Humility speaks well enough to be humble and
respectful to others. Respect does not mean hiding a guilty
self-deprecation, or self-esteem with an outer layer of
humility in handling. Respect is to affirm others, to have
peculiarities, between us and others equally, no more, no
First of all, we must understand humility as a
virtue, a virtue of a noble person, a virtuous direction, a
noble virtue of a saint, a Bodhisattva, a Buddha.
Humility is expressed in words, gestures,
attitudes, and behaviors through which people walk, stand,
eat, and wear in their daily behavior.
At some point, we know how to sit down to
contemplate the profound but simple meaning of the Dharma, we
can see the great meaning of the so-called:
- How to treat human behavior.
- A way of living in this world.
By living this, we will gain valuable
experience about how to behave in every action, language, and
even our thoughts. Everything always leaves a proper effect.
Because through the way of life I am going to talk about is
not only concerned because it has been talked about on many
pages but moreover, it is a very specific self-sufficient
spiritual experience, it requires an elaborate practice of
Therefore, the Venerable Buddhists who taught
must show in every moment of the present to take advantage of
their highest ability to be able to learn to speak in the
language of the heart, which language of the intrinsic
experience. For a long time, Venerable Buddhists still teach
us to focus on a single lesson of how to live for ourselves
and give it to people in a proper way. That thought certainly
gave us many moral lessons and values.
In my opinion, humility is one of the best and
most miraculous spiritual values that people need to promote,
nurture and at the same time have to show properly in life.
Because this virtue is also one of the important factors that
help us practice elaborately on the path of enlightenment in
the spirit of Buddhism. Therefore, even if we consider
ourselves from a moral or religious point of view, we will
find that once in our own mind we have lacked humility, then
on the path to studying will be unsteady steps for yourself
and also cause insecurity for people, for life.
The effect of humility is very strange. When we
live with it, we naturally find ourselves becoming more meek
to be able to succumb to anyone easily. Thus, those who know
how to express this virtue will have the courage to accept
life no matter what. Remember, modern culture has never really
taught us humility even when this noun is mentioned in the
most solemn way. In some treacherous definition, people say
humility is to bow down lowly in both psychological and verbal
meaning. Some people even say that the humble attitude towards
everyone is a self-giving gesture of feeling inferior and
smaller than others. Since then, people often feel
uncomfortable when bowing, or humiliating with someone.
In fact, in each bow or two hands that make a
lotus bud to greet others like that, then the ego in us is
considered to be more or less reduced. But remember, and
always be alert to yourself when the humble gesture is only a
mechanical movement, that is, a false humility. Venerable
Buddhists always sternly remind this, because in the practice
life of a Buddhist, humility is not only a cultural sign but
also a practice. That's why the Venerable Buddhists encourage
us, when we meet each other we accept two hands to make lotus
buds to say hello to each other, if we can say it, say:
- Amitabha Buddha.
Because Amitabha Buddha is a symbol of pure
nature. Usually in the world, when we meet, we often ask:
- Come on, Brother, sister, ... how are you?
But, in the spirit of learning through which to
show humility, we accept two hands to make lotus buds, and the
- Amitabha Buddha.
Meaning in the mind we want:
- This pure lotus bud is for you, for big
brother, big sister, for young brother, young sister, for my
Because it is also from here, our progress is
made and expressed. Some people will consider humility to be a
deterrent to courage but it is clear that what I have just
said above does not mean that we have to close our eyes to let
others trample on our body or dignity.
According to Buddhism, Venerable Buddhists do
not call on their followers or members to lie down on the road
for people to step on to improve their humility. What the
monks guide here is the psychological attitude of each person
in each confrontation and responding to the surrounding life.
This physical body doesn't really mean anything, we should
learn to bow low from the thought, in each of our views!
Indeed, this physical body only works when we know how to use
it. Somewhere in the Buddhist Sutras, the story is told:
At the time of Buddha's existence, there was a
devout disciple who was King Bimbisara. One day on the way to
business, the King met the Buddha and the Sangha went begging
for alms. Before the majesty of the Buddha and the Sangha, the
King of the Buddhists bowed and kissed the Buddha's feet. One
of the great ministers accompanying the King felt very
dissatisfied. Because he thought that the authority of the
King was the head of a country, he could not kneel to a beggar
on the street like Buddha. Therefore, when he reached the
palace, he immediately said:
- Your Majesty, You are the reigning monarch of
all people in the country, not because of a Buddha that
undermines your dignity...
Upon hearing that, the King understood what
this great mandarin wanted, on this occasion the King wanted
to guide this stubborn official to the Dharma. So the King
ordered and handed over to the mandarins, each with a head to
sell. The mandarins received the pig's head, the bull's head,
the goat's head, the deer's head ... .. Particularly for this
stubborn mandarin, the King gave a human head. Of course,
those who sell heads of pigs, bullheads .... then someone buys
immediately. But the stubborn official sold the head of Man
when he went anywhere, everyone ran away. So the first day
could not be sold, then the second day, the third day, the
head began to smell, flow, then flies and ants clung. In the
end, this great mandarin brought the foul head to return to
- His Majesty, it seems that the head of the
pig and the head of the cow has users but the human head is
too useless, so I cannot sell ...
On that occasion, the King instructed the
minister to give up his arrogance and direct his life to the
Through this story, let's try to see what
happens when we don't react to someone's attack on us. We
should know, when someone offends us, that person is always
waiting to see some retaliation, so that they have a reason to
continue attacking. But on our side, if we don't have any
countermeasures in response, these attacks seem to be blown
out, like a ball falling into space. I repeat, we should not
be antagonistic but should only tolerate it. And the problem
does not stop at the spirit of tolerance, we have to
understand how we have done it.
Let us show good humility in the way we behave
with others in society when we live in this world. Because, in
addition to sarcasm, slander, we must know there are many
other evil things that people have poured on us. For example,
in addition to feeling uncomfortable psychologically when we
know people around us do not like us, we also have to accept
earaches, headaches when someone wants to chase after or want
to confront us. At that time, it is possible in us to have
some instinct ready to oppose. Instead, we are antagonistic,
but if we know how to express humility, we will control
ourselves in time and accept the oppositions of the other
person very easily.
It is true that the unbelievable thing in the
heart then feels like opposing, but then when the inner mind
is arranged, the psychological power becomes pleasant,
obedient to a subjugation through the mental expression
humility. Thus, it can be said that this is a way to utilize
effectively and smoothly all situations in life, turning the
obstacle into a practice that its basic meaning lies in humble
Because we know how to forget our self, we can
take care of what we have, we can control it, or erase the
self-arrogance in ourselves. Every day, we are still stuck
with the more and the worse, the strong and the weak, the good
and the bad, the practice must be said to be a difficult
problem. And it can be said that it is because we know how to
forget unnecessary problems, so we will find the true beauty
in the life of the cultivator and those who know how to
This concept of pure aesthetics will give us a
great way to live, right from the most normal activities. For
example, here every day, we have religious rituals at first
glance, it is very simple as the action of joining hands into
lotus buds and chanting. The hardest thing is still the
gesture of joining hands to make lotus buds and bowing. Only
that movement, on the form, is not important. The most
important thing is that we know the grasping hand makes a
lotus bud right from our mind. To accomplish this, we must
face the fierce resistance of the inner self. In fact, we do
not want to put our hands into lotus buds, the reason is that
there are conceptions opposed to humility because some people
think that humility seems to be too polite.
So, even though it's simple, but accepting the
hand to make a lotus bud, or bowing your head, even in a
normal life, we have seen some people unable to do it. Besides
those who can't do it, we have also seen many people who have
been fortunate to have met the guiding knowledge and have been
able to embrace their hands into lotus buds or bow their heads
easily. For the Venerable Master, no one told us to do so, but
there were also those who worshiped because naturally, they
wanted to do so. These are the people who have good seed, good
faith, and so through those prostrate gestures they suddenly
realize that the prostrate posture is so beautiful, instead of
standing upright, saying a very polite sentence in a huge ego
remains in the head. Such prostrate posture on the ground has
given the worshiper a fresh feeling for both body and mind.
This humble way is different from the Western
culture. Westerners tend to focus on what is practical.
Westerners can only see the way of accepting hands to make
lotus buds, which is synonymous with the expression of
subordinates to their superiors, so it is difficult to
implement and cannot understand its great meaning. Meanwhile,
standing in front of a bow of a person, according to the
customs of the Vietnamese people, we naturally find ourselves
to be humble by nodding in response to sincere respect. The
way of bowing by Vietnamese people seems to have the same
meaning as holding two hands of the Indian tradition that
people in this country still call the most respectful
greeting. They just held their hands together but the gesture
implicitly contained a greeting:
- I greet you or prostrate before you.
In the West, especially in the United States,
just reach out and hold the hand of the opposite person and
say a polite sentence:
- Nice to meet you.
We are Vietnamese, have a long tradition of
Buddhism, so the humble expression through which two hands are
made into lotus buds is one of the most beautiful expressions
According to the Tibetan Buddhist tradition,
when they worshiped Buddha they let themselves spread to the
ground to pay homage. Because they think that the hands at
this moment are meant to be an offering of the whole body,
mouth, and mind. The stretching and twisting movements around
the body and finally putting on the head is to symbolize all
the hearts that we have given to the gesture of prostration.
After that, let yourself lying down on the floor with your
hands clasped to the back of your head, then repeat all the
original movements, then spread yourself to the ground for the
second time and your hands on the top of your head to end the
ceremony. In this way, Mr. Ajahn Chah commented:
- This is also a practice of humility and
This is a beauty of a form of life, though it
seems material, but contains the whole spirit for the person
who forgets himself, that is, to abandon the great ego.
Because if we have a specialized look, we will find that just
a few humble movements are enough to say the most sincere
The question is, do we show humility in the
most convenient place?
This is definitely not possible in the
cafeteria, or in the beer bar.
So the answer is right at the time of going to
the temple. Because when we go to the temple, we meet the
Teachers, we meet a lot of partners, there are almost always
many opportunities to find the exercises about humility
through each other's bow to us, as well as ours for others.
For me, only humble gestures that we practice fully are like a
method to cultivate. Because at least this is the method to
end many things that need to be terminated and this is also
quite a simple practice because it can be done at any time.
This is certainly nothing called hard, just
spend a little time to look back and nourish the soul with
just the two hands that make a lotus bud, or bow your head.
And the object for that reverent attitude does not need to ask
for a great idol. We put our hands together, bowed our heads
to a personality, virtue, and virtue of someone like kindness,
compassion, and understanding ...
If possible, every night, before we go to bed,
we can bow our heads in that spirit exactly six times, and
before we leave the bed the next morning we repeat the same
six times as a first job of the day. We can practice anywhere,
including overnight at friends' houses or anywhere. We still
keep that habit, and it will be even more interesting if there
is no object on the wall of the room, Buddha's image or the
short verses of the Buddha, then we can also do a prayer on
our own in our minds by thinking about the mental qualities
that we can use. I think that any of us can do it.
In short, the humble nature in every person
has, and everyone knows, but the practice is or not, that's
another story. What I just said, is, of course, everyone's
choice. What if we want to, it can be done at any time, for
example right now. If you practice now, then the lesson seems
to start from here. When you meet anyone, don't wait for
others to say hello to you, then we greet them. Just meet
anyone, we go on doing our work, which means we go on
greeting, and the person who doesn't greet us is their bad
thing. In this lesson, if you really want to learn it, this
will be a great lesson.