Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Reflections on 3484 Sharing

It is a new year and like what everyone says: a new year, a new beginning. Last Saturday, I was glad to have spent the first month of this new year with my spiritual friends and Bhante Chandiman, learning more about the basics of Dharma!

We had the privilege of having Wu Feng share about 3484 despite his busy schedule. Although what Wu Feng went through were the basics that everyone should always know and remember, I felt that it was a good chance for me to better understand more about 3484. It was very refreshing to attend this sharing because of the opportunity to refresh my memory on 3484 and the little details of it (like how intention always makes a difference to whatever action we do, speech we say and thought we have.)

I’ll write a summary of what was discussed and shared during the sharing (incase we forget or we weren’t able to attend!) :-)

3 - Triple Gems
Buddha - our teacher
Dharma - cosmic truths / teachings of the Buddha
Sangha - followers of Buddhism / Buddhist monks

4 - Four Noble Truths
There is dukka - suffering / dissatisfaction
There is a cause for dukka - cravings / attachment / expectations
There is a solution to dukka
The solution to dukka is the Noble Eightfold Path

8 - The Noble Eightfold Path
Right Speech - avoid lying, idle talk, vulgarities etc esp if it hurts others
Right Action - do what is morally right
Right Livelihood - avoid jobs that kill or sell intoxicants
Right Effort - to resist evil
Right Intention - to always have good intentions
Right Concentration - practice meditation to have clarity of mind
Right Mindfulness - to always be mindful of your thoughts
Right View - to see the truth

4 - Four Immesurables
Kindness - being generous, friendly
Compassion - to care for others in their suffering
Empathetic Joy - to find joy from other’s gains/happiness
Equanimity - to treat everything equally (includes all sentient beings), without judgement

With the help of Wu Feng’s explanations and Bhante Chandiman’s stories (like stories of the Buddha’s life/encounters), the group of us youths sat in a circle & got into a couple of discussions.

Firstly, how to we have goals without being attached to them? We can think of it as trying hard but not being upset if we fail - we can try again and again that way. If we succeed, we should not get overly attached to our success either. In other words, we focus more on the process and putting in our best.

The conversation led to talk about karma and how we may take away lives unknowingly - would that create bad karma for us?
For example, if we accidentally stepped on a snail, would it be our fault?
We concluded that it boils down to our intentions. Intentions always make a difference to our actions. - for eg. if you turn on the shower when you see ants on the floor, you know that you will be killing the ants and hence in this case, it incurs bad karma on your part.

At one point, we talked about how to react if someone were to get angry at you. Some shared that we should ignore them and be thankful that the hate was spread to you and you can stop it from passing on and continuing the cycle. Others shared that we should try to understand the person who’s angry and see if we can help them out.

In any case, I hope that we can all practice some meditation / reflection and make sure to think before we act. :)

Now that we know the basics of Buddhism, we can look forward to a good 2016 having started off on the right foot! :)

Hope to see you at SBM soon!

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