Persevere in Attending Lamrim Class to Repay Master Jih-Chang’s Great Kindness
Year after year, we long to see Master Jih-Chang again. Everything that Master Jih-Chang had done over the past thousands and millions of lifetimes were for us. How should we follow his instructions? How can we repay Master Jih-Chang’s great kindness? To do that, we should persevere to attend the Lamrim class.
Lamrim class is the most precious gift that Master Jih-Chang had left behind for us. It symbolises Master Jih-Chang’s deep and sincere intentions. For someone who does not persist in following a structure of attending class like a student or does not have a conducive learning environment with the Teachings, virtuous teachers and friends, it will be extremely challenging to persevere in the study of Dharma education for more than 10 or 20 years. Similarly, without putting a child in a school, it will be challenging for him to complete his education. Master Jih-Chang had placed us into this Dharma school, which is the Lamrim class, so that we can learn and also provide the opportunity for others to join us to learn Lamrim together.
Every Lamrim student must treasure and value your Lamrim class by attending lesson regularly. Before each lesson, familiarise yourself with the text by going through the Lamrim and listening well to Master Jih-Chang’s discourse. During the lesson, listen attentively. During the class discussion, respect one another’s contribution. When the facilitators are leading the class discussion, do not engage in your own personal conversations. Share your views aloud only during the class discussion. These are ways of showing respect towards the Dharma which is a cause for increasing our wisdom. It is also a form of respect towards the facilitators who have put in much effort to prepare the lesson. In addition, apply some of the methods learnt from Master Jih-Chang which can transform your mind when you are at home and use them to overcome your own afflictions during challenging situations. By doing that, it allows your family members to witness your contributions towards the family when you are learning the Dharma. They can also share the joy of your progress. This will help to reduce unfavourable conditions and increase the favourable conditions for learning the Teachings. Buddhism is very plain and simple. Master Jih-Chang had shown us how to put the Teachings into practice and the methods are sturdy and down-to-earth. They can be cultivated through the process of listening and contemplation of the Lamrim daily, and then making changes to our behaviour.
Hope everyone will not skip your Lamrim lessons, always treasure and value your Lamrim class, guard it and all the Lamrim classes too. It is a big classroom for all, the laypeople as well as the monks. The Lamrim class is similar to the lotus pond in the mundane world which has the capacity to breed lotus flowers. Even when we are trapped in the sufferings of cyclic existence, we will still persevere to learn the Lamrim, to learn the precious Teachings from the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and the Lineage Masters. Moreover, through learning and discussing with virtuous friends, we can transform our minds and be liberated from the cyclic existence with minimal effort. The Lamrim classes resemble a Bodhi tree planted by Master Jih-Chang, deeply rooted with lush broad leaves and wide branches. When we sit under it, we can feel the great kindness from Master Jih-Chang and the tranquillity from receiving the Teachings. These are such valuable and happy blessings.
Let me share this with you secretly. All of you are Master Jih-Chang’s treasure, and mine too! I miss Master Jih-Chang! I miss all of you!
Translation and review by: Wong Siow Lai, Chiang Sheau Huey