圖 / 教育院編繹室文 / 文獻中心
Love, Compassion, Joy and Equanimity
Our mind is like a stubborn child, doing just at it pleases, difficult to teach and control, chasing after desires, and producing all kinds of troubles. Trying to fulfill our desires, we are always on the pursuit of things, without ever feeling at rest within. This makes for a very hectic life. And as soon as we run into some difficulty, confusion and trouble arise. We become jealous, angry, hateful and confrontational, leading a life that has no stability. Without the ability to see through things, our lives become confused. When we become emotionally involved or experience ups and downs at work, we don`t know how to handle it. We hold on to things and loose ourselves.
In our minds we often make distinctions between Self and Other, good and bad, leading to confusion and unhappiness. All we want is to be happy and free, all we want is to find a way to overcome our difficulties. How can we do it? We need a method. Buddhism is a way of learning about life. It is a learning process that helps us to transform our hearts from one bound by selfishness into one full of love and compassion. It teaches us to become selfless. It helps us to enlarge our inner space, and teaches us how to relax and let go of the small self. Love, compassion, joy, and equanimity are a very effective medicine that helps us to attune and settle our heart and mind, and to purify our inner state of being, freed from confusion and attachment. Through this medicine we get rid of the three poisons of greed, anger and ignorance. We learn how to relax and become happy.
Through generosity we learn how to counteract greed, and how to develop the notion of letting go. We let go of our mind that is full of desires, and let our heart settle down. Through love and compassion we learn how to transform the anger and hate in our heart, and to attain the compassionate spirit of the Bodhisattva Guanyin who saves all from suffering and gives joy to all. We learn to put ourselves into the shoes of others, and to engage in works of love and compassion, generating good human relationships and true happiness. Furthermore, we also need to learn how to develop wisdom by engaging in the contemplation of what is real, and what is illusory in this world. We keep up this spirit of contemplation to observe our own behavior, to learn how to let go of our worries, to get a hold of ourselves, to give birth to joy and make our lives more meaningful.
When our heart is free from desires, when we keep this spirit of equanimity, when we succeed in practicing love, compassion and letting go, our life will be filled with joy. On the contrary, when we do everything out of a heart full of desires, our sense of gain and loss becomes too strong, and from that, all kinds of troubles readily arise. I have many disciples who have been with me for many years and who often feel a sense of exuberant joy, without any particular reason. How does that happen? It happens because they carry no burden in their heart, because their hearts are free from desires and schemes. This is the result of practice – the practice of love, compassion, joy and equanimity.
Know that learning Buddhism is not the same as engaging in some kind of business that deals with profit and loss. If we approach it with a heart that calculates the profits and losses, we will be unhappy and unable to reach the state of inner freedom that is without any stress. I hope that all of us will be perfected in love, compassion, joy and equanimity, that we don`t harbor any grudge and mistrust, that we rejoice in doing good and being generous, so that we sow good seeds and receive good fruits. Let us create a kind and wholesome society, give rise to joy and walk on the great path towards achieving Buddhahood together.
Dharma Master Hsin Tao
(Translated by Maria Reis Habito)