THE thought of SELF-center (Egocentricity) comes from "We want to protect the SELF from the dangers of constant change of life (Impermanence)", the Self-center is the home of the illusory, the illusion that we have a true or unchanging self, in reality there is no such entity, instead there are only feelings, sensations, and emotions (most of the times are wishing, longing, hating, grieving, fearing … all kinds of afflictions). That is why the Self-center always make us speak highly of ourselves but lower the respect of others. The Self-center will warp our judgment and cloud our vision of things.
LIKE we mentioned above, we first should learn "Giving up", giving up our time, giving up our hate, giving up our belongings, "Giving up" helps make Self-center thaw, this will benefit "How to get rid of the Self-center".
AFTER last step, we should learn how to remove the "ME" and "MINE" from every thought that arises and vanishes conditioned by functional relations.
ACCORDING to the experienced people's idea: Which we always call "Being" "Individual" "I" "You" "Somebody" … etc., is in reality nothing but a mere changing combination of physical and mental phenomena, has no real existence in itself. From this point, we should have an idea "To remove ME and MINE" can be reached through the hard work of becoming aware of every single thought and trying hard to empty them one by one, this step will liberate us from the bondage of Self-center.
WHAT is the Real Truth? The prerequisites for the real truth are "Truth of Origins" "Truth of Absoluteness" and "Truth of Universality". For example, the Sun rises from the east, we thought this is the truth, now we know the Sun will not rise from the east if we are in other planets. When we think it deeper, if we are not familiar with our real inner self or original nature of human being, we will not understand the real truth.[This is the most important idea I am going to introduce it to you later someday]
"GREEDY FOR EVERYTHING" "ANGRY FOR EVERYTHING" "DO NOT UNDERSTAND THE REAL TRUTH":
FOR the "Greedy For Everything", we try to introduce some ideas here, hopefully can give you a way to counteract them.
MOST of the times in our daily life we cannot control ourselves, our mind always in the unsettling situations. Some people understand this point, do their best to gain a temporarily peaceful mind by practicing pray or something else. But they concentrate mainly on the external aspects of worship and do not pay attention to getting rid of thoughts in their mind. Our mind, like the experienced people's idea "Should be like the moon reflected in lakes in summertime, clear and bright all the time." The dirty lakes cannot reflect the images of trees, houses, mountains, sky, clouds. Think deeper, when we have a polluted mind, can our mind still see everything even something happen in front of us? Should we pray or practice like the experienced people?
WE are used to thinking that life continues day after day and death seems to be very very far away. We mentioned that everything in this world arises depending on conditions, there is no exception, everything is changing, including the mind and thoughts (The mind of greed, thoughts of sadness, anger, love and happiness suddenly arise and then disappear)( Look at our surroundings, which are subject to birth and death. What was the sea is now mulberry fields [Evanescence of worldly affairs, great changes in the course of time]. Houses, trees, stones, which all change maybe slower than we think), this is called "impermanence". Do not ignore the fact of impermanence, the death may come at any moment (We should always remember in heart). And we must give up everything when we die. When you understand this notion, do you still want to fight with other people over things no matter important or unimportant to you?
IF we know that we have to give up everything when we die, then we should learn how to give up everything now, this might be the best way to subdue Greed. Giving up our time, giving up our hate, giving up our belongings, giving up our money…, these are the ways to upgrade ourselves, of course, to rid greed too.
FOR the "Angry for Everything", this is the hard part, but we still try to find some ideas and help you to counteract it.
ACCORDING to the experienced people's idea "To counteract anger and resentment, we should develop a compassionate mind". The compassionate mind is a little hard to develop, but again the first step always hard. Think this way: 1) when we are angry, we are the first to suffer, and later anger will bring hurt to everyone. 2) Angry people usually don't have clear mind (How can we fight somebody who does not know what they are doing).
TO learn forbearance is the best way for counteracting anger and resentment. Can we suffer indignities without a protest? Can we accept insults and humiliations silently? Have we ever come to the end of our patience?
PEOPLE in this world, usually like to make the distinction between the good and the bad, the right and the wrong, the beautiful and the ugly, the …. When we face the criticism no matter what kind, try to calm down our mind and practice forbearing first, remember that "Upsetting our mind" is not the solution, it will just make situations worse.
WE should always have a clear mind and pay no attention to the criticism of the outside world. Just like we mentioned that nothing in this world is lasted forever because of the impermanent. Anything happen to us, try to think this way, "It is just a temporary phenomena". If we can swallow criticisms, we upgrade ourselves, if we can not swallow criticisms, we degrade ourselves.
ALTHOUGH we are just ordinary people but we still have to remember "Before criticizing others, look at ourselves first." "Are we perfect ?" "Where are our compassion and forgiveness?" "Can we forgive others as much as forgive ourselves?".
IF we cannot really control ourselves when we face the situations we don't like, try to leave immediately the scene, this will benefit everybody are involved. Like the experienced people's idea "If the surroundings disappear, then the mind loses its anchor, eventually all memories will fade away".
"DO not understand the Real Truth" may be we can use the word "Ignorance". Ignorance is the main cause of all the problems including "Angry for everything" "Greedy for everything". Ignorance means the lack of right understanding or real understanding, the basic ignorance is our failure to understand that the SELF(This is at the center of all our lives)(I will introduce more ideas about the Self in another page) is an illusion, we do not understand completely what our lives and what universes are. With the notion of "self", we want to protect the our SELF from the dangers of constant change of life, so we are angry, we are greedy, we are hypocritical.
NOW we know the ignorance is the cause of all thoughts, and understand that is why we are in trouble, in danger, in anger, in illusion, in pride, in anxiety, in prejudice, in fear, …etc. As long as there is ignorance, there is the accumulation of thoughts. So this is something we have to purify.
WE have to train ourselves to eliminate the idea of the self. Try to understand that all phenomenas are impermanent, understand the illusory phenomenas for realities and not to cling to these phenomenas, learn to understand the true nature of reality and wisdom.
DELUSION is a lack of awareness of the true nature of things, or of the true meaning of existence. If we can like the experienced people's ideas "looking into the deluded mind is virtually the same as looking into the self-nature of the Pure Mind. If we have the wisdom to perceive Ignorance in this way, we can gradually dispel Ignorance".
[[[There are these five modes of speech that others may use when they
address you. Their speech may be timely or untimely, true or untrue, gentle or
harsh, for good or for harm, and may be accompanied by thoughts of
loving-kindness or by inner hate. Now this is how you should train yourselves
"Our minds will remain unaffected, we shall utter no bad words, we shall abide friendly and compassionate, with thoughts of loving-kindness and no inner hate. We shall abide with loving-kindness in our hearts extending to that person, and we shall dwell extending it to the entire world as our object, with our hearts abundant, exalted, measureless in loving-kindness, without hostility or ill-will."
That is how you should train yourselves.]]]
[[[He, by getting rid of coveting for the world, dwells with a mind devoid of coveting, he purifies the mind of coveting. By getting rid of the taint of ill-will, he dwells benevolent in mind, compassionate for the welfare of all creatures and beings, he purifies the mind of the taint of ill-will. By getting rid of sloth and torpor, he dwells devoid of sloth and torpor, perceiving the light, mindful, clearly conscious, he purifies the mind of sloth and torpor. By getting rid of restlessness and worry, he dwells calmly the mind subjectively tranquilized, he purifies the mind of restlessness and worry. By getting rid of doubt, he dwells doubt-crossed, unperplexed as to the states that are skillful, he purifies the mind of doubt.]]]
[[[Be possessed of mindfulness and clear consciousness, acting with clear consciousness whether you are approaching or departing, acting with clear consciousness whether you are looking ahead or looking round, acting with clear consciousness whether you are bending in or stretching out, acting with clear consciousness whether you are carrying the outer cloak, the bowl or robe, acting with clear consciousness whether you are eating, drinking, munching, savoring, acting with clear consciousness whether you are obeying the calls of nature, acting with clear consciousness whether you are walking, standing, sitting, asleep, awake, talking or being silent.]]]
IDEAS ABOUT MEDITATION - chanting NAMO AMITABHA
THE definition of meditation should be "The mind frees itself from all subjects and objective hindrances and reaches a state of absolute indifference and annihilation of thought, perception, and will."
ONCE Buddha said: "There are five meditations."
"The first meditation is the meditation of love in which thou must so adjust thy heart that thou longest for the weal and welfare of all beings including the happiness of thine enemies."
"The second meditation is the meditation of pity, in which thou thinkest of all beings in distress, vividly representing in thine imagination their sorrows and anxieties so as to arouse a deep compassion for them in thy soul."
"The third meditation is the meditation of joy in which thou thinkest of the prosperity of others drejoicestwith "
"The fourth meditation is the meditation on purity, in which thou considerest the evil consequences of corruption, the effects of wrongs and evils. How trivial is often the pleasure of the moment and how fatal are its consequences."
"The fifth meditation is the meditation on serenity, in which thou risest above love and hate, tyranny and thraldom, wealth and want, and regardest thine own fate with impartial calmness and perfect tranquillity."
TO learn meditation, usually we need the experienced people to show us or guide us "How to make the body and mind working together", step by step, especially for the beginners, from this point of view, we should understand that learning meditation is not a very easy thing.
WE have found a best way to learn MEDITATION:
WE all know that the hardest part for beginner to learn meditation is the "concentrating", here we introduce the very special way to learn meditation, which is to chant the "AMITABHA". Chanting "AMITABHA" in China has almost two thousand years history, and according to the records, the result is beyond we can imagine.
THE reason we want to introduce the chanting "AMITABHA" is because it belongs to the basic level of practice for learning meditation, for the beginners who are seriously interested in learning meditation, they can just do the chanting. Once you have done the chanting "AMITABHA" for a while, you will gradually concentrate on your chanting, and this is a form of meditation. In this moment, the chanting will gradually reduce the thoughts in our mind, eventually our mind will be purified. When we are angry or happy, our mind always are led by emotional ups and downs. If there are less thoughts in our mind, there are less ups and downs actions. The purpose for meditation is to reduce the thoughts in our mind. And chanting "AMITABHA" is the easiest, best, and safest way to reach that purpose.
WHY Amitabha? The Buddha Sikyamoni once said "The repetition of the name Amitabha Buddha is meritorious only if thou speak it with such a devout attitude of mind as will cleanse thy heart and attune thy will to do works of righteousness."
OVER the centuries in the Far East, many people have used the chanting AMITABHA or NAMO AMITABHA for meditation purpose and have recovered from their illnesses (Both mind and body), and the problems never come back. If the way we chant "AMITABHA" like the Buddha Sikyamoni said, the result of our work should be expected.