Lay People Asking for Offering

Lay People Asking for Offering

A Romanian layman is asking for offering (his goal is 10,000 Euro)  on the internet so that he may continue his studies. In return he will give you small perks and the grand prize is praising the patron as a Bodhisattva, only if you offer more than 500 Euro.  Is it a sign of Western culture misunderstanding Buddhism? Or phenomena of our degenerated age; when self importance has became paramount.

Offerings are given to field of merits. They are your guru, monks, nuns, Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. Or other beings: the poor, sicks, orphan, your aged parents, etc. These have many benefits. But a 27 years old healthy male, should earns his own money even if it is for Buddhist studies.

His passion of wanting to bring Buddhism to Romania is good, but asking for others to donate using the name of dharma practice is extremely risky. The monks and nuns have the appearance of being our merit field is because of their good merit and blessings from the Buddhas, and they in return make offering to us through teaching and living the dharma. Most laymen do not have the merits and virtues to live and teach the dharma fully, nor do we have the merit to appear as the ordained to becoming a field of merits. It is very likely that we are simply depleting our merits if we ask others for donations or offering…

Hope this Romanian friend is a Bodhisattva and he will become a field of merit in the future, and not accumulate the faults mentioned above. Any thought??

“My guru’s inst…

“My guru’s instructions to me is the most important thing in my life. I will not falter or let anyone distract me or let myself distract me from what I promised my teacher no matter what the obstacles.” – Tsem Rinpoche

Pilgrimage to kumbum Monastery

There is an interesting story on a commentary I have for the practice of Gaden Lhagyama, which is practice daily by followers of Je tsongkhapa’s teaching. It said that when Tsongkhapa was born a drop of blood from his umbilical cord miraculously formed a tree whose leaves are inscripted by the seed syllable dhi and letters from the mantra om a ra pa ca na dhi.

Image

Since then it has been my wish to visit Kumbum Monastery, which was constructed around the stupa built at the exact spot Je Tsongkhapa was born.  I was fortunate enough to visit the monastery and visit its surrounding area.

Image

Hope that the teaching of Je Tsongkhapa will flourish in Tibet, China, Mongolia, and all around the world.

Enemies of Buddhism?

603340_4787063327646_208605426_n

Maynamar Conflicts (The Young Turks): Please Check out this video with an open mind

Personally, I avoid listening to non-Buddhist teachings and discussing religious topics with people that oppose Buddha‘s teachings. This has nothing to do with prejudice, but only to protect my own mind from being influenced by negativities that might arise from listening to teaching that directly oppose Buddhism.

Unfortunately, this might grow into hate if handled unskillfully. And we create in our mind that certain people are enemies of Buddhism. From 2012- 2013, in Myanmar (Burma) and Sir Lanka violence and conflicts have grown between the indigenous population who are traditionally Buddhist and the minority Muslims; many of which are immigrants from generations ago.

In a  youtube News report from The Young Turk (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=My94afPuWgg), a Burmese crowd burnt a Muslim man and murdered a young Muslim boy. Similar video although less violence can be found for Sri Lanka on Youtube. The video in Burma showed the men dying from his severe burnt, as the crowd refuse to save him. It is not the way of Buddhist! Those who participated in violence have utterly lost their status as follower of the Buddha.

My speculation is that the crowd has label the Muslim minority as “Enemy of Buddhism”. There might be historical root in this feeling among Buddhist countries. Throughout history Muslim invaders have violently harmed Buddhist and destroyed monasteries in Afghanistan, India, Indonesia, and even Northwestern China. It is not difficult to relate those horrific acts with all Muslims because of the way their extremists preach and behave. But who actually are the Enemy of Buddha, the one that Buddhist should kill?

The answer is simple. Our anger and hateful feelings are the true enemies of Buddhism. They must be destroyed. I wish to share two quotes here and hope that our negative minds and wrong thoughts will be grind to dusts.

“(68) We have selfish desires and horrible anger
Which fester inside us, we would never admit;
Yet without provocation we criticize others
And self-righteously charge them with faults we possess.
Trample him, trample him, dance on the head
Of this treacherous concept of selfish concern.
Tear out the heart of this self-centered butcher
Who slaughters our chance to gain final release.

(69) We wear robes of saffron, yet seek our protection
And refuge in spirits and gods of this world.
We have promised to keep solemn vows of strict morals,
Yet our actions accord with the demons’ foul ways.
Trample him, trample him, dance on the head
Of this treacherous concept of selfish concern.
Tear out the heart of this self-centered butcher
Who slaughters our chance to gain final release.” (The Wheel of Sharp Weapons)

Also, the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha cannot be harmed by whoever we labelled as enemies. It is impossible, because they have no power over them. It is our own negative minds that destroy Buddhism within our mind, and make others lose faith in the Buddha. This is the real enemies of the Buddhism.

“Even if someone were to insult and destroy the dharma,the holy images, or the stupas,
it would be inappropriate to get angry with them,
for how could the three jewels ever be harmed?” (Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life)

Even though in many ways I do not agree with monotheist religions existing in our world both in doctrines, ethics, and their way of converting people. We should never harm them with violence.