Just some childhood memory of the role of Dharma in my growing years.
I started reading Buddhism at 12. Not because some adults wanted me to, but because it was a little booklet that says life is suffering. It was free and I was at a book fair. I was too poor to buy anything. So I took a free buddhist booklet. Feeling lousy most of the time, that title called out to me.
I guess, I am one of those emo kids who also happened to have a rebellious streak in me.
The message from Buddha about being our own creator for suffering and happiness felt empowering. I do not want to pray to my ancestors because it reminded me of those adults who never get it. And who doesn’t seem to care how I felt. (that was my young mind then)
I do not want to pray to any authoritative figure, chinese or foreign gods because if they truly care, my family wouldn’t be poor. I wouldn’t feel lousy.
Buddha’s message that we should rely on our own effort makes so much sense to me.
In addition to that, the table is flipped. The Gods are obligated to help Buddhist if we practice well. We do not have to spend time praying to them. We just have to focus on being good.
With that message in mind, I secretly try to change for the better. Study harder, be polite to my elders, be less angry at life situation, practice mastery over my own self.
It wasn’t easy and still isn’t.
With more buddhist books on my shelves, it is not hard for the adults to witness the impact of Dharma on a kid.
For me, the message of Buddha is the Truth because when you practice, you witness the change within you.
It is not all smooth sailing.
There are times that I studied to my best and I still fail. But that is because of klesa blocking the mind. I tried harder, I studied with friends. Not giving up if you want result.
When you plant a flower and it doesn’t turn out well, there is no point praying to god or being angry with the flower. You try other ways. That is the buddhist approach.
In short, the teachings about karma and how to overcome bad karma is important for me. As a kid, that message turned me into an adult.
Be responsible for ourselve.
Buddha taught me not to whine and complain. We are what we are today, because of our past action. So start fixing our life now.
When we start our practice, it works.
Besides the material aspect of changing ourselves for the better, the spiritual aspect also plays an important role.
By practising chanting, we repair our mind. In the early 80s, no body knows why. In today’s world, the scientist are starting to catch a glimpse. The power of our mind!
Since Buddha’s message about karma and responsibility clearly works, I decided to do spiritual practice too.
It did felt stupid, sitting in a corner chanting on my own at first. It did felt weird trying to pronounce sanskrit mantra on my own. But I am glad that I did.
Things really just fall into place like jigsaw puzzle on its own.
If you are young (spiritually or age wise) and happened to read this, I say,
Ehi passiko (come and try the Buddha’s way for your own)
May the wisdom of Buddha brings light into your life too.
May all be well and happy.