Outline short notes for Bro Teoh’s Sunday class dated 8 September 2019 Lesson 1: ‘The Path to Truth for the Modern-day Bodhisattva Practitioner’ by Master Shih Cheng Yen.
- Brother Teoh introduced and explained the reason and significance for using the above new reference book. It is mainly to develop the understanding of how the various Buddhist traditions with their unique specialty of understanding had contributed to world peace and help transformedour world for the better. To do this work, we need to train more Bodhisattvas with the proper understanding to do this work. These are Modern-day Bodhisattvas who live among fellow living beings and integrate with society to be a blessing to all.
- Blessings that we received are not due to luck but mainly due to our virtues borne of wisdom because without wisdom, there is no real virtue.
- Our Taiwan spiritual trip in 2014 led by Brother Teoh visited 4 great Buddhist traditions/organizations, each with their own specialty of understanding. Fo Guang Shan excels in Buddhist education, Tzu Chi emphasizes compassion in action, Fa Gu Shan focuses on meditation and Zhong Tai Chan Shi advocates planting the seed of Bodhi to walk the Bodhisattva way.
- Each and every Bodhisattva is different and they have their own ways. Brother Teoh’s mission this life is to share the special unique Truth that his nature had understood to help Bodhisattvas progress faster along the path of dharma.
- We need to aspire to have certain understanding of some of the important essential Dharma whenever we choose to come or have to come to this world, if not we will be wasting a lot of our time trying to develop such understanding every time we come to this mundane world.
- Whatever we had cultivated will be stored up in our spiritual and karmic Natures. The wisdom, merits and blessings that we have cultivated, can help us in our cultivation if we know how to make use of them through invoking the power of merits and blessing for us to progress successfully along the path of dharma.
- Among all the different schools of Buddhism, the common ground is the Four Noble Truths, although the emphasis is different. All subsequent teachings originate from this Four Noble Truths.
- There is a discussion on “Why all Samma SamBuddha choose to realize Buddhahood in the human realm?” (Please refer to the audio/video recording for the details).
- A good and virtuous mind is enough to do wholesomeness. There is no need to insist on having money to do or perform wholesomeness. When we radiate love (metta), have wholesome thoughts, cultivate the four right efforts, meditate, being mindful and heedful, we can perform all the 10 meritorious deeds, including rejoicing and providing service etc. to help promote dharma activities and cultivation; these are wholesomeness that can be done without having to spend any money.
- Sharing by Kalynamittas who return from their recent 10-days retreat at Ajahn Anan’s forest monastery (WMJ) in Rayong, Thailand:
- Brother Chin How shared his experience of how his nature let him understand the deep meaning of 不求 (bu jiu) – not seeking and 无求 (wu jiu) – no seeking, leading to the realization of peace when the mind is no longer seeking. He also shared how he understand conditions to do wholesomeness (the feeding the fish experience). When there is no craving or expectation to do it, then something unexpected can just happen. When we have the dharma and the parami, things will fall into place naturally and if they are meant to be it will manifest beautifully.
- Sister Adeline shared her experience on the importance of having this constant reflection and contemplation of dharma with a stable daily mindfulness to be sensitive to enable her to realize that she was suffering due to her complaining mind on the duties that yogis have to perform versus her wish to have more time to meditate. These are wrong thoughts as taught by Bro Teoh: ‘whenever you are not peaceful and unhappy, the evil roots are there’. She also shared her experience of how she was able to develop deeper understanding of the cultivation through refinement or fine-tuning of her cultivation while there.
- Sister PG shared her experience of adjusting to meal times and having expectation while at the Guan Yin hall due to stories she heard previously. She also share how she was able to have very peaceful and good sleep (without thought) while there, despite being there for the first time. Normally she can’t sleep well at new places.
(Please listen to the audio/video recording for details).
- Brother Teoh explained that all their above sharing have a common root cause. That is, when you seek, that seeking is a form of craving. Actually, there is no need to seek (wanting things our way and feels frustrated when it does not turn out in our favour). If things are meant to be, they will happen according to our parami. When we change the way we live life for the better (following the dharma way which is the righteous way), our karmic nature will change for the better too to improve our life.
- We need to be able to see clearly the root cause of our sufferings so that we can free ourselves and be at peace. Enquire deeply on: “Who is unhappy? Who is complaining?” It is the egoic mind with the self-delusion. When we understand, we can just accord and flow with conditions to be at peace at all time.
- When we feel negativities, we have self-delusion. Wrong thoughts are thoughts that condition our greed, craving, anger, hatred, fear, worry and anxiety, etc. and these thoughts with the evil roots made us evil. This is how we can check our cultivation. We must have mindfulness and understanding when these wrong thoughts arise. We must also understand what constitute evil. Because of these negative wrong thoughts, the ego complains.
- Signs of progress are, when we don’t react and complain anymore. When we can have more love, peace within, joy and happiness through our own understanding of the dharma (the essential dharma) as taught by the Buddha. No more seeking.
(Above outline short notes draft was prepared by Sister Mun Yuen)
With metta always,