The Saha world where we live is also known as “the world of endurance” (it is one where we have to endure suffering). Hence, we must develop and display an attitude of endurance in this world. And, as we deal with people and matters, we should broaden our hearts at all times.
When we encounter gossip, dispute, slander or praise, we must see it as something normal. We must take in all these with an even mind, and not give rise to anger or contention in our hearts.
We must dissolve all of yesterday’s issues today and totally erase from our minds, the gossip that we have just heard. At all times, we must harbour such a heart and not let the affliction of anger take root in the field of our hearts.
“Endurance” means that we must not give rise to anger and hatred in our hearts. Then, our body and mind will be clean and pure. If we have an angry thought, we will naturally display an angry attitude outwardly. When this happens, we will lose all the merits that we have earned from doing good deeds.
For example, when we are dedicating ourselves wholeheartedly to serving people, all of a sudden, a dispute or gossip enters our hearts, and our minds are affected as a result. Because of that, we stop moving forward on our path of diligence. When that happens, we will not be able to continue our noble efforts of giving without seeking anything in return on our path of spiritual cultivation.
All the good work that we do that benefits living beings is selfless contribution at no cost. These are actions of purity. If we ask for something in return, then our acts of goodness will no longer be pure.
Hence, the key to developing a spirit of endurance is: broaden our heart so that all the storms that come our way will not harm the Bodhi tree in our heart. If this great tree cannot withstand a devastating storm and topples easily, then wouldn't it be too vulnerable?
Therefore, this Bodhi tree should be firmly planted in the depths of our heart. Only when we are not swayed by the “eight winds” in life (i.e. “gain, loss, disgrace, honour, praise, criticism, suffering, and pleasure”), are we truly engaging in spiritual practice. From here, we establish Right Knowledge, Right View, Right Mindfulness, and Right Action.
Extracted from “Huan Xi Zi Zai”《欢喜自在》
Translated by the Tzu Chi Singapore translation team