Tu Viện Quảng Đức105 Lynch Rd, Fawkner, Vic 3060. Australia. Tel: 9357 3544. quangduc@quangduc.com* Viện Chủ: TT Tâm Phương, Trụ Trì: TT Nguyên Tạng   

Questions about practicing Buddhism in Australia

09/01/201706:58(Xem: 7510)
Questions about practicing Buddhism in Australia

 Khoa tu ky 16-group tung chua (22)

 

 

Khoa tu ky 16-group tung chua (22)

Questions about practicing Buddhism in Australia

(From Vietnamese Buddhist students at the Summer Retreat in Kyneton,

Victoria, Australia, 29 December 2016 to 2 January 2017)

By Andrew Williams

 

1/ How does reincarnation work in Buddhism?

 

Answer: All of our experiences, both mental and physical, including this life, as well as previous and future lives, are caused by our actions (karma) of body, speech and mind in the past & present. Good actions produce desirable results, a good rebirth and life conditions. Whereas bad actions produce undesirable results, a bad rebirth and life conditions. We are continually reborn, according to the results of our karma, in samsara (cyclic existence), until we realise the ultimate truth of enlightenment. 

 

2/ When we pray who do we pray to? And the words we say when praying what do they mean?

Answer: When we pray to the Buddha's and Bodhisattva's, we are doing so to absorb our mind with the Dharma teachings. To develop the mental conditions that will enable us to gain genuine insight into the meaning of the teachings. For us to be able to purify our mind by enthusiastically and joyfully practising the Dharma accurately, with pure intention.  

We should do our very best to mindfully recite important prayers and verses such as homage, refuge and the like, as well as important teachings of the Buddha, and commit them to memory, so that we can recall and access them at anytime and anywhere.


We should contemplate the meaning and develop genuine understanding of these immeasurably precious teachings, and then habituate our mind with genuine insight into the meaning of the words, verses and teachings that we are reciting.

When we mindfully recite verses and teachings, we are engaging our whole being, our speech, our body and our mind.

Of course the mind is the chief, for it is the mind that will understand and realise the purpose, methods, practise of the methods and result of the practise.

Study, recite, remember, practise and share the Dharma well, and eventually you will understand and realise the unification and perfection of inseparable wisdom and method, and attain unsurpassed supreme enlightenment.

 

3/ Have you ever been in love?

Answer: Yes, a few times when I was much younger, but only fleetingly. It didn't last long. All conditioned things, such as falling in love are subject to constant change. 

Actually, it is important to note that there are different kinds of love; parental love, romantic love, endearing love, possessive love, and unconditional love. 

Parental, romantic, endearing and possessive love are all conditioned and subject to change. 

Unconditional love (Metta), which can also be known as universal love or immeasurable love, is the love that we aim to perfect in Buddhism. It is the love and care that wishes that all living beings, without exception, have happiness and the causes of happiness, and that we all attain enlightenment. 



4/ In the future when treating patients how can I use Buddhism to help me?

Answer: All aspects of Buddhism will help when you are treating patients. For instance, true wisdom and understanding, along with true love and compassion, will help when dealing with the varying personalities and medical conditions of the patients, as well as with the processes of medical examination, diagnosis, prognosis, treatment plan and the implementation of the treatment plan, and so on and so forth. 

Furthermore, you will benefit yourself and your patients by engaging in the practise of the six paramita's. Namely; generosity, morality, patience, enthusiastic effort, concentration and wisdom. 

The Buddha Dharma will guide you as you guide your patients. Maintain a calm and clear mind, free from worry and agitation, and maintain pure intention. 

 

5/ If good and bad are all relative to a person, let’s say, to a terrorist bomber, what they are doing is a good thing, but to others it is not. So that would mean right and wrong is relative too. So how do we know that something is an ‘absolute’ right thing who says that this is right and that is wrong.

Answer: The Lord Buddha said, "We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts we make the world. Speak or act with an impure mind, and trouble will follow you, as the wheel follows the ox that draws the cart."


"We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts we make the world. Speak or act with a pure mind, and happiness will follow you, as your shadow, unshakable."

Therefore, we should do our very best to speak and act with a pure mind, and avoid speaking and acting with an impure mind. We should have faith and confidence in ourselves to be able to live this way.

Avoid activities of the mind, body and speech that cause harm and trouble. Engage only in activities of the mind, body and speech that are helpful and bring benefit to all. Of utmost importance is our intention. 

 

 6/ As a practising Buddhist lay person how can I reconcile my desire to be successful/ambitious/career-driven with the Buddhist concept of right livelihood. Sometimes it feels like the pursuit of being successful career-wise is very wordly, driven by materialism. Can I be a decent Buddhist AND a successful career person. Is this possible?

Answer: Yes of course you can be a good Buddhist practitioner and have a successful career.

 It is important to engage in thoughts, actions and words, which includes our chosen career or livelihood, that avoid harming ourselves and others, and only bring benefit to ourselves and others. 

Right livelihood means to abstain from trading in anything that would bring harm. For example: Do not trade in (a) Human beings (slavery, prostitution and the like, (b) Flesh (breeding animals for slaughter and the like), (c) Intoxicants (alcohol and drugs), (d) Poisons, (e) Weapons. 

Our intention is of utmost importance. So maintain pure intentions and always remember that virtue should always outweigh material gain. Listen to your conscience and be honest to yourself, and if you have doubts, ask a trusted virtuous friend such as your Dharma teacher for guidance. 

 

7/ As a Buddhist monastic/ practitioner, can you recommend some useful and practical strategies on how to overcome things like a panic attack/anxiety attack. Can you offer some strategies on how to deal with a situation when these feelings arise and some tips on how to minimisenthese feelings/situations from arising.

Answer: Firstly, may I suggest that you read my article 'Meditation And It's Benefits - Getting To Know Your Mind', which you can easily access in both English and Vietnamese onquangduc.com. You should practise meditation. There is some meditation instruction in the article. This will help for sure. 

We are intimately connected with all of nature. It is most important to realise this. For if we know this fact then we are more likely to coexist with all living beings and all of nature in a peaceful and harmonious way.

Many of our worries, discontent, agitation and feelings of being disconnected arise due to not realising this natural truth. We should open our minds and be less self-centred.

Take for example a camera. When the camera's focus is set on close-up, all we see through the lens is the close-up. Nothing else is seen. This is like when we are self-centred. We are focusing on ourselves, our problems and discontent, our likes and dislikes, and so on and so forth. At this time they are like the whole universe and nothing or no one else matters or exists.

But the more we widen and open the focus of the camera's lens, the more views and wider perspective of all that is around us is available to our vision. Likewise, the more we widen our focus, widen our view, open our mind, the more we allow ourselves the opportunity to develop genuine insight into ourselves, others and all of nature, and be at peace and in harmony with ourselves and all that surrounds us.

 

8/ Every morning when I read the news, there are so many reports on war and destruction happening all over the world. This sometimes leads me to feel overwhelmed, helpless and somewhat guiltyfor the relatively peaceful life I have. How do Itransform these feelings of sadness, anger and helplessness into something a lot more productive and constructive?

Answer: Firstly, I must say that it is very good and commendable that you are concerned for the welfare of others. Although do your very best to replace your feelings of sadness, anger, helplessness and guilt with compassion, love and a sense of responsibility based on understanding. 

Peace must firstly be developed internally, in our own mind and then expressed outwardly through our actions and words. We must live by example. Thinking, acting and speaking with the motivation to cause and maintain peace, harmony and understanding. Then peace can be caused and realised, and the lack of peace can be overcome. 

When a pebble is thrown into a pond, the ripples that are created cover all parts of the pond, likewise every thought, action and word effects everything. 

So we should think, act and speak with universal love, compassion, joy and equanimity. This way we can contribute to peace in the world and have a positive influence on others to do likewise.

 
****

Vietnamese version (by Thich Phuoc Thiet)




Gửi ý kiến của bạn
Tắt
Telex
VNI
Tên của bạn
Email của bạn
04/01/201708:41(Xem: 6153)
Live Webcasts: Kalachakra from Bodhgaya His Holiness the Dalai Lama will grant the Kalachakra Empowerment from January 2-14, 2016 from Bodhgaya, Bihar, India. His Holiness will speak in Tibetan with English, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Hindi, Russian and Mongolian translations available. The English, Chinese and Tibetan channels will carry all of the consecration prayers, ritual dances and sand mandala construction along with the preliminary teachings and Kalachakra Empowerment. The other language channels will only cover the teachings, ritual dances, Kalachakra Empowerment and Long Life Empowerment and Offerings.
30/12/201606:11(Xem: 4970)
1/ How does reincarnation work in Buddhism? 2/ When we pray who do we pray to? And the words we say when praying what do they mean? 3/ Have you ever been in love? 4/ In the future when treating patients how can I use Buddhism to help me? 5/ If good and bad are all relative to a person, let’s say, to a terrorist bomber, what they are doing is a good thing, but to others it is not. So that would mean right and wrong is relative too. So how do we know that something is an ‘absolute’ right thing who says that this is right and that is wrong. 6/ As a practising Buddhist lay person how can I reconcile my desire to be successful/ambitious/career-driven with the Buddhist concept of right livelihood. Sometimes it feels like the pursuit of being successful career-wise is very wordly, driven by materialism. Can I be a decent Buddhist AND a successful career person. Is this possible?
11/11/201605:04(Xem: 4092)
Audio: Body Mind Transformation
26/10/201605:34(Xem: 15285)
In India in the 6th century BC, Sakyamuni, "a wise man of the Sakya tribe", had been meditating under a tree when, suddenly, he was struck with the comprehension of all things. He became Buddha, meaning the « Illuminated ». His message, based on a pragmatic philosophy, taught how to free oneself from all needs in order to achieve illumination. After the death of the Enlightened One, his disciples – a few monks – began to spread his teachings all over India, from Ceylon to the Himalayan. Fearing man’s penc
14/05/201511:11(Xem: 11638)
Amitabha Buddha’s name chanting is an easy method of cultivation in which beliefs are difficult to have, especially in this age of information technology when people care more about material comfort than the spiritual life. However, as in the Buddha’s teachings: Buddhahood is a nature of mind and it’s the mind that possesses the Buddhahood, ringing about enlightenment. Therefore, as Buddhists, we have to believe in Buddha’s teachings. The Flower Adornment Sutra stated: “Beliefs are the mother of all the good merits.”. No other merits are greater than making a vow to be reborn in the Pure Land and to become a Buddha. On the occasion of this year’s retreat, we would like to briefly tell you about an old lady having a belief in Amitabha Buddha’s name chanting
21/01/201506:05(Xem: 5432)
NO CHARGE Melba Montgomery Writer: HARLAN HOWARD Recitation: My little boy came into the kitchen this evenin' While I was fixin' supper And he handed me a piece of paper he'd been writin' on And after wipin' my hands on my apron I read it - and this is what it said: For mowin' the yard - five dollars And for makin' my own bed this week - one dollar And for goin' to the store - fifty cents An' playin' with little brother, while you went shoppin' - twenty-five cents Takin' out the trash - one dollar Gettin' a good report card - five dollars And for rakin' the yard - two dollars Total owed - fourteen seventy-five. Well, I looked at 'im standin' there expectantly And a thousand mem'ries flashed through my mind So I picked up the pen, turnin' the paper over, This is what I wrote: For nine months I carried you Growin' inside me - NO CHARGE For the nights I've sat up with you, Doctored you, prayed for you - NO CHARGE For the time and the tears. And the cost through the years, there's NO CHARG
21/11/201402:33(Xem: 12164)
As a Vietnamese Buddhist monk, working as a Buddhist chaplain at several of Melbourne's hospitals and as well as Melbourne assessment prison, I have witnessed many personal tragedies faced by the living and of course the very process of dying and that of death and many of these poor people faced their death with fear, with misery and pain before departing this world. With the images of all these in my mind, on this occasion, I wish to share my view from the perspective of a Buddhist and we hope that people would feel far more relaxed in facing this inevitable end since it is really not the end of life, according to our belief.
17/04/201407:13(Xem: 7092)
Sampson "Sam" Gordon Berns (October 23, 1996 – January 10, 2014) was an American who suffered from progeria and helped raise awareness about the disease.He was the subject of the HBO documentary Life According to Sam.[1][3] His parents, Scott Berns and Leslie Gordon, both pediatricians, received their son's diagnosis when he was less than two years of age.[4] Roughly a year later, they established the Progeria Research Foundation[5] in an effort to increase awareness of the condition, to promote research into the underlying causes of and possible treatments for the disease, and to offer resources for the support of sufferers and their families.Sam Berns is a Junior at Foxboro High School in Foxboro, Massachusetts, where he has achieved highest honors and is currently a percussion section leader in the high school marching band. He recently achieved the rank of Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America. Sam was diagnosed with Progeria, a rare, rapid aging disease, at the age of 2. He
17/04/201406:55(Xem: 4973)
Video:Being a refugee is not a choice: Carina Hoang at TEDxPe, Refugees are often marginalised, their humanity ignored as their stories go untold. In this remarkable and emotional talk, however, author and former refugee Carina Hoang discusses her experience as a "boat person". It's a powerful account that is impossible to ignore. At age 16 Carina escaped war--torn Vietnam on a wooden boat with her two younger siblings and 370 other people. She survived harrowing conditions in a refugee camp in Indonesia before being given the opportunity to go to the US. Since then, she has earned a Bachelor of Chemistry, Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Gender and Cultural Studies, and a Masters in Business Administration and has worked in the semi-conductor, biotechnology, and healthcare industries. After settling in Perth five years ago she has made a pledge to raise the awareness of 'boat people' and their stories. She also assists families from different parts of the world to search for g