A Small Break from Work
"One should give in a proper way And not from social pressure, fear, or from indebtedness; One should not expect rewards or merely follow family traditions Nor should one ask for divine good fortune or fame."
-The Way to Buddhahood, pg. 82
Giving ~ 仁爱
A lot of my reading today was about kindness and giving. I find it interesting that in Buddha's teachings he laid out a "proper" way to give something. Not some ritual or ceremony, but what kind of intent or thought is behind the action of giving. I've heard this from my dad, but when giving a gift you shouldn't be expecting anything in return. You give to give. Not give to receive.
What I find kind of funny is that if people really gave gifts like this, then that holiday pressure of finding the "perfect gift" would probably be gone.
Today's reading also talked a lot about Karma. A concept that I've heard about but never really fully understood. After reading, I can say that I'm even more confused about how Karma supposedly works. There are many kinds and types. Karma doesn't always happen in this life time. Karma is generated through every action and thought that you do. Which is crazy. It's quite complex, so I prefer to just think of Karma as action.
To be honest, the way to buddhahood/enlightenment really does seem difficult if all of this is true.
"Whether one's mind is pure or defiled, Whether one's deeds are beneficial or harmful to others, Whether one's actions are good or evil, Buddhists should observe these questions carefully."
-The Way to Buddhahood, pg. 52
Self Reflection ~ 自身修养
Another part that I enjoyed from my readings was about what right views and right livelihood are. In the book it is said that one must have these two things in order to begin their path to buddhahood. Since someone with completely right views and completely right livelihood is hard to find, there is a section talking about finding someone to learn these things from. When you find a teacher, take what is good from them but don't learn their flaws as well.
I'd like to read more on these self reflection questions as just reading them makes you think about your own self. A monk's life must be very critical if they have these questions on their mind at all times. It's easy to mess up your routine in normal life, I couldn't imagine keeping all of these virtues, values, views, and questions in my mind at all times. But, I guess part of the process is reflecting so much that they just become apart of you. So they won't need thought.
Anyway, that is my two cents.
Hope you all continue to enjoy your week!