Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Accumulating good deeds!

This week I have been helping Surin Jung, one of our dhamma teacher in our weekly meditation classes edit teachings by our Master Nun Khun Yai. Khun Yai helped to establish the Dhammakaya center without her hard work and dedication to promoting peace, our Dhammakaya foundation would not be as grand as it is today with representation all around the world. I have copied and paste a few of her teachings which I feel are quite profound. This is a compilation of her many dhamma teachings, that Surin has translated from Thai into English. Her words of wisdom are encouraging and helpful for those on the track to include meditation and performing goods deed in their daily lives. I hope you find this as inspiring as I have.

Don't Wait
We don't know when our final day will come

Days and nights pass us by quickly. With each sunset our life becomes one day shorter. Capitalize on each day that you are still alive, by accumulating as much merit as you can. In times of trouble, reflect on your merit. Know how to build up merit and maintain it. Use your merit wisely as you would with money.
-January 11, 1991

Meditation is Essential

The practice of meditation is the most important thing in life, and attaining Dhamma is our ultimate life goal. Even as you walk, drive, or perform other everyday tasks, you need to contemplate on Dhamma at all times. Before I attained the Dhamma I meditated diligently until my mind could leave the physical body, sinking deeper and deeper into meditation until it finally disengaged from my physical surroundings completely and becoming purified and powerful with knowledge.

I was able to progress because I was determined to do so. Meditation is the most important thing in life. If we do not seek happiness in this lifetime, then we will not find it even in the next life. Resolve to find happiness in this life!
-May 10, 1992

One Drop at a Time Fills Up a Jar

Together, each tiny drop of water can fill up a big jar. Likewise, each act of good deed, can fill up your “jar” of virtue. But with no good deed done at all, your “jar” of virtue is empty.

Never be lazy or preoccupied with what others are doing. In the end your fate will be determined by no one else but yourself. So fight as hard as you can! The more merit you make, the more you gain; and the less you make, the less you receive. Take every new day as a new opportunity to make merit.
-January 12, 1975

With Merit, You Will Succeed In Everything
My biggest fear in life is that I will not make enough merit. With large merit behind you, anything you wish can be attained and all you touch will become successful. No one can obstruct you if you have merit to support you with. Having a good base of merit is a great blessing indeed.
-August 31, 1976

Succeed Through Merit
Whatever you set out to do, keep merit in mind. If you possess merit, merit will help you succeed in the things that you do. Merit is your refuge. Center your mind in it and everything will fall in place.
-April 4, 1981

Relinquish All Else
Merely mediating and reciting the mantra “samma araham” will create merit. It’s not easy to attain Dhammakaya when the mind wants to dart here and there around the entire world. We have to rein the mind back to the center of our body, two fingers’ breadth above the navel. Then relinquish everything else. When the mind comes to a standstill, it will glow brightly. Keep the mind steady and think of the bright image at the center.
-(no date)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The 4 Noble truths

After our guided meditation today the Venerable touched upon the four noble truths.The main Teaching of the Buddha focuses not on philosophical speculations about a Creator God or the origin of the universe, nor on a heaven world ever after. The Teaching, instead, is centred on the down-to- earth reality of human suffering and the urgent need to find lasting relief from all forms of discontent. The Buddha gave the simile of a man shot by a poison-tipped arrow who, before he would call a doctor to treat him, demanded to know first who shot the arrow and where the arrow was made and of what and by whom and when and where ... this foolish man would surely die before his questions could be well answered. In the same way, the Buddha said, the urgent need of our existence is to find lasting relief from recurrent suffering which robs us of happiness and leaves us in strife.
Philosophical speculations are of secondary importance and, anyway, they are best left until after one has well trained the mind in meditation to the stage where one has the ability to examine the matter clearly and find the Truth for oneself.
Thus, the central Teaching of the Buddha, around which all other teachings revolve is the Four Noble Truths:
1. First Noble Truth: Life is subject to 'suffering'
2. Second Noble Truth is that this suffering is caused by ignorance which results in desire
3. The Third Noble Truth is that suffering can be eliminated by the removal of desire
4. The Fourth Nobel Truth is the path to eliminate desire.
It would be mistaken to label this Teaching as 'pessimistic' on the grounds that it begins by centring on suffering. Rather, Buddhism is 'realistic' in that it unflinchingly faces up to the truth of life's many sufferings and it is 'optimistic' in that it shows a final end of the problem of suffering - Nibbana, Enlightenment in this very life! Those who have achieved this ultimate peace are the inspiring examples who demonstrate once and for all that Buddhism is far from pessimistic, but it is a Path to true Happiness.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Venerable Brahm - Meditation, Buddhism and Science

Aug 10th Meditation Class

After guided meditation today we listened to a dhamma talk given by Venerable Brahm a monk who resides at Dhammaloka Buddhist Center in Australia. After graduating with a physics degree from Cambridge University in 1960's he taught high school for a year, before traveling to Thailand where he was ordained as a Theravadan monk. His dhamma talks are entertaining, lively, and very informative. His dhamma talk on Buddhism and Science was recorded October 2001. He has many interesting dhamma talks found on youtube his dhamma talks generally draw 300+ people to the Dhammaloka Center. This is really a good read/listen!

If you prefer to read a copy of the audio given by the Venerable you can find the article Meditation, Buddhism and Science the audio is also embedded below for you to listen to.

Monday, August 1, 2011

No Creator of the Universe

The Buddha pointed out that no God or priest nor any other kind of being has the power to interfere in the working out of someone else's Karma. Buddhism, therefore, teaches the individual to take full responsibility for themselves. For example, if you want to be wealthy then be trustworthy, diligent and frugal, or if you want to live in a heaven realm then always be kind to others. There is no God to ask favors from, or to put it another way, there is no corruption possible in the workings of Karma.
Do Buddhists believe that a Supreme Being created the universe? Buddhists would first ask which universe do you mean? This present universe, from the moment of the 'big bang' up to now, is but one among countless millions in Buddhist cosmology. The Buddha gave an estimate of the age of a single universe-cycle of around 37,000 million years which is quite plausible when compared to modern astrophysics. After one universe- cycle ends another begins, again and again, according to impersonal law. A Creator God is redundant in this scheme.
No being is a Supreme Savior  according to the Buddha, because whether God, human, animal or whatever, all are subject to the Law of Karma. Even the Buddha had no power to save. He could only point out the Truth so that the wise could see it for themselves. Everyone must take responsibility for their own future well being, and it is dangerous to give that responsibility to another.