QUALITIES OF A BUDDHIST WELL-BEING 
Bhikkhuni Thich Nu Tinh Van
Buddhism is not a religion for men just to follow but to learn, to understand, to practise, to gain experience. When men come to know the Buddha’s teaching and perhaps practise it to some extent, sometimes they wish to make the Dhamma their direction in life or their guide through life. At that time, their thoughts turn to become a Buddhist.
The Buddhist way of education leads one to transcendental ideals by making one try to surpass oneself constantly so that one may incorporate oneself into life in its totality. The ultimate goal is to lead one to become a Buddhist with a healthy/ strong mind.
Buddhists practise the Noble Path in order to realise what is at first, believed. In this way belief is not divorced from practice, therefore they take Refuge in, or go for guidance to the Triple Gem; because they see therein the marks of supreme and fearless Truth.
Being a Buddhist Well-being is meant to convey. We may now define it as a conscious act of determination, understanding and devotion. The one who is a Buddhist Well-Being, by right wisdom and insight perceives the Four Noble Truths. Having come to this Refuge with two kinds (i) confidence in the law of kamma and its fruits; (ii) confidence in the Noble Truths.
Thus the Dhamma in which one seeks refuge is intimately related to one’s own lives, it is a dynamic of existence to commit oneself to actualize.
For our own happiness as well as for others, Lord Buddha advises us to observe certain rules of training the five precepts constitutes the minimum moral obligation or the basic category for a wholesome Buddhist. Practising sīla, one returns to one’s own basic goodness, the original state of normalcy, calm and unchangeable. Thus, sīla is to train in preserving one’s true nature, not allowing it to be modified.
The healthy Buddhist is advised to fulfil three basic conditions:
(i) To avoid evil (ii) To be good (iii) To purify the mind
The five precepts are stated as follows:
1. to refrain from killing living beings.
2. to refrain from taking what is not given.
3. to refrain from wrong conduct in sexual relations.
4. to refrain from false speech.
5. to refrain from intoxicants causing carelessness.
Morality is the most important aspect for everyone in life. Without virtue life cannot stand, without love life is dead, that is why we need to observe the five precepts by right wisdom. These are the five precepts of training by which one attains a good rebirth, by which one possesses wealth of the Dhamma, by which one goes to the cool Peace of Nibbāna; therefore these Precepts should be kept in purity.
Thus, the whole of the Buddha’s teaching is based on one’s growth that is when mindfulness is present, the five precepts can be kept easily. It makes meditation successful and then wisdom can arise and sees things as they really are consistently. That is to cross from a world blinded by lobha, dosa and moha and reach to a new world of light by sīla, samādhi and paññā.
Since life means movement and action, Buddhism recognises one as a source of all action which rejects evil, is bound to be good and positive. If one practices good deeds actively and energetically, it is said to be working in the positive way; if one refrains from doing evils, it is said to be doing good in the negative way.
The well-known Kālāma Sutta, said that the Buddha at a small town in the
Only one who lives with Dhamma will experience the Qualities of Dhamma/ of a heathy mind. The Buddha gave due credit to human beings for using their common sense to lead a healthy life free from sufferings. So the Buddha’s position was stated as a pointer of the way while each individual had to realize the truth/ the well-being for himself.
Thus, abandoning all evil deeds and doing only wholesome deeds, one can escape from unhappy consequences and look forward to a better future. We must come to the ethical level because moral self-protection will safeguard others, individuals and society against our own unrestrained passions and selfish impulses .
Life and the world according to Buddhism is nothing but suffering, pain, sorrow, and misery. The Buddha does not deny happiness in life, when he says life is suffering. However, Buddhism tells one exactly and objectively what one is and what the world around one is. In Aṇguttara Nikāya, the Buddha admits different kinds of happiness, such as the happiness of family life, happiness of the life of a recluse, happiness of sense pleasures, happiness of renunciation, happiness of attachment and happiness of detachment, material or physical happiness and spiritual or mental happiness for each individual, layman as well as monk... but all these are included in dukkha because ‘Whatever is anicca is Dukkha’. Even the very pure spiritual states of higher meditation are included in Dukkha. One has to learn to accept dukkha. In the present, one is making kamma which will bear fruit in the future. If kamma is associated with the kilesa, then one must expect to get more dukkha. Otherwise one trains oneself towards the lessening and the end of dukkha by pratising Dhamma.
The importance of happiness can only come about when one lives in harmony with the natural laws, which bring one health, success, contentment, tranquillity as well as peace of mind.
Knowing the purpose of life is growth, progress from ignorance to enlightenment and from unhappiness to happiness as the Buddha’s teachings state, it can be tested and verified by one’s own personal experiences.
If one lives in accordance with the natural law, leads a righteous way of life, purifies the atmosphere through the merits of one’s virtues and radiates one’s compassion, loving-kindness, generosity, tolerance and moral discipline towards other living beings, one can change the atmosphere by bringing about better results, because the human life provides the opportunity for acquiring the virtues of goodness as well as wisdom which are the prerequisites to the highest happiness.
To see things as they really are means to see them in the light of the three characteristics (ti-lakkhaṇa). This understanding must take place, not only logically, but in confrontation with one’s own experience. On the mundane level, the clear comprehension of anicca, dukkha and anattā will give one a saner outlook on life.
Developing a good/ positive heart, one naturally finds some inner peace. The positive heart has great power to solve other’s problem because it gives happiness to oneself and also produces happiness for others. It is said that ‘a peace mind is made up a world in peace’ and ‘positive listening’ is an essential principle of community life. One must always keep open the channel of communication with others for mutual understanding. Because each being of this world directly or indirectly has to depend on someone else. In fact, each individual has his own responsibility to resolve his own problem but not to do it at the cost of others’ happiness. A community of a particular place has to think of the citizens belonging to the same community and residing in the neighbouring state for the protection of their present as well as future generations.
The Mettā Sutta is the most popular one by cultivating the most of living a life (Brahma-vihāra). It states that everyone needs to practise respect, tolerance and dedication in order to maintain social purification and racial harmony in the community.
By the practice of Brahma-vihāra alongwith Saṅgahavatthu, the practitioner becomes dearer to other members of his family or community as well as society.
Finally, on the understanding that all sentient beings are fundamentally of one entity and equal with one another; we can realise that as long as one makes no distinction between oneself and others, therefore, to liberate others is equal to liberating oneself and to help others is same as helping oneself. In such case, Buddhism is a religion that is taking an active part in serving humanity and it is giving its services unconditionally.
‘May we, having crossed, lead others across; ourselves free set others free; ourselves comforted give comfort to others; ourselves released give release to others. May this come to pass for the welfare and happiness of the multitude, out of compassion for the world, for the sake of the great multitude, and for the welfare and happiness of gods and men’.
 23-25 May, 2010, Bangkok, Thailand