Articles

Misfortune

The first thing that we learn in Buddhism is, “Life is suffering.” By right, this should have set the message right. In another word, everyone of us is bound to experience some sufferings in life. The ultimate and common suffering that binds us is death. An occasion when we have to give up our physical body, family, and friends.

Yet, many people cannot get over it and we somehow expect Buddhists to live a life that is completely freed from sufferings. Thus, it is unthinkable for a pious Buddhist to become ill or have cancer. It is unforgivable that a Buddhist master met an accident or a Buddhist monastery collapsed during an earthquake. That is due to ignorance and our habitual tendencies to fantasize about the Non-Truth.

So what is great about Buddhist practices if they cannot prevent calamities in life?

Buddhist practices help us develop the right understanding in life. We understand Karma and we recognize impermanence and sufferings. We learn to deal with it and live our life fully.

According to Master GuangQin, the sufferings experienced by a practitioner are different from those encountered by a non-practitioner. The practitioner’s experience of suffering will propel him towards greater height in his practice. Whereas, a non-practitioner will only experience intense mental pain and trauma. Therefore, a practitioner is capable of using his sufferings as a tool for enlightenment. Instead of fearing it, he makes use of it.

There is also a general encouragement in Buddhism that goes like this;

If we encounter a tough situation in life, always face it with joy. We should tell ourselves that we are repaying our bad karma and due to our practice, we are receiving a “discount”. Whatever we experience now is just a fraction of the full “Karmic Debt”. Therefore, don’t give up on life but embrace what come may. Continue our practice with gusto and ultimately, happiness will arise again.

May all be well and happy.

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