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Table of Contents:

  1. The Importance of Cultivating Mindfulness

  2. Let’s Talk About Ignorance

  3. The Causal Law

  4. Reborn in Three Realms

  5. The Correct Attitude of Alms Giving

 

The Importance of Cultivating Mindfulness

Society today is advocating materialism and utilitarianism; from national leaders to the people are so. National leaders advocate toward an advanced country and people commit themselves to the goal. The phenomenon leads the people wish to have more than their needs which is clothing, food, shelter, and transportation. A lot of crimes will arise due to the need of money is always less than their earning such as killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, false speech, coarse speech, make mischief, and talk nonsense. The crime will be further increased if the people have taken alcoholic drink. The way people pursuit material aspects will be the way they pursuit emotional aspects. Therefore, from national leaders to the people are starting to fight, condemn, look upon with hatred, malign, envy, etc. They are suffering from sorrow, sadness, suffering, anxious, and anger due to their greed, hatred, and ignorance.

In today's society, people are lost in material desires and their mind is full of greed, hatred, ignorance. As a Buddhist, we shall bear the religious mission which is promoting the Dhamma actively, teach and advise people to learn and hold the Ten Good Conducts. The Ten Good Conducts is the Good Conduct of Body, Good Conduct of Speech, and Good Conduct of Mind. The Good Conduct of Body: abstain from killing living being, abstain from taking what is not given, and abstain from sexual misconduct. Good Conduct of Speech: abstain from false speech, abstain from coarse speech, abstain from make mischief, and abstain from talk nonsense. Good Conduct of Mind: abstain from greed, abstain from hatred, and abstain from ignorance. If everyone learns to hold the Ten Good Conducts, it will certainly be a peaceful and ordered society which the country is prosperous and the people live in peace, it is an earthly paradise.

Practice is not as easy as we say. The so-called slow progress is better than nothing; we should make up our mind to hold the Ten Good Conducts. Practice of the Ten Good Conducts can be summarized into three aspects: (1) Alms Giving (2) Undertake Five Precepts (3) Practice Meditation. Alms giving and undertake Five Precepts able to reduce the greed, hatred, and ignorance effectively; intensive meditation able to develop strong Right Mindfulness which can be completely eliminate it. What is the Right Mindfulness? Right Mindfulness is aware the body and mind at the present situation clearly. A mindful meditator, he (she) mind is sharp, calm, serene, awareness and wisdom. When mindfulness becomes a habit, we can be mindful in daily life, always mindful; therefore we have to hold the Ten Good Conducts. The Ten Good Conducts is a basis, if a person wish to become a saint (Sotapatti), he must continue to practice the Ten Perfections (Pāramī), one day will be able to achieve the targets. Wish you all may be free from the physical and mental suffering as early as possible (attain Nibbāna). Sādhu! Sādhu! Sādhu!

Sunflower

 

Let’s Talk About Ignorance

All ordinary people regardless of their position or power, ignorance certainly will be in their heart. The degree of ignorance varies from one to another, some people are relatively heavy, some are relatively light; this relates to personal accomplishment (practice). 

What is ignorance? Ignorance means do not believe in cause and effect, wrong view, attached, disconcert, forget, lethargy, doubt and so on. The opposite of ignorance is wisdom. Wisdom means right view, right thought, right mindfulness, and believe in cause and effect and so on. In addition, relationship in between ignorance, greed, and hatred is inseperable. So, where do greed, hatred, and ignorance come from? They are from six sense doors (eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body , mind) contact to six sense objects (eyes  object, sound  object, smell  object, taste  object,  touch object,  mind object) and produce  six consciousnesses (eyes  consciousness, ears  consciousness, nose  consciousness, tongue consciousness, body consciousness, mind consciousness). For example, when a person saw a lot of money (eyes object), the eyes consciousness told him it is money, then pleasure and greed produce will by the mind consciousness, therefore ignorance of stealing will arise. Conversely, when a person's property destroyed by five enemy (fire, water, thieves, country, enemy), hatred and ignorance will arise, then worry, grief, suffering, sorrow, angry will arise. Thus, greed, hatred, and ignorance can be described as a poisonous snake. People who are relatively more greed, hatred, and ignorance not only hurt themselves but also would hurt others; those who are relatively less greed, hatred, and ignorance give their own happiness and also give others happiness. In order to create a stable country and society; people live and work peacefully, we must begin with purify the mind. We should understand that material and spirit (mind) must be in balance and positive development, if biased in pursuing the six sense enjoyment while ignoring the cultivation of personal kindness then it is just like the current situation which society is full of struggle, hatred, jealousy, conceit, greed, ignorance, etc.

The objective of Buddhism is to purify our mind, which can be started from donating (alms giving); then learn to undertake the Five Precepts (no killing, no stealing, no adultery, no lying, no drinking), when both matured enough to cultivate good mind, it will automatically wish to learn meditation. Wisdom can only be gained through meditation, by understanding the relationship between mind and body as well as impermanent, suffering and non-self. Meditator who has right view, right thought, and right mindfulness, his (her) greed, hatred and ignorance is certainly reduced. He (she) will work towards the eradication of greed, hatred, and ignorance! This is the expectation of Buddha to his disciples. Excellent!

 

The Causal Law

Everything appears and disappears according to the condition of cause and effect; everything in the universe has its certain causal law. Nowadays, things in the world started moving away from the right path; end of the world may be happened. 

Peoples and things on earth are inseparable from the scope of the causal law and I would like to share about the causal laws between physical and mental. 

Buddhism focuses on three practices namely keep five precepts, concentration, and wisdom. Buddhist must undertake five precepts which are 1) Do not killing living beings, 2) Do not taking what is not given, 3) No sexual pleasure misconduct4) No false speech, 5) Do not taking intoxicating drinks and drugs.  These precepts can effectively control a person in the aspects of body, speech, and mind therefore he (she) will not committing evil behaviours.  The following is the causal law of the five precepts: 

Do not killing living beings. If a person does not killing, the reward is long life, healthy; on the contrary is infirm and short-life. If you make more killing, the next life will be born in the four woeful states. 

Do not taking what is not given. The reward is wealthy and good reputation; on the contrary, the loss of property and impoverished. If you make more stealing, the next life will be born in the four woeful states. 

No sexual pleasure misconduct. The reward is a happy family; on the contrary, subjected to the enemy's resentment and hatred. If you make more fornication, the next life will be born in four woeful states. 

No false speech. The reward is trustworthy; on the contrary, subjected to the false accusations and injustice. Speech behaviours also include make mischief, coarse speech and talk nonsense. The reward of not making mischief is getting a lot of friends; on the contrary, friends will away from you. No coarse speech, the reward is praised by others; on the contrary, you often criticize by people. Do not talk nonsense, the reward is often heard right speech; on the contrary, you often hear the words which are not credible. If you do not keep this precept, the next life will be born in four woeful states. 

Do not taking intoxication drinks and drugs. The reward is clear-headed; on the contrary, it is insobriety. If you make more drinking and drugs, the next life will be born in four woeful states. 

Above are the causal law of the five precepts, we have to know that causal law is connecting past life, present life, and future life. The so-called good deeds will be well rewarded, bad deeds will be bad rewarded; if not rewarded, time yet to come. Todays, even Buddhists who have taken refuge in the Triple Gem are not strong in undertake the five precepts, the rather that person who not taken refuge, most of them have no idea with the concepts of the causal laws and they are also not believe in it. Therefore, there were many evil deeds in today’s society such as murders, networking and business fraud, robbery, rape, prostitution, human trafficking, swindler, liars, alcoholics and drug addicts, etc. These because of peoples do not believe in the causal law! Thus, the Buddha said that more than 70% of the world's people will go to four woeful states after death, only about more than 20% gain human or heavenly existence.  People are dying with behaviours in this life (with good behaviours or bad behaviours) when passed away, so behaviours is your real properties.  There are five kinds of reward about undertaking the five precepts there are 1) wealthy, 2) good reputation, 3) have confidence and no inferiority, 4) blessed by the gods, 5) born in heaven realms after death. 

How to enhance believe in the five precepts? It is through meditation practice. A meditator must undertake the five precepts or eight precepts as a basis of meditation. With the foundation of precepts, concentration will arise; wisdom then will arise with deep concentration. Through the four foundations of mindfulness meditation, the meditator will experience physical and mental causation. For example, intention to walk come before the feet start to walk; intention to sit come before the body bend to sit down; intention to stretch the hand come before the hand stretch out; intention to turn the head come before the head turn; sometime the body leading the mind (not as intended). When the meditator has gained insight knowledge of causal law, he (she) will undertake the precepts strictly. If the meditator continues to practice meditation and able to attain stream-enter sotapanna, he definitely will not break the five precepts; even though he was a threat to life, he would rather give up life and keep the five precepts complete without prejudice! So he completely eradicated under the four woeful states of danger. Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu!

 

 

Reborn in Three Realms

The three realms in Buddhism refer to the desire realm, form realm, and formless realm. Desire realm includes four woeful states, humanity and six deities planes. There are eighteen form planes which are first Jhana three planes, second Jhana three planes, third Jhana three planes, fourth  Jhana nine planes. Formless realm has a total of four planes. Therefore, three realms have a total of thirty-three planes.  Desire realm and form realm beings have a body and mind; formless realm beings have a mind but do not have a body.

Here will share about the cause of reborn in each layer of the three realms. Firstly, we discuss about reborn in the four woeful states, 1) Reborn as Asuras: if a person, his(her) mind is haughty and jealous, seek to bring others down and afraid of losing, like to fight and sue......, although they do alms giving(donation), but that is for personal reputation and status, they do not keep five precepts well, so he (she) mind has been corresponding as Asura (demon), when they death will be born in this state. 2) Reborn as hungry ghosts: if a person, selfish, stingy, acerbity, be anxious to achieve quick success and get instant benefits and too realistic......, when they doing alms giving ,they may asking for rewards or give little but hope to reward more. They are afraid to heard Five Precepts due to their greed. 3) Reborn in beast state: if a person  always indulgent mind and body, lazy to work, addicted to gambling, drinking, in out of the clubs, wandering the streets at midnight, make friends with baddie, pursue  to eat, drink and sensual  enjoyment, they often ask: Where have dance? Where have singing? Where have delicacy foods? Where have funs? He (she) does not like alms giving and also do not like to keep Five Precepts. 4) Reborn in Hell: if a person did all the wicked things, such as: homicide (suicide or let the others kill), arson, torture, abuse and cruelly injure beings......, they do not have any concepts about the causal laws, they also do not believe in cause and effect.

These have been briefly talked about the cause of reborn in four woeful states, now we discuss about reborn in humanity. Buddhist sutra stated that there are three good karma worldly things: 1) alms giving (donation), 2) undertake Five Precepts, 3) practising meditation. There are also three type of worldly people, the first type of person seldom doing alms giving (donation),  seldom keep the five precepts and no meditation, born  as  distress person. The second type of person alms giving middle, keep the five precepts medium, no meditation, born as happiness person. The third type of person alms giving more, keep the five precepts more, no meditation, then in the next life they will be born in six deity planes. Apropos of reborn to the form realm (total eighteen planes), you must practising  meditation (Samatha Bhavana) until  achieve first Jhana, second Jhana, third Jhana and fourth Jhana concentration or practising insight meditation (Vipassana  Bhavana). The form realm deity have no distinguish to man and women, so there are no marry; form realm deities only eye, ear, body have activity; nose and tongue no function, so no diet; their lifespan longer than desire planes deity. There are total of forty kind of samatha meditation, please refers book of Visuddhimagga.

Finally, we discuss about reborn in the formless realm, formless realm total have four planes, if a person hope to reborn in formless realm, he(she) have to achieve concentration until fourth Jhana, after that he (she) might continue to practice formless realm concentration, then finally he will reach the target. If a person wants to jump out from suffering of this samsara (three realm), he (she) must practising four foundations of mindfulness meditation (Satipatthana Vipassana Bhavana), in order to cut off ten annoyance: superstitious belief, concept of oneself, suspicion, greed, hatred, want to born in form realm, want to born in formless realm, haughty, distraction and ignorance; so he (she) finally will gain enlightenment and become an Arahant. Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu!

 

The Correct Attitude of Alms Giving

Alms giving is compulsory to every Buddhist. Alms giving represents generosity, charity, loving kindness; alms giving can make a person's heart soft, renunciation, non-attachment, and do not stingy. With good mind of alms giving can cultivate our hearts gradually towards no greed, no hatred, no delusion. If you habitually often do alms giving, both in this life and the future life will bring great reward, the good effect is longevity, dignified beauty, pleasure, sturdy and smart. 

Alms giving has two kinds: physical giving and Dhamma giving. Organ donation is belonging to inner giving, wordly possessions are belonging to outer giving. Dhamma giving is giving Dhamma Talk,Dhamma books, Dhamma CD and so on. The Buddha said: "All kind of giving, Dhamma giving is the best. Because giving Dhamma can guide a person free from greed, hatred, and delusion. 

 Everyone is doing alms giving has their different purpose or intention. Therefore giving can be divided into three levels: 1) When giving purpose was to gain honor and praise was inferior giving. 2) When giving purpose was to get happiness or reborn as a god in future life was medium giving. 3) When giving was to respectful all saint and Bodhisattva, as well as took them as a model of learning is the best giving. 

A kind person doing alms giving need to have the following eight qualities: 

  1. Give clean, pure and attractive things for alms giving.

  2. With selected and high quality things for alms giving.

  3. Occasional alms giving: that is, at the appropriate time to perform alms giving.

  4. Carefully selected recipient and things before doing alms giving. (Recipient has kept five precepts and practising meditation on the right path.)

  5. Give the things that are suitable for recipient and the recipient can accept its.

  6. According to your ability and often doing alms giving.

  7. With a calm and peaceful mind to do alms giving.

  8. Before alms giving feel rejoice, when doing alms giving with a cheerful mind, after alms giving feel satisfied.

Next, I want to share with you about  five kind of correct attitude of alms giving and their good effects: 

  1. Faith to alms giving: believe in causal laws when doing alms giving; good effect will have a delicate and pretty appearance.

  2. Attentive to alms giving: attentive to prepare things for alms giving; good effect is your followers will obey your command and work attentively to you.

  3. Occasional alms giving: At the appropriate time doing alms giving; good effect is at the appropriate time. You will have what you want.

  4. Kindness alms giving: like to help recipient and kindness to him; good effect is could really enjoy the rewards of alms giving.

  5. No damage alms giving: no harm to the dignity of the recipient; good effect is the property of the giver will not be destructible by five enemies (water, fire, national, thieves, enemies).

Finally, I want to share with you about five factors to enhance the good fortune:

  1. Giver has kept the five precepts well.

  2. The recipient also has kept the precepts well.

  3. Things for alms giving should get from the right way.

  4. Before alms giving feel rejoice, when doing alms giving with a joyful mind, after alms giving feel satisfied.

  5. Giver has a strong faith in causal laws.

If alms giving possess with these five factor,that is most pure and beneficial. Good fortune will weaken according to lack these five factor. Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu!

 

 

  


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