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Archive for the ‘Dhamma’ Category

Dharma at Dawn

 Dharma at Dawn

One of the books I bought recently is Dharma at Dawn by W.Vajiramedhi.

From the Forward “…Before setting down to work, if you can begin the day with a good book, so you may adapt its beautifully written sayings for your daily tasks; your day is bound to begin in good stead.”

“Dharma at Dawn” is such good book.

One of the thought pieces in this book I like is :

Good times or bad times may depend on

Our attitude in facing situation.

If we keep our cool and remain perceptive

Woe may become joy,

Problems may turn into wisdom,

And a crisis may become an opportunity.

I agree with the message from the back cover of this book…

“Begin every new day with Dharma at Dawn and you will experience a whole day of joy.”

Source of the photo: http://www.amarinpocketbook.com/writer_detail.asp?writer_id=624

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Love Management

“Where there is love, there are pain and suffering” — Buddha  

Everyone needs love but few learn to love correctly. This book will give us many Buddha teachings about the truth and nature of love and how to turn suffering from love into happiness.

It is another book of W. Vajiramedh, who has nearly 40 books in print and mostof them are best sellers. I have to confess that I like all of his books.

From the back cover :

“Space should not be underestimated and is as important as Co-existence. Existence without Space will only lead to distancing at the end of the road. But Existence blended with Space is sure to build up a stronger base.

Lovers who know how to manage space and possession to the right degree are blessed with the chance of becoming soul-mates forevers.”

Love Management by W.Vajiramedhi (English Version by Nopamat Veohong)

Source of photo : http://www.naiinsf.com/pbook/images/9898239_250.jpg

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Nobody is perfect.

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Someone told me that she was unhappy because of her husband. Before the marriage, they were a very happy couple. But after the marriage, she found out that her husband was not as good as she expected.

In any kinds of relationship, the unhappiness may occur when the reality does not meet your expectation. For example:

  • A person was unhappy when his/her friend did not act in the way he/she expected.
  • You got angry when someone blamed you. You did not expect to receive that blame.
  • A wife expected her husband to understand her, but he did not. So, she was unhappy.
  • A husband expected his wife to understand him, but she did not. So, he was unhappy.
  • A staff wanted his boss to have more leadership, but she did not. So, he was unhappy.

There are so many other examples of the situation of unhappiness. These situation always occurred, again and again.
In my opinion, there are two solutions to make us happy:

1. To adjust the reality – this is very difficult since the reality depends on outside factor ie depends on other persons. Therefore we should think of the second solution.

2. To adjust the expectation – this is easier since it is your expectation. You can control the level of your expectation. You should learn the nature of human being. There is nobody perfect. Everyone has good and bad aspects even your self. If you understand this nature, you will be happy.

I like many poems written by Ajarn Buddhadasa of Saunmokkh. One of them is –

Look On the Good Side 

They have their nasty aspects — who cares!
Choose only the good stuff that they have,
of benefit to the world and attractive.
As for the bad stuff, don’t bother yourself.

To find someone who is good in all respects
Don’t wander foolishly, friends, on the search,
Like a quest for the turtle’s whiskers, dying for nothing.
So get used to looking on the good side — more value.
 
Source: http://www.suanmokkh.org/verse/96-99/may-1996.htm

Life is so short. You should learn to look on good side and then live happily.

( If you want to read more poems of Ajarn Buddhadasa and his teachings, please visit Suan Mokkh: The Garden of Liberation: http://www.suanmokkh.org/ )

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Where is my soul mate?

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A friend of mine told me yesterday that she needs some Buddha’s teachings about being good spouse. I told her that I have read about such teachings but forgot most of them. Anyway, I intended to do more research and give the answers through my post.

This request reminded me the old days when my high school teacher told me that to find someone to marry with was like buying lottery. Only some people won the first prizes. Less and less people won the second, third, fourth, blah blah prizes. And most of them did not win any prize.

Many years ago, I told my teacher that I found a good example of happy marriage. My friend and her husband have been a very sweet and happy couple and stayed that way for more than 15 years.  My teacher told me that my friend won the first prize of lottery.

Well, I both agreed and did not agree with the winning lottery concept. To win the lottery, you need only luck. But to have the happy married life, in my opinion, you need luck and you also can build it. Your good luck may depend on the good karma you have done in the past. Good luck may lead you to good person that will help you to build a happy married life.

Buddhism has principles called “Sama-jivi Dhamma” for couple to ensure their compatibility and provide a firm foundation for a long married life. Sama-jivi dhamma concerns four qualities:

1. Sama-saddha:  having compatible faith; they uphold the same  religion, revere the same objects of worship, concepts, beliefs or principles, and share the same lines of interest- they are equally firm in all these or can reach agreement on them.

2. Sama-sila: having compatible morality; they have conduct, morality, ethics, manners and upbringing which are harmonious or compatibility.

3. Sama-caga: having compatible generosity; they are in accord, not conflict, with each other in their generosity, hospitality, munificence, sacrifice, and readiness to help others.

4. Sama-panna: having compatible intelligence; they are sensible and can understand each other; they can at least reason with each other.

(The italic sentences came from the book “A Constitution for Living” by P.A. Payutto, translated by Mr. Bruce Evans. It is a “must read” book should you want to learn about Buddhist principles for harmonious life.)
 
My friend and her husband that I mentioned above have these four qualities.

For the single, you should find the one that has such four qualities. That person will be your soul mate. And for the ones who already married and did not think your spouse was your soul mate, do not try to find the new one. You may talk to your spouse and try to change or adjust both of yourself and your spouse to comply with such principles and become soul mates of each other.

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The Five Precepts

green.jpgThis world will be very peaceful if people act and speak righteously and properly. Buddhism has basic code of conduct for lay Buddhist that will guide us to do and speak in the right ways. The ones, who follow the five precepts, will harm no one. And if everyone follows the five precepts, this world will be a peaceful world.

The five precepts are

  1. To refrain from killing or hurting of living beings – you love yourself, right?? other living beings also love themselves. Do not kill or hurt any other living beings.
  2. To refrain from stealing or taking what is not given – you love your properties, right?? Everyone also loves his/her properties. Do not steal for take what is not given.
  3. To refrain from sexual misconduct such as adultery – we have the duty of loyalty to the one we love and we should not violate the faith that someone gives to his/her beloved one.
  4. To refrain from lying – saying nothing is better than lying. The liar believes that he/she can conceal all of his/her bad things by lying. But it is wrong. The truth is immortal. And when people know that he/she is lying, nobody will trust the liar.
  5. To refrain from taking intoxicants such as liquor or addictives – drinking or having drugs will make you loss your consciousness and may lead you to other bad things ie harming living beings, sexual misconduct, blah blah. Some people may argue that there is nothing wrong for a bit drinking. But a small thing will lead to a bigger one. So, there is no exception for a little bit taking intoxicants.

As same as other Buddhist concepts, everyone can adopt these precepts if he/she thinks they can guide him/her to an ethical and peaceful life.

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What are good words?

Peem

Have you ever been hurt by other persons’ words? If you have such experience, you may agree with the proverb “Words cut more than swords”.  

As an ordinary human being, I sometimes have been hurt by other persons’ words. I have learnt how words could hurt so much. And I think this world will be more beautiful if everyone speaks to other persons more carefully. (I also have to warn myself to speak to others carefully.)

In Buddhism, the good words are:

  • words at the right time, 
  • true words,
  • gentle and polite words,
  • useful words,
  • words that you say because you have good intention ie you want to sincerly give advise to listener or want listener to be happy.

They are five essential components of good words. We have to think about these five components. If we see the lacking of any component, it should be better to keep silent instead of speaking any words.

“Words have the power to both destroy and heal.
When words are both true and kind,
they can change our world.” — Buddha

Source of Quote: Liberty-tree.ca

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Karma 
“All living beings have actions (Karma) as their own, their inheritance, their congenital cause, their kinsman, their refuge. It is Karma that differentiates beings into low and high states.” – Buddha

Source: Buddhanet

Have you ever had these questions?

  • Why are some people rich, but some are poor?
  • Why are some people very smart, but some are dumb?
  • Why are some people beautiful/handsome, but some are not?
  • Why are some people successful, but some are fail?
  • And other similar questions…..

One of the Buddhist basic and important concepts is “Karma”. Karma is the law of cause and effect. The law of  Karma is the answer of the above questions.  The meaning of Karma is “action”. Everyone depends on what we act in the past and present. I remember an English proverb saying “As you sow, so shall you reap”, which means you must bear all of the results of your actions and take responsibility for them even if they are unpleasant to yourself.

There are four kinds of Karma.
1. Black karma having black result  – you do good things, then you receive good things
2. White karma having white result –  you do bad things, then you receive bad things
3. Black-and-white karma having back-and-white result –  you do both good and bad things at the same time, then you receive both good and bad things
4. Neither black nor white karma having neither black nor white result – this kind of karma leads us to cessation of both bad and good karma. It is to make an end of greed, hatred, and delusion.  

Though Karma is a basic concept, it is quite complicate. I always heard people said “It’s unfair. Why are bad people, who have done bad things still be happy and rich? But the ones, who have done many good things, are suffering.”.

Well, it is fair. Sometime Karma takes short time to return the feedback but in many cases it takes a long time or very long time.

To study further about karma, I recommend you to read a book named “Karma” or “Karma for today’s traveler” by Phra Bhasakorn Bhavilai with David Freyer. This book explains karma in both scientific and Buddhist ways.

From the excerpt: 

“We are all travelers on a long, amazing journey through a universe that is never still. It is a journey filled with danger and opportunity. Each one of us has the freewill to choose our direction. And each of us is responsible for all of our actions.

Our mind is the key. Like it or not, ready or not, our mind is always creating, affecting our world and ourselves, affecting our present and our future. If we use our mind wisely, with compassion for other living beings, its tremendous power can bring more joy, success, freedom, and happiness into our lives. To do this we need to understand how our mind works; how our intentions and actions affect our internal and external worlds. We need to understand karma.”

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