The 4th and final word that was received from the temple is Repay kindness. Repayment of kindness can be
- provision of material and physical comfort or care
- provision of psychological comfort (by being thoughtful, considerate, loving, respectful etc)
- provison of spiritual comfort (In Buddhism, it will mean we have to advance towards enlightenment and share the method of progressing towards enlightenment with appropriate skills and methods)
Our very existence is impossible without kindness. Once we understand that, we will immediately see the beauty of this world.
The very fact that we are alive today means that we owe it to the kindness of our mother. The kindness of giving birth to us after the full term of pregnancy is immeasurable.
In this sense, repayment of kindness starts off by focusing on repayment of kindness from our parents and guardians.
They are the ones that provided us food and shelter during our most venerable years when we are children.
If we extend this concept towards all our previous existences, then in a romantic notion, all other people and beings might be related to us in our past lives (one way or another).
They could have been our parents in our previous lifes.
Therefore if one is spiritually advanced and is able to extend the same love for our present parents towards all other beings, then we will naturally wish to repay kindness towards strangers and friends too.
I think this is a very dynamic concept because it breaks down all perceived differences of skin colors, nationality, language etc. It promotes a grand vision of human beings being nice and kind towards all beings.
Having talked about sentient beings, we can also acknowledge that our existence is dependent on this physical world. (AKA Mother Earth)
Therefore, repayment of Kindness to our environment is also encouraged by Buddhism. We can try our best to be more eco friendly to repay this kindness.
It is also equally important to generate a sense of loving kindness towards our surrounding environment.
Last but not least, is the kindness of Buddha and our spiritual teachers. They are the ones who taught us the method to be enlightened. Besides making offerings of alms, donation and services to maintain Buddhism.
It is very important that we practice what the Buddha taught. By practicing the way of the Buddha, we are also helping to uphold the method of enlightenment. We are also on the path to becoming a Buddha.
Therefore the best way to repay Buddha and our spiritual teachers is by practicing what we learnt from them.
In summary repayment of kindness make us a better person. In our limited individual effort, we help to make the world a better place.
This conclude my sharing of the 4 words of advice from the Japanes Buddhist temple. Daisho-in