Thursday, September 4, 2008

Doctor Anuruddha spoke to the youths on this Saturday afternoon to give us the basics in which we should work towards such that we will act with more wisdom.

He first highlighted the importance of listening and seeking advice from people who have more life experiences than we do, especially since we are still youths. For example, the Buddha uses Dharma as a guide and Buddhists refer to the Buddha as a guide. By thinking of the qualities, virtues and teachings that the enlightened one lives by, we find guidance, like that when we find someone good to guide us.

Bringing us back to the reality, which is the fact that we live in a society and there is little way we can get out of it. A society often possesses a legal system and detaches us from nature. He quoted an English philosopher: ‘Go back to nature,’ we have worked ourselves away from nature, ‘then you would have a natural life’. We are currently living a social lifestyle where social norms are shaped by the legislative and parliamentary systems, run by people and punishments.

Buddha was a responsible person; we are all inevitably bounded by responsibilities and laws. Therefore, when there is a need, we should seek advice from adults whom we ought to be respectful and faithful towards. Especially in the case of our youth group, without the adult committee, we would not be granted this rare opportunity to learn the Dharma and make spiritual bonds with the brothers and sisters in the youth group.

Here are the three aspects that Venerable suggests we all take extra care of:

We are often misled by likes and dislikes, fear, misunderstandings and these result in repulsive behaviour. It is advised by the venerable that in order to prevent our emotions from taking over us, we can practise impartiality (Upekkha) when making decisions. He noted that this quality is required for us to live in the society.

Being sensual beings, we are often driven by our five/six senses- Touch, sight, taste, smell, sound (and mind). To overcome these, there is a need for right understanding to be developed (Right understanding is also the first item on the eightfold path). By practising right understanding of situations and people, we can avoid misunderstandings, conflicts, unhealthy relationships and encourage proper behaviour. Mutual understanding between people will also enhance mutual respect.

Behaviour is closely linked to our decision making and good behaviour (and good decision making) will allow a good social life.

To sum it up, life is a continuous cycle in various forms. Therefore, good qualities should be cultivated so that our behaviour and life will be better. This is something that we respect the Buddha for. To look at the Buddha, look into his teachings, his physical self may not be seen, but he is indeed living there.

Advice of the day: Above aspects make our valuable human life and more meaningful!

Evelyn & Mabel

No comments: