OH MY BUDDHA!
8 Pointers to Young Buddhist Living by Brother Shi Xiong
(1) Take Refuge in the Buddha, Dhamma & Sangha
As young Buddhists, we can start the day by taking refuge in the Triple Gems, bringing to mind the qualities of the Buddha and a reminder to strive and lead our life in accordance to the tenets of wisdom and compassion.
“When you are in the forest or in empty places
If fear and panic should arise in you,
Immediately call me to mind.
For if you do so, the fear or panic will be overcome.”
- The Buddha
(2) Develop Moral Courage
The Buddha advocated for what is right, not what is popular.
He went against the traditional norm of Indian society then by going against the caste system and accepted women into the religious order.
As young Buddhists, we may be challenged to make a choice between doing what is right and what is popular. We can join in the “fun” crowd in teasing a fellow friend, or we can take a stand against such bullying. We can ignore a commuter who needs the seat more than we do, afraid that if he/she rejected our offer for the seat, we won’t look so cool. Or we can stand up and confidently offer our seat tand not be afraid of any possible rejection or stares.
(3) Train the Mind
“The Mind is the forerunner of all things.”
Always pause, clam down, reflect, think, then act.
Meditation trains the mind. It makes us more confient of ourselves and build a healthier self-esteem in every one of us. Start adopting a regular meditation practice by doing a 5-minute session every morning before breakfast or just before you go to bed.
(4) Work Hard in your Studies & Career
As young lay Buddhists, it is important that we work hard in our studies and career and seek excellence in whatever we do. With our knowledge, skills and wealth, we will be able to contribute to society and I a better position to help the less-fortunate.
From the Mangala Sutta the Buddha said,
“To have vast learning, perfect handicraft” (Education)
“Peace occupations…” (Right Livelihood)
these are the Highest Blessings.
and also from the Mahayana texts,
"He who acquites his wealth in harmless ways like a bee that gathers honey, riches mount up for him like an hill’s rapid growth." - The Buddha
(5) Respect Your Parents
“Love your Parents. We are so busy growing up, we often forget they are also growing old.” – Internet Quote.
How true. Maybe we can all start by trying this. It’s lunchtime, and you’re in school/work. Give mom or dad a random call. Tell them “I love you”. Better still, surprise daddy at his workplace with some cupcakes. Sure to make him blush in front of his colleagues but deep inside, he will be beaming with joy. Send a bouquet of flowers to mom as well.
See how your parents respond when you wish them good morning and good night Something you used to do as a kid but now, rarely so.
It’s Sunday morning, why not surprise them with your own home-cooked breakfast. It will be a rarity and a good break for mommy not to have to prepare breakfast.
But more than just surprises, it is our daily interactions that our parents want from us. Talk to them more, interact and show more concern and interest in their lives. Share with them yours too as well as they will be more interested to know how you’re doing in your school, your new bf/gf, new job, etc.
Duties of a Child, according to the Sigalovada Sutta, the Buddha said:
1. Being supported, I shall support them
2. I shall do their duties
3. I shall keep the family lineage
4. I shall act in such a way as to be worthy of my inheritance
5. Furthermore, I shall offer alms in honour of my departed relatives
From the Itivuttaka,
“Mother & Father, compassionate to their family, are called Brahma, first teachers, those worthy of gifts from their children.
So the wise should pay them homage, honor with food and drink, clothing & bedding, anointing & bathing & washing their feet.
Performing these services to their parents,
The Wirse are praised right here and after death rejoice in heaven. (106)
(6) Love Faithfully
"If man and wife, who are leading a harmonious life, wish to be
together in the next existences, they should have the same faith,
the same morality, the same liberality and the same level of
knowledge. Then they will be in one another's sight so long as this
life lasts and in the future life as well."
"When both are faithful and bountiful, self-restrained, of a
righteous living. They come together as husband and wife, full of
love for each other."
Duties of a Husband (Sigalovada Sutta)
2.By not despising her
4.By handing over authority to her
5.By providing her with ornaments
Duties of a Wife (Sigalovada Sutta)
1.Performs her duties in perfect order
4.Protects what he brings
5.Industrious and not lazy in discharging her duties
(7) Develop Strong Spiritual Friendship
4 Kinds of Real Friends
1.A friend who helps
2.A friend who shares the same weal and woe
3.A friend who gives good counsel
4.A friend who sympathises
(8) Practice Daily
Go back to point 1 to point 7. Try do it daily!