their compassion into action to create a better society for all. EH

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Sri Dhammananda Maha Nayaka Thera (1919-2006) 23 Features: Stones in the road: aversion by Rev.Contents april 2009 4 Lead Article: A mind of pure gold by Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo (1907-1961) 9 Teachings: Coping with a handful of leaves by Ven Aggacitta Bhikkhu 13 Teachings: Unwavering faith by Venerable Daehaeng Kun Sunim 23 Teachings: The secret of a happy married life by Venerable K. Kathleen McTigue 31 Teachings: The three marks of existence by Pema Chödrön 35 Teachings: Four Kinds of Prostration by Chan Master Sheng Yen 39 Teachings: Buddhism in a Nutshell: The Four Seals of Dharma by Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche 47 Face to Face: Planting the Dharma Seeds in Vietnam by Venerable Dhammananda Bhikkhuni 3!}!FBTUFSO!IPSJ[PO!BQSJM!311: .

this journal is non-sectarian in its views and approach. Selangor. Jalan SS 25/24. no responsibility can be accepted for the organizations.com> www.com or Benny Liow <Bennyliow@gmail.org. MAlAYSIA Tel : (603) 7804 9154 Fax: (603) 7804 9021 Email: ybam@streamyx. invite fresh perspectives and accept comments. products. We welcome constructive ideas.EasTern HorIzon radiating the light of dharma 31 In Memory of Chan Master Sheng Yen April 2009 Issue No. Taman Mayang. services. 28 (Published 3 times a year) eastern horizon publication board chairman Liau Kok Meng editor B. A non-profit making project. Liow <Bennyliow@gmail. We aim to inspire.com> printer Vivar Printing Sdn Bhd Cover Photographer: Jonathan Teh Sin Wei Cover Design: Geam Yong Koon eastern horizon is a publication of the Young Buddhist Association of Malaysia (YBAM).ybam. stimulate and share. 47301 Petaling Jaya. Please direct your comments or enquiries to: The Editor 46 53 60 MALAYSIAN BUDDHIST SONGBOOK DHARMA TUNES VOLUME 1 LAUNCHED Book Reviews Books In Brief eastern horizon 63 Dharma Aftermath Mitigating the Depression Threat by Rasika Quek Young Buddhist Association of Malaysia 9.my website : KDN PP 8683/11/2009 .com> sub-editors Tan Yang Wah / Dr. Ong Puay Liu 44 Rome Makes Dalai Lama an Honorary Citizen manager Mak Lai Cheng art director Geam Yong Koon publisher YBAM <ybam@streamyx. and other matter advertised. The opinions expressed in eastern horizon are those of the authors and in no way represent those of the editor or YBAM. Although every care is taken with advertising matter.

Rangoon.. he studied advanced Pāli and translation in Thai and Burmese under Sayādaw U Dhammananda at Wat Tamaoh. He continued to study the Pāḷi Tipiṭaka in Burma and researched on its interpretation and practice until his return to Malaysia in late 1994. But why did I not reveal it?” The Buddha explained that it was because such knowledge was not conducive to total liberation from the sufferings pertaining to the endless round of births and deaths. (Sisapavana Sutta.” answered the monks. Malaysia. 5!}!FBTUFSO!IPSJ[PO!BQSJM!311: .” “It is so indeed. from 1983 to 1984.” said the Blessed One. vast is the knowledge that I have directly realised but not revealed. monks? Which are more.. SN 56:31). Penang in 1978. “compared to the abundant leaves above the sisapa forest. “In the same way. Sayādaw U Āciṇṇa (Pa Auk Forest Monastery) and Sayādaw U Tejaniya (Shwe Oo Min Dhammasukha Forest Centre). monks. Thailand. hilly land on the outskirts of Taiping. Sayādaw U Tissara (Yankin Forest Monastery). Perak. in 1979. Burma. “Few are the leaves in your hand. notably Sayādaw U Paṇḍita (Paṇḍitārāma).Ufbdijoht !}!!Dpqjoh!xjui!b!iboegvm!pg!mfbwft Coping with a by Ven Aggacitta Bhikkhu Handful of Leaves Venerable Aggacitta is a Malaysian Theravāda Buddhist monk who was first ordained at Malaysian Buddhist Meditation Centre. “What do you think. and received his higher ordination (upasampadā) at Mahāsī Meditation Centre. Bhante. the leaves in my hand or those above the sisapa forest?” The Blessed One was staying near Kosambī in the sisapa forest when he picked up a handful of sisapa leaves and posed this question. He has trained under various teachers. a Theravāda monk training centre on a 10-acre undulating. he founded Sāsanārakkha Buddhist Sanctuary (SBS). Bhante Aggacitta has also initiated the highly successful Introduction to Monkhood Programme (renamed “Inspiration for Monkhood Programme” since IMP10) to sow the seeds of renunciation among local men who have the inclination for monkhood. Besides practising meditation. In 2000. Lampang.

Sun Lun.Ufbdijoht !}!!Dpqjoh!xjui!b!iboegvm!pg!mfbwft Centuries later. He is one of the more exceptional yogis that I have met. I had a One particular yogi had been regularly practising the Mahāsī method on his own for several months when he was talked into accepting this view. Mahāsī. etc. But since he changed to pure tranquillity (samatha) meditation. When he was practising general mindfulness. Than Lin Taw Ya. There are in fact. he could watch his thoughts and emotions even when he was at work. Kanni. discussion with a brother forest monk. then printed in several thousand pages. A long-time Mahāsī yogi asked. He was advised to stop noting predominant physical and mental phenomena ‘interrupting’ his meditation and to just concentrate on the breath at his nostrils. and now stored in several hundred megabytes of disc space. Having practised various methods of meditation. some yogis who had difficulty making headway in the Mahāsī method but found the Pa Auk method more suitable for their meditative progress. Yet there are others who assert that access or absorption concentration is an absolute prerequisite before a yogi can even start to mentally observe (vipassati) the grossest of ultimate reality—material phenomena. How can we relate the method of insight meditation (vipassanā) that we are so familiar with to the handful of sisapa leaves? Could it be a leaf. “How can you cope with so many methods?” I asked. “What do you think of the Goenka method? They even claim that they are doing vipassanā meditation. and that helped him in self-restraint. Hman Taung Forest Sayādaw U Candobhāsa. not to mention mental phenomena like thoughts. Later he told me that although mindfulness of the in-breath and out-breath (ānāpānassati) gave him some peace and calmness. BQSJM!311:!FBTUFSO!IPSJ[PO!}!6 . he was still very enthusiastic when I told him about the Pa Auk method. he found that his everyday mindfulness was becoming dull and blunt. Some of them have made such great advancement that they have become qualified teachers of that method. he had got wilder in his behaviour.” I was quite startled by his remark because it implied that only the Mahāsī method was vipassanā while others were not. the “handful of leaves” bequeathed to us was subsequently inscribed in three huge baskets of dried palm leaves. For three months he diligently tried to do so. emotions and defilements. perhaps just a cell? Or maybe even more minute than that? Not very long ago I was involved in an open discussion about various methods of vipassanā meditation. Several years ago when I was in Myanmar.g. Mogok. e.

doubtless. Finally he took him to see the Buddha. cardinal virtues of a devout student. but for the last 500 lifetimes! The poor novice was absolutely repelled by such a gross subject because he had been used to working with refined. “One must be unbiased. What is suitable for one may not be so for another. the new monk realised impermanence and he attained enlightenment when he heard the Buddha’s words. with the hand. he progressively attained and mastered the four states of meditative concentration (jhāna) in a single sitting. beautiful objects of gold. Realising that a pleasant meditation subject would be suitable for him. gratitude and loyalty to one’s teacher are. the Buddha perceived that this new monk had been born in a goldsmith’s family not only in this existence. Observing that he was still in his robust youth. Such are the words of a true Truth Seeker. The monk’s eyes lit up with pleasure when he saw the beautiful golden lotus in the Buddha’s hand. Nibbāna. Ven Sāriputta. take this to the fringe of the monastery. onepointedness of mind eluded him. with all his intelligence and wisdom. preached by the Buddha (Dhammapada #285) Dogmatic Theravāda meditators should be asked. Ven Sāriputta. could not figure out what was wrong. Faith in. He was it seems. After four months of coaching and persistent striving. He reached out for it and his mind was immediately absorbed in the golden lotus. both teacher and student were exhausted. but its message reverberates through the Tipiṭaka and its exegetical literature as well as among yogis of all traditions and ages. objective and believing when practising under a competent master. to coin a new term) and snubbed for having the guts to try another alternative that may very well prove to be more suitable than the Dhamma family’s usual method of practice? There is a great deal of subjectivity involved in walking the path to liberation. But should a Dhamma sibling be accused of unfaithfulness (or ‘spiritual adultery’. “Under which of the 40 objects of meditation described 7!}!FBTUFSO!IPSJ[PO!BQSJM!311: . Just develop the path to peace. gave him the meditation on loathsomeness of the body (asubha) to subdue lustful thoughts that he could be prone to. a goldsmith’s son. Throughout the three-month rainy season retreat (vassa). Like the autumnal lotus. At that moment. It was a disastrous diagnosis.” he stressed. Most of us would be quite familiar with the story of Ven Sāriputta’s newly ordained student (found in the Commentary on the Dhammapada verse #285) who struggled in vain with an unsuitable meditation subject until the Buddha came to the rescue. It was obvious why his mind could not concentrate on the asubha meditation.” replied Sayādaw. His mind simply did not want to concentrate on the loathsome subject. erect it on a heap of sand and meditate on it. The Buddha then made the lotus wilt and fade in front of him.” he said. Following the Buddha’s instructions. which goes to prove that even liberated persons who have eradicated all mental defilements (arahantā) are human enough to err. “Here. “One man’s meat is another man’s poison” may be a mundane English saying. the Buddha created a huge golden lotus with drops of water dripping from its petals and stalk. Only then can one reap the most benefits. Through his psychic insight into others’ inclinations and proclivities.Ufbdijoht !}!!Dpqjoh!xjui!b!iboegvm!pg!mfbwft “Whenever I start to learn a new method I make sure that I completely let go of any other techniques I have learnt. the Buddha’s foremost disciple in great wisdom. projected through psychic power from afar: Pluck off one’s attachment.

we may have to admit that we have inferior pāramī credentials.’ asubha enthusiasts would insist. what do I conclude? Each may start differently. but eventually they all end up doing the same thing—observing the arising and passing away of mental and material phenomena. With all humility. Ven Rāhula. The scriptures are full of ambiguities like that. castes. But not all of them were meditating on the same type of meditation. so they could break all the rules and still attain enlightenment.Ufbdijoht !}!!Dpqjoh!xjui!b!iboegvm!pg!mfbwft in the Visuddhimagga (The Path of Purification—a Theravāda manual on meditation) can this golden lotus be classified? Can it be ascertained that he went through the classical 16 stages of insight knowledge? Did he directly perceive the cause-and-effect connection of his past lives before he qualified to attain the path and fruition (maggaphala) of enlightenment? It can be argued that individuals during the Buddha’s time had superior perfections of spiritual virtues (pāramī). Others might be practising more than just one type of meditation. Ven Ānanda’s case. of course. personal experience—that matters most. all of them lure [their students] according to their respective inclinations. This is only one example. “They’re all so eloquent and convincing. ‘He must have been contemplating one of the thirtytwo parts of the body.” he continued. Ashin Phayah (Burmese word roughly meaning ‘Venerable’). Consider for For instance. we don’t really know whom to believe or not to believe. at one time was given six different subjects of meditation: BQSJM!311:!FBTUFSO!IPSJ[PO!}!8 . The scriptures say that he attained total liberation from all defilements (arahatta) while he was practising mindfulness established in respect of the body (kāyagatāsati). “I tell you. Teachers from the Mahāsī tradition would of course assert that he was noting the movements of his body as he was lying down. could prescribe a wrong subject? example. The clarity and subtlety of the perception.” disclosed Hman Taung Forest Sayādaw. the Buddha’s wisest disciple. and yet another contemplating the four great elements. the Buddha’s son. One might be practising development of loving-kindness (mettābhāvanā). monks of different clans. whereas lesser mortals like us shall have to trudge every inch of the way just to get a glimpse of Nibbāna. living in harmony and in accordance with the Doctrine and Discipline (DhammaVinaya). None of them can be proven wrong because the term ‘kāyagatāsati’ can refer to any of those meditations. “After trying out so many different methods. another ānāpānassati. depends on the strength and intensity of one’s concentration. mind you. Teachers who favour ānāpānassati would instead suggest that he was observing his breath at that time. districts and countries stayed and meditated together in one monastery. In the end. But who on earth has the audacity to determine which method is best for an individual when even Ven Sāriputta. it’s the actual practice—the direct.” During the Buddha’s time.

If only we are discreet enough when commenting on others’ meditative experiences that are beyond our ken. climate. asubha. If only we are tolerant and understanding enough to encourage our Dhamma siblings to try another path that is different from ours. The Visuddhimagga and other commentaries also discuss at length the subject of suitability. If only we know how to cope with just a handful of variegated leaves. If only we have enough unconditional love to rejoice in the success achieved through the Pa Auk method by a long-time Mahāsī yogi. strength. (Mahārāhulovāda Sutta. As the Omniscient One was still alive. I’ve met and heard of many yogis who got on the right footing only after they had tried other methods without much success. not only confined to meditation subjects. we Theravādins can no longer afford to be further decimated by our petty dogmatic differences. food. respect and support within our own organisation or society even though we may be practising different methods of meditation? The handful of leaves given to us by the Buddha may be insignificant compared to the bountiful leaves of knowledge and information available to us today. freedom from the hindrances (nīvaraṇā) and deepening of insight. and unity in diversity are essential virtues that will help to nurture our practice while we walk on the spiritual path together. so versatile. and even among the Malaysian Buddhist community. understanding and respect. and so effective—if only we allow ourselves the freedom to choose and experiment. In my association with yogis and meditation teachers of various traditions. what should we do? Would it be to anyone’s advantage to ostracise him or her out of loyalty to the good old teacher or to the Dhamma family’s usual method of practice? Why can’t we maintain the spirit of liberality prevalent during the Buddha’s time? Even the venerables Sāriputta. But the wonder of that little handful is that it can be so varied. e. so readily customised. As a minority in a Muslim country. between the Mahāsī. Starting off on the spiritual path on the wrong foot could have far-reaching consequences. 9!}!FBTUFSO!IPSJ[PO!BQSJM!311: . posture. To react emotionally or behave judgmentally towards our Dhamma siblings who have found their mecca in the ‘opposite camp’ may well cause an obstruction to their spiritual progress and well-being. Goenka and Pa Auk traditions? Why can’t we live in harmony and with mutual understanding. unity. lodging and Dhamma talk as well. Moggallāna and Ānanda would send their students to one another for training. Mutual support. If we know that a Dhamma sibling has discovered a new method of practice different from ours that is conducive to clarity of mind. All this points to the fact that there is a great deal of subjectivity involved in the practice for liberation. and direction as the privileged heirs of our Master’s handful of leaves. impermanence and ānāpānassati. It may also undermine our own precious fraternity. If only we are humble enough to admit the limitations of our knowledge and experience. given without a closed fist.Ufbdijoht !}!!Dpqjoh!xjui!b!iboegvm!pg!mfbwft thirty-two parts of the body. Why don’t we hear of student exchange programs.g. EH First published as a free booklet in 2004 by Sāsanārakkha Buddhist Sanctuary. but covering other areas such as temperament. MN 62). Imagine what could have happened to the ex-goldsmith monk if the Buddha had not intervened. Our story of Ven Sāriputta’s student is just one of the many cases where monks who were given inappropriate meditation subjects by their teachers struggled in vain until the Buddha came to the rescue. monks were prescribed the meditation subjects most suitable for each individual. four divine abodes. five elements. opinionated assertions and partisan loyalties.

soft and malleable. a pure mind — even if we can make it pure for only a little while — can give results way in excess of its size. A pure mind can be put to every sort of use in line with your aspirations in just the same way. it first has to be melted down and its impurities — the various adulterations — removed completely. and it will be soft and malleable enough for you to form it into any shape at all. which is adulterated with various preoccupations. even though they may be small.Mfbe!Bsujdmf !}!!B!njoe!pg!qvsf!hpme a mind of pure Gold by Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo (1907-1961) Phra Ajaan Lee Dhammadharo (1907. Or you might compare a pure mind to genuine beeswax. A pure mind can pour around the world without getting snagged and can roll all around itself. is like gold. as a heavenly being. becoming a thing of supreme power and usefulness. The talk was delivered in July 1958. and its impurities — its various defilements — completely removed. This is why the Buddha taught that every sort of achievement depends completely on the power of the mind. At best. This is a collection of 16 Talks on Buddhism and Meditation by Ajahn Lee. even a bushel of it wouldn’t be able to buy a thing. translated by Ajahn Thanissaro. People who are really intent on purifying the mind may even lift themselves over and beyond the world. This is what is meant by a mind that is Dhamma. like a bead of water on a lotus leaf. His life was short but eventful. can give rise to enormous results. BQSJM!311:!FBTUFSO!IPSJ[PO!}!: . like genuine gold malleable enough to be melted and poured into anything at all. A pure mind. Our mind. An impure mind is like gold adulterated with various minerals that will make it hard and unmalleable. just as a piece of genuine paper money — a tiny little slip of paper with the state seal — can be put to use in all sorts of ways. they may make it back only as human beings. the Buddha said.1961) or Phra Suddhidhammaransi Gambhiramedhacariya was one of the foremost teachers in the Thai forest ascetic tradition of meditation that was founded at the turn of the 20th century by Phra Ajaan Sao Kantasilo and Phra Ajaan Mun Bhuridatto. which will roll around without seeping into the leaf. A mind adulterated with bad preoccupations will have to go to a bad bourn. Known for his skill as a teacher and his mastery of supernatural powers. Things that are genuine or pure. will go above and beyond all this. first has to be put into shape. Only then will it be genuine gold. The mind. No matter how large or small a lump it may be. though. But if it’s newsprint. which doesn’t need fire in order to melt. he was the first to bring the ascetic tradition out of the forests of the Mekhong basin and into the mainstream of Thai society in central Thailand. A mind adulterated with good preoccupations is bound for a good bourn. Before it can be put to use in any way. Only then will it be a pure mind. So we’re taught that people whose minds aren’t pure — regardless of whether they’ve given donations or observed precepts by the tens or hundreds of thousands — may not escape going to hell. all it needs is a little sunlight or just the warmth of your hand. In the same way.

Then we can consider further that all these things fall under the truths of the world. We’ve been shoring up this body ever since we were little and red so that it will stay with us. Keep trying to chase away its various preoccupations until they’re completely gone. *** A person who lets the mind be defiled is like someone who lets his children play in the mud: They’re bound to cause hardships for their parents. How is it heavy? It’s big. and let go of what’s in the mind. Our hands get so small that we have to give them a one-meter extension called a ‘cane. we should incline our hearts toward being trained in the Dhamma. They make us misconstrue everything. 20. Weighty. which is a burden to the heart. it’s no different from the ordinary water we drink. we have to give rise to goodness in our minds by letting go of physical and mental phenomena. the body. Caga: Relinquish what’s outside. What’s good leaves us completely. you should focus on watching only your mind.e. Don’t let your attention go leaking out your ears. This is why the Buddha taught. Enormous. and not only that. for instance.. and not-self. What does stay is nothing more than scraps. From that point on. If the mind is murky. And when we’re light in this way.’ The body is heavier than rock. tongue. creating stress and pain. When we see this. So we should train our hearts to be adults in order to outgrow our defilements and corruptions. keeping us from being still and at peace. That is. So we should develop what’s 21!}!FBTUFSO!IPSJ[PO!BQSJM!311: . i. Actually. nose. stressful. causing us to waver.’ Our back gets crooked — and with the body sure to run down like this. and yet never be full for a second. i. its various preoccupations that follow along with the world.Mfbe!Bsujdmf FI !}!!Ufbdijoht !}!!B!njoe!pg!qvsf!hpme For this reason. eyes. Don’t go thinking that it’ll stay. who make sugar water with various colors for us to drink at 10. *** Just as we have to give rise to goodness in our actions. bhara have pañcak-khandha: ‘The five khandhas are truly a burden. because they’re good only from age 20 to 40. This is inconstancy. they’re inconstant. they’re bound to cause hardships for themselves. rice by the ton. we’ll be light in body and mind. our mouth gets smaller and smaller. The part that’s left loads us down. we can be at our ease. make it clear. So we’re taught to let go. or body. because they have no livelihood. If we can let go of these things. or 30 cents a glass. There are people. leaving only the genuine gold: a pure mind. You have to keep finding things to stuff in it all the time. It’s like waves that keep rising and falling. what are we going to want out of it? It’s enough to make you heartsick. but we have it all misconstrued and think that it’s something special — so we’ll come back to spend more money to drink it again. We shouldn’t let ourselves get tied up in worldly affairs. our eyes get so small we can scarcely open them. no basis for setting themselves up in life. Its mouth can eat cattle by the herd.e.. Whatever we say doesn’t get past our lips. Set your heart on doing it right now. which are a heavy load. and yet it won’t stay. just as when we let ourselves get duped into spending our money.

things start getting shorter and shorter. don’t collide with the heart. and so forth. we’re still children. for no one will be able to pull the wool over our eyes. it gradually gives rise to discernment. sometimes other people do something. We can go wherever we like. the theme of our meditation. like a child who studies math without playing truant or thinking only of fun and games. When the mind is still. people really despise it. The mind will give rise to a brilliant radiance — termed dhammo pajjoto. So we shouldn’t let the heart settle on things that aren’t good for it. Whatever will benefit us. which is why we’re said to be children. Our minds are a mess of defilements. are still children. When we can see things clearly in this way. This is being infantile.Mfbe!Bsujdmf !}!!B!njoe!pg!qvsf!hpme good and becoming within ourselves. That’s when we’ll begin to enter adulthood. EH BQSJM!311:!FBTUFSO!IPSJ[PO!}!22 . we’re headed for adulthood. The wick is the breath. and not-self — appearing in our heart. If we give our children free rein to go playing. stressful. The good things are hard to latch onto. so we’re taught not to be complacent. we shouldn’t let our hearts go lurking about in shoddy or unwise preoccupations. ears. nose. Whatever will give rise to knowledge. making sure that nothing disturbs the flame — is bound to grow bright. we’ll see the absolute truth — that all our preoccupations are inconstant. that’s when we’re said to have grown up. If a poor person wanders shiftlessly about. People in this world — even though they may be 80 years old — if they stay sunk in worldly matters. just as a kerosene lantern we keep looking after — adding kerosene. nobody pays any mind. In other words. Otherwise. we’ll be able to let go of our various preoccupations. When we reach this point. We have to practice tranquillity meditation to make the mind still. relinquishment (caga) and virtue (sila) are two things we should foster in our hearts so that we can begin to grow up. but if a rich person behaves that way. Such a child is sure to have a high level of knowledge in the future. like the wick of a kerosene lantern that we keep fed with fuel and whose burnt parts we keep scraping away. Once we’ve reached the middle of life. and yet we let it get stuck in our hearts. The effort we make is like the kerosene. the light of the Dhamma — and we’ll attain to the transcendency of the mind. Sometimes they hang around doing nothing at all and yet come back with other people’s belongings in their pockets. and go beyond being children. In other words. the bad are easy. In other words. Sometimes there are both good and bad things. they’ll for the most part bring us nothing but trouble. Develop goodness into a Noble Treasure. The mind will become bright and dazzling.. making sure that the various preoccupations coming in by way of the eyes.. unfold. Relinquishment and virtue: Once we give rise to these things. we should take an interest in. If liberating insight arises. we should stir ourselves to pursue. We keep looking after the mind. So we should consider things carefully.

and had continued to resist the Japanese military occupation of Korea. each one of us was already endowed with everything we need. work together. and intensely wanted to know the answers to these. his eldest daughter. in about 1933. complete. However. covering herself with leaves to stay warm. Juingong. and entrust it with everything that confronts you. Instead they search outside of themselves for something that will make them feel happy. and the dark night had gradually become comfortable and beautiful. she stayed away from the family’s hut as much as possible in order to avoid her father. Confused and unable to understand why this was happening. and satisfied. Sunim often wondered who had formed her and why people had to suffer from hunger and disease.Ufbdijoht !}!!Voxbwfsjoh!gbjui Seon Master Venerable Daehaeng Kun Sunim Born in 1927 on the first day of the lunar New Year. and share all things together. Don’t blame others for the things that happen in your life.” 23!}!FBTUFSO!IPSJ[PO!BQSJM!311: . The first thing that Daehaeng Kun Sunim teaches people is that when we were born into this world. The family escaped across the Han River with only the clothes they were wearing. for some reason he poured out all of his anger and frustration onto Sunim. the Japanese came after him. All things constantly change every instant. She often slept alone in the forest. the same life. she noticed that the fear she had felt at being out in the mountains at night had faded. but the problem is that people don’t rely upon it. Seeing the pitiful situation of his family and country. inherent mind. They confiscated all of his remaining lands and property. know that everything is your teacher. For a long time all they had to eat was what they could beg or what was left in the fields after the harvest. By entrusting everything to your foundation. But ignoring the splendor of our inherent nature and looking for something separate from ourselves only makes people feel worse. the world outside of the forest seemed to be filled with suffering. After about two years of such hunger and cold. Also know that all beings share the same mind. as if it had never existed. and he fled his house with his wife and children minutes ahead of the Japanese secret police. sometimes called Buddha-nature. There in the mountains south of Seoul they built a dugout hut. so there is nothing to cling to. Although he was kind and generous with other people. the same body. but when Sunim was six years old. including all abilities and all understanding. We all have this fundamental nature. or Juingong. Daehaeng Kun Sunim teaches people to “Believe in your foundation. Their life of wealth and privilege was gone. Then go forward while observing and experimenting with what you experience. In order to realize and awaken to our inherent nature. Sunim’s father was filled with despair. and interpret things positively. every aspect of your daily life can become part of your practice. Why did people suffer? Who am I? What am I? What made me? She concentrated on these questions more and more. Venerable Daehaeng Kun Sunim’s family was originally quite well-off. For years he had evaded arrest. While spending her nights in the forest. Her father had been an army officer under the last king of Korea.

Keep practicing diligently. and attain the ability to live your life with wisdom and compassion. BQSJM!311:!FBTUFSO!IPSJ[PO!}!24 . You may have read many books or listened to many teachings. and even let go of the thought that you have to cultivate mind diligently . often thinking. So the blank paper means the wisdom of the whole. and although you may be able to quote or use the things you’ve learned.just maintain steady. and the words represent the application of this wisdom. is inherently endowed with everything. Once you are able to truly read the words. Knowing and using the wisdom of Hanmaum is so wonderful! Without experiencing this. how could you hope to become a Buddha? You should let go of the idea that some mental state is hindering you.just maintain steady. This karmic chance to learn about mind is something to be deeply grateful for. and even let go of the thought that you have to cultivate mind diligently . unwavering faith in your Buddha nature or Juingong. unwavering faith in your Buddha nature or Juingong. Even when you read a Sutra. However. your fundamental mind. “Why isn’t this working? I was told that if I entrusted everything.Ufbdijoht !}!!Voxbwfsjoh!gbjui Unwavering Faith by Venerable Daehaeng Kun Sunim Being able to learn how mind works is such a precious and rare opportunity. Keep practicing and experimenting with how mind works until you thoroughly grasp it and can apply it in your daily life. Hanmaum. you will be able to see all of the wisdom and truth of the entire universe contained within even a single word. Because Juingong. all you have to do is have faith in it. ultimately all of those things are futile. only when you are able to understand the blank paper. you will be able to understand the true meaning of the words You should let go of the idea that some mental state is hindering you. some of you overstrain yourself desperately trying to cultivate mind.

if we desperately need something. my mind sends out and takes in everything!” You have to experiment with and experience these truths to the point where you completely understand them and can freely and naturally apply them to whatever circumstances arise. exist. EH When we are thirsty. Let’s talk about this next time. Even if the sky is falling.” without even trying to experience or feel the way mind works? Instead of trying to experience this for themselves. and just live in whatever situation confronts me. why haven’t they improved? Juingong. “A person can die only once. not twice. people tend to fret about it. and their lives turn out okay. then you have already begun to perceive Juingong as something separate from yourself. and to their clinging. but whose fault is this? I keep teaching people about the importance of letting go of attachments. if it begins to think. you should let go of it again. an entire ocean should be contained within that teardrop. but many people aren’t doing this. Tripped up by your own thoughts. However. It’s kind of foolish. There are some people who live thinking. then not only will you be able to obtain true freedom. but still they don’t let go of them. you don’t make progress in your practice.” to their greed. you should let go of it again. Regardless of whether we are enlightened or unenlightened. “How can I walk so well without all these legs tripping over each other?” at that instant its legs become tangled up and unable to move. “I let it go. our foundation naturally provides a solution.” People like this are much better off. don’t waste your tears over things like that. This way of thinking is not letting go. when it arises within you again. people these days tend to let themselves fall in love too easily and then end up crying and wailing. I will remain calm and deal with whatever arises. 25!}!FBTUFSO!IPSJ[PO!BQSJM!311: . Why do some people say. “Who would have thought that my inherent nature is intrinsically pure?! Who would have thought that mind is inherently endowed with everything! Who would have thought that because I exist. we just go and get a drink of water. as well as how to let go of attachments. everything I need is completely provided! Who would have thought that because I [This Dharma talk was given by Daehaeng Kun Sunim on September 17. when it arises within you again. The same may be said of you. isn’t it? If you are begging Juingong for help. “Although I have let go of my problems and entrusted them to Juingong. don’t we? In our daily lives. but nothing has changed. If you can live your life with this kind of wisdom. Even after you have let go of something once. However. But why isn’t it working for me?” If you overstrain yourself like this. But the person who is full of worries and anxieties often thinks. I can’t do it. To whom would you beg? Your mind already knows that things aren’t going well. Even after you have let go of something once. 1989. however bad. “This is too difficult. Who else could you ask for help? As the Patriarch Hui-neng said. but also the universe will entrust the key to you. We are endowed with such wonderful capabilities! We are complete just as we are! You are able to send out and take in whatever is needed.] For example. please help me!” and so their life becomes worse off. people devote their energy to their thoughts of “I. instead of releasing it again.Ufbdijoht !}!!Voxbwfsjoh!gbjui it would go well. it’s hard to move forward.” You have to let go of even the thought that it didn’t work. this ability is inherent within all of us. If you shed even a single tear. As centipede walks along. thinking.

At age twenty-two he received higher ordination. eventually receiving a Master of Arts degree in Indian Philosophy and a Doctor of Literature degree from the Benares Hindu University. welfare. Buddhism does not regard marriage as a religious duty nor as a sacrament that is ordained in heaven. Practically all living things come into being as a result of sex life. BQSJM!311:!FBTUFSO!IPSJ[PO!}!26 . He wrote more than 60 books (in English) which have been widely distributed worldwide and translated into more than a dozen languages. In 1952 he traveled to Malaysia as a Buddhist missionary. others say that it is recorded in hell also! Marriage is basically a personal and social obligation.Ufbdijoht !}!!Uif!tfdsfu!pg!b!ibqqz!nbssjfe!mjgf the a happy married life by Venerable K. Hindi. Nobody in this world would say that marriage is bad and there is no religion which is against marriage. Man and woman must have freedom either to get married or to remain single. at least until they have grown up. and religious needs of local villagers. Sri Dhammananda Maha Nayaka Thera (1919-2006) secret of The late Venerable Dhammananda was born in Sri Lanka. the institution of marriage has come about so that society guarantees the perpetuation of the human species and also ensures that the young would be cared for. marriage is neither holy nor unholy. which tended to the educational. This is based on the argument that children born through the pleasure of sex must be the responsibility of the partners involved. And marriage ensures that this responsibility is upheld and carried out. He pursued scholarly studies in Sanskrit. This does not mean that Buddhism is against marriage. where he established the Sudharma Buddhist Institute. and Buddhist Philosophy at universities in Sri Lanka and India. Pali. it is not compulsory. A good marriage should grow and develop gradually from understanding and not impulse. He then returned to Sri Lanka. Among human beings. from true loyalty and not just sheer indulgence. A cynic has said that while some people believe that marriage is planned in heaven. ~ Introduction ~ From the Buddhist point of view. He was the most well-known missionary monk in Malaysia when he was alive and was spiritual advisor to most Buddhist groups in the country. and in 1962 founded the Buddhist Missionary Society to help disseminate the Buddha’s teachings across Malaysia and beyond. and ordained as a novice monk at the age of twelve.

each manifesting a supportive and appreciative recognition of the other’s skill in caring and providing for a family. The Buddha has said. both are fortunate indeed. marriage is a partnership of equality. If people develop only their carnal or selfish love towards each other. and these are variously expressed as motherly love. the Buddha gave various kinds of advice for married couples and for those who are contemplating marriage. gentleness. In Buddhism. from true loyalty and not just sheer indulgence. In a true love relationship. giving strength and moral courage to one another. That type of love is animal love or lust. but how much one can give. “If a man can find a suitable and understanding wife and a woman can find a suitable and understanding husband. selfless love. emotional love. The institution of marriage provides a fine basis for the development of culture. In His discourses. one should not ask how much one can get. Every relationship is a whole-hearted commitment to support and to protect others in a group or community. generosity. that type of love cannot last long. a delightful association of two individuals There must be no thought of either man or woman being superior — each is complementary to the other. Marriage plays a very important part in this strong web of relationships of giving support and protection. calm and dedication. each partner develops a complementary role. generosity. marriage is a partnership of equality. When beauty. In marriage. selfish love.Ufbdijoht !}!!Uif!tfdsfu!pg!b!ibqqz!nbssjfe!mjgf A society grows through a network of relationships which are mutually inter-twined and inter-dependent. sexual love.” ~ The Nature of Love and Pleasure ~ Love There are different kinds of love. brotherly love. sensual love. a husband who considers only the physical aspects of love may think of acquiring another young one. If a man 27!}!FBTUFSO!IPSJ[PO!BQSJM!311: . One should not neglect the advice given by the Enlightened Teacher if one really wants to lead a happy married life. calm and dedication. and universal love. to be nurtured and to be free from loneliness. A good marriage should grow and develop gradually from understanding and not impulse. one can find all the necessary advice which can help one to lead a happy married life. There must be no thought of either man or woman being superior — each is complementary to the other. gentleness. complexion and youth start to fade away. deprivation and fear.

Those who have become slaves to sex would only ruin love and humanity in marriage. a woman must cease to consider herself as the object of a man’s lust. and hence is not conducive to spiritual development. harmony and understanding in a relationship between human beings. sex is just an instinctive drive necessary for procreation. there is no other object that can please all the five senses at the same time beside the male and female figures. he will not lay emphasis only on the external beauty and physical attractiveness of his partner. we notice that among all the things which provide pleasure. Sex Sex by itself is not “evil. poor or sick. she should dress so that her dignity is enhanced. both love and sex are inseparable. Apart from that. (Gandhi) Love may indeed be a product of sex. Sex is not the most important ingredient for happiness in a married life. In the ideal situation. Duties and responsibilities are important ingredients to maintain unity. For animals. rain and sun. . even if he is her husband. She must refuse to adorn herself simply to please a man. . but the reverse is likewise true: sex is an expression of love. . When we observe very carefully. The remedy is more in her hand than in a man’s. It is concupiscence. to have a dozen Romeos. Duties and responsibilities are important ingredients to maintain unity. woman and man give each other worldly pleasure. She loves adventure . sex is the physical culmination of a deeply satisfying emotional relationship. The Buddha’s Explanation We can study the Buddha’s teaching regarding the feelings that man and woman have for each other. where both partners give and take equally. The beauty and attractiveness of his partner should be in his heart and mind. it just forgets about love.” but after having experienced sex. When an animal wants to have sex. and she does not become a sex symbol. not in what he sees. At the same time the main attraction for the woman is the figure of a man. but to attract attention. . She improves upon nature by painting herself and looking extraordinary. The Buddha says that he had never seen any object in this world which attracts man’s attention more than the figure of a woman. BQSJM!311:!FBTUFSO!IPSJ[PO!}!28 . In the ideally happy married life. But a human being has much more to offer in the concept of love.Ufbdijoht !}!!Uif!tfdsfu!pg!b!ibqqz!nbssjfe!mjgf really develops love as an expression of human concern for another being. it shows its “love. The modern girl dresses not to protect herself from wind. Likewise. If she wants to be an equal partner with a man. the wife who follows Buddhist teachings will never neglect her husband even though he has become old. “I have a fear that the modern girl loves to be Juliet. harmony and understanding in a relationship between human beings. It means that by nature.” — Gandhi The portrayal of love by commercial groups through the mass media in what we call “western” culture is not “real” love. Marriage for the satisfaction of the sexual appetite is no marriage. They cannot gain happiness of this kind from any other object.” although the temptation and craving for it invariably disturbs the peace aof mind.

We may have enjoyed brief moments of pleasure. what do we gain from attachment to this life? Only more worries. They only distract us from seeing the fleeting nature and uncertainty of existence and thereby delay our being able to perceive the true nature of the self. Suffering and worldly enjoyment are both the outcome of craving. When one ceases to crave for sensual pleasure and does not seek to find physical comfort in the company of others. the most lousy slut in a dark bar can look like a Venus then. it is the biological foundation between a man and a woman. Life is indeed strange. If we try to control and suppress our emotions by adopting unrealistic tactics we create disturbances in our mind and in our physical body. they plan and think out ways and means to experience some form of pleasure. But the powerful urges of sex drive a young person headlong into blind acts and one cannot trust his feelings too much. attachment and emotion. Without abusing or misusing this passion. it’s heavenly. Therefore we must know how to handle and control our human passion. ~ The Reality of Married Life ~ 29!}!FBTUFSO!IPSJ[PO!BQSJM!311: . love and sex get all inter-twined and mixed up. If you have the right mate. By the very nature of existence. one will never be completely satisfied with whatever pleasure one experiences and the resultant craving in turn only creates more anxieties and worries. we must try to find out what the real purpose of our lives is. they are very keen to satisfy all the five senses. When we think deeply about it. like the enjoyment of music. it is much easier to get married than unmarried. but in the final analysis. This is especially true if one drinks and get befuddled. sex and married life. the need for marriage does not arise. and her charms become irresistible. It is not just an infatuation of the moment. Robinson in his book Of Suchness gives the following advice on love. Somehow. you live in a twenty-four-hour daily hell that clings constantly to you. Love is much more than sex though. Almost every day. it can be one of the most bitter things in life. poetry. one will never be completely satisfied with whatever pleasure one experiences and the resultant craving in turn only creates more anxieties and worries.Ufbdijoht !}!!Uif!tfdsfu!pg!b!ibqqz!nbssjfe!mjgf The ancient Greeks knew this when they said that originally man and woman were one. Pleasure Young people by nature like to indulge in worldly pleasures which can include both good and bad things. we can tame our desires through proper understanding. John J. disappointments and frustrations. “Be careful and discreet. good food. we can understand that life is nothing but a dream. dress and similar pursuits do no harm to the body. dance. In the end. when you find the right one. They were separated and the two parts that were divided are constantly seeking to be re-united as man and woman.” By the very nature of existence. The faculties and senses of young people are very fresh and alert. but if not. Good things. you know it in your heart.

Secrets create suspicion. Very seldom do we hear stories about a happy marriage. They must have the strong will power to reduce their burdens and misunderstandings. Young people reading romantic novels and seeing romantic films often conclude that marriage is a bed of roses. Discussing mutual problems will give them confidence to live together with better understanding. happy and interesting if there is someone who is willing to share another’s burden. suspicion leads to jealously. they can console each other and minimize their grievances. they will have to face problems and responsibilities that they had never expected or experienced hitherto. Marriage and problems are interrelated and people must remember that when they are getting married. If a couple can share pain and pleasure in their day-to-day life. Man and woman need the comfort of each other when facing problems and difficulties. marriage is not as sweet as one thinks. Marriage is a blessing but many people make it a curse due to lack of understanding. People often think that it is a duty to get married and that marriage is a very important event in their lives. The feelings of insecurity and unrest will disappear and life will be more meaningful. Both husband and wife should show implicit trust for one another and try not to have secrets between them. for the blind wife cannot see the faults of the husband and a deaf husband cannot hear the nagging of his wife. BQSJM!311:!FBTUFSO!IPSJ[PO!}!2: . Thus. Marital problems prompted a cynic to say that there can only be a peaceful married life if the marriage is between a blind wife and a deaf husband. jealousy generates anger. There will be a lot of painful. suicide or even murder. anger causes enmity and enmity may result in separation. a couple has to harmonize their lives by minimizing whatever differences they may have between them. Sharing and Trust One of the major causes of marital problems is suspicion and mistrust. Unfortunately. they will have to face problems and responsibilities that they had never expected or experienced hitherto.Ufbdijoht !}!!Uif!tfdsfu!pg!b!ibqqz!nbssjfe!mjgf Problems Almost every day we hear people complaining about their marriages. However. miserable experiences that they will have to face. in order to ensure a successful marriage. the wife or husband should not expect to experience only pleasure. Marriage and problems are interrelated and people must remember that when they are getting married.

happy and interesting if there is someone who is willing to share another’s burden. much to the disappointment of both parties. Such a situation aptly bears out the saying that “when poverty knocks at the door. each will try to highlight his or her sterling qualities to the other. so to speak. if one has the basic necessities of life provided through a secure job and careful planning. the true nature of each other’s character will be revealed. the proverbial veil that had so far been concealing the innermost feelings of each partner is removed to expose the true nature of both partners.” However. Without it. The present world is a materialistic world and in order to meet your material needs. they tend to show only the best aspects of their nature and character to each other in order to project a good impression of themselves. Love is said to be blind and hence people in love tend to become completely oblivious of the darker side of each other’s natures. so as not to jeopardize their chances of winning each other. Then. In practice. Material Needs Love by itself does not subsist on fresh air and sunshine alone. Any personal shortcomings are discreetly swept under the carpet. or her nature for fear of losing the other.” This does not mean that one must be rich to make a marriage work. as the initial romantic mood wears off. love flies through the window. Both partners must understand the value of contentment. However. many unnecessary anxieties can be removed from a marriage. Each lover will not disclose the darker side of his Man and woman need the comfort of each other when facing problems and difficulties. 31!}!FBTUFSO!IPSJ[PO!BQSJM!311: . The feelings of insecurity and unrest will disappear and life will be more meaningful. The discomfort of poverty can be averted if there is complete understanding between the couple. and being so engrossed in love. or that they can live with these faults. proper financing and budgeting is essential. Both must treat all problems as “our problems” and share all the “ups” and “downs” in the true spirit of a long-standing life partnership. that “love will conquer all. they tend to accept each other at “face value” only.Ufbdijoht !}!!Uif!tfdsfu!pg!b!ibqqz!nbssjfe!mjgf Blinded by Emotions When two people are in love. It is then that disillusion sets in. after marriage. no family can live comfortably. People in love also tend to ignore their partner’s faults thinking that they will be able to correct them after marriage.

and to be useful and cooperative at all times in their new homes. What was true during the time of Buddha still remains true today. it is but natural that problems would arise. The act of marriage itself implies that a person is still more attached to the physical world and since our mental faculties are influenced by craving. Marriage is a partnership of two individuals and this partnership is enriched and enhanced when it allows the personalities involved to grow. They were also advised to study and understand their husbands’ natures. According to Buddhism. The Buddha never spoke against married life. marriage means understanding and respecting each other’s belief and privacy. Realizing that there could be difficulties with the new in-laws. The advice given by the Buddha more than twenty five centuries ago is still valid even today. attachment and human emotions.Ufbdijoht !}!!Uif!tfdsfu!pg!b!ibqqz!nbssjfe!mjgf Pre-marriage Advice The Anguttara Nikaya contains some valuable advice which the Buddha gave to young girls prior to their marriage. A successful marriage is always a two-way path: “humpy. thus creating a congenial and happy atmosphere in their new homes. kind and watchful of their husbands’ earnings and see to it that all household expenditures were properly administered. They are wrong. Just because he warned one against problems in marriage does not mean that the Buddha condemned marriage. Conclusion Marriage is a partnership of two individuals and this partnership is enriched and enhanced when it allows the personalities involved to grow.” some people have criticized Buddhism saying that is against married life. characters and temperaments. Young people in this country and elsewhere sometimes think that “old fashioned ideas” are not relevant to modern society. he pointed out all the problems. the girls were enjoined to give every respect to their mothers-in-law and fathers-inlaw. This happens when we have to consider the need of others and to give in to what others need. However. They should be polite. They were expected to honor and respect their husband’s relatives and friends. The so-called modern ideas we receive through the highly glamorous television programs do not represent the way most decent people in the west BQSJM!311:!FBTUFSO!IPSJ[PO!}!32 . Many marriages fail because one partner tries to “swallow” another or when one demands total freedom. bumpy” — it is difficult but it is always a mutual path. ascertain their activities. difficulties and worries that people would have to face when they take on the responsibility of marriage. They should be reminded that there are some eternal truths which can never become outof-date. ~ The Buddhist Concept of Marriage ~ In view of what has been said about “birth and suffering. serving them lovingly as their own parents.

. EH Source: A Happy Married Life: A Buddhist Perspective. K. A feeling of security and contentment comes from mutual understanding which is the SECRET of a HAPPY MARRIED LIFE. tolerance and mutual understanding. if you want to ape the west ape the “silent majority”: they are no different from your decent neighbor who lives next door to you. 27pp. marriages and divorces. Otherwise. 1987. tolerance and understanding are important disciplines to be observed and practiced by all people in marriage. Young people must also listen to their elders because their own understanding about married life is not mature. They do not behave in the manner that the mass media has portrayed them. their life can become very miserable and problematic. The advice given by the Buddha more than twenty five centuries ago is still valid even today. They must have a lot of patience. Patience. Not all the people in the west run off to get a divorce or abortion after their first quarrel or dispute. they are unselfish and care deeply about those whom they love. 33!}!FBTUFSO!IPSJ[PO!BQSJM!311: . They make enormous sacrifices and develop love and understanding to ensure happy and stable marriages. They should not make hasty conclusions regarding.Ufbdijoht !}!!Uif!tfdsfu!pg!b!ibqqz!nbssjfe!mjgf think or behave. There is a vast “silent majority” of decent couples who are as deeply religious and “conservative” about marriage as any Eastern couple. So. Decent people all over the world are the same. Kuala Lumpur: Buddhist Missionary Society. Sri Dhammananda. by Ven. ..

when we’re angry it’s all about me: how I’ve been treated. it’s not too likely that we’ll wake up one day as saints. speaks volumes. Connecticut.” That answer. edited by Edward Searl (Skinner House. is particularly rich and complex because it can show up as so many different states of mind. harnessing the energy of anger without being driven mindlessly along by it. Naming aversion as a hindrance is a little tricky though. Within the context of the spiritual journey. He responded as though he’d been asked whether or not he still got hungry or thirsty: “Of course”. In fact one of the best of the current candidates for sainthood. as we BQSJM!311:!FBTUFSO!IPSJ[PO!}!34 . “If something happens and I don’t like it. When someone in our lives acts destructively or immorally. It can arise as mild dislike or passionate hatred. Today’s topic. is that this willingness to know ourselves expands our freedom of movement. the ways I’ve been dissed. whether in isolated. Kathleen McTigue is minister of the Unitarian Society of New Haven. when we see injustice around us. in fact it teaches the opposite. Quotations and Readings to Celebrate Birth. and later we regret our hastiness because we see there were more constructive ways we might have acted. he said. The theory. anger arises. 2005). as annoyance that passes like a blip on the screen. miraculously immune to the slings and arrows of outrageous outrage. as momentary grumpiness or furious rage. brief though it is. especially in those two words. how wrong. The anger catches us up in constricting loops of thought. Kathleen McTigue The Rev. USA.Gfbuvsf !}!!Tupoft!jo!uif!Spbe Stones in the Road: Aversion by Rev. We react defensively or in the heat of the moment. It lets us choose our path of action. “I’m furious! I’m ripped! I’m so angry I could spit!” We say. because anger will always be with us. political organizer Nicholas Nyhart. when someone we love is abused or otherwise harmed. “The sun comes up”: it’s neutral information. in Hamden. “How dare he? Who does she think she is? They can’t do that to me!” We say. they’ll be sorry!” For most of us. the Dalai Lama himself. study it fearlessly and come to know it as well as we can. because often there are very good reasons for our anger. It’s like saying. When we start to get angry we should turn toward it. Buddhism doesn’t teach that we should ignore or repress our anger. This is so completely different from the way we usually regard our anger! We don’t say. And then we act it out in ways that are often enormously destructive. The problem is that it often also muddies our thinking. if it is not what I want to have happen. how unfair it is. have three children. was asked in a conference whether or not he ever got angry. No matter how far we advance in the spiritual journey. Anger arises. aversion. “anger arises”. This is an important skill to learn. “Oh. individual ways or on a global scale. Today is the fifth and final Sunday in the series in which we’re studying the Buddhist hindrances. I feel anger arising”. or a grudge that we carry through years and years of our lives. Buddhism understands aversion as a powerful hindrance to our spiritual maturity because it so easily traps us into seeing the world through the lens of our wounds. “I’ll show him! She’s not going to get away with that! Boy. like pretty much everything else in Buddhism. anger is one of the things that can motivate us to act. She and her husband. We say. She is a contributor to Bless This Child: A Treasury of Poems. how outrageous.

“Anger arises. bring it up to you. that one I would really rather never see again. giving us physical tension and pain in our stomachs. It’s through them that we come up against our limits and get a chance to polish our own rough edges. those people who get us all riled up whenever we think about them – those people are the best lessons we could possibly receive in our spiritual journeys. and say. these people. the Indian teacher who first brought the Buddha’s teachings to Tibet. and try thinking of him or her as your own personal Bengali tea boy. attentively. there’s even enough room to see our antagonist in a different light. rehearse our grievances and talk to ourselves about how we’ve been wronged. necks. We don’t need to cultivate patience. and to make a little distance between what actually happened to us. ‘Is this yours?’” 35!}!FBTUFSO!IPSJ[PO!BQSJM!311: . backs. He was afraid that if the people there were really so nice. When there’s someone who really provokes us. As he got ready to go to Tibet Atisha began to feel a little worried because he had heard about how friendly. kindness. someone who chronically makes us mad. It’s an interesting exercise to choose the person who most provokes you. a little room to maneuver. No one would provoke him into anger. We don’t have to react quite as suddenly or defensively. Pema Chödrön says. So he decided to bring along with him an incredibly surly Bengali tea boy. there’s even enough room to see our antagonist in a different light. we categorize them.” What a different way to think about it! Suddenly there’s a little bit of space in there. It lodges in our bodies as well as our minds. But seen through the lens of our spiritual journey. they give us the opportunity to put our spiritual aspirations to work in our lives. Pema Chodron tells a story about Atisha. And it can lead us to actions that hurt ourselves and other people. he’d find himself in trouble spiritually because no one would push his buttons. what it’s like in our bodies.Gfbuvsf !}!!Tupoft!jo!uif!Spbe Within that spaciousness. because it’s only through them that we see the places where we’re stuck. They become radically “other”. are actually a gift. warm and kind the Tibetan people were. who always want to be on our team. They hold up our own reactivity and put it under a magnifying glass. pick out one of them. They show us dimensions of ourselves we would rather not see. There’s room to notice where we feel the anger. compassion or understanding for all the people who think we’re terrific. when you let them through the front door of your metaphorical house. We need to cultivate those virtues for the Bengali tea boys in the world. And therefore. “In our own lives. They become “enemy” or “jerk” or “moron” – whatever our favorite labeling word might be. and our story line about it. There’s room to notice all the reactive voices that rise up inside of us. that one you’ve got locked away in the enemy box. from speaking hurtful words all the way to physical violence. the Bengali tea boys are the people who. There’s room to choose a response. there’s room to see the energy it contains. In that way. Atisha could be sure he would stay awake spiritually. the ones who make us angriest. Within that spaciousness. and his own unfinished development would be invisible to him. In other words. who like our way of doing things. go right down to the basement where you store lots of things you’d rather not deal with. the way it sharpens our attention. and even murder. forgiveness.

And through that learning. with other people. you realize the other boat is empty. But we pay a heavy price. one of the things we often discover is that we really don’t want to. ‘How come he pushes my buttons so easily? Why does she get to me so much?’. When anger rises up in its many defensive and selfrighteous ways. But if we’re willing to study our own reaction to it.Gfbuvsf !}!!Tupoft!jo!uif!Spbe When we try to consider the difficult people in our lives in this new light. What happens to the anger you were building up? There’s no one there: it’s just an empty boat. we will begin to open up a little space of liberation. Imagine you’re out in a lake in a little rowboat that you love: you built it yourself. are like being bumped by an empty rowboat” This is a hard teaching to get hold of. the answer has to do with us. wham! You are of course immediately outraged: “What an idiot! What does he think he’s doing? I just painted this boat!” And in the next instant. So instead we react unthinkingly. If we’re willing to go quietly into our own complicated psyches and follow the thread of our anger. right in our faces. not with them. It teaches that if we’re willing to let go a little of this selfrighteousnessand investigate our anger. Buddhist teacher Charlotte Joko Beck gives an interesting image to work with.. because so much of the time it seems pretty clear to us that we’re not only being bumped but clobbered by someone else. as a spiritual gift or lesson for us. how unreasonable – our own sense of self can stay intact. The rowboat we’re looking at isn’t empty at all: it’s got our boss in it and our meddlesome motherin-law. It’s not to say that their behavior is exemplary. And then suddenly out of the fog another rowboat emerges and it bashes into you. “Our encounters with life. it might in fact actually be very bad behavior. if we’re willing to really study the questions. I think what she’s pointing to is the nature of our reactions. and it usually involves lashing out: someone has bashed our boat.. and you’re feeling terrific. rowing along out there in your pretty little boat. just as you’re opening your mouth to yell at the fool. how unaccountably hostile toward us. As long as we are convinced that our anger has to do with them – with how inconsiderate they are. nothing in our lives teaches us to first notice and feel our own reactions. When we try to consider the difficult people in our lives in this new light. It is actually much more comfortable to keep them right where we’ve already got them: in the land of great aversion. Those things we keep out of sight in our inner basements do in fact get held up. How in the world can we think of the boat as empty? Joko-Beck is not trying to convince us that no one in our lives means us harm. Sharon Salzberg puts it this way: Our “self-righteous anger solidifies into an almost choking sense of “I” and “other”. so we bash back BQSJM!311:!FBTUFSO!IPSJ[PO!}!36 .” Buddhism pointsus in a different direction. our manipulative coworker and our vindictive ex-spouse. we learn more about who we are. or treats us unfairly. Anger is such a grievous state because it means the death… of love or connection in that moment…. by the people who make us mad. We can continue to think of ourselves in righteous terms. we will see ways to respond that are clear-eyedand skillful.. you’ve got a fresh paint job on it. Joko Beck says. with events. it’s got our inconsiderate neighbor and our abusive boyfriend. as a spiritual gift or lesson for us.

she opened up a little crack of possibility for him. human beings who were once calm and rational are carried away by pain and anger every day. but we are all on the same spectrum. All over the world. and I found myselfthinking about it over and over again within the context of aversion and how it drives us in our lives. she was able to listen and speak to Nichols without judging him. Ashley Smith was able to be calm and centered enough to help her captor see her as a human being. human beings who were once calm and rational are carried away by pain and anger every day. We torture. And third. 2005 in the United States. The FBI man concluded with a remarkable statement. He ended up letting her go. and riveting. we wound. captor and captive. She engaged with him with respect and dignity. a view of himself as a human being who still had something good within himself to offer up to the world. I read about Brian Nichols. on the way to the courtroom to face a charge of rape. of violence and revenge. What was it that opened the door to this unexpected and peaceful ending? First. the odds are on our side. this cycle of action and reaction. the prisoner who. Chapter two of Nichols’ story was very unexpected. a man who used to work with the FBI in hostage situations analyzed the interactions between the two people. so much worse than we are.Gfbuvsf !}!!Tupoft!jo!uif!Spbe All over the world. “She must have been the calm in the storm for him”. that we’re not even quite the same species. But there’s a powerful lesson for us that shines out of this intense encounter between two people. went on to kill four other people and then disappeared for a couple of days. Over the course of the seven hours they spent together she persuaded him that his life still had some meaning. hiding somewhere in Atlanta. Buddhist teachings about anger ask the question: what are the otheroptions? There was an amazing drama that unfolded in Atlanta last weekend. and he allowed himself to be arrested without any more violence. fortunately. our deep selves. March 20. and that every human being dances up and down it. it will be challenge enough merely to deal with our surly Bengali tea boys. In its largestand most destructive forms. despite the terrible things his anger had led him to do. and we don’t know the way back home. We hurt our own children. Ashley Smith. most people never get out to the murderous end. And it’s very tempting to think of someone like Nichols as radically “other”. with a family and a life she wanted to live. with hopes and fears of her own. he said. our true selves. I hope that none of us ever face a challenge as extreme as the one Ashley Smith faced so admirably. He ended up being captured.becomes a war. We know that there is a spectrum of rage. without anyone else getting hurt. at them. Thankfully. We lash out unfairly. Second. We lose ourselves. We end up doing things we never imagined ourselves doing. It’s hard to imagine how much rage and despair must have to be inside a person to lead to that level of violence. separating out the human being from what he had done. because of the way in which he was spoken to and somehow reached by the woman he had taken hostage in her apartment. For most of us. After it was all over. we kill. 37!}!FBTUFSO!IPSJ[PO!BQSJM!311: . overpowered and shot his guard. Article published with kind permission of Rev Kathleen McTigue. EH The above Sermon was delivered on Sunday. And yet in our hearts we know it isn’t true.

Canada. then adults. Nova Scotia. they can be celebrated. and egolessness. Impermanence is bittersweet. including. and egolessness. these words sound threatening. Cape Breton. The THREE MARKS OF EXISTENCE by Pema Chödrön There are three truths—traditionally called three marks—of our existence: impermanence. then teenagers. everything is constantly evolving. Impermanence is the essence of everything. Even though they accurately describe the rock-bottom qualities of our existence. Our fundamental situation is joyful. The Places that Scare You. Practicing Peace in Times of War. Pema is the resident teacher at Gampo Abbey. light becoming dark becoming light again—in the same way. Just as the four seasons are in continual flux. The Pema Chodron Collection (audio). Impermanence is the goodness of reality. It’s falling in love and falling out of love.Ufbdijoht !}!!Uif!uisff!nbslt!pg!fyjtufodf Pema Chödrön is an American Buddhist nun and a leading exponent of teachings on meditation and how they apply to everyday life. winter changing to spring to summer to autumn. When Things Fall Apart. and egolessness. It’s easy to get the idea that there is something wrong with impermanence. Impermanence is meeting and parting. suffering. like buying a new shirt and years later finding it as part of a patchwork quilt. and Start Where You Are. She is widely known for her charming and down-to-earth interpretation of Tibetan Buddhism for Western audiences. When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times BQSJM!311:!FBTUFSO!IPSJ[PO!}!38 . the first Tibetan monastery for Westerners and has authored several books. and somewhere along the way dropping dead. It is babies becoming children. which is like thinking that there is something wrong with our fundamental situation. suffering. Getting Unstuck:Breaking Your Habitual Patterns & Encountering Naked Reality (audio). then old people. But there’s nothing wrong with impermanence. suffering. Always Maintain a Joyful Mind (lojong teachings). No Time to Lose. just as day Adapted from becomes night.

We regard it as pain. but actually it’s a gain. There are ceremonies marking all the transitions of life from birth to death. is like regaining eyesight after having been blind or regaining hearing after having been deaf. Can we also celebrate egolessness? Often we think of egolessness as a great loss. they are inseparable. Our pain is so rooted in our one-sided. lopsided view of reality. and winning the battle. We always want to get rid of misery rather than see how it works together with joy. going into battle. losing the battle. the rays just radiate 39!}!FBTUFSO!IPSJ[PO!BQSJM!311: . But what about suffering? Why would we celebrate suffering? Doesn’t that sound masochistic? Our suffering is based so much on our fear of impermanence. Somehow. that softens us up. When we don’t struggle against it. But when the tables are turned and we feel wretched. and celebrate impermanence. We try to resist it by making things that will last—forever. It ripens our hearts. our natural state. Death is painful and delightful. in fact. But pain and pleasure go together. Pain is not a punishment. we say—things that we don’t have to wash. With no solid sun. Impermanence is a principle of harmony. we despair of it. things that we don’t have to iron. We too could acknowledge. but to relate properly to where we are. The acknowledgment of egolessness. We can be big and small at the same time. and we buy it. Inspiration and wretchedness complement each other. We take no delight in it. we are in harmony with reality. Whoever got the idea that we could have pleasure without pain? It’s promoted rather widely in this world. Feeling wretched humbles us. Birth is painful and delightful. we lose our vision. The point isn’t to cultivate one thing as opposed to another. We tend to forget that we are part of the natural scheme of things. Inspiration and wretchedness are inseparable. pleasure is not a reward. Egolessness has been compared to the rays of the sun. It becomes the ground for understanding others. Everything that ends is also the beginning of something else. Both the inspiration and the wretchedness can be celebrated. With only wretchedness. we become arrogant. Feeling inspired cheers us up. as well as meetings and partings. respect. The gloriousness of our inspiration connects us with the sacredness of the world. makes us realize how vast and wonderful our world is. With only inspiration. They are ordinary. we lose our sense of the sacredness of life. Many cultures celebrate this connectedness. They can be celebrated.Ufbdijoht !}!!Uif!uisff!nbslt!pg!fyjtufodf People have no respect for impermanence. in the process of trying to deny that things are always changing.

it’s a very helpful practice. recognize it as impermanence. unconditional joy that includes all the different qualities of our experience. There are countless examples of impermanence in our lives every day. we can also notice what our reaction to impermanence is. Whatever we call it. When a relationship ends. This is where curiosity comes in. When suffering arises in our lives. no cheerfulness. Then we can recognize our reaction to impermanence. when we’re dying—when we see any of these things in our lives. BQSJM!311:!FBTUFSO!IPSJ[PO!}!3: . from the moment we wake up until we fall asleep and even while we’re dreaming. just fully being where we are. recognize it as impermanence. the practice of coming to know ourselves completely. when we’re getting old. Egolessness is the same thing as basic goodness or buddha nature. When your car gets stolen. But when we recognize impermanence as impermanence. inquisitiveness. recognize it as impermanence. and let that intensify the preciousness. and be mindful of our reactions to that. when we become ill.Ufbdijoht !}!!Uif!uisff!nbslt!pg!fyjtufodf outward. recognize it as impermanence. Recognize impermanence as impermanence. There’s no intelligence involved. When someone dies. we can recognize suffering as suffering. and egolessness in our everyday lives? When impermanence presents itself in our lives. So how do we celebrate impermanence. recognize it as impermanence. When we get what we don’t want. we can recognize it as impermanence. part of the whole cycle of life. In the same way. suffering. curiosity. notice. all the time. This is called mindfulness. Then we can be curious. Egolessness is a state of mind that has complete confidence in the sacredness of the world. awareness. when we don’t get what we do want. Ego could be defined as whatever covers up basic goodness. This is a twenty-four-hour-a-day practice. It is unconditional well-being. so that we can relate with the immediacy of our experience. recognize it as impermanence. We become resentful or delighted. We don’t have to look for opportunities to do this. It’s what we always have and never really lose. When you fall in love. When someone’s born. what is ego covering up? It’s covering up our experience of just being here. our unconditional being. When your pen runs out of ink in the middle of writing an important letter. From an experiential point of view. excited or disappointed. we can recognize it as suffering. paying attention. wakefulness naturally radiates out when we’re not so concerned with ourselves. Usually we just react habitually to events in our lives.

We can simply see that. look for the living quality of the dharma. It’s the well-being that comes when we can see the infinite pairs of opposites as complementary. When we perceive the spaciousness in our lives. without judgment or the intention to clean up our act. delight in our sense perceptions. Recognize impermanence and suffering and egolessness at the kitchen-sink level. we can recognize it as egolessness—a fresh moment. But whatever our reaction is. Instead. a clear perception of a smell or a sight or a sound. usually we’re either resentful and feel cheated somehow. sometimes we quickly shut down. when we suddenly notice what’s in front of us. when we’ve lost our reference point. This isn’t the peace that’s the opposite of war. we can recognize it as egolessness. Wisdom and ignorance cannot be separated. Sometimes we open further. when we sense a gap in the continual conversation we have with ourselves. Often peace is taught as the fourth mark of existence. when we take a fresh. When egolessness arises. be curious.Ufbdijoht !}!!Uif!uisff!nbslt!pg!fyjtufodf Again. Spinning off is neither good nor bad. openness. there is wrong. It doesn’t have to be a big deal. when egolessness occurs in our lives. Find out for yourself about peace and whether or not it’s true that our fundamental situation is joyful. or we’re delighted. and be inquisitive about your reactions. In any case. we also experience egolessness when we don’t know what’s happening. a feeling of opening to emotions or thoughts rather than closing off into our narrow limited selves. If there is right. and how we spin off from there. it’s just something that happens as a reaction to the pleasure and pain of our existence. unedited look at reality. we just might find that day by day this kind of peace dawns on us. Without being cynical or gullible. there must be ugliness. it’s usually habitual. EH 41!}!FBTUF FBTUFSO!IPSJ[PO FSO!IPSJ[PO!BQSJM!311: BQSJM!31 11: 1 . and don’t believe everything you’re told. Cultivating moment-tomoment curiosity. This is an old truth—one that men and women like ourselves have been discovering for a long time. we can recognize it as egolessness. We can notice. If there is beauty. We can notice our reactions to that. when we get a shock and our mind is stopped. Curiously enough. clear. and we begin to understand what all the books have been talking about. So don’t take anything for granted. be mindful of our reactions and of what happens next. we could see the next impulse come up. Egolessness is available all the time as freshness.

tests. yet so few people know about it and so many people misunderstand it. 2009. Next he started to propagate the Dharma around the world.” and named as one of the fifty most influential people in Taiwan in the past four hundred years. Chan Master Sheng Yen actually had a life full of miseries. Master Sheng Yen resolutely went to study for his doctorate degree in Japan. Dharma Drum Sangha University and Dharma Drum University to cultivate first-class Buddhist researchers and sangha. or founding Dharma Drum Mountain. Master Sheng Yen founded Dharma Drum Mountain (DDM) in Taiwan.The universe may one day perish. the Master established the Chung-Hwa Institute of Buddhist Studies. at age forty. passed into Nirvanic bliss in Taipei on February 3. BQSJM!311:!FBTUFSO!IPSJ[PO!}!42 . Dharma Drum Buddhist College. to him. Now. As an erudite scholar and as a Dharma heir in both the Linji and Caodong lineages of Chinese Buddhism. This was because. the Master said that he had always been able to conquer the difficulties and find the way out. life was a process of realizing the Buddhadharma.” For this simple belief. yet my vows are eternal Chan Master Sheng Yen founder of Dharma Drum Mountain in Taiwan and the Chan Meditation Center of New York. deprivations. The Master used to say. For higher prestige of orthodox Chinese Buddhism and the development of monasticism in Taiwan. over one hundred books (both Chinese and English) have been published and which are still influential. The Master also dedicated much of his energy and time to writing for the purpose of Dharma propagation.Pcjuvbsz!}!Jo!Nfnpsz!pg!Dibo!Nbtufs!Tifoh!Zfo In Memory of Chan Master Sheng Yen (1930-2009) . Whether on solitary retreat. and turning points. spreading the Dharma in the USA and Europe. studying in Japan. Calling himself “an itinerant monk pressing ahead through the wind and snow. “The Dharma is so good. He was born in China’s Jiangsu Province in 1930.

Vision Built on Vows The Master’s compassion spread even further with Dharma Drum Mountain World Center for Buddhist Education that was inaugurated on October 21. everyone scrambles for their rights while forgetting their obligations and duties. only by benefiting others will one’s own benefit be safeguarded. Those who received the Master’s teachings had in the end turned into DDM’s worldwide “ambassadors of peace. The Huayan Sutra (Sanskrit: Avatamsakasutra) states: “The first moment you give rise to Bodhicitta. Thus. Chan Master Sheng Yen thus hoped every The Master stressed that ethics represent a form of loving-kindness and the compassion of the bodhisattvas. the benefit one enjoys will not be secure because others will covet it and vie for it. The Master actively promoted this notion wherever he went. the notion of “a pure land on Earth” is actually stressed in Mahayana Buddhism. 2005. Chan Master Sheng Yen’s compassion for humanity was further revealed in “the Six Ethics of the Mind Campaign”. when the mind is peaceful. Family Ethics. he also actively initiated beneficent dialogues with celebrities from various fields in society for public good. the world you see is a pure land. The Master said that although you are not yet a perfect and complete Buddha. If one has only one’s own interests at heart without considering the benefits of others. His compassionate mind and global viewpoint soon earned him high recognition at home and abroad. the promotion of ethical education and concepts becomes even more vital. p.9. in line with the vision of “building a pure land on earth”.Pcjuvbsz!}!Jo!Nfnpsz!pg!Dibo!Nbtufs!Tifoh!Zfo In recent years. 449) This means that as soon as you give rise to the aspiration to attain the Buddha’s mind of compassion and wisdom. According to the Master. 43!}!FBTUFSO!IPSJ[PO!BQSJM!311: . you have attained enlightenment. In other words.” (Taisho Vol. Therefore. Living Ethics. peace is created in and with a mind at peace. School Ethics.” In an increasingly chaotic environment. Environmental Ethics and Ethics between Ethnic Groups. your mind is in harmony with the enlightenment of Buddha. “Ethics” means doing one’s duties and observing one’s role and “morality” means respecting and caring for each other in interpersonal relationships. He believed that in today’s society. Six Ethics of the Mind Starting from 2008. you have become a Buddha. They are Workplace Ethics. chaos in all its manifestations springs from a lack of ethical and moral standards in interpersonal relationships among people from all walks of life. One must benefit others while seeking our own.

he went to Japan where he received a Master’s Degree (1971) and Doctorate (l975) in Buddhist In 1949. The First National Civic Service Award in 1990. Ever since the Master passed into Nirvanic bliss. and Commemoration and Ash-Burial Ceremony. At age 16 he was transferred from the countryside to a branch of the monastery. participate in Buddhist rituals for transference of merit. developing himself by benefiting others in the spirit of serving and giving. “When I listen to Master Sheng Yen’s presentation of Chan Buddhist teachings. I exhort everyone to undertake together. in Shanghai. my immediate and very profound feeling is that I am listening to words of wisdom from someone who is very experienced and a great practitioner. from February 3. he retired from the army and entered monastic practice again in 1959 at the Buddhist Culture Center in Peitou. he had the deepest spiritual experience of his life. Taipei. Continuing his studies nonetheless. and to join the ceremonies of the Master. the Master’s passing is a great loss to the people of Taiwan.” In light of the Master’s long-term endeavor and compassion for the well-being of humanity. Later on he studied at the Buddhist Academy at Ching-an Monastery in Shanghai. His experience was later recognized by masters in the two main lineages of Ch’an (Chinese Zen) Buddhism: the Lin Ji (Japanese: Rinzai) and Cao Dong (Japanese: Soto).15.Ufbdijoht !}!!Gpvs!ljoet!pg!qsptusbujpo one could act as an interpreter and pioneer for this campaign. EH After ten years of service. he wrote his first book in 1956 and numerous articles during a sick leave from military service. compassionate spirit and teachings will never disappear. such as Encoffining Ceremony. This is the most superior value.” His vigor. over one hundred thousand people arrived at the DDM World Center for Buddhist Education to pay their last tribute. Master Sheng Yen Born near Shanghai in l930. From 1961 to 1968 Master Sheng-yen practiced a solitary retreat at the Chao Yuan Monastery in the mountains of Taiwan. such as The 3rd Outstanding Leadership Award for Social Peace Movement in 1993. Chan Master Sheng Yen said in his will: “What I am unable to accomplish in this life. The 2nd Bodhi Prize of the Presidential Cultural Award in 2002 and The Distinguished Cultural Contribution Award from the Chinese Arts and Literature Association in 2008. Cremation Ceremony. Indeed. to the Buddhist community and even to those who care about the development of humanity. the 14th Dalai Lama once said. where he was inspired by the teachings of Ch’an Master Xu Yun (Empty Cloud) and Master Tai Xu on their visits to Shanghai. As a lecturer on Buddhism at Shan Dao Monastery in Taipei. he received many awards from Taiwan’s authorities. and he became the Dharma heir in these two traditions. sojourning at various monasteries in the area. What I am unable to accomplish personally. in memory of Chan Master Sheng Yen. Eternal Vows His Holiness. and represents the true meaning of well-being and a happy life. Master Sheng-yen became a monk of Guang Jiao Monastery in the Wolf Hills of Nantung at age thirteen. during the Communist takeover of China. I vow to push forward through countless future lives. At age 28. and a warrant officer. a telecommunications officer. he joined a unit of the Nationalist Army and went to Taiwan and served as a wireless telegraph operator. BQSJM!311:!FBTUFSO!IPSJ[PO!}!44 . Ta-sheng Monastery.

German. not your shifu. 45!}!FBTUFSO!IPSJ[PO!BQSJM!311: this you need a mind of humility and a sense of shame. Italian. Spanish. This prostration can also be used to avoid accidents. where close to 100 ordained monks and nuns currently reside. It is impossible to do this if your are filled with arrogance. and in the environmental protection workshop at Waldorf Astorial Hotel. Through this act of gratefulness and respect. available in English. Japanese. a graduate school and conference center. When we prostrate. He has lectured at more than forty universities in the United States and continues to lecture in Taiwan. and Europe. and the US. In 1978 he became a Professor at The Chinese Culture University and President of the Chung-Hwa Buddhist Cultural Institute in Taipei. you will still you are right and others. he founded the Ch’an Meditation Center and The Institute of Chung-Hwa Buddhist Culture in New York. The third kind is repentance prostration. It is important to understand that is you who benefits from such prostrations. more well-rounded. If someone is not doing well. For Responsible for the revival. The first kind is for fulfilling wishes. you can prostrate for the Buddha’s help. and time and time again we wash them. As long as we wash them. The second kind of prostration is done out of the sincerity of your heart. You may prostrate from the depths of our heart in gratitude for the Three Jewels. Master Sheng-yen has published more than ninety books. In the next year. we ask the buddhas and bodhisattvas to help us. England. A Buddhist University and monastery are scheduled to open at Dharma Drum Mountain in 2000. In August. and in 1989 the International Cultural and Educational Foundation of Dharma Drum Mountain. In 1985 he founded the Chung-Hwa Institute of Buddhist Studies in Taipei. In 1975 he formally received transmission from Ch’an Master Dong Chu of the Cao Dong tradition of Ch’an. or to prolong life. wrong. Going through the motions of repentance prostrations . 2000 Master Sheng-yen was one of the keynote speakers at the Millennium World Peace Summit of Religious and Spiritual Leaders at United Nation. You can also prostrate to your teacher. Portuguese. your shifu. dissemination. not with a seeking mind. It is like washing clothes. Our clothes get dirty over and over. and in 1978 he received transmission from Ch’an Master Ling Yuan of the Lin Ji tradition. Master Sheng Yen passed away on February 3. You will be more complete. Europe. Even as you touch your head to the floor. and scholarly activities. Chinese. and expansion of Ch’an practice in China and the West. sickness. He has received many other government awards for his humanitarian. and French. Four Kinds of Prostration by Chan Master Sheng Yen (1930-2009) There are four kinds of prostrations. Hong Kong. In 1977 he traveled to the United States where he served as the Abbot of The Temple of Enlightenment in New York. Such prostrations can help you to change your character to being more receptive and honest. Singapore. In l979 Master Sheng-yen became the Abbot of Nung Ch’an Monastery in Taiwan. cultural.000 students in Taiwan. Master Shengyen is also active as an environmentalist. Vietnamese. He has led more than 140 week-long intensive Ch’an meditation retreats in the US. Currently he has 3000 students in the US and more than 300. we can change ourselves and generate sincerity in our hearts. so we prostrate to them with sincerity for their teachings and guidance. We can do this prostration when we encounter difficulties or misfortune. they stay clean.Ufbdijoht !}!!Gpvs!ljoet!pg!qsptusbujpo literature from Rissho University. It can also be done for others. Shifus represent the Three Jewels. 2009.

There is no need for self-pity when you find faults in yourself. The more you find. If you never wash your clothes. but it is not noself yet. Who is prostrating? The body is prostrating. The third level is the stage of formlessness.” rather. but never washing them. When you find stains on your clothing. the ride is bumpy. At this point our minds’ movement should be fine and subtle. We no longer have to order or control our bodies. be joyous that they are so clear and easy to spot. The horse responds instantly. EH This article is taken from an Evening Talk during a Retreat on December 4. Experienced riders feel no separation between themselves and their horses. From there. since it’s impossible to immediately arrive at formlessness (no-form). so that the ride becomes fluid and uninterrupted. we begin with form and progress through stages until we get to no-form. We can consider these four foundations in the context of the stages of formless prostrations. While doing the prostrations. We are neither affected by internal nor external conditions. The third foundation. perhaps you’ll be able to change them. mind. there are no influences whatsoever. Like learning to ride a horse. but our bodies are moving by themselves. At the third stage. We do the same with nonattachment. No matter which one we contemplate. separate wills wanting to go their own way. to get to no-self -impermanence -. there is no longer the thought. When we perfect the third stage. at first there is a rider and a horse. sensation. there are no longer thoughts that you are prostrating or that prostrations are occurring. but as far as you are concerned. is also involved because clarity and awareness are the mind itself. which I will now describe. once you spot your shortcomings. In the second stage. since our body movements are carried out slowly. The first stage is when we tell ourselves to do prostrations and our body obeys our commands. 1992. mind and dharmas.Ufbdijoht !}!!Gpvs!ljoet!pg!qsptusbujpo without admitting your faults or being open and sincere is like wearing clothes. They just get dirtier and dirtier. we begin with form and end with formlessness. We are now witnesses. At this stage. Of course. If we cannot even reach the initial level of a calm and subtly moving mind. “I am prostrating. Published with kind permission from Dharma Drum Mountain. Similarly. Already. Perhaps you’ll be able to catch them before they arise. Body. BQSJM!311:!FBTUFSO!IPSJ[PO!}!46 . the better.body and sensation. As a result. Formless prostrations come from contemplating the four foundations of mindfulness: body. It means that your clothes were relatively clean to begin with. we must always begin with the first stage.we start with the self. we contemplate emptiness until we gradually move to the level of no. We control the body and consciously ordering it to prostrate. The fourth kind of prostration I call “formless prostration. mind and sensation are fused: there is no separation. beginning with contemplation on attachment and working toward our goal. prostrations are occurring.” However. we know we are prostrating and we feel it. we are contemplating the first two foundations -. you may not notice new stains. we are to remain extremely clear of our movements as well as the sensation. others may see you prostrating.self. Better yet. then it will be impossible to progress to the next stages. Taiwan.

While standing. Be patient. When the right palm touches the ground. breathing naturally and stay mindful. Flex the fingers back into a fist. with the narrow part in front. The right hand should locate just in front and at the outer edge of the right knee. Flex the fingers to form a fist and roll them up side down. on a line at the outer edge of the left knee. Each of the following steps is a skillful means in mindfully practice. using the right hand as a support. Hold the palms together at the chest level. 4. Keep all the fingers close. as if one is offering to hold the Buddha on one’s hand. Use the right hand as a support and get up from the floor. until the forehead touches the ground. the buttock naturally sit on the legs. 1 2 3 4 2. This is a skillful means to keep the mind from distraction. keep the eyes cast on the tips of the fingers. Be mindful to keep the neck straight and the buttocks grounded. Bend the upper body down while keeping the legs straight. Raise the upper body. The arms form a 30-degree angle with the torso. and then open the fingers. Once kneeled. mindful. Relax. At the same time. Stand upright with the feet forming a “V” shape .about eight inches apart in the front and two inches apart in the back. bend the upper body downward. with the palms touching the ground. Be mindful to keep the neck straight. Withdraw the left hand away from the ground to the front of the chest. The spinal cord curves up naturally. Open the fists so that the palms face upward. without bending the neck. Let the spinal cord curves naturally and shift the buttock backward so that the center of gravity is kept at a vertical axis passing through the heels. roll them back. 3. Move the right hand forward to the same level as the left. Place the left hand down to the floor. With the palms as supports. Be mindful not to bend the upper body below the waist. Bend the knees as if you are squatting down. withdraw the right hand back to just in front of the right knee. 1. move the right hand away from the left and put it down on the ground. extending approximately one and a half palm-length ahead of the right hand. and relax. Note that the palms form a “V” shape. Return to position 1. kneel down to the floor. 47!}!FBTUFSO!IPSJ[PO!BQSJM!311: .Ufbdijoht !}!!Gpvs!ljoet!pg!qsptusbujpo Photos taken from the first edition of Zen Wisdom: Knowing and Doing.

Then the “meditation” is contemplating and getting used to the idea. From a young age he has been active for the preservation of the Buddhist teaching. This is referred to as the view. or “seals. He has also has established centers in Australia. He is also the author of the book What Makes You Not a Buddhist (Shambhala. Also known as Khyentse Norbu.” in this case. I would like to challenge the popular definition of Buddhist meditation. The point is that if this path contains these four seals. we always act according to a certain view. You can call it what you like. meditation and action.” “getting used to. Even though we may not use such expressions in everyday life. Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche supervises his traditional seat of Dzongsar Monastery and its retreat centers in Eastern Tibet. publishing books and teaching all over the world. His two major films are The Cup (1999) and Travellers and Magicians (2003). and was recognized as the main incarnation of the Khyentse lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. So the “view.” So what is the particular view that Buddhists try to get used to? Buddhism is distinguished by four characteristics. meditation and action. Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche was born in Bhutan in 1961. Many people think meditation has something to do with relaxation. 2007) BQSJM!311:!FBTUFSO!IPSJ[PO!}!48 . He has studied with some of the greatest contemporary masters. driving it and using it. if we want to buy a car. as well as his new colleges in India and Bhutan. “What is the particular view or philosophy of Buddhism?” Unfortunately.” and “obtaining. most reliable and so on. particularly H. meditation and action. and the “action” is actually buying the car. in the West Buddhism seems to have landed in the religious department. Rinpoche is a filmmaker and writer. establishing centers of learning. Charming phrases like “letting go” and “being carefree” come to mind. these constitute quite a skillful way of understanding the path. with watching the sunset or watching the waves at the beach. if we think about it. even in the self-help or self-improvement department. supporting practitioners. we choose the one we think is the best. it can be considered the path of the Buddha. For instance. North America and the Far East. This process is not necessarily something Buddhist. is the idea or belief that we have. From a Buddhist point of view. You don’t have to call it view. These are gathered under Siddhartha’s Intent. meditation is slightly more than that. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. taken together. You can think of it as “idea. and clearly it’s in the trendy meditation department. the words “Buddhist” or “Buddhism” are not important.” Actually.H. First. it’s something we’re doing all the time. if all these four seals are found in a path or a philosophy. that the car is a good one.Buddhism in a Nutshell: The Four Seals of Dharma Ufbdijoht !}!!Uif!Gpvs!Tfbmt!pg!Eibsnb by Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche People often ask me: “What is Buddhism in a nutshell?” Or they ask. I think we need to talk about the real context of Buddhist meditation. that is. it doesn’t matter whether you call it Buddhist or not.

” that includes the dimensions of space and time. as you will see. like the changing of the problem. come apart. the changing of the weather.” All phenomena are empty. middle. the Buddhist path would become theistic. since the present would always be there. Buddhists think. there would be no such thing as singing a song.. This is actually the ultimate view of Buddhism. They contemplate this view of permanence. The First Seal: All Compounded Things are Impermanent Every phenomenon we can think of is compounded. All emotions are painful. Certain aspects of impermanence. there would be no future. Buddhists have a single statement. but there are equally obvious things that we don’t accept. namely this first seal: phenomena are impermanent because they are compounded. our body is visibly impermanent and getting older every day. middle or end were missing. middles or ends. The fourth seal is that nirvana is beyond extremes. and its whole purpose would be lost. “So what?” we ask. If the present moment were permanent. Certain popular magazines that cater to youth and beauty exploit this attitude. The Tibetans. and yet this is something we don’t want to accept. “Why should we bother about that? What’s the big deal? It has a beginning. and therefore subject to impermanence. When we say “compounded. the other three are grounded on this third seal. the beginning. their readers might have a view—thinking in terms of not aging or escaping the aging process somehow. or the Japanese might not like it. and their consequent action is to go to fitness centers and undergo plastic surgery and all sorts of other hassles. Anything that is assembled will. Many religions worship things like love with celebration and songs. there is no such thing as the present. etc. 49!}!FBTUFSO!IPSJ[PO!BQSJM!311: . but teaching doesn’t have to be in a “traditional” form. meditation and action. getting old and dying. In terms of view. the Chinese. there is uncertainty and pain.Ufbdijoht !}!!Uif!Gpvs!Tfbmt!pg!Eibsnb Therefore. On the other hand. For instance. Time is compounded and therefore impermanent: without the past and future. Enlightened beings would think that this is ridiculous and based on a wrong view. If. you could have a surfer giving you teachings on how to sit on a beach watching a sunset: if what he says contains all these four seals. sooner or later. and end—so what?” It’s not that Buddhists are really worried about beginnings. This is something that only Buddhists would talk about. Regarding these different aspects of impermanence. The problem is that when there is composition and impermanence.” They are: weather. would there? That means that singing a song is something compounded. “This is all suffering. it would be Buddhism. Every act you do—let’s say. as there is with temporal and material things. religious dogma. they are without inherent existence. in the singing of a song. The four seals are quite interrelated. Without these four seals. a middle and an end. we can accept easily. plant a flower or sing a song—has a beginning. these four characteristics are called “the Four Seals of Dharma. that’s not the All compounded things are impermanent.

they are a source of pain. But if that were some kind of absolute. But that is not necessarily true. Impermanence is a relief! I don’t have a BMW today and it is thanks to the impermanence of that fact that I might have one tomorrow. The Second Seal: The Tibetan word for emotion in this context is zagche. Since everything is impermanent. if you have a view of impermanence. Even if today your BMW gets scratched by a vandal. impermanence and aging. But what about love and affection. A man might think a certain woman is beautiful and that is his truth. It is dependent on your mind. All Emotions are Painful BQSJM!311:!FBTUFSO!IPSJ[PO!}!4: . always talking about death. Another Buddhist way of explaining this is to say that when a big pain becomes smaller. But when we realize this truth. systematized pain. deep down and not just intellectually. the precious Buddhist path—is compounded. The dualistic mind creates a lot of expectations—a lot of hope. a mind that doesn’t understand the nature of things. Certain emotions.” in the sense of being permeated by confusion or duality. Hope is perfect. which means “contaminated” or “stained. light and lovely emotions? We don’t think of them as painful. Many of us mistake pain for pleasure—the pleasure we now have is actually the very cause of the pain that we are going to get sooner or later. this is to be expected. it has a middle and it has an end. Every dualistic mind is a mistaken mind. a lot of fear. The dualistic mind includes almost every thought we have. kindness and devotion. As for the pain of fear. That’s what we call happiness. Whenever there is a dualistic mind. This kind of dualistic perception is mistaken. we naturally regard as pain. Clearly. in the end. you won’t be so worried.” you are prepared to accept the experience of loss. thanks to impermanence. The Buddha said. Why is this painful? Because it is mistaken. Everything. they imply duality. I might feel great tomorrow. it depends on the way you understand it. this is not a truth that is independent of everything else. those nice. Without impermanence. I am stuck with the non-possession of a BMW. independent kind of truth. or your best friend lets you down. nevertheless. whether you like it or not—even the path. When you understand that “all compounded things are impermanent. as we can see in the case of different persons perceiving the same object in different ways. “Understand suffering. that’s not something we need to explain. and this means that. there is hope and fear. it is your own projection. we call it pleasure. Impermanence is not necessarily bad news.” That is the first Noble Truth. Delusion arises when we don’t acknowledge that all compounded things are impermanent. narrow-minded belief in permanence. It has a beginning. but actually it’s a big pain. So how are we to understand duality? It is subject and object: ourselves on the one hand and our experience on the other.Ufbdijoht !}!!Uif!Gpvs!Tfbmt!pg!Eibsnb Some people think that Buddhists are pessimistic. that’s what we call liberation: release from this onepointed. then everyone else also would have to see her as beautiful as well. such as aggression or jealousy. We tend to think that hope is not painful. I might feel severely depressed today and. and I can never have one.

however. so. The Third Seal: All Phenomena are Empty. It’s like when we see a mirage: there is no truly existing object there. This is why Buddhists conclude that all emotions are painful. Buddhists define a phenomenon as something with characteristics. It is because they believe in what are really just confused projections that sentient beings suffer. then you’re all right. However. they have a feeling of relief: “Great. you can drop the word “emotion” and simply say. With emptiness. as you can see. and never have had. if you want a more philosophical expression. they are not worth much. 51!}!FBTUFSO!IPSJ[PO!BQSJM!311: . People like us have dualistic compassion. which implies that the phenomenon does not possess a truly existent essence or nature. It is because they are impermanent and dualistic that they are uncertain and always accompanied by hopes and fears. When thirsty people see a mirage of water. including the Buddha. the mirage disappears.” But I like using the word “emotion” because it provokes us. and that they are really empty of that falsely imputed existence. This is why Buddhists do shamatha and vipashyana meditation—this helps to loosen the grip that our emotions have on us. That is an important aspect of emotion: emotion is something that does not have an independent existence. completely futile and painful. Such an assumption is based on the different conditions that make an object appear to be true. But ultimately. is not how the object really is. emotion does not have some kind of inherently real existence. whereas the Buddha’s compassion does not involve subject and object. They Are Without Inherent Existence When we say “all. From a buddha’s point of view. in the end. Question: Is compassion an emotion? The truth of a phenomenon is called shunyata. This is what is called mahakaruna — great compassion. enlightenment. Okay. they don’t have. and it is this that prevents us from seeing the truth of that object. and the obsessions we have because of them. It’s because we don’t know this that we go through a lot of hassles trying to solve our problems. even though it appears that way. when we talk about Isn’t pain impermanent? Yeah! If you know this.Ufbdijoht !}!!Uif!Gpvs!Tfbmt!pg!Eibsnb Moreover. emptiness. the object seen is interpreted as something really existent. “All that is dualistic is pain. compassion could never involve subject and object.” that means everything. and the path. It was as a remedy for this that the Buddha taught the Dharma. Everything we create through our emotions is. the existence imputed by the subject is a mistaken assumption. the Buddha meant that things do not truly exist as we mistakenly believe they do. an inherently existent nature. there’s some water!” But as they get closer. When a deluded person or subject sees something. and as an object that is conceived by a subject. And that is the second biggest problem we have—trying to solve our problems. Put very simply. this. I’m having difficulty accepting that all emotions are pain. in a way. To hold that an object is something external is ignorance.

The great commentator Nagarjuna said that the purpose of the first turning was to get rid of nonvirtue. you are not cool. everything’s emptiness. but when you get close.” he meant that mind is just a concept and that there is no such thing There is another kind of a problem that arises from not understanding emptiness. when the Buddha spoke about emptiness. never changing. You start by becoming a “good mahayana practitioner. So in order to put an end to non-virtuous deeds and thoughts. Somehow. poetic words. even the view of no-self. trying to get an intellectual understanding. we are still at the ground stage. mind is luminosity. and consequently of disappointment. As I said before when speaking about emotions. “There is no mind. The Buddha’s three sets of teaching do not seek to introduce something new.” This was to dispel the nihilistic view that there is no heaven.” refers to the first set of teachings and shows that the Buddha taught that there is a “mind. dharmakaya.” Finally. and in a different context we could say that the dharmakaya is permanent. It occurs with rather superficial and even jaded Buddhists. you might not notice that your idea of the solution is entirely based on your own personal interpretation. On the path. and use all sorts of beautiful. you’ll get tired and give up helping sentient beings. if you don’t accept emptiness. Where does the non-virtue come from? It comes from being either eternalist or nihilist. you try to help sentient beings. But if we don’t understand it properly. when he said. These are known as The Three Turnings of the Wheel. or emptiness. even to think of painting the dharmakaya is a mistake. but if we lack an understanding of this third seal—that all phenomena are empty—our compassion can backfire. Then. within Buddhist circles. BQSJM!311:!FBTUFSO!IPSJ[PO!}!52 . Finally. we might portray Buddha Vajradhara as a symbol of dharmakaya. “Mind. We might say. we mean that the way things appear is not the way they actually are. no cause and effect. So we pretend that we appreciate emptiness and pretend to meditate on it. once or twice. “Oh. If you are attached to the goal of compassion when trying to solve a problem. was presented in order to dispel clinging to a “truly existent self ” and to “truly existent phenomena.” The first. the mirage disappears. but for the moment. a bad side effect can occur.” and. I can do whatever I like. the Buddha gave his first teaching. the teachings of the third turning were given to dispel all views. all pervasive. As Buddhists we practice compassion. no hell. And you might end up as a victim of hope and fear.Ufbdijoht !}!!Uif!Gpvs!Tfbmt!pg!Eibsnb as a truly existing mind. there is no mind.” he was referring to buddhanature. but from an academic point of view. Emptiness can sometimes be referred to as second turning of the Dharma-wheel. But The Buddha taught three different approaches on three separate occasions. you may see a mirage and think it is something real.” So we ignore and violate the details if you have no understanding of this third seal. when the Buddha said. the undeluded or primordially existing wisdom. but they can be summed up in a single phrase: “Mind. The emptiness. “Mind is luminous. however real it may have seemed to begin with. their purpose is simply to clear away confusion. These are the mystical expressions that belong to the path.

the world is maya. The Fourth Seal : Nirvana is Beyond Extremes Question: If we ourselves are dualistic. “Nirvana is beyond extremes. You may say. which is something beyond description? Buddhists are very slippery. Nagarjuna alone wrote five different commentaries mostly dedicated to this. There are endless teachings on establishing this view. In Buddhism there’s so much iconography that you might think it was the object of meditation or an object of worship.” However. You’re right.” and we discourage others in the bargain. the responsibility for our action. I can’t show you real emptiness but I can tell you why things don’t exist inherently. But. colors and symbols. it is important to know that the path itself is ultimately an illusion. Ultimately speaking. “Things are illusion.Ufbdijoht !}!!Uif!Gpvs!Tfbmt!pg!Eibsnb of karma. When I’m talking about emptiness. it’s very rational because it uses the relative conventions of our world. There is nothing that is not included in ultimate truth. We become “inelegant. am I to understand that this is all non-existent? When you go to a temple. “Ah. in the end. I feel that the fourth seal. Now that I have explained emptiness. you can get to the real emptiness. that’s how things work. while we follow the path and apply its methods. His Holiness the Dalai Lama often speaks of this downfall of not understanding emptiness. and then there are the commentaries by his followers. and how we are responsible for our world. I can describe him to you or show you a photograph of him. that’s such crap.” “image-emptiness. that’s just too easy. this is not the case. cosmic energy. But briefly. it is only then that we can properly appreciate it. everything that I’m saying has to do with this “image” emptiness. In Buddhism. you can go and find the real person. A correct understanding of emptiness leads us to see how things are related.” But to that the Buddhists say. Philosophies or religions might say. the final goal is something that you can hold on to and keep. can we ever understand emptiness. You can never talk about absolute emptiness. In Mahayana temples or monasteries people chant the Prajnaparamita Heart Sutra—this is also a teaching on the third seal.” If you need to meet someone whom you have never met. “Too bad. but relatively speaking. illusion. Everything in samsara and nirvana—from the Buddha’s head to a piece of bread—everything is emptiness. These all belong to what we call “imagewisdom. the path is irrational. whatever. Actually. You can read millions of pages on this subject. but you can talk about an “image” of emptiness—something that you can evaluate and contemplate so that. 53!}!FBTUFSO!IPSJ[PO!BQSJM!311: . this last seal is also something uniquely Buddhist. from your teaching. And with the help of that photo image. The final goal is the only thing that truly exists. In many philosophies or religions.” has also been covered. you will see many beautiful statues.” but there are always one or two items left behind that are regarded as truly existent: God. These are important for the path.

saying. essays on all aspects of Buddhism. We need someone to help us in all these projects. if you find all of these interesting. the Buddha would have been the first to recommend them. so it is not something to be held on to. you don’t understand these four seals. Are you searching for a spiritually challenging work? Do you enjoy meeting fellow Dharma practitioners. If you are keen to be part of this exciting magazine.Ufbdijoht !}!!Uif!Gpvs!Tfbmt!pg!Eibsnb But nirvana is not fabricated. you will feel comfortable no matter what happens to you. He or she is by definition a follower of the Buddha. Well. please e-mail to the editor at Bennyliow@gmail. and Dharma masters? Would you like to introduce the latest Buddhist book you read recently? How about researching into the latest web-sites on Buddhist activities around the world? And of course.com. When you have a clear understanding of these four seals as the ground of your practice. what is real. It doesn’t matter whether you are a monk or a nun who has renounced worldly life or you are a yogi practicing profound tantric methods. a better sewer system. March 2000. for he wanted us to have what is true. is a Buddhist.” We somehow think that we can go somewhere where we’ll have a better sofa seat. and Is Not. If there were some true permanence in compounded phenomena. he didn’t. a nirvana where you don’t even have to have a remote control. Published in Shambhala Sun. you end up regarding the contents of your mind as the manifestations of something evil. a better shower system. “What Buddhism Is. book reviews. EH This article is based on a talk entitled. diabolical and bad. where everything is there the moment you think of it. Whoever holds these four. But as I said earlier. There is no need for such a person even to be called a Buddhist. when you try to abandon or transform attachment to your own experiences. As long as you have these four as your view. we publish special chat sessions with leading Buddhist personalities. what about telling us how you first came in contact with the dharma and what the dharma means to you today. and news and activities that are of interest to the Buddhist community. If that’s what you do. nothing can go wrong. and contemplates them. you are far from the truth.” But thanks to his great compassion. and we will put you in touch with what’s challenging for the next issue! Let us share the dharma for the benefit of all sentient beings! BQSJM!311:!FBTUFSO!IPSJ[PO!}!54 . Buddhist leaders. in their heart. or in their head.” given in Sydney. if there were true pleasure in the emotions. If. we can make it spiritually challenging for you too! In every issue of EASTERN HORIZON. It is referred to as “beyond extremes. Australia in April 1999. “Please keep and treasure these. And the whole point of Buddhism is to make you understand the truth. it’s not that we are adding something new that was not there before. Nirvana is achieved when you remove everything that was artificial and obscuring.

1 were distributed to various Buddhist societies and 1. USA and the UK. This is a landmark Buddhist publication. India. as it is the first Malaysian English Buddhist songbook to feature music notation. During the launch. Dharma Tunes Volume 1 was officially launched on August 31. the senior most Theravada Buddhist monk in Malaysia and Singapore.000 sponsored copies have been distributed in Malaysia and other countries such as Singapore. Selangor. The recordings were performed by Mr Daniel Kwok and members of the i. The launch was officiated by Venerable B. flanked by Mr Chong Su Lim. together with minus one versions to aid sing-alongs. in commemoration of the 2nd anniversary of the passing away of the Venerable Dr. has launched an innovative Buddhist songbook entitled “Dharma Tunes Volume 1”. The songbook intends to popularize Buddhist songs to convey the key teachings and values of Buddhism to a new audience. Abbot of the Sentul Buddhist Temple. copies of Dharma Tunes Vol. Sri Lanka. Sri Saranankara Nayaka Maha Thera. 55!}!FBTUFSO!IPSJ[PO!BQSJM!311: .gemz. Accompanying the book is an audio CD that contains five previously unrecorded songs. a renowned Buddhist singing group in Malaysia. 2008. K Sri Dhammananda. Adhikarana Sangha Nayaka.Nbmbztjbo!Cveeijtu!Tpohcppl FI I !}!!Ufbdijoht MALAYSIAN BUDDHIST SONGBOOK DHARMA TUNES VOLUME 1 LAUNCHED Venerable Saranakara receiving a copy of Dharma Tunes from Mr Wong Tin Song. on how to start a singing group. It took a team of enthusiasts nine months to come out with the songbook. especially the youth. the editor. besides lyrics with guitar chords. A group of Buddhist music enthusiasts from Setenang Buddhist Community. and a listing of Core Buddhist Teachings contained in each song. who gave the songbook his encouragement and support. Other innovative features include a Getting Started section.

“Besides Volume 1. 1 is designed to address these needs by providing music notes for contemporary material that reaches out to a wide audience”.html BQSJM!311:!FBTUFSO!IPSJ[PO!}!56 • 33 Buddhist songs ranging from Buddhist classics such as “Wheel of Life” to latest compositions like “My Destiny” • Attractive layout with nature based artwork • Environmentally friendly A4 format (no paper wastage) • A “Getting Started” section on how to start a Buddhist singing group within your Buddhist society • Song Index with Core Buddhist Teachings listed for each song. +603-78426828.gemz. harmony and peace which are exactly what we need in these challenging times.Nbmbztjbo!Cveeijtu!Tpohcppl FI !}!!Ufbdijoht }!!Ufbdijoh ht for sale. “We hope to enrich the lives of our fellow Buddhists by sharing these values with them”. .webs. He further explained that an improved version of Dharma Tunes Vol. because songs suitable for adults were not suitable for young children. and Tel. What better way to express these wonderful values than through song”. 1 is suitable for Buddhist Sunday School students. there was no readily available musical material for Buddhist Sunday Schools. We hope this will appeal to all Buddhists. This approach ensures that future volumes of Dharma Tunes are successfully published.com/dharmatunes.com Mr Wong Tin Song phone: +6012-347 0492 Website: http://sulimation. ABOUT DHARMA TUNES VOLUME 1 Dharma Tunes Volume 1 is a Setenang Buddhist Community project. Even those that were published did not contain music notation. contact: Mr Jerry Khoo phone: +6012-621 1098 email: jktp2001@yahoo. from inspirational. he added. Section 2 for piano / keyboard with simple music notation suitable for students • Accompanying Audio CD with 5 previously unrecorded songs that includes instrumental versions for easy sing-along. we have five previously unrecorded songs arranged in interesting ways to accompany the songbook. said Dharma Tunes advisor. said Mr Chong Su Lim. The funds from the sales will help make Dharma Tunes a self-sustaining project. teachers. Buddhist Study Groups and piano /keyboard/guitar students and is available from Sukhi Hotu bookshop (Tel. making it very difficult to learn the songs. 1 is now re-printed and available For further enquiries. Dharma Tunes Vol. Petaling Jaya. Mr Wong Tin Song. the Editor-in-Chief of Dharma Tunes. There was also a lack of material that catered to the various age groups. with lower reliance on donation funds. “Before the publication of Dharma Tunes. Penang). “As innovation is the hallmark of Dharma Tunes. +604-2294811. an entire series of Dharma Tunes publications will materialize over the next few years and we hope to get the support of the Buddhist community for this effort”. he added. to lullaby and even with sixties canto pop influences. This innovative songbook features: • 112 pages in softcover “The Buddha’s teachings promote the universal values of love. to help Buddhist Sunday School teachers choose relevant songs for each lesson • Two sections: Section 1 for singers and guitarists. said Mr Daniel Kwok of the i. A wide range of music styles were used.com Mr Chong Su Lim phone: +6019-329 9972 email: sulimc@yahoo. EH Dharma Tunes Vol. especially the Buddhist youth”.

which has nothing to do with belonging to or believing in one religion or another: promoting inter-religious harmony and dialogue. “My faith towards the Chinese government since the end of March. EH AP Photo The Dalai Lama (left) and Rome’s Mayor Gianni Alemanno. 2009 they have not been abandoned. The 73-year-old exiled Tibetan leader said he is committed to three things: promoting the value of the human individual. the Dalai Lama said that the situation in Tibet remains very serious following last year’s crackdown by the Chinese authorities on Buddhist monks.Spnf!Nblft!Ebmbj!Mbnb!bo!Ipopsbsz!Djuj{fo Rome Makes Dalai Lama an Honorary Citizen VOA.The Dalai Lama received the honorary citizenship of Rome during a formal ceremony at the city council. The mayor honored him for “his international commitment to find a peaceful solution to the problems of Tibet and spreading the principle of reaffirming human rights and peace among peoples”. Mayor Gianni Alemanno said the presence of the1989 Nobel peace laureate represented a moral revolt against injustice. would feel less alone and know now expressing themselves about our cause very. Feb. The Dalai Lama added that he believes the Tibetan people. my faith now is becoming thinner and thinner. however my faith towards Chinese people never shaken. But the Dali Lama says he is only seeking greater autonomy for the region to protect its unique Buddhist culture. and more Chinese intellectuals. 2009 Rome.” he said. He then travels on to Baden Baden in Germany to receive a prize. 9. Feb 9. writers. China has long accused the Dalai Lama of leading a campaign to split Tibet from the rest of the country. Speaking after arriving in the Italian capital on Sunday. very positively. knowing that he is in Rome to receive this honorary citizenship. Italy -. are 57!}!FBTUFSO!IPSJ[PO!BQSJM!311: . He added the social situation in Tibet is critical because there is great resentment between the native Tibetan and the Chinese population. violence and oppression. I publicly expressed. and resolving the cause of Tibet. The Dalai Lama later traveled to Venice from Rome where he is also to become an honorary citizen of the lagoon city. The Dalai Lama renewed his commitment to non-violence at a ceremony in which he received the honorary citizenship of Rome.

my father who had lived in Thailand would tell me stories about the monks there. However. vision and current activities in Vietnam.up. my family was strongly opposed to it and I decided to drop the idea.D.Gbdf !}!!Qmboujoh!uif!Eibsnb!Tffet!jo!Wjfuobn Planting the Dharma Seeds in Vietnam by Venerable Dhammananda Bhikkhuni Venerable Dhammananda Bhikkhuni (Su co Nguyen Huong) from Vietnam visited Kuala Lumpur in January 2009 on her way to Santi Forest Monastery in Sydney to assist Ajahn Sujato with a training program for Buddhist nuns. During her short visit in Malaysia. Eastern Horizon: How did you get the nick-name ‘1001 Questions’ nun? Dhammananda: I have an inquisitive mind and was fond of asking questions. wickedness. and impermanence. I was more exposed to Christianity in my early days as there was a church in almost every village but no temples. When I became a nun. I read the work of the famous Buddhist poet Truyen Kiew called “The story of Kiew” about a nun. and it had a lasting effect on me. who is 38 years old. However. Venerable Dhammananda is very active in teaching Buddhism and helping with numerous social welfare projects. oppression. suffering.Gbdf. When I was nineteen. I would ask questions about the meaning of life. Now back in her native Vietnam. I attended church services for several years and decided to become a Christian nun. a retired medical social worker from University of Malaya Medical Centre. in Buddhist Studies in Kelaniya University. on behalf of Eastern Horizon. BQSJM!311:!FBTUFSO!IPSJ[PO!}!58 . spoke with Venerable Dhammananda. Venerable Dhammananda. and Advisor to the Counseling Unit at the Buddhist Gem Fellowship. Sri Lanka. How did you come into contact with Buddhism then? As a child. has just completed her Ph. regarding her early life. I had even more questions about Buddhism for my professors who then decided to give me that nickname! You grew up in Ha Tinh Province in North Vietnam and were not exposed to Buddhism. At age thirteen. As a student at Kelaniya University. Barbara Yen Yoke Wah.

Ho Chi Minh city. I returned to the nunnery as I wanted to pray for a good rebirth for my brother. The abbess Venerable Ni su Thich Nu Dieu Niem became a great mentor for me. However.” I didn’t like what I saw and wanted to search for a higher meaning in life. Sri Lanka in 2004. This led to my deep interest in Theravada teachings. I had a vivid dream that I was a Buddhist monk going on alms round and my parents were Buddhist devotees! By the time I was twenty-one. At age thirteen. In fact. when I was sixteen.up. We could work together to serve the poor. In 1994. my mother learnt that I had become a nun and wanted to take me home! But I encouraged her to stay for a few days at the temple and when she saw how happy I was as a nun. I had decided to live in Can Linh Monastery in Vinh City. I decided to leave due to my continuing depression. there was no generation gap. Venerable Vien Minh Mahathera and traveled two thousand kilometers to learn from him and from Venerable Dhammarakkhita Mahathera at Buu Long Monastery. Unfortunately.Gbdf. I began reading writings by Ajahn Chah and Sayadaw U Pandita and became interested in Vipassana meditation. They both taught me basic Buddhist doctrines and Pali. The abbess welcomed me back with open arms. I later left to further my studies in Burma and Sri Lanka where I received my higher Ordination or Upasampada in Anuradhapura. When I was twenty-seven years old. and I felt becoming a monastic would provide me an answer on how to solve these social problems. my second brother opposed to my being a nun and forced me to leave and lived with him in the city.Gbdf !}!!Qmboujoh!uif!Eibsnb!Tffet!jo!Wjfuobn But what motivated you to take the path of a Buddhist nun? I was sixth in my family of ten children. mother and sister were trapped in a very mundane domestic life where their main task appears to be to produce children and I decided that “this is not for me. especially wars and poverty. Although she was in her seventies. There seems to be so much suffering in society. She exposed me to the sutras especially the Heart Sutra. About a year later. You started off as a Mahayana nun. she changed her mind. 59!}!FBT FBTUFSO!IPSJ[PO FBTUFS UFSO O!IPSJ IPSJ[PO [PO!BQSJM !BQSJM!311: BQSJM!31 !311: 1: . Long Binh. What made you change to the Theravada tradition? In 1995. I also had to support my sister-in-law but after three years. A year later I heard of a well known meditation master. Diamond Sutra and Surangama Sutra. I could see that my grandmother. my brother was killed in a car accident and I became very depressed by this tragedy. my mentor passed away and I became the abbess! She had about a thousand devotees and running the temple was not easy as I was young and inexperienced.

BQSJM!311:! BQS QSJM! M!311 311:! : FBT FBTUFS FBTUFSO!IPSJ[PO UFSO O!IPSJ IPSJ[PO [PO!}!5: . Besides distributing food and other items.Gbdf !}!!Qmboujoh!uif!Eibsnb!Tffet!jo!Wjfuobn Occasionally we hear of problems encountered by Buddhist nuns. In conjunction with the recent Tet or the Vietnamese New Year. This is the village that I was born and sadly. which borders Laos.up. Many of them are from minority groups and had little or no formal education. The people in these areas are very poor and more than 85 per cent of them are farmers whose crops were destroyed by the floods. we collected donations for the poor in Son Kim Commune. So there is much to be done to improve their quality of life and to help them understand the Buddhist faith and practices. My vision is to help the young people in Vietnam understand and practice Buddhism again after so many years of neglect due to wars and Communist rule. a place for children to play (to be called Lumbini Garden). I help to raise funds for the poor and disabled children to give them the opportunity to receive a proper education. Vietnam was hit by severe storms and flooding. My Mentor in Vietnam always gave nuns the opportunities they need to develop. Do you write books to spread Buddhism in Vietnam? I would like to translate some of my writings and articles which have appeared in Buddhist journals into Vietnamese and publish them for free-distribution to poor Buddhists. a meditation and multi-purpose hall. educational and cultural center in my hometown. Are you planning to establish a Buddhist center? My vision is to start centers for Buddhist studies and practice in the provinces where Buddhism was destroyed during long years of wars and under Communist rule. Hatinh Province. and a guest house where practitioners. and whether you had to face any major obstacles? I was fortunate not to have experienced major obstacles or discrimination. At the moment. Towards the end of 2007. I appeal to all Dharma friends to join hands in this program. I have completed a Pali-Vietnamese Dictionary with the help of my Dharma sister Venerable Nhu Lien (Susanta). Thousands of these poor Buddhists have little or no formal education.Gbdf. and some are disabled children from very poor families. In fact I had encouragement all the way except in my early days. I am currently in the final stages of completing a Buddhist meditation. visitors and students from afar can stay. I tried to mobilize help for these poor victims. from Thanh Hoa to Binh Thuan. I also went to Hue City in central Vietnam to help some monks led by Venerable Phao Tong and Venerable Tue Tam in their relief-work following a severe flood. when they complained. I also shared the Buddhist teachings with them. Sometimes. The center will have a library. Do you want to share your experience as a nun. We are sourcing for funds to meet the printing costs. she would explain that women have more needs than men! What major projects have you embarked since returning to Vietnam in 2008? I have started a few humanitarian projects to help the poor. I call this “planting the seeds of Dharma” in Vietnam again. Thousands of them were left homeless and had little food and clothing. it is the poorest region in Vietnam. Huong Son District.

9 District.Gbdf !}!!Qmboujoh!uif!Eibsnb!Tffet!jo!Wjfuobn I understand you have accepted an invitation by Ajahn Sujato of Santi Forest Monastery. The short stories were submitted by my sister while the Outstanding Woman in Buddhism Award was proposed by a Thai bhikkhuni. Let us hear once again the Buddha’s compassionate appeal: “Go and work for the good of the many. my advice is for them to keep a pure and energetic life and be motivated to go towards the spiritual path. for the benefit of the many. London.up. I was pleasantly surprised by the awards. Her address in Vietnam is as follows: SC Nguyen Huong. You won the International Award for ‘Writing Very Short Stories’ from BBC. on the possibility of a Bhikkhuni training center in Malaysia. I don’t think so because Ajahn Sujato is very compassionate and allows me time to spend half a year in Vietnam to continue my humanitarian projects. I enjoyed writing stories and novels and had enrolled in a writing course. Right now. or nguyenhuonght@yahoo. to help with his Bhikkhuni training program for two years. Could you share with us how you achieved them? Basically. (84) 08889168 or (84) 0919193101 61!}!FBT FBTUFSO!IPSJ[PO FBTUFS UFSO O!IPSJ IPSJ[PO [PO!BQSJM !BQSJM!311: BQSJM!31 !311: 1: . Buu Long Monastery.com. what advice would you give to those who wish to go forth? For those who wish to go forth. What are your thoughts on this? I rejoice at this development. They gave me further inspiration to continue with my task to propagate Buddhism. not only from Malaysia but from neighboring countries can have the opportunity to train under good masters in a conducive and supportive environment. Ho Chi Minh City. You also discussed with Venerable Aggacitta in Sasanarakkha Buddhist Sanctuary in Taiping. 81/1 Nguyen Xien Lane. VIET-NAM Tel. Long-binh Commune. for the wellbeing and happiness of gods and men!” Let us put Loving Kindness (metta) and Compassion (karuna) into action! EH Those who would like to support Venerable Dhammananda in her charitable activities in Vietnam may contact her at scphaphy@gmail. Won’t this affect your work in Vietnam? No.com. Sydney.Gbdf. one of my brothers is helping to oversee the building of the temple. Malaysia. As a final question. in 1994 and the ‘Outstanding Woman in Buddhism’ Award from the United Nations in 2007. I hope the plan will materialize soon so that women.

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Book Reviews
BOOKS BY MASTER HSING YUN by Benny Liow

Buddha’s Light Publishing
3456 S. Glenmark Dr. Hacienda Heights, CA 91745, USA. Tel. (+001) 626-923-5143 www.blpusa.com

Founder of one of the world’s largest Buddhist organizations, the Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Order, Venerable Dharma Master Hsing Yun has dedicated over fifty years to teaching and promoting “Humanistic Buddhism” that integrates Buddhist spiritual practices into daily living. He has written numerous books aimed at guiding Dharma practitioners towards attaining true mindfulness and real awakening in life. His works have been translated into various Western and Eastern languages. Eastern Horizon is pleased to feature five excellent new books by Master Hsing Yun that were published in 2008 by Buddha’s Light Publishing in California, USA. These books reveal to us the unique personality of this great spiritual master as well as giving us an insight into how Humanistic Buddhism can truly help us achieve happiness in this life. EH

Where is Your Buddha Nature (166 pp, US$15.00) is a collection of 116 short stories that convey the most basic aspects of the Buddha’s teachings in a most inspiring way. In this book, there are stories about the Buddha, Chan (Zen) Masters, ordinary people, devotees, monastics, animals and the Master himself. The stories of Master Hsing Yun is really an autobio-graphical glimpse of his childhood, early years as a monk, the difficulties he encountered in starting the Fo Guan Shan order, as well as an insight into the qualities that this remarkable monk possess that has made him into one of the most successful Buddhist missionaries in the modern era. In stories about his disciples, the reader will be inspired to learn how Master Hsing Yun trains and develops them, while in the stories about the monks and nuns, we learn how these monastics react to different situations in a most positive manner based on their practice of Humanistic Buddhism. The stories in this book are about the many noble qualities taught by the Buddha. They include the message of wisdom, courage, kindness, and inspiration but perhaps the most prominent idea that pervades the entire writings is compassion – the core of the Buddhist way of life as can be exemplified by the life story of the author himself. EH

Seeking Happiness (204 pp, US$15.00) is about how our everyday actions can help us find true happiness in our lives. Going through this collection of 100 short essays, one will be inspired to realize the importance of how a moment of thought can transform our daily lives – to allow us to reflect upon what is good in both the natural worlds and society, so that we can see the goodness in everything that we encounter and find true happiness. These essays very skillfully relate the natural world to our human existence and our existence as individuals to our role within society. In many ways, these essays represent a combination of East-West thinking – a synthesis of the best ideas from Western scholars, Buddhist scriptures, ancient Chinese thought, and many other great thinkers. Master Hsing Yun hopes that each short essay will provide us a moment to contemplate life, to help us look at life from a different perspective, and thus to find real happiness in our lives. EH

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The Core Teachings (168 pp, US$15.00) represents Master Hsing Yun’s insights from decades of studying and practicing the Buddha’s teachings. Even though the Buddha’s teachings of over 45 years are now available in the form of sutras, treatises, and commentaries in English, it is not always easy for the beginner to comprehend the entire doctrine. In this book, Master Hsing Yun begins by very skillfully explaining to the readers how to study Buddhism and then explained in simple language in the context of Humanistic Buddhism the core concepts of the Law of Dependent Origination, The Four Noble Truths, Karma, The Three Dharma Seals, Emptiness, Mind, Buddha Nature, Nirvana, The Triple Gem, The Five Precepts, The Noble Eightfold Path, and How to become a Bodhisattva – the ultimate practice of a Mahayana Buddhist. An excellent glossary is also provided at the end of the book for the benefit of readers who are new to the Buddhist teachings. EH

Traveling to the Other Shore (265pp, US$15.00) is a collection of selected stories that bring to life the wisdom of the Buddha as he explains the importance of the Six Perfections, exemplified in the actions of the characters within each of the stories. As a complement to the sutras, these stories narrate the day-to-day spiritual endeavors of sincere practitioners as they practice the Six Perfections. The Six Perfections taught by the Buddha are Giving, Morality, Patience, Effort, Meditation and Wisdom. There are stories for each of these Six Perfections. In the stories about “Giving” as a Perfection, Master Hsing Yun relates how to make offerings and how to give in a proper manner. There are similar stories for each of the other five Perfections. EH

Bright Star Luminous Cloud (472 pp, US$15.00) is the life story of Venerable Master Hsing Yun. He is best known throughout the Buddhist world as the monk who modernizes and globalizes Buddhism through the building of temples, educational institutions such as the University of the West in California, libraries, art galleries and museums throughout the world. This biography comprises a total of 24 chapters. Master Hsing Yun was born in 1927 and this is appropriately explained in the chapter “A Little Seed of Buddhahood Descends into the Human World”. Subsequent chapters narrate how he left home to become a monk, his early missionary efforts, difficulties and challenges he encountered to promote a modern form of Buddhism free from superstition, and the full development of Humanistic Buddhism in the world today. More than any other monk, Venerable Master Hsing Yun has to his credit successfully promoted a most vibrant and modern form of Chinese Buddhism that is today accepted throughout the modern world. EH The above books are available from Buddha’s Light Publishing at www.blpusa.com, or at: Buddha’s Light Publishing 3456 S. Glenmark Dr. Hacienda Heights, CA 91745, United States of America Tel: (+001) 626-923-5143 Fax: (+001) 626-923-5145

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Impermanence: Embracing Change. relationships. inviting one to experience the uncluttered peace required for quiet reflection. It comes with a DVD so that the reader can also share the original experience of the exhibition. so to speak. to give the impermanent a permanent footing. in fact. love and understand. Learn. but use it to grow. What about you?” Who said that Buddhism is a pessimistic religion? IMPERMANENCE: EMBRACING CHANGE can be read in an hour but it will take a lifetime to understand and experience it in all its cosmic complexity.95 It would not be an exaggeration to claim that the Teaching on Impermanence is the very bedrock of Buddhism. multi media artists David Hodge and Hi-jin Hodge decided to present their recordings of interviews with over one hundred people on the subject and play them simultaneously and sequentially. pp 158. US$29. It could also be seen as a visual-auditory experience of Dependent Origination. to hold down the evanescent. Box 6483 Ithaca. its vulnerability as well as its transcendence. It seems quite fitting therefore that when one wants to honor the world’s best known Buddhist.O. Charged with celebrating the life and works of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. but related impact. It is so important. Prevent violence. and vice versa. capture the essence of the universe. awareness—all pointing to the Teaching that ultimate happiness comes from accepting the reality of change: do not resist change. a paragraph of comment surrounded by plenty of space. Overall the book celebrates humanity. from a six year old child to a Catholic priest who had served in the ministry for half a century .com David Hodge & Hi-jin Kang Hodge. ever changing shapes created by a wisp of smoke. or as Anne Firth Murray says in My Message to the World: “Here is what I plan to do: stay alive. The artists were challenged to reduce the abstract topic of impermanence and change into tangible form. 2008.snowlionpub. this subject should be addressed. IMPERMANENCE: EMBRACING CHANGE is a beautifully crafted book. that the Buddha expounded on it as early as the second discourse which he delivered after his enlightenment. They succeed. so too in this book. but taken together. the Buddha’s Dharma pervades them all—thoughts on mortality. peace. with the medium becoming the subject. Just as each pearl makes individual ‘sense’. The thoughts come from a wide variety of people. by not writing a treatise in the familiar linear mode but by imitating Zen in capturing fleeting moments of thought as they arose in an array of human beings and stringing them together like a necklace of pearls. USA www. Savor the beauties of the world. New York 14851. Say ‘yes’ to life. Live without fear.Cppl!Sfwjfxt Snow Lion Publications Book Reviews by Vijaya Samarawickrama P. with each page devoted to a single black and white photograph. but the whole the string creates a different. Yet. Be there for others. birth. Make injustice visible and overcome it. the individual responses carry personalized meanings. mimicking the ebb and flow of conversation in a room full of people—a virtual reality experience of sorts. Delight in poetry. EH BQSJM!311:!FBTUFSO!IPSJ[PO!}!66 . Practice true love. Believe that change is possible.

There are many lessons and teachings to be gleaned from all these personal experiences and encounters. Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche recounted his life story in four parts – his spiritual roots. Shakya Shri gave instructions in Mahamudra and Dzogchen in accordance with each follower’s disposition. which many may have heard but not read about.H. Nepal. Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche together with three attendants were the first Tibetan lamas to visit Malaysia. He related occasions when his grandmother. readable and personal manner. In one chapter. Two of his sons. these are memoirs of Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche. US$ 29. who was among the first Tibetan Buddhism teachers to establish an important monastery around the very auspicious Boudha Stupa in Kathmandu. Chokyur Lingpa. Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche and Chokling Rinpoche. Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche talked about his great-grandfather. it is possible to be enlightened in one’s lifetime. Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche shared his personal experiences and encounters with some of the greatest Tibetan masters. Through Blazing Splendor. It is also interesting to read in Blazing Splendor stories of masters attaining rainbow body or auspicious signs at the time of their deaths. He gave a first-person account of some of the greatest Tibetan Buddhism teachers of the 19th and 20th centuries. Throughout the book. Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche. which a reader of any levels is able to read and relate without much difficulty. one of those masters who revealed Guru Padmasambhava’s hidden treasures of terma teachings.95 As the title suggests. 2005. Hence. who is Chokyur Lingpa’s daughter actually witnessed how Chokyur Lingpa revealed a terma before a crowd. The many stories in Blazing Splendor were told by Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche over many years to Erik Pema Kunsang and Marcia Binder Schimdt. Khyentse Yangsi Rinpoche is the reincarnation of H. In Blazing Splendor. pp 432. Phakchok Rinpoche are still visiting Malaysia regularly to give teachings and conduct pujas. his time spent in Central Tibet and his time spent in exile (after the invasion of Tibet by the Chinese government).com Blazing Splendor: The Memoirs of the Dzogchen Yogi Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche by Urgyen. Tersey Tulku. To know that if one practises hard enough. we read about Buddhist teachings and practices in Tibet. EH 67!}!FBTUFSO!IPSJ[PO!BQSJM!311: . Shakya Shri is the root guru of Rinpoche’s uncle. Marcia Binder Schmidt. But to read that these phenomena actually happen in real-life reinforces one’s faith and confidence in Tibetan Buddhism. His memoirs are written in a simplistic. In another chapter. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. These phenomena are something that has been written in Tibetan Buddhism books as a matter of theory. Erik Pema Kunsang. including lay practitioners. Another of his grandson. a great siddha-master. Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche talked about Shakya Shri. these are invaluable lessons from a practicing yogi who had lived and practised in Tibet with some of the greatest masters. his grandson. I would highly recommend anyone interested in Tibetan Buddhism or doing Vajrayana practices to read this book.rangjung.Cppl!Sfwjfxt Book Reviews by Her Cher Sun Rangjung Yeshe Publications www. These are not mere stories. Blazing Splendor also gives a better understanding of some of the Vajrayana practices. his early years.

the interviewer asked questions that are very relevant to practitioners of Tibetan Buddhism. Certain terms have been clarified in the first chapter of the book.shambhala. There is a chapter on the history of the Sakya school. it would be best to have some basic understanding of Tibetan Buddhism (or even Buddhism in general in this respect) before embarking on this book.95 Anyone wanting a better understanding of the teachings of the Sakya tradition – this is THE book for now… However. including. the Sakya tradition is one of the four main sects of Tibetan Buddhism. For the uninitiated readers. which extensively explains the origin and evolution of the Sakya tradition. 2008. 194 pp. This book contains teachings by eminent Sakya masters of the past and present. There is a liberal blending of the historical. Mediums and Magicians Stories of Taoist Mystics. US$18. This book helps to bring these elements together by recounting the biographies and historical sketches of about 100 Taoist mystics over a span of two millennia from the 11th Century B. philosophy and medicine that the task of making sense of it is necessarily left to a very select few. in a clear and layman manner. while others are much longer. The present work is a translation by Dr Thomas Cleary of a 14th Century text compiled by Zhang Tianyu. the simple style of English and the footnotes provided by the editor are particularly useful in guiding the reader through the maze of information which is presented. there is an explanation on the distinction between Hinayana. legendary and the mythical so that the reader has to be constantly on guard to differentiate them to fully appreciate the essential teachings of Lao Tzu. EH Book Reviews by Vijaya Samarawickrama Thomas Cleary. It is an intricate blend of such a variety of elements ranging from the magical and the mythological to poetry. Sakya Pandita and Chogyal Phakpa.E. Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions on some Buddhist principles. Alchemists. BQSJM!311:!FBTUFSO!IPSJ[PO!}!68 . mysticism. US$18. Among such chapters are the Five Paths to Enlightenment and the Ten Bhumis to Enlightenment by Khenpo Apey Rinpoche and the History of Buddhism by His Eminence Chogye Trichen.Cppl!Sfwjfxt Book Reviews by Her Cher Sun Shambhala Publishing Shambhala (Boston and London). the founding masters of the Sakya tradition. This is due to the reason that the book has various terminologies and concepts but there is no glossary at the back of the book for these terminologies and concepts. 268 pages. Treasures of the Sakya Lineage – Teachings from the Masters.C. having said that. For a layperson the task of making sense of the bewildering complexity of Taoism must obviously be a daunting task.com Migmar Tseten. the forty-first Patriarch of the Sakya sect. 2009. Another interesting point to note is – in most of the chapters. www. His Holiness Sakya Trizin answered these questions. such as. However.95. Some of the sketches are very short. This is not a book for a brand new beginner in Buddhism. not more than a paragraph. In this chapter. a Taoist priest. Jetsun Rinpoche Dragpa Gyaltsen. occultism. though I find it peculiar that this was arranged as the last chapter of the book! There is also another chapter which is a transcript of an interview with His Holiness Sakya Trizin.

Their arts are based on empty nothingness. The reality is easy to practice. therefore they can be masters of everyone. They are not leaders or followers of anyone. the Taoist love for nature and the simple life is constantly praised in contrast to the Confucianist penchant for serving in Government and pursuing academic knowledge. cultivated life. ‘in ancient times there were those who went to Handan to learn the way people there walked. but in the process of trying to imitate the walk of Handan. An interesting aspect of this book is the light it throws on the well known disdain that Taoists have had for Government and corrupt inept leaders: “I am fortunate to be able to preserve my natural life to the end. so they’d come crawling back home on their hands and knees’.(p32). Perhaps the best definition of Taoism is provided by one Master Sima Tan. attributing it to nature. who explains that Taoists don’t do anything. seeing the inner unity of the universe: “The world is ultimately one. but there are different routes” (p29). now I alone bequeath safety to my posterity. tranquil and calm. “People of the world kill their bodies with desire.Cppl!Sfwjfxt As a general theme throughout the book. he stopped being intellectual. They never learned to emulate it. generally the masters represented in this volume are well disposed to the other religions. they’d forgotten their former way of walking. no permanent form. The goal is the same. While reading this book may be a little difficult for someone without any basic knowledge of Taoism or the dynastic history of China. Ideas from the other schools of thought are incorporated: “To get bound up in name and fact trashes the loftiness of Lao Tzu. while worrying about everything at night?” If you don’t first stabilize your spirit and body yet you say you have the means to govern the world. to enjoy purity and emptiness is to trivialize the doctrines of Confucius” (p120) and the following story echoes the Buddha’s reply to his son Rahula who has asked for his inheritance: Mr Pang said. Although we know that Taoism. kill others with government. not compelled by worldly customs” (p32) Of the danger of trying to learn from too many teachers: “ When Huan Tan wanted to borrow the book of Chuang Tzu. and preserved reality. whether they have measures or no measures depends on the people for whom measures are to be promoted or abandoned. kill their posterity with money. Confucianism and Buddhism did not always see eye-to-eye. how can that be? (p29) Is there not a message in this for our present day rulers? EH 69!}!FBTUFSO!IPSJ[PO!BQSJM!311: . maintaining my spirit and nurturing harmony. Whether they have laws or no laws is a function of the time. ‘People of the world bequeath danger. that does not mean I’m not leaving any bequest’. therefore they are able to find out the conditions of all things. Wouldn’t it be more painful to work for a ruler by day promulgating decrees. functioning by adaptive accord. pure and empty. abandoned knowledge. Though what I leave is not the same. but the terminology is hard to understand. yet there are a hundred considerations. They have no established structure. if one has the persistence then he or she will be rewarded with a glimpse into the rich variety of elements which are syncretized to give Chinese culture its unique character. and kill the world with scholarship” (p190) “If you are talking of Chuang Tzu. taking only creation for his teacher and companion. Si warned. yet also say there is nothing they do not do.

. The author hesitates to read the suttas as definitely excluding the possibility of arahantship without jhana but at the same time says at the least there is a strong suggestion it is so . . Personal predisposition Conclusion inconsistent with the observation. pp 31 Obvious inaccuracy a.. if the objects of experience are still moving... Mix-up of the context On pp 36. Page 85.. etc. 2008.95 It is not every day that I get a challenging book to read.pp 41. The mind changes moment-to-moment and this is clearly experienced in vipassana. pp 80. Ekaggata . pp 94 uggaha nimitta. in samatha practice. US$18. even bodily sensations are not felt..... Then how can monks who have jhana be said to have right view before they embark on the Four Foundations of Mindfulness practice? b.... c.. i... Can we not practice the 7 factors of enlightenment exclusively? It will solve the jhana controversy once and for all.. Sukha is defined in third jhana as purely a physical experience . g. It is a well-meaning book written out of his concern for meditators to practice concentration correctly. anger. He has given me the opportunity to try to be open-minded and see things from his perspective. Mix-up of the context 4.. it is not yet right concentration. pp 236.. Author quotes the Anupada Sutta.... An unconventional method in anapanasati samatha practice. d. The Experience of Samadhi – An Indepth Exploration of Buddhist Meditation... can there be wisdom or insight? That also could be taken as an indication that one has to be aware of the whole body in order for breathe meditation to lead to jhana . Alternatively. Without samadhi.. in the same place a. Richard Shankman has compiled material for his book based mainly on the Suttas with some references from the Visuddhimagga. The author. Author says stream-winner do not need samadhi . implying that Sariputta developed insight while still in jhana ....... Obvious inaccuracy 3. the sutta states explicitly that body awareness is present in jhana . At the beginning of the b. Author says that the 7 factors of enlightenment appears to be tantamount to the four jhanas .. in the same place 2..... But their jhana (referring to the Buddha’s previous teachers) could not equal right concentration... f. BQSJM!311:!FBTUFSO!IPSJ[PO!}!6: . there is a mix up of the jhana factors of vipassana practice with the jhana factors of samatha practice: “unwholesome mental states do not have an opportunity to arise since the mind in jhana is so deeply concentrated. pp 28.pp 186..... These steps (1) – (16) in anapanasati do not necessarily correlate to jhana. pp 93. However. The author contradicts himself by implying strong concentration is not required at the beginning of the practice.. mind itself is unmoving. delusion.. Comment as per para (d) above.. pp 42..Cppl!Sfwjfxt Book Reviews by Quek Jin Keat Richard Shankman. This contradicts the traditional samathavipassana way of practice.pp 15. The hindrances do not have to be eradicated in order to take up the foundations of mindfulness practice. I have checked this with my meditation teacher. pp 82.. I must thank the editor for this.pp 96. but not the objects of awareness . covering four aspects: 1.. not the objects of experience ... be objects of cittanupassana (mindfulness of the mind practice). We shall now comment on the anomalies discovered. Conclusion inconsistent with the observation. it is a reasonable interpretation . Mind becomes collected and unmoving. h. e. but the mind needs to be free enough from them to become settled .. steady & clear. j.. because they lacked right view ....” Then how can lust...

It is a guide to cultivating the mind of enlightenment through generating the qualities of love. Even then. EH Kunzang Pelden. clergy. compassion. It covers every aspect of being connected to a dying person and is nicely illustrated with the practices of other cultures and the author’s own experiences. community activists. and contemplative practices from many spiritual traditions. Distilled from this influential program. and intuitively organized. www. pp 482. the meditator gains heightened awareness of it as the jhana factors gradually develop & suffuse throughout the body. Rather than losing connection with the body as one enters jhana. Hard Cover This commentary is about the path of the bodhisattvas – beings who vow to become enlightened in order to help all beings become enlightened as well. philosophy. The author asserts that the Visuddhimagga is extensive/meticulous in describing the 40 meditation subjects found in the suttas (pp 102). social workers. and patience. the awareness of the body can be “lost” in vipassana practice when the concentration becomes powerful. BEING WITH DYING combines Eastern and Western psychology. and spiritual seekers an elegant path for taking the fear out of the dying experience. has interviewed a number of vipassana as well as samatha teachers for this book. pp 204. We see his good intentions but it is left to the readers to draw their own conclusions based on their personal experiences. 2007. generosity. The Nectar of Manjushri’s Speech. Hardcover Joan Halifax founded the Project on Being with Dying to help healthcare professionals and their patients learn to “see death and know life in terms of compassion and awakening”. EH Shambhala Publishing Shambhala (Boston and London). It is thanks to Kunzang Pelden’s labors that Patrul Rinpoche’s teachings on the Bodhicharyavatara have been preserved.” This does not correspond with samatha experience. when the intention is to instruct and not to mislead? Concluding remarks The author. Joan is an anthropologist and Buddhist teacher who’s spent her career applying Eastern concepts of death and respect for the individual to the care of the dying in this country. A Detailed Commentary on Shantideva’s Way of the Bodhisattva. It could perhaps be said that THE NECTAR 71!}!FBTUFSO!IPSJ[PO!BQSJM!311: . But why is this an issue? We feel it is not wrong for an expert to expand on the suttas.shambhala. US$22. 2008. The work is comprehensive. Personal predisposition The author’s central belief is that insight practice is begun based upon and while still in jhana (see pp 87). to be fair. Being with Dying. It is a compilation of the extensive notes Kunzang Pelden took during a six-month teaching given by Patrul Rinpoche at Dzogchen Monastery. broadly informed. US$34.com Joan Halifax.95. This is not in accordance with the teachings of traditional masters.95.Cppl!Sfwjfxt “Jhana is not a state in which awareness of the body has been lost. hands-on approach teaches medical professionals. This innovative. maybe in the vipassana practice.

There are chapters devoted to the transcendent perfections of patience. 2008. and wisdom.95 Shantideva’s Way of the Bodhisattva (Bodhicharyāvatāra) is a guide to cultivating the mind of enlightenment. This is one of the greatest classics of Mahayana Buddhism. 3 CDs. 2008. pp 160. the Bardo Thotrol. The Bardo Thotrol is one of a series of instructions on six types of liberation . but never actually wrote. the renowned author of THE WORDS OF MY PERFECT TEACHER. tasting and touching . he was a close disciple of the famous Patrul Rinpoche. and patience. The Tibetan Book of the Dead. renowned for its thoroughness. which was traditionally read aloud to the dying to help them attain liberation. seeing. generosity. Presented in the form of a personal meditation in verse. it outlines the path of the bodhisattvas—those who renounce the peace of individual enlightenment and vow to work for the liberation of all beings and to attain Buddhahood for the sake of all living beings. clarity. Presented in the form of a personal meditation in verse. US$19. 2008. This translation emphasizes the practical advice that the book offers to the living. the perfection of wisdom. pp 360. The insightful commentary by Chogyam Trungpa.95 The ever-popular translation with commentary by Trungpa Rinpoche. The Way of the Bodhisattva. the text first appeared in Tibetan translation soon after its composition in the eighth century. and to generating the qualities of love. The celebrated ninth chapter presents the direct realization of emptiness. EH Francesca Freemantle and Chogyam Trungpa. The present translation has been rendered from the Tibetan. heroic perseverance. concise language. Shantideva begins with a celebration of the mind of enlightenment. or “Middle Way” tradition. as explained in the Madhyamika. Kunzang Pelden (sometimes known as Khenpo Kunpel) was born in Tibet in 1862. death and rebirth are seen as a process that provides an opportunity to recognize the true nature of mind. The three CDs in this book set are read by well-known celebrity Richard Gere. written in clear. US$18. meditation. it outlines the path of the bodhisattvas.through hearing.composed by Padmasambhava and revealed by Karma Lingpa.95. explains what the text teaches us about human psychology. EH Shantideva. explaining in detail how this is cultivated. US$18.Cpplt!Jo!Csjfg! OF MANJUSHRI’S SPEECH is the commentary that Patrul Rinpoche so often presented to students. Originally written in India in Sanskrit. One of the great monk-scholars of the Nyingma tradition. wearing. EH Shantideva. on the teaching of liberation by understanding the nature of the mind’s projections perceived at the time of death. compassion. 3 CDs. and accessibility. The teaching on meditation culminates in the profound practices of equality and exchange of self and other. BQSJM!311:!FBTUFSO!IPSJ[PO!}!72 . remembering. 2008. Hardcover. Book and CD Set. following a commentary by the Nyingma master Kunzang Pelden. The Way of the Bodhisattva. In this classic scripture of Tibetan Buddhism.

Tsasum Lingpa.com Khenchen Palden Sherab Rinpoche and Khenpo Tsewang Dongyal Rinpoche. A sixty-fourpage booklet is also included.Cpplt!Jo!Csjfg! This book and audio-CD edition offers a new way to encounter the beauty and profundity of Shantideva’s verses. So simply preserve the natural state and rest your weary mind. Natural Great Perfection. “Beyond both action and inaction. Khenchen Palden Sherab Rinpoche and Ven. Dark Red Amulet. US$16. EH Nyoshul Khenpo and Lama Surya Das. Written by the renowned scholars Ven.” The book includes a translation of a brief biography of the text’s terton. US$16. providing the deepest possible insight into the practice of the Dzogchen path. USA www. New York 14851. NATURAL GREAT PERFECTION is an inspiring collection of Nyoshul Khenpo’s teachings.95 The wrathful deity Vajrakilaya embodies the enlightened activity of all the Buddhas in order to subjugate delusion and negativity that can arise as obstacles to spiritual practice. the embodiment of the advice he quotes from the nineteenth-century master Patrul Rinpoche. purity. The teachings are followd by a collection of spontaneous vajra songs. 2008.95 Hardcover Dzogchen is the consummate practice of Tibetan Buddhism. The Vajrakilaya system of meditation is practiced widely in Tibet as well as in Western Buddhist centers.O. Box 6483 Ithaca. the supreme Dharma is accomplished. Oral Instructions on the Practice of Vajrakilaya. EH Snow Lion Publications P. Dzogchen Teachings and Vajra Songs. composed in the tradition of Milarepa. Included is a complete reading of The Way of the Bodhisattva by Wulstan Fletcher. Khenpo Tsewang Dongyal Rinpoche. THE DARK RED AMULET presents a line-by-line description of this Vajrayana practice and describes the history of its oral transmission lineage. one of the members of the Padmakara Translation Group. The reader will find here. pp 209. It conveys the essential meaning of the Vajrakilaya teachings and provides an invaluable guide for Tibetan Buddhist practitioners to “discover the absolute vajra nature that will transform every duality hindrance into clear wisdom and compassion.snowlionpub. pp 196. and a chapter of students’ questions and the Khenpos’ answers. and perfection of being that is our true nature. It is a pre awareness practice applicable to any circumstance and readily integrated into modern life. 2008.” EH 73!}!FBTUFSO!IPSJ[PO!BQSJM!311: . in Nyoshul Khenpo’s captivating personality and teachings. as the delightful play of wisdom consciousness. It is said that Dzogchen teachings directly introduce us to the inherentfreedom. with a helpful introduction to The Way of the Bodhisattva and a short biography of Shantideva.

“what advice would the Great Sage. Continue your spiteful bickering and allow your nation’s economy to sink deeply. After all. practicing the silent circle.Eibsnb!Bgufsnbui Dharma Aftermath Mitigating the Depression Threat Recently I asked my wife a hypothetical question what she would do if she were a Finance Minister. the time has come for a revamp of the curriculum for graduate and undergraduate business degree programs. Surely.. the wrong view that something good could be achieved (i. Half-expecting a serious answer. if He were still around today: a. and in the process resolve your hatred for each other for good?” Imagine if all the Buddhist leaders in Malaysia could sit and put their heads together to make serious proposals on how to tackle the depression threat. b. Good corporate governance was thrown out of the window. cultivation of positive mental imprints in a moral culture. b.e.e. give to our bickering politicians. to tackle the threat of depression. Muslim and Sikh communities to do the same. Hindu. I asked a friend another hypothetical question. Clearly. We could also ask our brothers and sisters in the Christian.. good profits) by doing something bad (i. What makes us think that the western model is the only model for management training? BQSJM!311:!FBTUFSO!IPSJ[PO!}!74 . business management training had always been dominated by the west. Siddhatta Gautama. OR Get your act together and work on the economic revival. maybe things will start to improve. Offer more skills & vocational training and re-training for people to take up jobs that could be easily created in strategic sectors of the economy. introduce transformational insight meditation. enriching oneself at the expense of others) was accepted even by billion dollar companies. The east was merely aping and lapping up what the west had to offer in terms of management training. For the past four decades. The unprecedented 2008 subprime crisis which had devastating effects globally. showed us how unbridled greed and deliberate deception lead to these. Isn’t it time we invented our own model to cope with the realities of the 21st. Century? Why can’t local Buddhist leaders explore the type of curriculum that would address the issues involving good ethical leadership? For instance. Open up more land for people to work on so that the many who have lost their jobs could be gainfully employed again. isn’t the economic health of the nation important enough for the various religious communities to come together and make pro-active representations to the government to address this decline? by Rasika Quek I remember some eight or nine years ago. practice of compassion in action. the western model has failed to produce management leadership of impeccable integrity. Worse still. I toyed with the idea of a Masters in Buddhist Administration degree which I felt could be offered to deal with the ethical challenges. using emotional equity in disputes resolution and so on. what she proffered made sense: a.

Prospective employers would appreciate employing graduates with a solid grounding in ethics to work in their organizations. we will succeed.com graduates would also contribute valuable voluntary work during the weekends because of their background. Than Hsiang Buddhist University. in Russia. to prepare a joint curriculum and offer it at the post graduate diploma or masters level.. No situation has any innate quality of goodness or badness. Fo Kuang Shan. Buddha Light International. As the adage says.g. e. etc. Naropa Institute. Looking at the global financial mess. it depends on the subjective perceptions of the observers. to provide unbiased view points. Peace and happiness to all beings. EH Rasika Quek His blog sites are at http://dharmapyramid. com and http://successpyramid. Eastern Europe.Eibsnb!Bgufsnbui We could work together with Buddhist Missionary Society. As there is a need to properly manage the various monastic institutions and properties. Scholarships should be given to both male and female monastics to study various foreign languages to meet the demands of dhamma-duta work overseas. Such We should set up a think-thank of Buddhist leaders to provide valuable advice to political organizations on ethical issues and to act as a catalyst for the moral betterment of society.blogspot. etc. a post-graduate diploma course in facilities management (monastic institutions) could be tailor-made in collaboration with another educational institution offering a facilities management course.blogspot. opportunities can be found even in danger. We can view the global crisis that has descended upon us negatively. South America. The only thing is that we cannot determine the timing of these good effects. by taking the opportunity to change the old order and shifting into a new paradigm that promises greater transparency and strong ethics. 75!}!FBTUFSO!IPSJ[PO!BQSJM!311: . These leaders should not have any political affiliations nor be employed by any political or governmental organization. Or we could choose to meet it headlong with a positive mindset. Good results will surely come by planting good seeds. If we can take the right action to bring the right results. Reputable monastics will be invited to conduct some of the modules so that the monasticlaity link is strengthened. they would be easily persuaded to do so.

Venerable Chi Chern. 2. National councils of YBAM presenting a song. Group photo of Chanting. Speech by President of YBAM.30am 1. 1. Dance Performance by Adolescent Affairs Committee Members. Welcome speech by President Dr. Venerable Chi Huan. 3. at 9.KL/Selangor Annual Dinner on 4/1/2009 At YBAM ATC. Taman Mayang. leading the devotees in chanting. Selangor. Ong See Yew. Dr. Puzhao Buddhist Vihara . Ong See Yew.Resumption of Construction Work Ceremony on 21/2/09 (Saturday). 3. 2. YBAM . 2. Under construction . Petaling Jaya.YBAM Penang Annual Dinner on 10/01/2009 At Penang Caring Society Complex 1. Happy Gathering. YBAM Religious Advisor. 3. Speech by YBAM Religious Patron.