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心靈環保 Environmentalism of the Mind[g1]
Use the ordinary mind to face extraordinary things[g2] .
Even if you are 100% correct, give others the benefit of doubt; stick to your principles but express them politely (with savoir-faire).
When you feel agitated or disturbed, immediately meditate on your inhalation or exhalation. Concentrate on the breath (going in or out), feel the air, and your will gradually calm down.
If the mind is unsettled, it is mainly the influence of external and/or physical conditions[g3] . If we can be mindful, understanding the conditions of our body and mind, we will have inner-peace and inner-freedom.
External circumstances are the mirror to reflect upon our speech and behaviors that have made others uneasy, shocked, or disagreeable. We should immediately introspect, repent, and reform them.
The mind is our teacher. When our mind, at any time and place, merges with the immediate conditions and things, we are in pure land.
Whether we are in pain or joy[g4] , so long as it was caused by other’s comments, which in turn influenced our mind or stirred up our emotions, we are not doing a good job protecting our mind; we have failed to protect our spiritual environment.
Anger is an affliction, which can be caused by bodily, conceptual, or other factors, not necessarily a lack of cultivation or manners. If we can introspect and use wisdom to dispel this affliction, we will not harm ourselves and others.
The environmentalism of the mind is to take good care of our mind under all circumstances and to maintain inner-peace and serenity. This is spiritual health.
Tune (Temper) the mind when we encounter uncomfortable or unpleasant things. Tuning the mind means tuning our mind not others.
We should treat people and things with equanimity, whether the person is someone we like or despise, whether the thing we encounter is pleasant or troublesome, this is called “facing right or wrong with gentleness.”
Gentleness is to treat people and things with a soft heart and docile attitude, but it does not equate to weakness or fragility.
A carefree life does not mean a life without frustrations but the ability to still the body and mind and calmly face life’s challenges.
If everyone seeks to find satisfactions[g5] from nature, justice from society, and fairness from others, conflicts can never be completely and truly reconciled even if there may be some degrees of effectiveness.
“Letting go” does not equate to “giving up.” “Letting go” means a heart without any attachment, not thinking about the past or future. “Giving up” means totally losing faith and courage, not believing in anything.
With faith and hope, there is a future.
Regret is an affliction, repentance is cultivation.
Worry or anxiety is totally useless, but attentiveness or contemplation is a necessity.
Live your illness with a healthy attitude: relax the mind, live as usual, and do what you are supposed to do.
Sickness need not be painful, poverty need not be sorrowful, physical labor need not be agonizing/fatiguing; the real suffering is the suffering of the mind.
Treat illness as an experience, then it will not become a suffering.
The outcome will be different if we treat undesirable things as an interesting experience.
We will not be fearful of frustrations (failures) if mentally prepared for them.
Life is never a smooth sailing. Our body cannot avoid its aches and pains; our career is never short of obstacles, and our environments always have natural disasters. Nonetheless, as long as our mind is tranquil, there is peace and security.
Disasters can happen anytime in this world. Being prepared mentally for disasters and in preventive works (Have emergency drills and prepare an emergency kit) at normal times can reduce the damages of disasters to its bare minimum (when it happens).
If we have correct views, knowing that life, old age, sickness, and death are normal phenomena, we will not complain to heaven or blame others.
Contemplate for two more minutes and we will discover that there are many options open to us. So long as we have one more breath left, there is infinite hope.
As long as we have one breath left, we can reverse our thinking, and our circumstances will change as well, because circumstances are never permanent.
No matter how the external environment changes, so long as we tranquilly and detachedly face our problems, we definitely can find the solutions.
Whether busy or at leisure, in solitude or in groups, constantly keep our inner-peace, harmony, and clarity, this is the cultivation of Chan; this is actualizing the environmentalism of the mind.
The voices of oppositions and obstructions are not frightening. In contrast, they can be a supportive power to help us grow if we can face them, tolerate them, and embrace them.
Solve problems with a calm mind and an amiable attitude. Without a calming mind and an amiable attitude, it is easy to say the wrong things and making the problem more complicated.
盡責盡分 Fullfill One’s Responsibilities and Act One’s Roles
In order to be harmonious with the external environments, first harmonize oneself with the inner-self.
Relax the body and the mind, experience the body and the mind, we can then live peacefully with our ego.
Once we are able to live harmoniously with our ego, we can truly and deeply understand ourselves, including our strength and shortcomings.
Don’t be self-righteous (overvalue yourself). Don’t underestimate yourself either.
Don’t compete with yourself or others. Simply strive for the present and always be ready for the future.
People usually like to show off their strength. Strength should be utilized and developed, not exaggerated.
People, unwilling to face or admit their shortcomings, will often hide them. If we can honestly face them, we will have less and less shortcomings, and smaller and smaller problems.
Understand the meaning of life and (the reason for our) existence, clearly acknowledge our strengths and weaknesses, is the beginning of self-affirmation.
Self-affirmation is an egoless attitude, which is without any attachment to one’s strengths or weaknesses, not prideful or remorseful because of them, but continuously, endless, and vigorously polishing oneself.
We all have different capacities, intelligence and wisdom, living conditions, physical strength, and backgrounds. It is not necessary to mention them together. So long as we put our feet on the ground, walk steadily and strongly step by step, we can find our own way.
If we can relentlessly uphold a clear and definite value system our whole life, without wavering, then every stage of our life will be a banquet of multitudes (a bouquet of flowers).
On the surface, being selfish may seem to be protecting our self-interest. Nonetheless, it is not so. Harming others inevitably (eventually) will harm us.
People’s endless avarice and selfishness for personal interests are caused by a lack of security.
Usually, conflicts are caused by the over emphasis of self-centeredness.
Self-centeredness is one of life’s vital forces, not necessarily a bad thing. However, if one is too self-centered, becoming self-righteous, having an inferior- or superior-complex, with endless greed, one can never be happy.
Once we surpass our self-interests or selfishness and detach from self-gain or loss, which are all caused by self-centeredness, we can open our minds, becoming more tolerant, and decreases the minds’ attachments to gain or loss.
If we can overcome self-interest or personal gain or loss, we can regard the interests and the gain or loss of the whole society or the entire human race as one’s own.
Our wish to be healthy, happy, and peaceful, and wishing the same for others, is part of our egocentrism. However, it is different from the selfish egocentrism; this is the Bodhi heart that benefits others.
The value of life is in our contributions and to grow and make beneficial karmic conditions in our contributions.
“Heaven made us all useful (We all have our usefulness).” We all come into this world, at the moment of our birth, with our self-worthiness and responsibilities. Our “usefulness” is to be responsible for the entire society and the human history.
The value of our life maybe small (miniscule), but as long as we do our utmost and develop our potential to the fullest, we are playing a pivotal role in the heritage, continuation, and sequence of human history.
Be grateful to all things. Give your all to the present. Treat yourself as the “blood vein” that connects the past to the future. Accepting the nutrients from our ancestors on the one hand and giving our blood to the next generation is being fully responsible for life.
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