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Dao Cafe Podcast 有道小館

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Jun 24, 2016

There is a Chinese phrase, 淡泊名利. The direct translation would be “take the fame and financial gains lightly.” It’s not that we cannot have them, but that you don’t see them as necessities to make us happy or satisfied. If we can let go of the temptations of getting them and worries of not able to get them, we’d be happier. We’d have a solid and real life and see things objectively. We’d not become the slaves of fame and money who have less and less happiness in life. Share with you today is the partial notes I have from a temple class.

What is a person? What is the purpose of living?

  1. A person: when one’s a person, he’s not a ghost. The difference between the two is time and space.
  2. Simply put it, a life is when one is born till his death. How this period of time is spent is the million dollar question. Should it only be the four sufferings of getting born, aging, sick, and then death?
  3. The purpose of living, in a Dao perspective, is to correct the bad hobbies or wrong doings in the passage of our past lives. We are to recover our true selves, which is the Buddha inside each of us. Do good deeds and show kindness and love to one another. The result would be world peace, the kingdom of Buddha on earth. 

Build an unordinary life by being an ordinary person

  • Are most of us ordinary? Yes!
  • Do we miss many opportunities for being unordinary? Yes!
  • Is building an unordinary life impossible? No!  

Being unordinary comes from being ordinary. We do what need to be done. Be healthy. Take care of our family. Get our work done well…... You name it. The trick is to cultivate and play each role well. Here are some tips:                       

  1. Set a goal

To be determined: Reap what you sew. Here’s a quote from our temple: Determined to be a saint or sage and should you be. Determined to be a Buddha and should we be. Determined to be ordinary and should we be. We become what we determine to be.

  1. Build our confidence
    • Belief: the source of our motivation, our powerhouse. Appreciate everything. Be thankful for whatever help from a family member, a stranger, or the saints and sages.
    • Support Group: be with friends and learn from each other
    • Positive thoughts: Every setback, test, and strikeout is there to help us grow stronger.
  2. Put it into action
    • Being unordinary is the result of our deeds, not of our words or thoughts. Take action.
    • The three ways of giving: charity, the virtue of generosity
      • the financial support
      • the oral sharing and teaching
      • the time and labor

Four types of persons

  1. A failure: a person who does nothing
  2. The ordinary: a person who does a little
  3. A success: a person who does more than a little
  4. An unordinary: a person who does much more than a little

Chapter 12 in Laozi Tao Te Ching* (Dao De Jing)

The hues of the five colors blind us from seeing other colors

The five music notes make us deaf from hearing other sounds

The five flavors spoil our taste buds and deprive our mouth of taste

Riding freely in the field makes our mind wild

The rare and strange goods make us desire for them

(The repression of the desires)

Colour's five hues from the eyes their sight will take;

Music's five notes the ears as deaf can make;

The flavours five deprive the mouth of taste;

The chariot course, and the wild hunting waste

Make mad the mind; and objects rare and strange,

Sought for, men's conduct will to evil change.

Therefore the sage seeks to satisfy (the craving of) the belly, and not the (insatiable longing of the) eyes. He puts from him the latter, and prefers to seek the former.

The world is full of material distractions. We often neglect the need of our mind and soul because of those. We see only the item, not the quality. The material need is satisfied but our being is not.  Correct this when it’s not too late.

 

Notes:

* http://ctext.org/dao-de-jing/zh?en=on

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