October 30th, 2016, marked the birthday of Medicine Buddha from the Eastern Pure Land. A celebration was held at the Singapore Bodhi Meditation Center. Grandmaster JinBodhi, the founder of Bodhi Meditation, delivered a teaching on how to raise self-cultivation practice to the next level.
In the celebration hall, Medicine Buddha’s statue was placed on the lotus altar accompanied by the statues of Sunlight Bodhisattva and Moonlight Bodhisattva. At 10 am, Grandmaster JinBodhi entered the hall to thunderous applause.
Avoid Unhealthy Behavior
Technological advancement has made it possible for chronic diseases to be more curable than ever, but it has caused more potential health issues, which most people don’t realize. Consider the famous Pokemon Go mobile game that has been trending around the world. Players in different age groups are so obsessed with catching pokemons that some of them have experienced car accidents or marriage issues. As well, using computers, mobile phones and other high-tech electronic products for a long period of time can overburden the eyes, spine, brain and internal organs, which could affect our life, studies and even our career.
The introduction of preservatives, coloring, plasticizers and other additives in the world of food and beverage has undoubtedly become an unbearable burden on people’s health. Grandmaster JinBodhi reminded everyone to avoid overconsuming additives and to burn natural incense instead of artificial incense. At the same time, he encouraged everyone to practice diligently in order to protect themselves against pollution and environmental disturbances, thereby living a healthy and long life.
Live Life in a Meaningful Way and Practice Diligently
Self-cultivation is like life, it is not smooth sailing all the time; obstacles will arise. It is normal to feel unhealthy and lack confidence even after practicing for some time; these feelings show that the body and mind are constantly affected by the ever-changing environment. Grandmaster JinBodhi reminded everyone to cherish the opportunity to practice self-cultivation and keep practicing, regardless of any difficulties.
When we don’t worry about the future, we should be worrying about the present. Grandmaster JinBodhi said that laziness, inactivity and an unhealthy diet can be harmful and be a waste our life. He stressed that people with unhealthy lifestyles should consider a change in order to live wisely and in good health. To live well and be blessed with good luck, we need to cultivate more energy and merits by practicing daily and continually doing good deeds. This helps to gain merits, wealth and longevity, and also makes the people around us happier.
Countering the Five Poisons with the Six Perfections
Grandmaster JinBodhi further reminded everyone that practicing self-cultivation with the right methods and mentality is crucial to obtaining health, wisdom and longevity. The Six Perfections (generosity, discipline, tolerance, diligence, meditation and wisdom) can counteract the Five Poisons (greed, anger, ignorance, pride and doubt) so people can achieve enlightenment. Grandmaster JinBodhi further explained the Six Perfections:
Generosity is about giving or offering what you have to others. This method is a great way to cultivate empathy, compassion and love, and can combat greed, selfishness, ego and stealing. The more we give, the wealthier we will be. The key is to be truly compassionate and give without expecting anything in return.
Discipline is about obeying the precepts and never doing what should not be done. Discipline can prevent people from harm and reduce the accumulation of negative karma.
Tolerance is about enduring insults, and is a crucial element in turning an ordinary person into an enlightened saint, or even tapping into the state of emptiness. Grandmaster JinBodhi told everyone through the story of Fo Yin and Su Dong-po that composure and tolerance are the keys to elevating from egotistical to altruistic. These qualities help to withstand all challenges and obstacles from temptations to insults and contempt.
Diligence is about sticking to our meditation routine without making excuses. We should ask ourselves often: What are my goals? Am I waking up as planned to practice? Am I doing enough good deeds? Am I suffering from afflictions? The only way to obtain wisdom and achieve the highest state of life is by practicing.
Practicing meditation allows us to cultivate purity, composure and wisdom to keep ignorance at bay. Practice is the core of self-cultivation. It is important to persevere in our practice, regardless of the feelings and experiences that arise during meditation practice.
Grandmaster JinBodhi described wisdom as finding one’s true self. When we have cultivated enough wisdom, it is as if we have a light illuminating our mind, enabling us to free ourselves from ignorance and obsessions that cloud all truths. With enough wisdom, we can let go of our ego and benefit others.
Reverence and Sincerity for Enlightenment
Sincerity and reverence are crucial when practicing the Six Perfections. Grandmaster JinBodhi told the story of Gui Guzi and reminded everyone that they should not aim to achieve enlightenment quickly but to keep practicing with perseverance and sincerity. Only by having sincere aspirations to succeed can we learn authentic dharma to achieve perfect enlightenment.
Grandmaster JinBodhi’s teaching opened the door to enlightenment for all participants. At the end of the event, Grandmaster JinBodhi lit a bright lamp to bless all participants with purity, wisdom, wealth, enlightenment and auspiciousness.