(Photo by Chen Ya Yin)
Someone asked Dharma Master Cheng Yen, “Master, aren’t you disturbed by the heaps of matters you have to deal with every day? How do you resolve your worries and troubles?”
The Master answers:
My mind is like a mirror. Whenever any external condition arises, I would still be troubled. However, when the matter or situation is over, there is nothing else on this mirror, so what is there to feel troubled?
Bear in mind that we are all ordinary beings. Worries and afflictions are inevitable when ordinary people enter into conflict with each other. However, we have to clear our mind quickly and let the bygone be bygone, and everything will be alright! This is called spiritual cultivation, and the most important part in spiritual cultivation is to have a kind heart. When the mind is evil, good thoughts will cease; when good thoughts arise, all evils are eliminated. For example, someone who is angry can't tell what kindness and love is. When one is raging with anger, one would forget about love and kindness. However, if one is always holding on to kind thoughts, there will not be space for evil. Our intention is very important; therefore, you must take care of your own heart. The most important task of a Tzu Chi committee member when they go around raising fund is to inspire the kindness in the person they approach.
If an intention is greed, all good will cease. If we are calculative while doing good deeds, then we are losing our merits the moment we start being calculative. It is rare to be born a human, it is not easy to hear the dharma and the path of the bodhisattva is hard to come by. We should put in our best effort to cultivate since we are already on this bodhisattva path. There is already much to learn and cultivate in the practice of Dana (giving) alone.
To learn Buddhism and attain ultimate enlightenment, one must diligent. Do not become the white mouse in the cage, despite busy running, yet one is still at the same place. If you do not cultivate properly, the more you do, the more troubles you will have. It's like carrying water in a vegetable basket. The act of doing is akin to carrying water in the basket, and the leaking happens when you feel troubled. Giving is the first practice in the of the sixth paramitas (six perfections of cultivation) of a bodhisattva, and one must complete the first level in order to proceed to the second level. Only after successfully cultivating giving (Dana paramita); precept (Sila paramita); forbearance (Kshanti paramita); diligence (Virya paramita); samadhi or concentration (Dhyana paramita); and wisdom (Prajna paramita), can we attain enlightenment. May all of us be wise in our daily life.