In our short life journey to this world, what do you actually want to possess?

Why do you want to shoulder so much burden? Once you shoulder the burden. It causes so much suffering. It’s so depressing. It’s so worrisome. You’re so lonely. Such is life, there is so much burden to bear. Where can happiness be found? Where is pain? The moment you breathe your last breath, where is pain and where is happiness?

You are fully aware that everything is unreal and impermanent. When there is no perception in your mind, you won’t feel anything anymore. The perception in their mind simply don’t exist when people are about to pass away.  Only before you depart this world and you get enlightened, can you truly understand that our life is unreal and paradoxical.  People feel as though they were dead even when they are alive.  Our life seems to exist but not quite so. People’s minds are intriguing. Can you see that? Someone appeared to have a good mood and you spoke to him. Another person said to you “Hey, I heard he was upset”. “No, he didn’t seem unhappy”. “I just spoke to him and he seemed happy”. “How come he got upset after a short while?” Life is full of surprises. Why do I say so? You own something now and lose it the next minute. You find happiness at the current moment. Soon the happiness is gone. You feel sad all of a sudden. Not long later, the sadness is gone. We live between gain and loss, between making a choice and having no choice, between sorrow and joy. People are living a life filled with impermanence.

Therefore, people’s mindset changes all the time, it can change from peace to panic easily due to the impact brought by our surroundings. It is very difficult for me to try and help people. I always give guidance on mental health to many Buddhist practitioners. I help free them from their afflictions. I advise them to utilise the Bodhisattva’s wisdom to resolve the vexations in their mind. After the conversation, they said, “Master, I have straightened out my thoughts”. “I’m happy now. I have figured things out”. “I’ll listen to Master’s advice and correct my shortcomings”.  The next day, ”Oh, how come I’m back to my old self again?” It is always easier said than done, the concept of impermanence prevails.

I have told you this before. A couple had been quarrelling for years. In the end, they made up their mind to file for divorce. “Let’s go to get it done”. “There’s no end to our arguments”. “Let’s go to the court together and file for divorce”.  In the countryside, the court was nearby. It’s only a short walking distance. In those days, there was no public transport. They were walking to the court. They arrived by a pond which obstructed their path. The husband said, “I’ll carry you on my back”. The wife had no choice as she didn’t want her shoes to get wet. Then the husband carried her on his back and waded through the water to the other side. The pond became deeper after heavy rain. The husband put the wife down after crossing the pond. The wife said, “My dear, let’s go back, I still appreciate you”.

This is what our life is like. It is impermanent and keeps changing. It never stops changing. We’ll be hurt if things keep changing. Think about this. The dishes we ate may taste too salty or plain. When you find a dish to be too salty, you add some sugar. Then it tastes too sweet, you add some salt.  You add some sugar again, then a bit more salt. After a few times, the dish becomes “salt and pepper”.  This is what we are like. Our relationship works the same way.  So does our mentality. It is most important to live in the present. The happiness you feel at the present moment is real happiness. The pain you suffer right now is real pain. The Bodhisattva wants us to know that human beings are amazing. Sometimes they are anxious, sometimes they are peaceful. They are impacted by the surrounding environment.

People can get sick any time. This is all because of external influences. If you get sick all the time, it means you are impacted by the external environment. Think about how much you are impacted by a few words said by others.  Your emotions can fluctuate greatly. Think about how much you are influenced by the surrounding environment which could easily stir you up. When your mind is stirred up, your desire is aroused, ”Wow, go shopping now”.  “This is good stuff, very cheap!” “The price will go up in the future”. Then you go and buy it. This is how the carrier of desire comes into effect. After this, within this carrier, you will work tirelessly and find every means to satisfy your desire. In the end, you’ll be trapped by your desire. I have been talking about Dharma for an hour now. How time flies! I hope you have enjoyed it. Time goes fast when you are happy. If I ask you to sit quietly, it is like a punishment to you if you can’t sit still.  If you can sit still and remain calm, it is a form of meditation. Do you know you are practising Zen meditation now? Meditation requires you to calm your mind and to clear all thoughts.  You have been listening to my Dharma talk for an hour.  Your mind is empty. Therefore, time went fast. If you keep thinking about things that are troubling you, about your work, your child, your family as well as things that you want to buy.  Your mind can never be at peace. If you can’t sit quietly, you can’t practise meditation very well. What do you think meditation is? If you can sit still and cultivate your mind, it’s called Zen meditation. If you can calm your mind, you will attain meditative concentration. At the end of your meditative concentration, you’ll obtain meditative wisdom—The Bodhisattva’s meditative wisdom.

BHFF 10: Remove the carrier of desires (2/3)