Author Topic: Footprints on the Journey: Being Fearful - Khenpo Sodargye  (Read 507 times)

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Footprints on the Journey: Being Fearful - Khenpo Sodargye
« on: March 27, 2016, 08:53:21 am »


Being Fearful

As society progresses, we are privileged to enjoy tremendous material well being resulting from science and technology. But bad influence is part and parcel of modernization. Once getting jumbled in and staying on, the evil force becomes a putrid, fermenting thing giving off nauseating odors. It demolishes the peacefulness we once knew and delivers destructive blows to old traditions.

The Utopian life described as “no one pockets anything found on the road, nor is there a need to lock the door at night” has been reduced to a fairy tale these days. People are subject to horrific attacks at any time and any place. We fear brigands by day and burglars by night. Sitting at home, we are terrified; going out, we are scared. Security fences like birdcages are erected around the balconies of every household for protection, yet they have no power to mitigate people’s fearful mindsets.

After 9•11, many countries in the world have attempted various means of fatally cracking down on terrorist activities, but their outcomes are anything but effective.

A bestseller in the United States, the book Profile of a Terrorist Network revealed that the American government, for the sake of peace keeping and saving innocent lives, had offered a reward of $25 million for tips regarding Osama Bin Laden’s whereabouts. The offer also promised total privacy for the tipster as well as relocation assistance, etc. Regardless of the rich reward, no progress has come about so far.

In A Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life, it says:

Wicked beings are as unending as space; they cannot possibly all be subdued.
But when the mental attitude of anger is slain, slain is every enemy.

Trying to conquer all the enemies in the world without first overcoming one’s own mind is nothing but wishful thinking!

In one of his past lives, Buddha Shakyamuni was reborn as a Brahmin. During one of his gatherings with a snake, a pigeon, a crow, and a beast, the beast said: “Horror is the worst suffering.” The crow said: “Hunger is the worst suffering.” The snake said: “Hatred is the worst suffering.” The pigeon said: “Avarice is the worst suffering.” The Brahmin then taught them how to eradicate these four worst sufferings: “The root cause of suffering is ignorance. To be free from suffering, one must uphold the five precepts.” The snake, pigeon, crow, and beast all followed the instruction and were reborn as humans; they eventually attained liberation through practice.

In fact, the dwellings of spiritual seekers through the ages, whether set in rocky caves or by mountain streams, were all auspicious locations devoid of terror and fear. The Zen master Shiwu Qing-gong of the Yuan Dynasty retreated to a place where no human had ever set foot for miles around. He practiced unremittingly in three stone huts located near rocky boulders; his twig door was never locked, as there was no one else around. He wrote:

Fallen yellow leaves float away freely in the stream,
White fluffy clouds sail toward the mountains.
The plain hut of three stone caves by the cliff is my dwelling,
Its twig double door is always left open all day long.

How easygoing and carefree was his mind, I am totally envious!


18th of January, Year of RenWu
March 2, 2002

 


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