The Meaning of Life

Author: Master Sheng Yen

The mage said this story is to explain the facts of life, the crisis is heavy, the feeling of giving people is a bit negative, and I feel that life is very bitter. Is this the essence of life?

Impermanence without me

A: That is fact, not negative. Buddhism says that the four impermanences and the five implications are not me. I can understand this and free yourself from the pain of life. The four impermanences and the five implications are not me. This is a fact; it is precisely because of impermanence, more cherish, and positive revelation from impermanence, so “impermanence” is not negative at all.
Buddhism says that it is rare for human beings, life is very precious, and the composition of the human body comes from the four majors. The so-called four majors refer to the ground, water, fire, and wind. The ground is mineral, the water is liquid, the fire is heat and physical energy, and the wind is breathing and circulatory system. These four factors interact and interact with each other. If they are less, the phenomenon of life is incomplete. For example, the flow of liquid (large water) depends on the respiratory circulatory system (wind) and heat and physical energy (fire), while energy is contained in minerals (large ground). If these four great things can be adjusted, life is lively and powerful, and it is easy to get sick when the four majors are not adjusted. If the four big ones break down, people will die. The existence of man is among the four major.
  The meaning of the four impermanences indicates that it has life-generating because of karma and harmony. But eventually it will decline, decompose, and disperse. People’s life often pursues four major coordination and smoothness. Make life phenomena strong and lean; in fact, the stage of life peak is very short. From the perspective of people’s growth, before the age of five, they were ignorant; when they were five years old, they knew that there were individuals who started learning slowly; at the age of ten, the speed of learning accelerated, and the learning process of this school education was about Someone is going to be around twenty years old. But even if you graduate into the society, you can’t immediately contribute what you have learned, or you have to learn and adapt to the workplace for a while. Really skilled work is twenty-five years old.
  The United Nations generally has a retirement age of 65. Now it can be postponed and it will not be more than 70 years old. Even if it can be extended to 70 years old, it is estimated that the most elite period of life is only forty-five years. This is very short. For more than 40 years, it has usually been a busy stage of becoming a family, setting up a career, taking care of Gaotang and young children.
  During this busy period, many people are still not aware of how precious and short-lived, spiritual and timeful they are, but also to be relaxed, slack, and wasteful. Like a gambler, indulge in wine, when I was young, I thought that more partners could cope, but after middle age, the body would tell him that he had been overdrawn.
  It is the average person. When you are young, you may think that you can’t use your energy, but the physical energy consumption is often faster than expected.
  There is a Yuezhu Bodhisattva (volunteer cadre) in Fagushan, a retired middle school teacher. When he was 50 years old, he went to Fagu Mountain and was very refined. He went up the mountain and went to the sea to be full of energy. Some time ago, I wanted to give him another important task. The 60-year-old teacher said, “Master, it’s not that I don’t want to pick up. It’s not good. If I take this task, I’m afraid I will die soon. It turned out that he had high blood pressure two years ago, and his blood pressure was often as high as one hundred and ninety. If something was not completed during the day, he could not sleep at night, affecting the spirit of the next day. In just ten years, the energy is much worse.
  I have always been weak and sick, but my heart is very strong. I will not back down and give up when I encounter difficulties. I once thought that until my death, my body will be sick again, and my heart can still call it to move.
  When I was fifty-five, I was infected with a viral banded virus. The condition was quite serious and I couldn’t sleep enough. It lasted for more than a week, and I was better when I was diagnosed and treated. After I recovered, my physical strength was no longer as good as it used to be. However, I knew that my heart was good, so I opened the Fagu Mountain at the age of sixty.
  In the spring of 1999 (70 years old), I was treated for dental problems. When I was performing root canal treatment, my doctor used a disinfectant and accidentally burned my tongue. The bad thing is that the wound is on the side, and it is very painful to eat and talk. I was too low in white blood cells, my immunity was not good, my doctor was not allowed to take antibiotics, and the wounds healed in three weeks, and I suffered a lot. As the saying goes, the hero is afraid of getting sick, not to mention that I am not a hero, and my spirit and physical strength are consumed again. When you are old, you can’t get sick. If you lose your energy, you won’t be able to return.
  Therefore, people’s physical fitness is very short and the energy is limited. It should be used and cherished. It is because of the impermanence of the four majors that we should be vigilant; the life of a person will end at any time, not only if she is old, but when she dies and how she dies, she does not know. It is no wonder that some people describe the short-lived plants like deserts. When they encounter rain, they soon sprout and grow out of the ground, and bloom colorful flowers. Then they thank the knots, the water is exhausted, and the mother is withered and died. The Chinese also used the words of the fire to describe the short life, as if the two stones hit each other, and the shadows of the sparks and the rays of the lights shone.
  In the infinite time of the universe, human life is as short as an instant. If you can understand the use of cherished, this life is short, and its value extends infinitely; if it is wasted, it is not only short-lived, but also worthless to the future. People always need to gain hope and happiness for the future in their efforts.
  Buddhism also said that the five implications are not me. These five meanings refer to color, acceptance, thinking, action, and knowledge. They are all physical, psychological, and spiritual.
  Color speaks of all matter, that is, the Big Four. The human body is composed of four major combinations of water and fire. In terms of expansion, the earth is our common big body, and this large body is also synthesized by the four majors. It exists in the infinite universe and contrasts with the vast universe. Under the earth, the life of the earth is also short-lived, so the earth is also impermanent.
  It is a psychological effect that is felt and felt.
  Thinking is to think, when you have feelings, the brain will start to function, with thoughts.
  Action is action and action. With thoughts and ideas, people naturally react to these ideas and do something.
  There are two functions in recognition: one is cognitive and discerning; the other is continuous action, which allows people to read the next thought and the next thought, and to form an endless stream of thoughts, that is, the general heart.
  The color distribution (four majors) emphasizes the formation of the human body, while the other four elements point out that in the life phenomenon, the psychological and spiritual functions are important. Color, accept, think, act, know, and lose one of the functions, life is not complete. For example, people who have lost amnesia, dementia, or vegetative people, although the four majors are in the fifth, are not complete, which is not a normal and complete life phenomenon.
  Putting down the persistence
  The meaning of the five implications is that the human life phenomenon is composed of five elements. Without the five elements, there is no physical existence of “I”. If a person can realize that the five implications are not me, he will be freed from being a saint.
  ”Five implications are not me” are not feelings and reactions to things and the environment, nor are they completely denying the psychological and spiritual effects of human beings, but laying down the center of attachment of the self, not taking the self as the center of cognition and judgment. For example, someone is jealous of you, he is jealous, you are not a jealous person, because he is actually your five elements. Maybe it’s your words, behaviors (lines), or which ones are wrong (thinking), causing people to react with this. Then you should reflect on yourself. If you are right, you don’t need to be angry. If you make a mistake or do something wrong, then it is better to make your own mistakes. If you are angry and want to go back, then you have made a double mistake.
  Five implications are not me, not denying the self, but not adhering to a “me” – a fixed, absolute form or criterion. All religions in the world have an absolute truth and the highest belief, but Buddhism does not. Therefore, there is no law in Dharma and everything is relative. Buddhism says that people must have righteous thoughts, righteous thoughts are unbiased, and what is unbiased? This also varies from person to person and from time to time.
  There were individuals a few years ago and it hurts very much. One day, he came to the temple with his dog. When he saw me, he said, “Master, look, how cute and cute this dog is.” I will touch it first, the master must hold me, I I hugged it up and said to it, “It’s so cute, you must have a good root, and you must read Amitabha!”
  In fact, when I touch the puppy, it is equal to touching the owner’s heart. I admire it, which is equal to admiring its owner.
  Later, a believer took a dog and said that he would send me. I told him: “The monks in the temple are not allowed to raise pets. This is a rule.”
  ”Master, because you like dogs, you can’t install them. I saw you hug the dog last time. I like it very much. People want to be true, how do you change and change. I don’t believe you don’t like dogs, you can take this dog!”
  ”Amitabha. Last time I did it, it was for the person who came to see me with the dog.” Ah.
  For example, there are a couple who came to see me with their three-year-old child. I didn’t look at the two adults, but I greeted the children first, played with him for a while, praised him for being healthy and well-behaved; then with his father. Mom said that this child is very good, to teach him to read Buddha and worship Buddha. In doing so, I hope that the whole family can have a good relationship with the Buddha. The children are the hearts and minds of their parents. If they want to worship Buddha, they will also encourage adults to worship Buddha. From these two things, it is wrong to say that I love dogs and children. But if I say that I hate dogs and hate children, it is also wrong.
  Five implications are not me. I am not seeing myself as me. I want to use him as me. If I continue to use “I” as my starting point, I will replace him with “I” and “I” with him. Blaming him, this is a strong self-centeredness, of course, it is not “no me”; and this “I” is still very big, it is even more troublesome. This “I” hurts people first and then hurts them in turn.
  However, with him as me, this “he” has no specific object. Some parents will say, “All I do is for my children. In my life, children are the most important. As long as they are good, I don’t care.” Such parents use their children as me, so they are not “no.” I”.
  ”He” who uses him as me does not mean a specific person or group of people, nor does it have a fixed form. Even the concept is not limited to any level or type. So I learned to talk to anyone, people talk about sports, I also talk; talk about art, I also talk; that is gambling, I also talk. This is not because I like sports, art, gambling, but because the other person likes it. Talking and talking, just turn a corner, you can communicate with Dharma. In this way, the purpose of promoting the Dharma and the interests of the people is achieved.
  Q: How do Dharma and gambling work together?
  A: What kind of thing is not gambling? Life itself is a big gamble, betting at any time, but a brilliant gambler will not blindly bet on, always have more than 50% of the grasp, will let go. Entrepreneurs and politicians are also betting, but they are not using cards or scorpions. I am also betting on it. Because of my Honghua work, there is nothing I can say that I can finish it 100%. Things must be completed. In addition to personal conditions and efforts, there must be other causes. For example, we have to carry out an open-air Honghua activity. It is estimated that 50,000 people will come and prepare for half a year to one year. We must invest a lot of manpower and resources. What if I have a storm on the day of the event? For the weather, no one can control, this is to do, but at the same time it also carries risks, so I am also betting.
  Many major decisions in life, such as what department, what to enter, who to marry, whether to buy a house, etc., are gambling, both gains and losses. The Dharma teaches us to face the karma and face the impermanence of wisdom, which can make us happy in the gamble of life.
  Question: The Master mentioned that the person was rare. Why?
  A: There is no saying that a hundred birds are in Lin………?
  Q: It is better to have a bird in hand.
  A: (Clap) Yes! Many people say that “the future” has to do this and that the ideal of my life can’t be done, and the future will be done again. In fact, it is really a big dream! Now that this life is very precious, the next time after this life, can you have this body again, are you sure? This is completely unknown, so it is rare to say that it is a human being.
  Q: If I am a bird, a fish, or a dog, my life is hard to come by.
  A: That’s right, but they don’t have the ability to learn knowledge, and they don’t have the ability to learn. They can only live and die naturally. They can dedicate their meat to other animals, or they can only watch and play with others. .
  I once met a young man who thought that working hard was very hard. He saw a dog playing next to him. He said that he would envy the dog. He had to eat without having to work. He was not as hard as he was. He wanted to be a dog in his next life.
  Q: Yes, many people are depressed when they suffer from pain. They will blurt out and say, “I will not be a human being in the next life. I will be a bird and an ant.”
  A: (nodding) I told this young man that when the dog is good But if you don’t like this job, you can leave, you can choose another job, or you can study again; but this dog has no choice, are you willing to be a dog? He thought about it and said no.
  Being a person is valuable, modern people are more valuable, because modern society is gradually democratizing and liberalizing. This is a trend, and every country is different. Unlike past ancestors, it is often oppressed by politics and power; even in less democratic places. As long as you have the talent and wisdom, the same will be respected. As long as you have a strong learning ability and a lot of contributions, and hold the attitude of “take him as me”, you are combined with people all over the world; because the energy of your contribution will affect everyone in the world, even though they do not Know your name. “No self” is wise and has a positive impact. “With me” is troublesome. From what I have done, what I say, although not necessarily all will have a negative impact, but often good or bad. Mixed, not only.
  Grow yourself and achieve others
  Q: From this point of view, what do you think is the meaning of life?
  A: Constantly learn and contribute; make yourself grow and achieve others.
  Question: What is the meaning of “achievement of others”? What do you have to do to make someone else?
  A: Our focus is inseparable from the two factors of time and space. Space is the big environment in which we live, and in time, we cannot do without the past and the future. Observed by these two factors, people are not isolated; only when individual individuals exist, not only will they not progress, but also be dangerous. Do not think that only one person can enjoy the greatest freedom, but the crisis is likely to come from all directions. Many animals and insects are inhabited. This is the truth.
  In fact, when we contribute to others, the most profitable is often ourselves. It is like you are only asking for self-help when you are in danger. Even if you are safe, you don’t know what danger is waiting for you. With your power, It is difficult to cope with these hidden crises; but if you save yourself, you will save a group of people out of danger. Even if the crisis is overwhelming, you can get true security by relying on the wisdom and strength of everyone.
  In practice, some people are sloppy and feel small mistakes, no harm, no need to be responsible for this. However, over time, this irresponsible attitude will create a very bad inertia in consciousness. Once this is the case, this life will get harder and harder. On the contrary, doing more self-interested things, taking responsibility, constantly self-training and training, will also develop good inertia, then the life of such people is completely different from the former. Therefore, we must constantly train ourselves and grow ourselves. As for contribution, there is no size, and we do our best. Therefore, “achievement of others” cannot be listed and clearly defined; the mind often thinks of helping others, that is, good training for self-growth, and can achieve others.
  Question: Master just mentioned the importance of “taking him as me”, which reminds me of a story. Once upon a time there was a master. He also said that he would follow the sentient beings. Someone wanted him to stand, and he stood. Someone asked him to sit, and he sat. Although this master is only an example, for the average person, it may be difficult to imagine what kind of realm is to let go of “I”. On the other hand, the social environment is increasingly diverse and complex. There may be times when “he” will Conflict and contradiction. For example, if the opinions and expectations between parents, children, brothers and sisters and friends are different, what should I do? In the case of the Master, if there is a person who wants him to stand and one person wants him to sit at the same time, is he still sitting still?
  A: The meaning of following the sentient beings is not to follow the tide, nor to blindly obey in principle, but to weigh the weight with the scale of wisdom and compassion. Anyone who is good for himself and helps others can do it according to the instructions of the other party. Anyone who benefits others and does not harm oneself should be good at everything. Anyone who benefits greatly from others and is harmless to others. When you go all out, if you don’t benefit yourself and you don’t benefit people, you can’t do it. If you encounter someone who is unreasonable, he asks you to stand and you don’t stand, you will be hurt immediately. You better not to be stubborn, or learn the humiliation of the monk!
  Question: During this and 20 years, stimulated by various factors, Taiwan’s society has changed a lot. Many values ​​are being deconstructed and reorganized, and various opinions and opinions are mixed. One of the attitudes of life is widely popular among young people, that is, to love themselves a little more and to be better to themselves. This is probably what they think is “healthy selfishness”! Because you have made your own, and the conditions are better, you can pay; otherwise, each human body, financial resources, ability, and resources are limited. If anything is only for others, it may be overdraft at the end, and you must first smash it. Is this view inconsistent with “five implications and non-self”?
  A: Most of this thought is influenced by Westerners. Chinese Confucianism traditionally talks about benevolence, love, loyalty, forgiveness, and responsibility. The Western value system is mostly based on self. In acting, they must consider rights and obligations. I am a taxpayer, so what good is this for me. The successive presidents of the United States also often said that they must assist third world countries for the long-term interests of the United States. Although things were taken out to other countries, they ended up in the United States. Therefore, although starting from the self, it is ultimately beneficial to individuals and communities, countries, and even the international community. This is their cultural model.
  Is this wrong? Not quite, there is a reason for it. Yang Zhu, an ancient Chinese thinker, said that pulling a hair for the benefit of the world. Seemingly selfish, but Yang Zhu said that if everyone manages themselves and takes care of them, then who else in the world needs help from others? Just as Buddhism speaks of liberation and becoming a Buddha, it is also a self-interest. It is hoped that it will be enlightened by practice. It is said that it is self-interested, self-motivated and human. The principle and logic are correct. The problem is that many people believe that the first two words of the phrase “self-living” and the first two words follow the meaning of the latter two.
  Modern society is an economy and a consumer society. Occasionally, I buy good clothes, eat big meals, and go out for a trip. This is leisure. Just like working for five days, I have to rest for one or two days. Life needs to be adjusted. Relieve stress, let the children rejoice, and the family is happy. However, if you have a swollen face and a fat man, you must have something for you. It is not good for these leisure and consumption to make ends meet. Too much emphasis on self-sensory entertainment or only to emphasize yourself, forgetting to do so for dedication. It was reversed. Just like we sleep, it is to restore physical strength, let the heart, brain rest, precipitate, digest, and continue tomorrow’s work, can not see sleep as an end, it is just a method.
  Now we advocate using him as me and “he” as the center. In order to benefit him, I must continue to study. In this way, I have grown up myself. This is the reason that “the benefit is self-interest”. We observe each person’s learning process. During the period of two to three years old, there is a very strong self-centered time. It is even strong enough to command parents, influence the working hours of the family, etc. Parents are “disobedient”. I cried and got angry.
  After that, from the various learning channels, the children gradually grew up, accompanied by the process of making “I” smaller, constantly from the very self, and then to experience the self of others, reflect on themselves, check themselves, enrich themselves, and grow themselves.
  I am also like this. I am learning to sell now; watching art exhibitions, understanding computers, listening to other people’s introductions to the Internet, and then integrating into my own ideological system, and then talking to people is easy to fit, not to be out of touch with society. I said that I am like a delivery station. If people need anything, I will go to school (incoming) and then distribute it to people. What am I learning? Of course, it is guided and regulated by Buddhist thoughts. I will not learn to harm a group of sentient beings to help another group of beings. Therefore, each person’s learning direction should have a thought guide and a scope.
  Q: In the process of people’s growth, there is indeed a level of learning from having me to being without me. At the same time, I also learn how to think independently and not to think about it. If you disagree with people in society, this situation is also very common in your career. Sometimes, I have a disagreement with my boss or my colleagues, and even conflicts. Is there a me, or no me?
  A: This is also because of people and from time to time. If it is because of egocentricity, personal good and evil, and interest, it will cause me to worry. The relative lack of me is not without thought, no opinion, no independent thinking ability; but not with one’s own joys and sorrows, the loss of gains and losses and people care. In the workplace, you are standing in the position of the company and suggesting methods, strategies, and steps that you think are better. That is for him. Of course, you should give your opinion and let everyone refer to it. As for whether it is adopted, you don’t have to I care too much and worry.
  Question: The twentieth century is a hundred years since the great leap forward of democracy and economic development. This foundation has laid a long-term evolution in the fields of military, space, medicine, biochemistry and computer science. Now, we even see new discoveries in genetic engineering at three days, and the realization of replicating seems to be close at hand, and it has caused extensive discussion and debate. The Master has just mentioned that most of the world’s actions are mostly good and bad, because you can’t do it without me. As a scientist, he knows that although his invention can benefit mankind, it will also lead to no small negative effects. Although it is altruistic, it may also hurt; like copying people, should it be done? You just said that there is no law in Dharma. There is no absolute right or wrong, good or bad. Is this the same?
  A: The role play of each job is different; the role of the scientist is to find out the phenomenon of the small body and the external body (the earth and the universe), and then use it. This is their responsibility. The invention itself is not wrong. As for the side effects it may induce, it is necessary to rely on wise people to prevent it, and prepare for it in advance from political, legal, religious, economic, and philosophical aspects.
  Modern copying technology has successfully replicated animals such as cows, sheep, monkeys, etc. Although the law still does not allow copying of people, it is a matter of time, and the legal defense will be loosened sooner or later. At this stage, technically, there are still some problems in replicating people; for example, taking cells from people in their fifties and 60s to copy them, the baby born in the world, after a few years, although still a child’s mentality, its physiology The situation is already old in the 50s and 60s. This is a very painful thing. This has not been overcome, but it should also be a matter of time.
  In my opinion, by the end of the 21st century, there may be a certain number of replicas on Earth. The development of this kind of technology will of course have an impact on the value system, legal responsibility and ethical principles of the existing society. But like the world’s more than 95% of the population (national) security computer Y2K crisis, as long as you know the problem, gather the wisdom of the people to solve, you can grasp the situation, not to chaos. Some questions caused by copying people, such as the definition of parents? Also, as long as a person takes a little cell, he can copy a lot of people. Just like Sun Wukong, if you pull a hair and blow it, you will change countless little monkeys. What about it? So some legal and ethical norms are needed.
  Q: Is it really horrible at that time?
  A: (shaking his head) that is not necessarily. Any situation that has not yet occurred, if it is not idealized, is to imagine it as terrible and unnecessary.

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