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Why be narrow-minded?

The realm outside is so vast, yet as we take it into our mind, only a little is left. Do our minds have so many obstacles that block the vast realm?


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Photo by Chen Ya Yin

When we term a person "ignorant", it means that his mind is obscure, clouded and shadowed. When the mind is shrouded in opacity, one is unable to understand oneself, so suspicion will arise and there will be no trust in others.

Our lack of self-confidence will cause us to assume that unfriendly people whom we meet do not trust us. In fact, we are already lacking self-trust when we suspect that the others have no trust in us. Therefore, self-doubt leads to distrust. As soon as our self-confidence is shaken, perseverance disappears. And once perseverance disappears, our courage diminishes.

Look at our eyes – our pupils are so small, yet, our vision can capture the expansive surrounding and see whatever is out there in the world. The realm outside is so vast, yet as we take it into our mind, only a little is left. Do our minds have so many obstacles that block the vast realm?

Therefore, we should build confidence and kindle the light of wisdom and reflect on our inner self, which is also our innate nature.

Another way we could achieve this is through reciting Buddha’s name, till a point our mind only reflects Buddha’s mind. At that stage, we will view people from the Buddha’s perspective, where everyone is Buddha. Correspondingly, we must not view people with suspicion. Suspicion will give rise to distrust and our mind will become murky and obscure. When we view people with suspicion, everyone becomes abhorrent.

The purpose of reciting Buddha’s name is not to pray to Buddha to bestow us with wisdom, bless us with health nor bring good luck to our family. Instead, it is to turn our ordinary minds into Buddha mind, transform our narrow minds into one that embraces the universe.

The minds of sentient beings are too minuscule like the eye of a sewing needle, a tiny pinhole that can only accommodate a thread. Ordinary beings only seek limited love, as well as affection, trust, and attention of others for themselves. Such is a narrow mind.

We should aim to recite Buddha’s name to the point that we transformed our tiny pinhole mind into one so broad that we could embrace the vast and limitless universe, a mind that is as shining as an illuminating moon, and as crystal clear as still water.

 

Translated by Chu Tiong Yong