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Blog » Dharma Friends » Thoughts about studying Buddhism » Learning Buddha-dharma In Gold Sage Monast

Learning Buddha-dharma In Gold Sage Monast2013-01-10


By Shirley To
English Translation By Genglin Zheng


GSM is a good place for cultivation. As long as one listens to dharma talks and does not waste a single moment of the mind, he or she will achieve improvement ---- whether he or she is left home person or a lay person, an elderly or a young kid.

It is in Shi Fu’s teaching, that the monastic members vigorously cultivate and lead lay people along the Way. I feel the harmonious and joyous mind of all those who come to this pure way place. When we meet, we greet each other “Amitabha Buddha”. Simple as it is, it help us forget worldly disturbance and worries and bring out smiles on every face, as if we have come to the land of bliss.

From Buddha’s teaching, I learn causes and consequences. This has helped me let go off a life of vanity. I have since returned to the true nature of being a down-to-earth person. Doing away with vanity, the part of tasteless socializing are removed off my daily activities. And now I have more time to bow to the Buddha, recite sutras, and increase my wisdom. I have learned to save resources and I dare not to add to my wrong doings, because I know that being contented and cherishing blessings is the way to achieve more blessings.

I enjoy bowing repentance. I often participate in the Great Compassion Repentance in the afternoons. From the text of the sutra, I learn how to repent, resolve, pray, and transfer merits,which allows an average person to gradually walk onto a Bodhisattva path, and bring forth the Bodhi resolve to learn from the Buddha. It is with great admiration that I venerate Guan Shi Yin Bodhisattva and Earth Store Bodhisattva. Guan Yin Bodhisattva has made vast and compassionate vows to rescue beings by hearing their cries and rescue them from suffering. Di Zang Bodhisattva, on the other hand, would not forsake any beings in suffering. In addition, he also teaches us how to leave suffering and attain bliss. Since I started to learn Buddhism, I understand that I should not seek selfish comfort and happiness; that I should not think I am the only one suffering, while there are people who are suffering more. I have learned in daily dealings, not to blame each other, but to help each other and to communicate with each other. Shi Fu has a passage of verses: “To recognize my own errors, yet not to talk about someone else’s fault. Other people’s faults are mine; great compassion is to share the existence of all.” When we feel sad about being mistreated by someone else, we need to reflect upon ourselves ---- have we become so lazy that we do not even say greetings?

Everyone wishes to leave sufferings and to obtain blessings. I achieve a great deal from Shi Fu’s Six Great Principles: no fighting, no greed, no seeking, no selfishness, no pursuing personal advantage, and no lying. If we can abide by these principles, sufferings will gradually leave us. The saying goes: “With debt gone, there comes complete freedom.” When we don’t owe anything, we will naturally achieve comfort and happiness. For this reason we should learn to get rid of old karmas; to pay back what needed repayment and not to misbehave so as to cause new calamities. This is how we can get away from afflictions and obtain eternal peace and bliss.

In GSM, I observed how left-home people upholding precepts with great care and caution and how they exercise diligence and thrifty in their cultivation. This moved me very much and at the same time made me feel shameful about myself. I have come to understand the cause for my need for repentance, as well as the goal that I should make efforts to reach. I know that as long as false thoughts are not cut off, it will be very difficult to leave suffering and obtain bliss. To strictly uphold precepts is the way to do away with greed, anger, and stupidity, and to gradually let delusions subside, until Buddhahood is achieved.

I am very grateful to the Dharma masters for their teachings through words and deeds, and to the support of the fellow cultivators and friends of the Way. I am especially grateful to Shi Fu’s teaching and guidance, and to his gift of such a wonderful way place. I wish all human beings in the word leave suffering and obtain bliss and achieve Buddhahood soon.