My fellow Buddhist friends,I will continue to speak on Buddhism in Plain Terms today.

We should understand that as Buddhists, our mood reflects a kind of feeling. While good mood makes us feel good, bad mood makes us feel lousy.

However, life is not all about the mood we are in, at times our mood can dictate a major part of our life. When we are in a good mood, everything seems rosy. Conversely, bad moods gets our minds messed up. We should not let our mood get the better of us in life. Hence, a Buddhist who has the wisdom to practise diligently understands that, oftentimes, they are not defeated by others, but rather by their own mood. We should not allow our bad mood to undermine our dignity or image as Buddhist practitioners.

Sometimes when you get in a bad mood, you are allowing others to see the limitations in you. It erodes your ability, interrupts your line of thoughts and eventually, makes you suffer from self-defeat. So for a wise person, a Buddhist practitioner, they are able to control their mood well, they understand the circumstances and the position they are in, and what they should say all the time. They are also clear in how to handle a matter no matter they are in a good mood or a bad mood.  In this way, you are able to take charge of your own emotions and you shall find peace in all aspects of your life.

In fact, life is never bitter originally, our endless desires are what makes it bitter.  Take a look: we want this today and that tomorrow, and the day after tomorrow, we need something else. Your heart grows weary with your reluctance to let go of too many things. Our life is not meant to be bitter, it is our heart that is infected with bitterness from our pursuit of the material desires in this world.  Our life is reduced to a pursuit of these desires, it becomes a process of constantly increasing and reducing our desires. When your desire in this world increases, so does your vexations and distress.  Conversely, when we slowly let go of these desires, we will gradually realise the truth of life – that is suffering, emptiness and impermanence.

We came to this world and we went through so much suffering in life. In the end, when we leave this life, what we have left is just emptiness. We brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it.  Nothing in this world is permanent, no word that is eternal, no thought that is long-lived, no action that is enduring. Be it from the materialistic or spiritual aspect, we can own nothing. Hence, to have an in-depth understanding about the meaning of life is to understand the truth of suffering, emptiness and impermanence.

We have to learn to let go, renounce and to return to simplicity. Think back  to how adorable we used to be when we were young. We used to offer our food to our uncles, aunties or brothers and sisters first, ”I don’t need this”, “Let the sister have it, let the brother have it”.  Ironically, as we grow older, our desires also grow with us.  We get used to fighting with others over things, we compete and contend and we argue over the most trivial things. This is the life we live, we have forgotten about our inherent quality and our true self. We need to return to this intrinsic character of ours, and let go of our desires in life.

BHFF 11: Illuminating and Seeing the Emptiness of the Five Aggregates (1/3)