“For those Sramana or Brahmans who do not truly understand the truth of sufferings, the truth of cessation of suffering, and the truth of the path leading to the cessation of suffering, should know that they would fall into the realm of hell, animal, or hungry ghost.”
-- Quote of Buddha
Venerable Miao Xin’s English Dharma talk on “Living the Four Noble Truths” was attended by about 220 devotees across two evenings of 27 and 28 May 2016, at Fo Guang Shan Singapore.
The Venerable engaged the participants through slides, lives examples, video presentations, interactive participations and discussions to help everyone understand the topic. Excerpt of the talk as follow:
It is the Buddha's first awareness that life brings with it illness, age, misery and death that led him to search for a deeper understanding of how we live, and ways to end suffering. The Four Noble Truths was discovered by Buddha while struggling for enlightenment. Each of the lessons explains the key Buddhist steps in understanding the truth about life.
The First Noble Truth is dukkha, or suffering. The Second Noble Truth is craving or desire. The Third Noble Truth is cessation of suffering. The Fourth Noble Truth is the Eightfold Noble Path, leading to cessation of suffering.
The cornerstone of Buddhism is to understand the teachings of Buddha's Four Noble Truths and applying and implementing them to help us in our daily life.
Buddha said: “While the Sun can turn cold and the moon hot, the Four Noble Truths spoken by the Buddha will eternally remain unchanged.”
If we can control our body and mind in a way that we help others instead of doing them harm, and generating wisdom in our own mind, we can end our suffering and problems.
The Buddha summarised the correct attitude and actions in the Eight-fold Noble Path:
1. Right View - correct understanding of the Law of Causes and Effect 2. Right Thought - correct perception 3. Right Speech – correct language to speak true words 4. Right Action – correct conduct 5. Right Livelihood – correct living without compromising the precepts 6. Right Effort – correct diligence in developing wholesomeness 7. Right Mindfulness – correct determination in one's belief 8. Right Concentration – attained through meditating on the 6 wondrous ways to
Nirvana, the harmony of body, speech, and mind, and the nine stage of meditative
“The key to enter the path is to have the right intention while the first stage in practice is to make vows. Through vows, sentient beings could be liberated, and through the right intention Buddha-hood, could be realized.”
-- Making vows as stated by Master Xingan.
If building merits go without vows, one will be directionless and without standards. With vows serving as guidance, one could then have achievement. Hence the importance of making the vow: “Buddhahood is supreme, I vow to obtain it.”
Venerable Miao Xin in her closing remarks urged all participants to practice the art of giving praise and compliments for its benefits are inexhaustible. Each and every one should remember to abandon the 10 unwholesome conducts and practice the 10 wholesome conducts.
To reflect on themselves; to further practice the Path; hence the importance of making the vow, “Dharmas are inexhaustible, I vow to study them”.
Adorning the Buddha Land requires great effort and each should rely on the power of vows to achieve Buddhahood successfully. “Live with hope; believe that there will be a better tomorrow.”
And with a concluding quote of the day: “Open your windows. Open your doors. Walk into a great future.”