學佛的出發心Motivation for learning the Dharma
Taking a small break after lunch one day, I pondered over the various difficulties faced when teaching the Dharma to sentient beings. They are not serious, and do not caution themselves against committing the same mistakes over and over again. Their lives are lived in a perpetual state of delusion.
As I recalled the reason why I decided to learn the Dharma, and reflected on my perseverance till today, I am full of gratitude for the master I seek refuge in, Grandmaster Living Buddha Lian-Sheng. Because of His compassionate and selfless teachings and blessings, I was able to practice the Dharma and gradually rid myself of unwholesome traits accumulated over many past lives. I remained steadfast in my faith and continue to practice the Dharma even more diligently.
What has been my motivation at the beginning of my Dharma journey? Firstly, I seek a practice that can set my worries and troubles at ease. Secondly, to seek a practice that can show me the door to the Truth. Thirdly, to seek a practice that will enable me to stop committing acts of negative karma. The above 3 points were instrumental at the start of my journey. My Grandmaster, in whom I seek refuge, taught that whenever we are beset with obstacles brought about by bad affinities, we ought to quickly remind ourselves of our initial vows and motivations to repel the obstacles.
In my opinions, many Buddhists lost their beliefs along the way because they fail to apply the Dharma to their daily lives. Neither did they diligently practice the Three Endeavors of Moral Discipline, Meditation and Resulting Wisdom. As a result, they cannot realise the value of Dharma and hence, lack the wisdom to see through the illusions. They subsequently gave up on the Dharma and sadly, join the ranks of suffering sentient beings in the nether world.
Many people assumed that learning the Dharma is tedious and boring. Well, it is exactly the opposite. The five precepts we observe after taking refuge are in fact applicable to all sentient beings, not just Buddhists alone. Because by observing these precepts, we can be assured of rebirth in the human realm for our future lives. Furthermore, the Dharma teaches the Law of Karma (Cause and Effect), and rightly encourages us to perform deeds of giving, to refrain from killing, and to be mindful of our speech and action. By accumulating such vast merits, there is no need to wait for the next life. We can change our current destiny right away. From treacherous to smooth-sailing, from poverty to wealth, from weak to strong, from losing to winning, etc. This explains why I said that learning the Dharma is not at all tedious, but a joyous journey. Learning the Dharma is neither boring nor hopeless.
To learn the Dharma, it is important to seek the right Master and to be around wise people. Do not follow the crowd blindly or rely on hearsay as not only will this fail to accumulate merits, it will also deepen your negative karma. If you and I have the affinity, let’s explore the Dharma over a tea session! Ha! Ha! Ha! What a great joy in life that will be!