Please Cherish Your Heart
The ancients said, "Do not look at what is contrary to propriety; do not listen to what is contrary to propriety; do not speak what is contrary to propriety". This makes a lot of sense.
We should listen to what brings us joy and peace and benefits our physical and mental health. If what you hear annoys you, then it is gossipy and you must immediately dismiss it.
The third of the “Eight Good Practices for Mind Cultivation” is observing your mind to eradicate delusions:
I endeavor to always observe my mind . When a troubling thought first arises, and it is about to harm me and others, I shall end it at once.
We don't need to make a phone call and tell everyone about our thoughts because we know immediately when they arise. Everyone knows what’s on their mind once a thought arises, whether it is distressing or happy, loving or resentful. Just like our bodies, you will scratch where it itches, rub where it hurts, and massage where it feels sore. You take action immediately; it's impossible to ignore these feelings.
When our minds are troubled, we must give them tender love and care. Our minds are like "children," small babies that are very tender. Don’t hurt them or expose them to the wind. Well looked after, they will give you joy and great blessing. If they are hurt, they will release poisonous gas and make you unhappy.
"When a troubling thought first arises" - When we feel an unpleasant emotion has arisen in our mind, beware. It is a defilement that will hurt us. If you are unaware and oblivious to it, it will hurt others too. You must stop it immediately or change your thought or recite the Buddha's name. Or, when you are about to have a heated argument with someone, you should immediately step back. Be alive to such a situation.
From my observation, we are all hurting ourselves. I call it self-mutilation of our minds. We often dwell over a certain experience, wallowing in negative emotions, which is very unhealthy.
Some of us have studied Buddhism for a long time, especially those who learn our Pure Land Dharma. We have no reason not to be happy, and should not be bitter towards others as if they are our worst enemies because we will all die soon. Will dying people haggle with others? As the saying goes, “a dying person has only good things to say”.
We live in this world to cultivate good karmic connections with everyone.
(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