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Volume 6 no 1

It's A Blissful Life

Venerable Shen-Kai noted that since time immemorial the Buddha-dharma has often been spoken in ways that people find it difficult to relate to their lives, giving rise to an air of mystery or subtleness. So much so that the general public perceives Buddhism to be overly profound on one hand or mere superstition on the other. As a result some people are afraid to learn about it. The general public is, therefore, not able to fully benefit from it. In view of this, the Venerable dedicated his life to bring the Buddha's teachings into people's lives as a blissful culture for humanity. Here, practitioners of Jen Chen Buddhism share first-hand encounters where the principles of Buddhism are the source to a blissful life.

Sparks and Stars

Strolling in the park one day, I saw an army of ants speeding up and down in what appears to be a major 'ants highway'. They were silent and busy, oblivious to the breeze and the shuffling of the leaves and other forms of life around them. Oblivious too, to my presence, a giant in comparison with their size, looking down at them. Their speeding up and down the 'highway' didn't seem to have any purpose. They, and whatever it is that they were busy with, all seem so insignificant. Yet, every morning I join the thousands of motorists' speeding down the highway to the office and then join them again later in the evening to speed home. I wouldn't have been anything more than an 'ant' speeding up and down an 'ants highway' to some other bigger form of life. They would have wondered about the purpose of all these haste like I did with the busy ants. How so insignificant!

Under a clear evening sky one sees the countless stars described by the familiar nursery rhythm "Twinkle, twinkle little stars". They have adorned the night sky since time immemorial. My father pointed them out to me when I was a boy. His father probably did the same to him. I did the same to my children, as soon as they became aware of their surroundings. They will most probably do the same when their time comes. These stars continue to 'twinkle like diamonds in the sky', but my father, my grandpa and the generations of people before them are long gone. Human beings are as short-lived as sparks are in comparison with stars. We are just so impermanent, small and insignificant. When I see myself in such likes, I don't have problems anymore. I just want to get on and live a better day.

With observations as real as these, I aspire to rationalise more to seek the more meaningful things of life, rather than being too concerned with the race that eventually leads us to nowhere. Like a spark, I am only transient, small and very insignificant after all. If I can see through and let go, find time to forgive and forget, to give, to love and be merry, then even when it is time for the spark to be extinguished, I can at least say that mine was a life well lived.


Copyright 2002.Jen Chen Buddhism Centre