of your competitors
in the arena of careers, romance and other emotions. Again, when you
are facing the temptations of money, power, glory, sex, material possessions,
and so on, they are indeed pressing you to surrender the long-held pledges,
human integrity and dignity, and its virtues. Many practitioners, while
not really facing the kinds of difficulties, frustrations, challenges
and temptations that we have just mentioned, will strongly believe that
they will be able to jump over those hurdles. But when the cruel reality
and the karmic forces come our way, all the belief system, doctrines,
and even our basic human integrity and dignity, which we treasured and
believed to have held so firmly, will all of a sudden break down and
crumble under our feet. Indeed, these are the times to try our souls!
In fact, during our short-lived journey of human life, many small and
big trials will pop up in front of us. Some people might just fall down
even before they start their journey; while others might discard it
during their journeys. What comes next is either frustration, anger,
or discontent. In order to come out of this entanglement, some might
desperately take risks in order to get what they want; some might feel
disillusioned and disheartened; while some others might feel disgruntled
about reality by uttering curses on life, or even swear against Buddhism
or the religion in which they previously believed. In this way, unintentionally,
they waste their precious human lives.
Do not think that Buddhist practitioners, even with the well-learned
teachings, will more easily adjust to and bear with such kinds of difficulties.
These kinds of teachings, without being built upon a solid foundation
of daily practices and life experiences and merged with ordinary daily
life, will become hollow and can easily crumble, or be twisted around,
and thus one cannot even bear a heavy blow from cruel reality.
We cannot imitate the patience and perseverence of the Saint Milarepa,
neither can we follow his footsteps of renouncing the world in order
to practice as a hermit. Furthermore, we are not of the vessels of high
capacity to get sudden enlightenment in this ocean of life and death,
and of suffering. Indeed, in this world of the five impurities, human
nature is being twisted and distorted in such a way as to be diverted
from the truth. Hence, when unfavourable circumstances suddenly come
our way, what can we do about it? To be or not to be, that is the question!
In this boundless ocean of suffering, what is our final human destination?
The establishment of this special column is to further discuss, examine,
reflect and help both newcomers and longtimers of the Buddhist faith
in consolidating their faith and attitudes.This column will use a positive
and right attitude in focusing, analyzing and facing human life in its
entirety, by different perspectives and viewpoints, and at various levels
so as to minimize the obstacles and hindrances in our way towards the
Even though this may seem to be theoretical in nature, we hope that
this column can help to light up the lamp of wisdom in each one of us.
Even though this might only be a few drops of wisdom, as long as we
have made the first move towards pure awareness in our everyday life
experiences, these drops of wisdom will start to accumulate and grow,
bit by bit, without our noticing it.
Then, the day will come when, all of a sudden, we come to realize that
"wisdom springs like a fountain, and we realize our true nature". In
this way, even if we cannot experience sudden enlightenment (satori),
we can still attain gradual enlightenment in the years ahead. We sincerely
pray that all brothers, friends and practitioners in the Dharma will
help each other, by encouraging the exchange of ideas and experiences,
while heading towards the path of liberation and enlightenment.
Do not despise the drops of wisdom, and think that they are useless.
Drops of water will slowly fill up the whole vessel, and in time they
will pierce through hard rocks. Similarly, those who can accumulate
drops of wisdom will eventually bring themselves to enlightenment (Buddhahood).