WORDS OF WISDOM

In our world today, it is increasingly apparent and obvious a lot of problems of a spiritual nature cannot be resolved by material means. To treat mental problems we must work with the mind. It is imperative that we look immediately for answers within the Buddhist culture to address concrete problems in our life, and to ameliorate the stress and anxiety we feel.

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

Some people are very curious about the yab-yum practice in tantra. Sutra does not have a so-called yab-yum practice; if anything, sutra explains the union of merit and wisdom, not the union of a male and female. The yab-yum practice in tantra is a practice involving the winds, channels, and essences of the body. However, to most people, it is not a practice, but a symbolic representation. For instance, the male deity represents clear light, an aspect of phenomena; the female deity represents emptiness; the union of a male and female signifies the inseparability of phenomena and emptiness. The Heart Sutra says “form is emptiness”—form can denote all male buddhas or bodhisattvas; it also says “emptiness is form”—emptiness can denote all female buddhas or bodhisattvas. “Form is not separate from emptiness, emptiness is not separate from form” represents the union of male and female. People should understand the yab-yum practice from this standpoint.

~Depicted from GATEWAY TO VAJRAYANA PATH - Sutra and Tantra: Similarities and Differences

The ancients say: “Fortune and misfortune do not come through the door; only we ourselves invite them.” The happiness and suffering we experience are entirely of our own choosing. If not for one’s innate attributes, nothing can harm us – not the raging fire in hell, the hunger and thirst in the hungry ghost realm, or the evil spirits and wild beasts in this world. Our foremost enemy is self-attachment. It is this attachment that gives rise to greed, anger, delusion, and arrogance.

~Depicted from THE FOUR SEALS OF DHARMA - All Phenomena Lack Self-Existence

The World Bank and World Health Organization expect depression to be the biggest public health problem worldwide in the not too distant future. In 2006 alone, the annual expenditure on anti-depressants in the United States was estimated at seventy-six billion US dollars. However, the effectiveness of these drugs has been less than ideal, since the drugs cause damage to that part of the brain that controls the subtle thought processes. Thus, the long term use of anti-depressants will affect our emotional state.

~Depicted from THE FOUR SEALS OF DHARMA - Nirvana Is True Peace

When rebirth is about to take place, the bardo being will encounter a man and a woman in sexual intercourse. If the being is to be reborn as a male, it will feel anger and jealousy toward the man but desire for the woman; if the being is to be born as a female, it will harbor anger and jealousy toward the woman but desire for the man. As long as desire and anger are both present, rebirth will take place immediately. The first few months after taking rebirth, one remains unconscious. Because this period of unconsciousness lasts a long time, one forgets everything that happened in the last life after being born.

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

Diligence is having passion for and exerting effort in whatever work we do. Diligence is the driving force of a corporate culture. If top management and employees are all dedicated to the company and to their work, the business will succeed. In the hundred years after the nineteenth century, among the more than one hundred corporations that existed in Japan at the time, only two were left in the end. Why were they so weak? Why was the lifespan of these corporations so short? They failed because of the absence of teamwork – or in Buddhist terms, the absence of diligence. Japan is generally recognized as having the most dedicated workforce in the world. If this can happen in Japan, the prospects are not good for other countries.

~Depicted from ARE YOU READY FOR HAPPINESS - Buddhism and the Business World – Six Standards in a Corporate Culture

A lot of people opt for a life in the middle whereby there is neither great suffering nor happiness – a relatively placid life in which they can also practice the Dharma. However, an ordinary life such as this is not necessarily long-lasting. We cannot avoid the eight types of suffering, including birth, aging, illness, and death, and may even encounter great vicissitudes in life. Without the Dharma, how do we confront these circumstances?

~Depicted from ARE YOU READY FOR HAPPINESS - How to Face Suffering and Happiness-How to Face Happiness

People who do not understand cause and effect think it is very mysterious and filled with religious connotation. Actually there is nothing mysterious about it. If we are observant, we will discover all things around us – whether animals, vegetation, or mankind -- are subject to the law of cause and effect. A cause will always produce a result of the same kind. The ancients say: “You reap what you sow.” This is an objective principle of cause and effect. Although we cannot observe the subtle relationship between cause and effect with the eye, we can validate its existence conceptually. A lot of new discoveries in science were also assumed to be non-existent at one time because they could not be perceived by the eye. The law of cause and effect is no exception; it exists even if it cannot be seen.

~Depicted from ARE YOU READY FOR HAPPINESS - Spiritual Equipment for Modern Times

What is the ideal number of beings to be liberated each time? Given the right conditions, it should be as many as possible. With limited amount of money, the smaller the size of the beings, the bigger the quantity that can be bought. That means more lives can be saved and helped to attain liberation. On the other hand, liberating larger animals such as yaks and sheep or larger fish like silver carp are also meaningful. We can plainly see that these beings generally endure more pain when being killed due to their larger body. As we help them avoid this immense fear and pain, we also gather greater merit at the same time. The Abhidharma-kosha-shastra said so too. For example, which is a greater evil, killing an ant or an ox? Although they are both living beings, the dying pain of an ant is not as enormous as that of an ox, relatively speaking. Due to the large size of the body, animals like yaks and sheep suffer more physical pain when they die. It is therefore a relatively greater evil to kill large animals.

~Depicted from THE RIGHT VIEW - Liberating Living Beings