Sunday, October 17, 2010

'Establish Right Thinking, Let the Heart Be Free' - last part of The Pursuit of Happiness

All present forms of life and circumstances are the results of Karma accumulated from our previous lives. Be they good or evil, our Karmas are all contaminated. The fruits corresponding to them are therefore subject to imperfections and suffering. One who can subdue the body and mind well to maintain tranquility of the psyche is a wise and worthy person. He who controls the body but not the mind, on the other hand, can never attain true freedom and transcendence.

Those who are not still inwardly tend to look outwards, making comparisons with others and even pursuing fame, profit and enjoyment blindly. Those who know nothing about introspection but are always engaged in outward pursuits will always live in emptiness and distress. A saying goes: 'Even a thatched hut stands well and vegetable roots smell good when the heart is calm.'

Confucians, too, maintain that "all things exist in well-being when viewed in calmness". Only when the heart calms down can there be fullness and meningfulness in life. Gather that outward-grasping mind together. Let it fall back on your original Mind and pristine nature. Your mind will naturally become calm and still this way.

In the process of learning and being confronted with various circumstances, how should we adjust our own mentality so as not to be affected by external forces? Your mind has to be in charge. Be mindful wherever you are. Stay focused whatever you do. Be in a state of conscious existence at all times. Mentally be where you are, whether you are working, chanting a sutra, meditating or doing something else. Be of one mind, not two.

As a working adult, manage your time properly. Plan your work appropriately. If you become obsessed with profit making and give yourself too much stress, you may throw yourself off-balance physically and mentally, making things harder for yourself as you lose more than what you gain.

So, regulate your body and mind from day to day. In particular, be sure that your mind is clear and in charge. If you can establish right thiking and let your heart be free, you will naturally be able to deal with affairs excellently. When your mind is balanced, the true Way shall be within your reach.

Be moderate in all you do. Never be too rash or passive. Neither should you be arrogant nor too servile. In speech, be neither flattering nor relentless. As a student, pay attention in class, take time to review what you have learnt, or you may find yourself having to burn the midnight oil at the last minute to deal with examinations - you can hardly get good results this way.

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