The yin and yang of a Buddhist living.

IMG_1055I am borrowing terminology from Taoism for this article. Yang means active while yin represents passive.

In a Buddhist lifestyle, the effort invested in achieving a healthy mental state is yang. In fact, correct effort and correct application of mind training technique is critical for enlightenment. There are many different training; example development of mental focus, compassion, loving kindness, appreciative joy, renunciation and many more.

According to scriptures, our best behaviour promises us good result. Good will be rewarded with good outcome. It is inevitable that we conciously or subconciously expect good things to happen when we start our Buddhist way of life.

However, things does not always turn out as per our expectation. Sometimes bad karma from our past catches up with usl as as we begin our Buddhist path. To a beginner, it is easy to mistaken such untimely setback as negative results arising from a Buddhist way of living.

This is where faith and logical rationale plays an important role. (Wisdom)

Foremost, Buddha taught about the inherent faults of Samsara. He did not say come to me and you will be free from worldly misfortune. Instead, he taught us how to face Samsara and live to the fullest; with the ultimate aim of transcending Samsara. To achieve both objectives, we need to be proactive about practice. Constantly work with ourselves for self-improvement. That is the Yang part of Buddhist living.

IMG_1136While we adopt a proactive attitude towards our practice, we need to embrace a passive attitude in regards to our expectation.

We practice Buddhism because we desire happiness!

BUT, do not think that the Sun will always shine for you and the rain cloud will scatter on your picnic/wedding day. That birds will chirp happily around you while rainbow fills the sky. Life is not a Walt Disney cartoon.

Once we start practicing, we need to be patient with ourselves and with our situations.

Just like planting a seed. It is a bad idea to sit there to watch it sprout. Tend to it we must, but being overly anxious to see result will only result in frustration.

Instead, it is best to be neutral and passive. Just observe what comes by everyday and observe how we react to situations. Keeping a mental equilibrium is the rule of the game.

The beauty of Buddhism is not about carrying a war banner and trying to change the world or other people. It is about changing ourselves.

We a part of the world. If there are more people working on themselves and perfecting themselves, this world will soon become a better place.

The word is receptive living. (随缘)That is the Yin counterpart to our proactive Yang approach towards practice.


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