Khi gặp phải thảm họa trong đời sống, ta có thể phản ứng theo hai cách. Hoặc là thất vọng và rơi vào thói xấu tự hủy hoại mình, hoặc vận dụng thách thức đó để tìm ra sức mạnh nội tại của mình. Nhờ vào những lời Phật dạy, tôi đã có thể chọn theo cách thứ hai. (When we meet real tragedy in life, we can react in two ways - either by losing hope and falling into self-destructive habits, or by using the challenge to find our inner strength. Thanks to the teachings of Buddha, I have been able to take this second way.)Đức Đạt-lai Lạt-ma XIV
Ví như người mù sờ voi, tuy họ mô tả đúng thật như chỗ sờ biết, nhưng ta thật không thể nhờ đó mà biết rõ hình thể con voi.Kinh Đại Bát Niết-bàn
Nếu bạn muốn những gì tốt đẹp nhất từ cuộc đời, hãy cống hiến cho đời những gì tốt đẹp nhất. (If you want the best the world has to offer, offer the world your best.)Neale Donald Walsch
Hãy sống như thế nào để thời gian trở thành một dòng suối mát cuộn tràn niềm vui và hạnh phúc đến với ta trong dòng chảy không ngừng của nó.Tủ sách Rộng Mở Tâm Hồn
Hạnh phúc không tạo thành bởi số lượng những gì ta có, mà từ mức độ vui hưởng cuộc sống của chúng ta. (It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness.)Charles Spurgeon
Để có thể hành động tích cực, chúng ta cần phát triển một quan điểm tích cực. (In order to carry a positive action we must develop here a positive vision.)Đức Đạt-lai Lạt-ma XIV
Nếu bạn nghĩ mình làm được, bạn sẽ làm được. Nhưng nếu bạn nghĩ mình không làm được thì điều đó cũng sẽ trở thành sự thật. (If you think you can, you can. And if you think you can't, you're right.)Mary Kay Ash
Chúng ta không có quyền tận hưởng hạnh phúc mà không tạo ra nó, cũng giống như không thể tiêu pha mà không làm ra tiền bạc. (We have no more right to consume happiness without producing it than to consume wealth without producing it. )George Bernard Shaw
Người trí dù khoảnh khắc kề cận bậc hiền minh, cũng hiểu ngay lý pháp, như lưỡi nếm vị canh.Kinh Pháp Cú - Kệ số 65
Bạn có thể lừa dối mọi người trong một lúc nào đó, hoặc có thể lừa dối một số người mãi mãi, nhưng bạn không thể lừa dối tất cả mọi người mãi mãi. (You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.)Abraham Lincoln

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Essential Summaries of Buddhist Teachings
»» Chapter Seven. Buddhist Outlook on Human Life

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It is wrong to imagine that the Buddhist outlook on life and the world is a gloomy one, and that the Buddhist is in low spirit. Far from it, a Buddhist smiles as he walks through life. He who understands the true nature of life is the happiest indi-vidual, for he is not upset by the evanescent (extremely small) nature of things. He tries to see things as they are, and not as they seem to be. Conflicts arise in man when he is confronted with the facts of life such as aging, illness, death and so forth, but frustration and disappointment do not vex him when he is ready to face them with a brave heart. This view of life is neither pessimistic nor optimistic, but the realistic view. The man who ignores the principle of unrest in things, the in-trinsic nature of suffering, is upset when confronted with the vicissitudes of life. Man’s recognition of pleasures as lasting, leads to much vexation, when things oc-cur quite contrary to his expectations. It is therefore necessary to cultivate a de-tached outlook towards life and things pertaining to life. Detachment can not bring about frustration, disappointment and mental torment, because there is no clinging to one thing and another, but letting go. This indeed is not easy, but it is the sure remedy for controlling, if not eradicating, unsatisfactoriness. The Buddha sees suf-fering as suffering, and happiness as happiness, and explains that all cosmic pleas-ure, like all other conditioned attachings, is evanescent, is a passing show. He warns man against attaching too much importance to fleeing pleasures, for they sooner or later beget discontent. Equanimity is the best antidote for both pessimism and optimism. Equanimity is evenness of mind and not sullen indiffer-ence. It is the result of a calm, concentrated mind. It is hard, indeed, to be undis-turbed when touched by the realities of life, but the man who cultivates truth is not upset. Abso-lute happiness can not be derived from things conditioned and com-pounded. What we hug in great glee this moment, turns into a source of dissatis-faction the next moment. Pleasures are short-lived, and never lasting. The mere gratification of the sense faculties we call pleasure and enjoyment, but in the ab-solute sense of the world such gratification is not happy. Joy too is suffering, un-satisfactory; for it is transient. If we with our inner eye try to see things in their proper perspective, in their true light, we will be able to realize that the world is but an illusion that leads astray the beings who cling to it. All the so-called mundane pleasures are fleeting, and only an introduction to pain. They give temporary relief from life’s miserable ulcers. This is what is known as suffering produced by change. Thus, we see that suffering never ceases to work, it functions in some form or other and is always at work.

Regarding all beings in general, Buddhism considers all the living, which includes the vegetable kingdom; however, the term “sattva” limits the meaning to those en-dowed with reason, consciousness, and feeling. Those who are sentient, sensible, animate, and rational (sentient beings which possess magical and spiritual pow-ers). According to Buddhism, what we call the self is simply the collection of men-tal facts, experiences, ideas and so forth which would normally be said to belong to self but there is no self over and above the experiences. So mentioned does not mean that people are not important. In fact, Buddhism which preached by the Buddha is totally built on human wisdom. The Buddha taught: “Be your own torch, your own refuge. Do not seek refuge in any other person.” The Buddha added: “I am the Buddha fully realized, sentient beings will become Buddha.” To Buddhism, all realizations come from effort and intelligence that derive from one’s own expe-rience. The Buddha asked his disciples to be the master of their destiny, since they can make their lives better or worse. They can even become Buddha if they study and practice his teachings.

Regarding the point of view on Human Beings and deva Vehicle, according to the Mahayana Rebirth among men conveyed by observing the five commandments (Panca-veramani). However, there are many differences on human destinies in the world. For example, one is inferior and another superior, one perishes in infan-cy and another lives much longer, one is sick and infirm and another strong and healthy, one is brought up in luxury and another in misery, one is born a million-aire and another in poverty, one is a genius and another an idiot, etc. According to the Buddhist point of view on human life, all of the above mentioned results are not the results of a “chance.” Science nowadays is indeed against the theory of “chance.” All scientists agree on the Law of Cause and Effect, so do Buddhists. Sin-cere and devoted Buddhists never believe that the unevenness of the world is due to a so-called Creator and/or God. Buddhists never believe that happiness or pain or neutral feeling the person experiences are due to the creation of a Su-preme Creator. According to the Buddhist point of view on human life, the above men-tioned unevenness that exists in the world are due to the heridity and envi-ronment, and to a greater extent, to a cause or causes which are not only present but proximate or remotely past. Man himself is responsible for his own happiness and misery. He creates his own heaven and hell. He is the master of his own des-tiny. He is his own child of his past and his own parents of his future. Regarding the point of view on Deva, this is only one of the five vehicles, the deva vehicle or Divine Vehicle. It transports observers of the ten good qualities (thập thiện) to one of the six deva realms of desire, and those who observe dhyana meditation to the higher heavens of form and non-form. Sentient beings are to be reborn among the devas by observing the ten forms of good actions or ten commandments (Dasa-kusala).

Regarding the point of view on the Kaya and Citta, Buddhism talks about the theo-ry of impermanence of the body and mind. Some people wonder why Buddhism al-ways emphasizes the theory of impermanence? Does it want to spread in the hu-man mind the seed of disheartenment, and discourage? In their view, if things are changeable, we do not need to do anything, because if we attain a great achieve-ment, we cannot keep it. This type of reasoning, a first, appears partly log-ical, but in reality, it is not at all. When the Buddha preached about imperma-nence, He did not want to discourage anyone, but warning his disciples about the truth. A true Buddhist has to work hard for his own well being and also for the so-ciety’s. Alt-hough he knows that he is facing the changing reality, he always keeps himself calm. He must refrain from harming others, in contrast, strive to perform good deeds for the benefit and happiness of others. All things have changed and will never cease to change. The human body is changeable, thus governed by the law of impermanence. Our body is different from the minute before to that of the minute after. Biological researches have proved that the cells in our body are in constant change, and in every seven years all the old cells have been totally re-newed. These changes help us quickly grow up, age and die. The longer we want to live, the more we fear death. From childhood to aging, human life is exactly like a dream, but there are many people who do not realize; therefore, they continue to launch into the noose of desire; as a result, they suffer from greed and will suf-fer more if they become attached to their possessions. Sometimes at time of death they still don’t want to let go anything. There are some who know that they will die soon, but they still strive desperately to keep what they cherish most. Not only our body is changeable, but also our mind. It changes more rapidly than the body, it changes every second, every minute according to the environment. We are cheerful a few minutes before and sad a few minutes later, laughing then cry-ing, happiness then sorrow.

According to the Vimalakirti Sutra, Manjusri Bodhisattva obeyed the Buddha’s command to call on Upasaka Vimalakirti to enquire after his health, there was a converssation about the “body”. Manjusri asked Vimalakirti: “What should a Bodhi-sattva say when comforting another Bodhisattva who falls ill?” Vimalakirti replied: “He should speak of the impermanence of the body but never of the abhorrence and relinquishment of the body. He should speak of the suffering body but never of the joy in nirvana. He should speak of egolessness in the body while teaching and guid-ing all living beings (in spite of the fact that they are fundamentally non-existent in the absolute state). He should speak of the voidness of the body but should never cling to the ultimate nirvana. He should speak of repentance of past sins but should avoid slipping into the past. Because of his own illness he should take pity on all those who are sick. Knowing that he has suffered during countless past aeons he should think of the welfare of all living beings. He should think of his past practice of good virtues to uphold (his determination for) right livelihood. In-stead of worry-ing about troubles (klesa) he should give rise to zeal and devotion (in his practice of the Dharma). He should act like a king physician to cure others’ illnesses. Thus a Bodhisattva should comfort another sick Bodhisattva to make him happy.” Manjusri, a sick Bodhisattva should look into all things in this way. He should fur-ther meditate on his body which is impermanent, is subject to suffering and is non-existent and egoless; this is called wisdom. Although his body is sick he remains in (the realm of) birth and death for the benefit of all (living beings) with-out com-plaint; this is called expedient method (upaya). Manjusri! He should further medi-tate on the body which is inseparable from illness and on illness which is in-herent in the body because sickness and the body are neither new nor old; this is called wisdom. The body, though ill, is not to be annihilated; this is the expedient method (for remaining in the world to work for salvation).

Regarding the point of view on the impurity of the Kaya and the Citta. Impurity is the nature of our bodies and minds. Impurity means the absence of an immacu-late state of being, one that is neither holy nor beautiful. From the psychological and physiological standpoint, human beings are impure. This is not negative or pessi-mistic, but an objective perspective on human beings. If we examine the constitu-ents of our bodies from the hair on our head to the blood, pus, phlegm, excrement, urine, the many bacteria dwelling in the intestines, and the many dis-eases present waiting for the opportunity to develop, we can see clearly that our bodies are quite impure and subject to decay. Our bodies also create the motiva-tion to pursue the satisfaction of our desires and passions. That is why the sutra regards the body as the place where misleads gather. Let us now consider our psychological state. Since we are unable to see the truth of impermanence, suffer-ing, and the selfless nature of all things, our minds often become the victims of greed and hatred, and we act wrongly. So the sutra says, “The mind is the source of all confusion.”

Here is another point of view of the Buddhism on the Kaya is “It is difficult to be reborn as a human being”. Of all precious jewels, life is the greatest; if there is life, it is the priceless jewel. Thus, if you are able to maintain your livelihood, someday you will be able to rebuild your life. However, everything in life, if it has form char-acteristics, then, inevitably, one day it will be destroyed. A human life is the same way, if there is life, there must be death. Even though we say a hundred years, it passes by in a flash, like lightening streaking across the sky, like a flower’s blos-som, like the image of the moon at the bottom of a lake, like a short breath, what is really eternal? Sincere Buddhists should always remember when a person is born, not a single dime is brought along; therefore, when death arrives, not a word will be taken either. A lifetime of work, putting the body through pain and torture in order to accumulate wealth and possessions, in the end everything is worthless and futile in the midst of birth, old age, sickness, and death. After death, all pos-sessions are given to others in a most senseless and pitiful manner. At such time, there are not even a few good merits for the soul to rely and lean on for the next life. Therefore, such an individual will be condemned into the three evil paths im-mediately. Ancient sages taught: “A steel tree of a thousand years once again blos-som, such a thing is still not bewildering; but once a human body has been lost, ten thousand reincarnations may not return.” Sincere Buddhists should al-ways re-member what the Buddha taught: “It is difficult to be reborn as a human being, it is difficult to encounter (meet or learn) the Buddha-dharma; now we have been re-born as a human being and encountered the Buddha-dharma, if we let the time passes by in vain we waste our scarce lifespan.”


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