Monday, June 30, 2008

It's all in your mind

Hi, all you good people. Thank you for visiting this blog. From now onwards, instead of posting question and comment on separate days, I shall publish the question together with my comments in one post.

Question: (unedited)

I'm beginning to learn more about Buddhism.I've met people who sought refuge from both Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism.On many of my experiences with them, I found that when they chant with faith, many of their sufferings will lessen and dissolved over a period of time.Some practise Goka Sakkai where there are their on chanting.What do you think of these chantings?

My Comment:
Actually,you have already answered your own question when you wrote "I found that they chanted with faith, much of their sufferings would lessen and dissolve over a period of time". It is this faith in them that they themselves solve their own problems. It is all in the mind!

Buddhism is a very much misunderstood "religion". Let us now go to the basics. "Buddhism" means the teachings of the Buddha---the historic Buddha whose name was Gotama. To study Buddhism, it is therefor logical and essential that we study the teachings of Gotama, the Buddha. "Buddha" is the term used to describe a person who is fully enlightened, that is, he who knows everything that is to be known in this universe. About 2500 years ago, the Buddha gained realization of the truth of the nature of this "life" and this "universe". He discovered that everything existed in a flux, forever changing. Things that were forever changing could not last forever in a permanent state. There was always this ceaseless cycle of birth, growth, decay, and death. This was very unsatisfactory.

He discovered that the cause of this repeated cycle was of our own doing. Because of our desire to exist, we were all the time being attracted to be reborn .....again and again. He further realized that there was a way out to stop this repeated cycle. If we could eliminate our desire to exist, then we would not become part of this rebirth cycle. In order to achieve this objective, the Buddha prescribed a system of personal practice which we could undertake in our daily lives. He pointed out that the culprit of all our woes and problems was the mind. If we could control this mind, then our problems would be solved. For most of us, we are slaves of our own minds. We react and succumb to the external stimuli. Pleasurable stimulus creates happiness, pleasure, and enjoyment. Miserable stimulus causes unhappiness, resentment, and sorrow. We become slaves of these pleasures and sorrows. The more nice things we have, the more we want. When problems befall us, we complain; and when more problems aggravate our lives, we become unhappy, resentful, miserable, and in the end, we begin to hate others, to hate ourselves, hating everything and everyone. The outcome will be; we hurt others as well as ourselves.

As a practicing Buddhist, a person should review the following:

1) To come to terms with this world which is not perfect. Therefore, there cannot be perfection.
2)To realize that the mind is the source of our problems.

3)To take steps to understand this mind; to calm and train this mind through the practice of contemplation.

4)To become more skilful in our lifestyle, in thoughts, speech, and actions.

5)To avoid evil, to do good, and to train the mind.

6)To have faith that good and wholesome actions will bring forth good and wholesome results, as assured by the Buddha.

7)To understand that the Buddha's message of compassion and goodwill are universal values which trancends race, nations, space, and time.

1 comment:

Nikhil said...


Yes it is all in the mind.

And the way to control the mind is through the practice of meditation. There are many skillful means in Buddhism to calm the mind.

Sogyal Rinpoche offers the following teaching as being the essence of the teaching of Buddhism

Commit not a single unwholesome action,
Cultivate a wealth of virtue,
To tame this mind of ours,
This is the teaching of all the Buddhas.

For a simple yet powerful method to tame the mind and be happier please visit



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