DHARMA IN EVERYDAY LIFE
- CULTIVATION IN DAILY LIFE
By Nhất Quán
Peace is the
natural nature of the mind in every person. Peace has been
there since the day you were born and it will continue to be
there until your death. It's a great gift for you, but
sometimes you think you don't have peace of mind, so you run
to find it. When you search, there are many instructions
from many different teachers, which makes you more confused,
not knowing which method is right and which method is wrong.
it's not difficult at all. Like when you go to the temple,
you can reach the temple from many differing directions. In
the same way, usually, the methods of learning are different
while practicing, but the endpoint is that they all help you
stay in the mindfulness. The main point is that everyone
needs to take to heart is not to get attached. Because the
end all spiritual practices must be abandoned.
not confuse peace, tranquility with happiness. You see that
when the mind has wisdom it observes the nature of happiness
and suffering, that is peace and quiet. This you have
because the wisdom that sees the truth of both happiness and
suffering will no longer be attached to these states. Your
mind will rise above happiness and suffering.
who see life and all its related thing as they really are,
their main concern about this life is not vague speculation
or wandering into imaginary wildernesses of futile
imagination, but how to attain true happiness and freedom
from suffering or unsatisfactoriness. Buddhism attaches
great importance to reality. Lay Buddhists do not rely on
supernatural abilities but on the contrary focus on
experimenting for themselves.
everyday life, people tend to be impatient, act immediately,
do it right away and do everything in a hurry. That's why
you don't have time to think, stop, ponder what you're
doing. You tend to react with a disorder's habitual mind
instead of acting calmly and with focus so you create more
trouble. Any action without wisdom is destructive. Living
intelligently means contemplating and seeing the right
moment, the right opportunity, and the right situation to be
able to act.
matter what you do, still a body alone, you drift in the
storm, in the ocean of samsara, drifting here and there
according to karma, appearing here is in the form an animal
or a human, over there like gods or hungry ghosts. You meet,
then leave. Maybe you'll see each other again, but you won't
recognize each other. So, it is difficult to find a sentient
being who in the endless cycle of samsara is not yet your
father, mother, brother, sister, child, daughter, or friend.
It doesn't matter if karma goes up and karma goes down, but
it is your attitude that there should be no distractions
that are the problem that needs to be resolved.
love or hate someone is based on liking or disliking. You
automatically categorize others according to your
preconceptions. If they meet your ideals and seem to suit
your taste, your mind immediately clings to them, but if
they are of a kind that doesn't suit your taste, your mind
starts to reject them.
In this way,
your mind is always filled with love and hate. This means
your compassion changes with the situation, and your feeling
is impermanent. So worldly love is unstable, it can turn
into hate. Love and hate are two extremes that can drown you
in the flood of ambition and delusion. You should be careful
with these two extremes. Ignorance is always ready to make
you bring yourself suffering.
To avoid the
two extremes, the Samyutta-Nikáya Sutra, in that Sutra
someone asks the Buddha:
- How do you
overcome the flood of ambition and delusion?
his enlightenment. Buddha's answer is very simple:
- O Sage,
without standing still, without haste, I am beyond the
floodwaters of ambition and delusion
- Sir, How
can you not stand still, do not rush, you overcome the
floodwater of ambition and delusion?
- O Sage,
when you stand still, you are sunk, when you rush, you are
swept away. Therefore, O Sage, without standing still,
without haste, I rise above the floodwaters of ambition and
practicing in everyday life is not an escape from reality,
but on the contrary, it is a deeper perception of reality.
And if you look deeply and very clearly, underneath that
restless reality is a quiet, wise, and happy reality. That
is what the reality is. And if you don't stop and don't
rush, this stillness and insight will naturally manifest in
its own time.
aware of the present moment. When you realize that you
clinging to the concept of letting go, let it go. In that
moment of letting go, you are free. You stop clinging to the
idea of letting go of concern and paying attention to
others. It is only in moments of complete freedom that
equanimity is freed from both mental states of attachment
and detachment. So, practicing in everyday life makes your
life meaningful, especially:
To study is
to aim for a higher goal, which is awareness. Concentration
and rest are just factors that accompany awareness, the sole
goal of which is to purity and transform your daily life.
not try to block your mind so that it no longer knows
anything, or turn you into an inanimate tree, wood, and
stone. On the contrary, practicing will help you become more
sensitive, more harmonious to changes in your emotions. You
will understand yourself more clearly and accurately.
involves deeper levels of consciousness than your ordinary
thoughts. So, there are some experiences in the practice
that you just can't explain in words. But that doesn't mean
that practice is something mysterious that can't be
of practice is to develop awareness. Knowing the future or
reading the minds of others is not the purpose of
meditation. Flying off the ground is not the goal of
cultivation. The goal of practice is liberation.
practice you can bring up your past problems or sufferings.
Things that have been buried deep for so many months, and
years, can be very scary. But discovering and learning about
them will bring you huge benefits. The way to deal with
danger is to be aware of its intensity, know where it lies,
and know how to deal with it when it arises
practice correctly, the practice is a very slow and gentle
process. Just practice slowly, progress and transformation
will happen very naturally. Don't force anything. And later,
when you're ready, under the guidance and insight of a
capable teacher, you can speed up your progress by attending
more serious retreats for more days. But in the early
stages, you should practice for comfort. Practice slowly and
patiently, everything will be fine.
is for everyone
never a special method only for hermits, ascetics. It is a
method that is directly related to problems in daily life
and can be applied immediately to your own life. Practice is
not for anyone, but for everyone.
Cultivation in reality
means to seek reality. Practice is a method whose sole
purpose is to get in touch with reality, to experience life
as it really is, and to behave exactly with what you see.
Practice is not a way for you to forget yourself and hide
your problems. Practice is learning to look at yourself
correctly, see what is really there and accept it. Only then
can you transform them.
of a lay Buddhist is to remove greed, anger, and prejudice
from his mind, which is also the aspiration of those who
have an upper mind towards good. Remove the obstacles that
block your compassion and love for those around you, for if
those obstacles exist then any good deeds you do will be
just an expression of your ego, and it will not bring any
lasting benefit. Completely transforming your selfishness
is an act of altruism, it is an exercise in being aware of
what is present, whether it is something great or just a
small thing as small as a grain of sand.
8. A Great
not a quick fix for all diseases. While you may be able to
see the changes from the start, the profound effects will
take many years to come. Therefore, it requires persistent
discipline and sometimes hard training. After a period of
practice, you will get transformative results, but those
results are often very subtle. They occur in the depths of
the mind and manifest only after a long time. If you study
with the intention of always expecting great immediate
changes, you won't get even those very subtle
transformations. Then you will be disappointed, give up and
complain that the practice is not bringing any results.
the key to all problems. Please be patient. Even if you
don't learn anything else through practice, you learn
patience. And that is the most valuable lesson available to
you. Therefore, in order to supplement, and have a good
effect on spiritual practice in everyday life, you need to
be serious in a few aspects:
often distracts your attention and drains your energy. The
energies that you preserve by remaining silent can be used
to develop your awareness and mindfulness. Just like
meditation, silence must be practiced naturally and
comfortably. Learn to live each day with awareness in
silence. If you keep silent, all activities, psychological
and physical change in you will become very obvious. The
silence of the language leads to the silence of the soul.
will die from this life alone. So, learn to face that basic
loneliness right now, make friends with it. With that
understanding, your mind will become stable and peaceful.
This ability can help you live in harmony with those around
you. Once you can understand yourself, contact with the
outside world becomes easier and more meaningful. Therefore
you should not mix many other methods of practice, but you
should focus your mind on the practice.
focus on practicing mindfulness in every moment, to easily
control your monkey mind. If all your efforts are directed
in one direction, your mind will become extremely intense
and profound. Take it humble and slow down. Within the scope
of your daily activities, keep yourself with a very alert
mind, paying careful attention to your every movement.
Maintaining mindfulness continuously for a while will help
your practice deepen more and more deeply.
moment by moment concentration of mind will easily develop
in the land of precepts(moral). Keeping the precepts is the
foundation of meditation practice. The precept for lay
Buddhists is basic moral rules. There are only five
* Do not
kill, Do not steal, Do not commit adultery, Do not lie, and
Do not use intoxicants to distract from mindfulness.
If you use
precepts as the basis for all your actions, your mind will
be peaceful, clear, and calm, and your mind will easily
develop. Many people are afraid of the wrong actions,
guilty, anxiety so much that they lose sleep. Being limited
to the precepts at first, the precept is burdensome, but
over time you will keep them in a lighter and more relaxed
In fact, to
practice precepts you have to start with wisdom. Usually,
you say keep the precepts first. But in order for the
observance of the precepts to be fully accomplished, you
must have the wisdom to understand clearly what is involved
in the precepts. To begin with, you must examine your body
and your language, learn the process of Cause and Effect. As
you observe your body and speech to see how you cause harm,
you will begin to understand, control, and purify Cause and
Effect. By doing so, the insecurities will be reduced, and
the passion will be lighter. Your intuition will become
sharper than before. Your thinking will become more precise,
and gradually you will be able to directly touch the things
around you as they really are, just like that, without
judgment, free from delusions false.
thing the venerable ones often admonish:
practicing in the midst of everyday life, you are often
affected by many tendencies, which sometimes make your faith
shaken. Remember, as a lay Buddhist, you can go to any
temple that you are comfortable with, but you must focus on
studying. Cultivate is not running a show, so you must have
a deep faith, as the Buddha taught at the beginning of
practice in the Kalama Sutra. The Buddha's Declaration of
Faith teaches. Deer Kalamas:
* Do not
believe in legends
* Do not
rush to believe in tradition
* Do not be
quick to believe what many people say or propagate
* Do not
rush to believe in scriptures or books
* Do not
believe in metaphysical reasoning
* Do not be
quick to believe what is in line with your position
* Don't be
in a hurry to believe what matches your preconceptions
* Do not be
quick to believe what is supported by strength and authority
* Don't be
quick to believe what is your guru says
gentlemen, when having you personally experienced and known
clearly the following:
dharmas are good
dharmas are not guilty
dharmas are praised by the wise
dharmas, if accepted and implemented by everyone, will bring
happiness and peace. Well then, gentlemen, try to practice
to attain abide in happiness yourself!
personally experience and know the following:
* When no
greed, no anger, and no delusion arise in someone's mind
such arising is what brings happiness.
someone is not conquered by greed, hatred, and delusion,
does not kill living things, does not take what is not
given, does not lie, and encourages others to do the same.
Thus, it is to bring happiness and peace to that person for
a long time. So what do you think?
* Are these
dharmas wholesome or unwholesome?
* Are these
dharma criticized or not?
- Do not
rebuked by the wise or praised by the wise?
- Praised by
the wise, World-Honored One!
implemented, accepted, does it lead to happiness or how?
accepted, they certainly lead to happiness and well-being.
Buddha taught if you accept it and practice it your whole
life will be peaceful and happy. In the Sutra, Buddha not
only advises you to believe what you have experienced
yourself, but he also shows you things that you yourself
have experienced and know very well. You all have
experienced that whenever you act out of jealousy,
pettiness, calculation, delusion... they are unwholesome and
will bring suffering. And vice versa, any actions due to
tolerance, forgiveness, wisdom, love ... will definitely
bring you happiness.
always advised you to have faith in the dharma and your
practice. What actions are motivated by self-interest,
greed, hatred, delusion will bring you suffering, and if you
know how to try to practice forgiveness, generosity,
openness ... you will definitely have happiness. That is
what Buddha advised you to believe because you have all
experienced and understood them very well.
society or the surrounding life says that wealth will bring
freedom, and even if some authority tells you that fame and
profit will bring happiness... you don't have to believe it.
See for yourself what you have experienced! What begins with
clinging, grasping, petty will only bring dissatisfaction
and suffering. And what begins with letting go, relaxation
will lead you to freedom and happiness. Therefore, being a
person of faith has seven characteristics:
1. Often has
the mind to let go
forward to meeting the Saint
3. Desire to
hear the Wonderful Dharma
4. Often has
a joyful mind
place worthy of purity
Buddhism is the belief that leads to liberation. And this
faith is placed in the Three Jewel, practicing according to
the Eightfold Path, seeing the Four Noble Truths.
* To believe
in the Buddha is to believe in his wisdom, but you can't
just believe it, you have to experience it.
in the Dharma is clearly identifying clearly the three
characteristics: impermanence, suffering, not-self or
believing in the way to the cessation of suffering( the
in the Sangha is believing in the results of the path to the
cessation of suffering, which is the fruit of Arahatship.
The Sangha refers to the four holy fruits:
Stream-entry, Once-Returner, Stage of non-returner, and
kusala-dharma, faith means trust is placed in people or
things that are good, but really good or not is another
matter. As children trust their parents, teacher, to them
these people are wonderful, or they believe in fairies,
gentle fairies in the poetic fairy tales of children. Faith
is the first foundation of good things. There are two types:
* Faith of
As the faith
of the Holy One, this faith is immovable and cannot be
changed by anyone. There is only one kind of holy faith,
which is righteous faith.
* Beliefs of
As a faith
of ordinary people, this faith is not yet firm, it is still
shaken because it has not yet attained Nirvana. So it can be
changed. There are two kinds of ordinary people's faith:
Right faith and wrong faith.
faith of ordinary people: It is faith placed in kusala
dharma or in the completely pure object.
that: Due to the natural law, all things are created, not
created by God nor by chance
that: The movement of dharmas is always changing, so they
have the state of impermanent, change, and continuous birth
that: Beings are different, it is good and bad ... is
created by karma. Like an ordinary person, through diligent
practice attain sainthood, become a Saint. This result is
due to practicing in a good way, which is the correct
practice of the dharma. Sentient beings fall into misery due
to the movement of evil and bad dharmas, sentient beings
into the leisurely realm are due to the movement of
kusala-dharma... not rewarded by God nor punished by God. It
is that being that chooses and practices it.
the results of karma
It is the
result of each of the above actions. In the mental realm,
the action of the mind produces a mental result. Easier to
understand, believing in karma and believing in its effects
is believing in Cause and Effect.
in the return of karma
believe that: Once you created unwholesome karma, you will
receive the results of suffering, when you created good
karma, you will receive happiness from that good deed.
karma yourself, but more precisely the mental factor
reap the fruit, more precisely is experienced by the mind.
suffering you create yourselves and you are the recipient of
that happiness or suffering. Happiness or suffering is not
given or punished by any God or Creator.
in Buddha's wisdom
believe that: The Buddha is the one who is completely pure
and has wisdom who understands all the dharma.
implies wise faith, discerning faith, and verified faith. If
faith is without wisdom, just pure faith or a belief that
has wisdom but is not verified, it is not called perfect
righteous faith, although this type of belief is better than
faith without wisdom.
is a false belief, there are two types of false beliefs:
Fanaticism and superstitions
is the extreme belief in the wrong or evil character, but
according to the heretic, it is a good theory or the
ultimate character. Fanaticism is an extreme form of the
wrong view. There are two types of superstition.
in something completely unfounded
believing there is a self-ego, there is a creator, believing
in burning paper money, paper house to help a relative in
the underworld (hell) ... Believing in this baseless thing
is based on rumor, like some people spread false news:
Temple this inspiration, that temple shines...The purpose
for stupid people come to make offerings, worship... This
unfounded belief is classified as mental actions of delusion
or wrong view.
are something that is not entirely wrong but not entirely
right. Some Lay Buddhists believe in another power that can
help them out of sưfering. Here, the divine power of
Boddhisattvas or Buddhas is real, but it is not through
worship or supplication that Boddhisattva and Buddha help,
they only protect when you create good karma. If a person
does evil deeds and causes suffering to others, but he prays
to the Boddhisattvas, and Buddhas to protect him from this
disaster, this will not happen.
Buddhists also have similar thoughts, that is, without
practicing precepts, concentration, wisdom, just almsgiving,
and reciting Buddha's name is to be born in the Buddha-land.
Of course, almsgiving, reciting the buddha's name is good,
but it cannot lead to liberation without practicing
precepts, concentration, and wisdom. Here is the deviation,
here is the error. Faith, in this case, is faith without
wisdom, in the aspect of right, and superstitions in the
aspect of false belief. Faith without wisdom often leads to
temporarily put your faith in the Buddha as a journey, and
eventually, you will have a firm confidence, based on
experience, the liberating and purifying power of the
dharma. Confidence in that teaching will bring you deep
faith in the Buddha as your teacher, and from there you will
accept the principles of practice that he taught to help you
move forward on the path to enlightenment.
In short, to
practice in everyday life is to practice right in your daily
activities, sometimes looking at your mind, you only
perceive active moods, such as the emotions associated with
daily activities. But you tend to forget the peaceful
moments in between those thoughts and emotions. Then you
think you will never have peace of mind. That's because you
never allow yourself to be at peace. You are so absorbed in
fighting with yourself and your emotions that this struggle
becomes second nature to you. Then you complain that your
mind is not peaceful.
You can put
all these complication ideas aside for a moment, so you see
this peaceful nature of yours because you are so lucky to
have it at hand instead of wandering around looking for it
any other. Now you come back to yourself step by step.
Because you can't find it anywhere else while it's right
inside of you. That's probably why you often look for it and
don't find it.
To do so,
you need to understand that the Buddha's teaching in the
Sutra includes what you can realize for yourself in your
daily life experience; then from there, it will be a solid
basis for you to put your faith in other aspects of the
dharma, going beyond your ordinary experiences to open up
insight. For an insight to function as liberating, it needs
to be unfolded in the context of accurately grasping the
vital truths about your place in the world and about the
scope of liberation.
were propagated by the Buddha from his profound
understanding of human nature. To accept those truths with
faith after careful consideration is to take the first step
on a journey that transforms faith into wisdom, confidence
into certainty, and leads to freedom from all pain,
suffering in the midst of daily life.
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