Most Detrimental to Merit and Blessings: Complaining and Blaming Others
Master Lianchi stated in his writing: “On Self-Improvement”:
Complaining about fate and blaming others is the greatest detriment to one’s merit and blessings. Each instance reduces the merit of three good deeds.
When the fifth Patriarch of Zen Buddhism told us "One should develop a mind which does not abide in anything”
The sixth Patriarch Huineng had a sudden realization and attained enlightenment: “All things come from one’s own Buddha nature.” He then composed a Gatha:
Who would have thought that our Buddha nature is intrinsically pure!
Who would have thought that our Buddha nature is free from birth and death!
Who would have thought that our Buddha nature is intrinsically complete!
Who would have thought that our Buddha nature is inherently unshakable!
Who would have thought that our Buddha nature can manifest all phenomena!
“Who would have thought” represents a sense of surprise.
What did he suddenly realize?
He realized that all the Buddhas, Buddha lands, and sentient beings in all the worlds of the trichiliocosm, including himself and all things imaginable and unimaginable, are all manifestations of their Buddha nature.
Because I am what I am, I have the parents I do;
Because I am what I am, I have the spouse I do;
Because I am what I am, I have the children, friends, subordinates, bosses, and strangers I do;
Because I am what I am, I encounter the people, events, and things I do.
When we complain about our relatives and the people, events, and the things we encounter, have we sought to identify our own shortcomings and correct them?
The parents, spouse, children, subordinates, and bosses we encounter are reflections of ourselves.
That is to say, a bad wife, bad children, bad parents, bad friends, bad strangers, and bad bosses are all reflections of ourselves. Blaming others is blaming ourselves; being dissatisfied with others is being dissatisfied with ourselves.
What we are is what our world is, and what the people in our world are.
(Translated by the Pure Land School Translation Team;
edited by Householder Fojin)
Faith in, and acceptance of, Amitabha’s deliverance
Single-minded recitation of Amitabha’s name
Aspiration to rebirth in Amitabha’s Pure Land
Comprehensive deliverance of all sentient beings