Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation

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Aug 26th
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Cultivation in Everyday Life

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[Master's Teachings]
With the completion of the construction on the Main Hall at the Jing Si Abode, allowing the Abode to accommodate larger numbers of Tzu Chi volunteers, many programs have been organized for volunteers to return to their spiritual home. One of these programs is a one-week spiritual retreat for a small group of volunteers, who return to work alongside the monastics of the Abode to experience the life of cultivation and gain deeper insights into the spiritual principles of the Jing Si Dharma Lineage.

When she had a moment of free time, Dharma Master Cheng Yen met with this small group to guide them to have the right mentality for their time at the Abode and to have a correct perspective on cultivation. As these volunteers are her dedicated disciples, the Master spoke plainly with them:

“Your time at the Abode this time is of a different nature. It’s not like getting involved in Tzu Chi activities in your community, not like participating in Tzu Chi camps or other activities at the Abode, and not like coming back to help share the workload when the Abode is especially busy hosting returning Tzu Chi volunteers. This time, it’s about spiritual cultivation. I want you to really be serious about this. Just now, one of you very sincerely expressed that you want to make sure that you are leading the volunteers in your community in the right direction. To be honest, if you don’t come back for such spiritual cultivation, it will become more and more difficult for you to know me and be of the same mind.”

“The purpose of this visit is spiritual cultivation. This is about cultivating our inner heart and mind. How do we go about doing this? One of you just shared about your experience weeding our vegetable garden, and you said it’s not easy. If you don’t know the right method for doing it, you may pull out the grassy part but not all of the roots. Sometimes you accidentally damage the crop you’re supposed to be protecting. Cultivation is like this. We need to continually nurture our good thoughts and nourish our wisdom-life so it can grow. Our afflictions and wrong thoughts are like those weeds, and we need to be diligent in pulling them out. When do we do this? When we’re around other people or working together, that’s our chance to do our weeding. Every encounter with people or matters is our opportunity to nurture goodness, develop our wholesome thoughts, and eliminate our inner weeds. It’s in the midst of this involvement with people and matters that we nourish our wisdom-life and enable it to grow. And, just as with the vegetable garden, we need to take care of our wholesome thoughts and protect them—they are the basis of our wisdom-life.”

“In cultivation, we need to understand what it means to keep our mind in meditation. This doesn’t only mean sitting meditation. Actually, when we sit down and quiet our minds to do meditation, that is often when the most afflictions and baseless thoughts and feelings come up in the mind. That’s because at that time, we are disconnected from outer reality. When we are working, we are in direct contact with the environment and we can have genuine encounters with the world around us. But, when meditating, we are cut off from it, and our mind will conjure up many, many things. When the afflictions, fantasies, illusions, and delusions keep coming up and fill our mind more and more, how are we to discipline the mind and overcome these afflictions? That can be a very dangerous position to be in. Sometimes, in the effort to tame our mind, the more anxious we are for control, the more we lose a handle on it. Some people have lost their mind this way. You really have to watch out for this. That is why I encourage you to practice meditation in the midst of everyday life instead.”

“Meditation in everyday life is about training the mind in the midst of normal, daily life activities—in the course of real life and living. You can achieve this while doing anything. For instance, when you are helping to move the wood we use for firewood, you can think about what makes it so heavy. You can think about where it came from. What is its basic element and what are its essential properties? How did it come to be and how did it get here? And, while you’re tidying up the tool shack, you can see how when things haven’t been used or moved for a long time, they start to rust. There are deep principles and profound laws in that. So, in the course of the work you are doing, you can realize a lot of the Buddha’s teachings.”

“In the process, we learn how to take care of our environment—the greater environment of the Earth, and our immediate environment such as our home and living space—so that it remains clean, uncontaminated, and orderly. But, we also need to look after our inner environment in the same way, and keep our heart and mind clean and unpolluted. This is what we need to learn and train ourselves in. As we go about our day to day life, in the real-life encounters with people, the concrete matters that we deal with, or the tangible objects we work with—these are the opportunities for us to practice and work on this. The Dharma is in everyday life.”

“But some people will think, ‘Is this spiritual practice? This is just doing normal, everyday things.’ The truth is: what kind of spiritual practice is there apart from living? Spiritual practice is right here in these normal daily life activities—these are the opportunities for cultivation. Some people don’t realize this, so instead of seeing everything from the perspective of cultivation and developing wisdom-life, their minds are caught up in their disagreements with others and other ‘people issues’. Not only did they fail to remove their inner weeds, their wholesome seeds get destroyed. Do you see this? This is the purpose of your coming here to learn how to cultivate. Please make the most of your time here by really practicing and being mindful in all you do.”


Written by the Jing Si Abode English Editorial Team
Based on Dharma Master Cheng Yen’s conversations with visitors in Chinese


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Они оказались правы "Кулинарная книга новой диеты доктора Аткинса"из свинца и ртути можно получить золото.

Компьютер, "Четвертая высота"который был не совсем компьютером.

Когда "Ловушка для повесы"бродяга наконец снова подпрыгнул в "Вино викингов"воздух, пытаясь выполнить переворот назад, "Непростой союз"Мейтланд уже знал, что у "Я вас люблю..."него ничего не выйдет, и пригнул голову, увидев, "Сенсационная история Земли. Сколько на самом деле лет нашей планете?"как он шлепнулся, разбросав сапоги.

Я "Аэрогриль. Большая книга рецептов"внимательнейшим образом их изучу, пообещал "Шьем головные уборы и аксессуары"Мастер Синанджу.

со мной состояние киноиндустрии, фотографировала мои колени.