摘要： We must develop proper intention, cultivate an understanding of people, events and objects, to establish the right view.
We Buddhists often emphasize that our actions should reflect the Buddhas teachings. Whatever we do, we should pay attention to our motivation and make sure that it resides in the aspiration for enlightenment. When we organize a Dharma assembly or do other things, our purpose is not just to accomplish something but to accumulate merits for enlightenment. To do things is also to practice the Dharma, thereby actualizing the Dharma with our body and mind. The process of doing things with others is also a process of creating collective karma.
When you come to study the Buddhas teachings and the stages of the path to enlightenment, it is very important to start by developing proper intention and by cultivating an understanding of people, events and objects. In Buddhist terms, you must establish the right view.
To follow the Bodhisattva Path is to eradicate our inner afflictions. But how can inner afflictions be eradicated? Wisdom is the only answer. How can we get to know and increase our wisdom? The answer is to study the Buddha’s teachings.
To study the Buddha’s teachings, we can start by studying the Buddhist canon – the Tripitaka of Sutras, Vinaya (disciplinary rules) and Treatises. The purpose is to understand the meaning of the canon. However, we are not able to understand the canon on our own, so we need to learn from teachers and monastics. Since monastics have spent more time and effort studying the scriptures, their knowledge and understanding are more accurate and profound.
The Dharma manifests itself in daily life. Language, both spoken and written, is but the vehicle to convey knowledge. In todays world, language is so rich that Buddhists must utilize it well to learn and spread the teachings. Through talking and writing, we can touch each other’s soul. So we are able to understand masters’ experiences, insights and wisdom. Without spoken or written language, it would be very difficult for beginners to learn the teachings. When a beginner comes to a monastery to study, that person needs to study scriptures on one hand and to learn from masters and lay practitioners on the other. Neither of these two aspects should be neglected.
While studying Buddhism, we should never separate our lives from the Buddhas teachings. We need to purify our minds with the teachings constantly. We need to apply what is learned to our behavior, speech and mind. Only when the Dharma has rooted in our minds have we truly grasped it. If we do not have the Dharma in our minds, if whatever we do in daily life does not manifest the Dharma, or even is irrelevant to it, we have not yet grasped the Dharma. Keeping the teachings in mind is important.
So, right here and now, you shall aspire to understand what the true Dharma is. You need to think about how to study and practice so as to learn the Dharma better.