KHENPO'S BLOG

The worldview is firstly a specific knowledge; but more importantly, it is one of formulating this knowledge into ways and methods which can be used in our daily life. One aspect deals with regulating our own mind; the other aspect deals with benefiting sentient beings, bringing happiness, a healthy life, and joy to more people – this is also the basic tenet of Buddhism.

~Depicted from ARE YOU READY FOR HAPPINESS - The Significance of Buddhist Philosophy Today

What Buddhism does acknowledge is that sentient beings do not have free will over their cyclic existence, and that it is not without causes that we keep roaming about involuntarily in samsara. Yet causes and conditions can be changed and improved because they are compounded phenomena.

~Depicted from THE RIGHT VIEW - The Twelve Nidanas1—the sequence of cyclic existence

To treat mental problems we must work with the mind. Nothing could be more appropriate for the treatment of mental conditions than methods that work with the mind. Especially in our present business-oriented society, it is imperative that we look immediately for methods and answers within the Buddhist culture to address concrete problems in our life, and ameliorate the stress and anxiety we feel.

Of course, if we are always lingering on the outside, analyzing and judging Buddhism from the standpoint of a bystander, the result cannot be good. However, if we are willing to joyously approach, even readily seek, the teachings of the Buddha, I am certain answers can be found to our satisfaction.

~Depicted from ARE YOU READY FOR HAPPINESS - The Significance of Buddhist Philosophy Today

When facing death, all the worldly wealth, knowledge, experience and so forth are rendered useless. Without prior training in preparation for one’s mortality, every person, however prominent his or her status in life is, will panic in the face of death. Many people become extremely pessimistic and despaired, turning gray-faced and gaunt in no time, after being diagnosed with advanced cancer and given the verdict of death by the doctors. Very often their fear is more detrimental to their condition than cancer itself.

~Depicted from THE HANDBOOK'S FOR LIFE JOURNEY - On Death And Rebirth-How to Face Death

We have all seen the weapon-like objects such as a sword held by Manjusri and many other bodhisattvas. These weapons are not meant for subduing any beings but destroying desire, anger and delusion. The purpose for learning and practicing Buddhadharma is to enable us to face, control and eliminate all defilement, which are also the mission and the goal of Buddhists. The criterion for measuring the quality of any practice is not the amount of mantra recited, the extent of merit accumulated, or how one fares in money terms, job, health, etc., but whether negative emotions have been reduced. For example, we can check if we feel as angry as before when others insult or bully us now. If anger remains the same, our endeavor to learn the Dharma basically loses its real purpose. Naturally, it is impossible to completely eliminate negative emotions before realization of emptiness is attained. We can only somewhat keep them under proper control.

~Depicted from THE HANDBOOK'S FOR LIFE JOURNEY - On The Three Poisons-How to Confront Anger

When our practice reaches a certain level, the external environment will not have much of an effect on us; at that point, there is no difference where we practice. However, to a beginner, the environment is very important.

Firstly, if the surroundings are too noisy, it will be difficult to practice. The sutras say the biggest impediment to meditative concentration is noise.

In general, this is a problem in the cities, but some homes can be very quiet if they have sound-proof installations, and the windows and doors are shut tight.

~Depicted from THE FOUR SEALS OF DHARMA - Preparing for the Preliminaries

The first type of attachment is common to all sentient beings, including animals. As an example, from the time a building is constructed until such time it is demolished, we will think the building is a permanent structure which does not change. Even if there are changes to the building, we believe they are only superficial and not structural. In this and all other similar cases, the attachment which has no theoretical or empirical basis is innate or inherited at birth.

~Depicted from THE FOUR SEALS OF DHARMA - All Composite Phenomena are Impermanent

When Bodhidharma arrived in China, he met Emperor Wu, the founder of Liang Dynasty (502-557). The Emperor reported to Bodhidharma the virtuous deeds he had done, such as not eating meat, reciting scriptures, offering to the monastics, etc., and asked Bodhidharma proudly, “How much merit are these good deeds worth?” With his short reply “no merit at all”, Emperor Wu was instantly made speechless.

Many people cannot understand why Bodhidharma said so. Of course Bodhidharma would not deny, from the viewpoint of karma, that virtuous actions can generate some merit, which no Buddhist would refute either. But in this case, Bodhidharma commented from the point of view of the ultimate truth that, absent realization of emptiness, no amount of merit alone can lead to liberation. This is why Bodhidharma put a damper on Emperor Wu’s eager expectation.

~Depicted from THE HANDBOOK'S FOR LIFE JOURNEY - On The Three Poisons-How to Refute Ignorance

Some regard Buddhism as a kind of belief. Belief also means faith. Of course faith is needed in Buddhism, but it would be oversimplified to regard Buddhism as a belief since keeping faith is only one of the aspects of Buddhism.  The foundation and the priority of Buddhism are not about belief, but wisdom and compassion.  Although Buddhism does advocate the importance of faith, it is not unique to Buddhism; science also calls for faith.  For example, people today all want to promote faith in science.  If one does not trust science, one probably would not even dare to take airplane.  People take planes because they believe in the technology that allows airplane to transport people to their destinations.  It takes faith to accomplish anything in this world, the same kind of faith as in Buddhism. Therefore, it is incorrect to equate Buddhism with belief.

~Depicted from THE RIGHT VIEW - Buddhism—the Definition