Abbot’s Discourse - A Buddhist Practitioner Always On A Happy Learning Path

During the Saturday of the long weekend holiday of April, Abbot Jing Yuan gave a timely reminder to all Buddhism-learning students of BW Monastery that studying Buddha’s teachings and applying the Dharma in daily life, should be done with a happy mindset and positive perspective.

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In his discourse, Abbot shared that a true Buddhist practitioner should constantly strive to remain as a happy learning practitioner. Even when met with obstacles, one should aim to see some goodness out of the bad and focus on such goodness instead of the bad. When one’s mind and heart is able to switch from always looking at the negative side of things to the positive, one’s life will then be able to improve. This is the true meaning of learning Buddhism.

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Being mindful, training one’s mind to switch from the negative to positive and to stay positive, is also the essence of meditation practice, shared the Abbot. When students come to class for Lamrim teachings each week or when they attend Dharma discourses, if they listen, contemplate and make attempts to change their thoughts to the virtuous, banishing the non-virtuous, then their thoughts will in turn translate into virtuous actions and behaviour. Overall, life will then change for the better. Hence, meditation practice and Dharma learning actually share common principles in listening, thinking, and finally changing the mind and behaviour.

Abbot Jing Yuan added that everyone can have a choice over how one views another person; or have a choice over how one judges what is right and wrong. In short, our outlook is determined by how we choose to think or react. Our choices will bring forth good karma and bad karma to ourselves. Good Buddhists will strive to cultivate good karma, therefore we need to make wise choices in our lives.

When we have chosen wisely and henceforth found internal peace or happiness, affirm our own decisions and rejoice greatly. Abbot Jing Yuan shared that the act of rejoicing is one way to encourage us to maintain our focus on the good despite how small they can be, and continue to look for gems in the haystack.

Rejoicing on the little steps that we have moved forward will motivate us to move on further. Moreover, rejoices result in merits multiplying. No Buddhist will turn away from accumulating multiple merits.

In the end, a true Buddhist practitioner will then find himself leaving suffering and attaining happiness if one practices in the above manner. This should be the aim of one when learning Buddhism. Finally, Abbot led all in a series of mantra chanting before ending the discourse session.