Highlights of Online Dharma Teachings (Ep. 5-8)

From left to right: Ven. Chueh Fan, Ven. Jue Qian, Ven. Zhi Xing, and Ven. Miao Zang

It has been another month of insightful Dharma talks by FGS venerables! Listening is only the first step of practice–contemplation and practice comes next. Let’s recap the highlights of each episode.

Dharma Talk 5

Topic: Taking A Break: Where is My Inner Power and Inner Peace?
Speaker: Venerable Chueh Fan

How can we give others comfort and safety during this time of crisis? The answer lies within us. This week, Venerable Chueh Fan discusses how to discover our inner power and gain inner peace.

Excerpt from Dharma Teaching:

Impermanence means we will not always gain nor always lose. Life will not be all pluses or all minuses. It takes our wisdom, patience, decisiveness, and skills to gain more pluses and have fewer minuses.

When we experience pluses we are naturally happy, but we need not be troubled by minuses. Instead of spending time calculating our gains and losses, or pluses and minuses, we should be courageous, and strengthen our will to accept the lessons of a setback. Moreover, in living with minuses, we should realize that there will be days of pluses in the future, and life is not without hope.

Dharma Talk 6

Topic: Seeing Impermanence Through COVID-19
Speaker: Venerable Jue Qian

As fear and anxiety grows, contemplate instead on the Three Dharma Seals. This week, listen to Venerable Jue Qian on a discussion of impermanence. Impermanence should not be feared; instead, it is an inspiration to cherish everything around us.

Excerpt from Dharma Teaching:

According to Venerable Master Hsing Yun, understanding the first Dharma Seal (All things are impermanent) is important because once we recognize the gravity of life and the impermanence of all beings, we will be even more motivated to delve deeper into the truth of Buddhism. Impermanence should not be feared, rather, it should inspire us to appreciate our time on earth. We should understand that as difficult as life may be, we should always try to live a good life.

Dharma Talk 7

Topic: What is True Happiness?
Speaker: Venerable Zhi Xing

What is true happiness? Where can we find it? This week, Venerable Zhi Xing discusses four ways to discover happiness. True happiness is sustainable—because it comes from within.

Excerpt from Dharma Teaching

This then begs the question of what are we seeking within our mind to gain happiness? In another word, how do we seek true happiness?

First, we should have gratitude. In positive psychology research, researchers discovered that gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships. As Venerable Master Hsing Yun said, “A grateful life is a happy life. Gratitude is the source of happiness.”

Second, we should learn to let go of our attachments and desires because the Buddha told us that desires is the source of suffering.

Third, we should understand that everything will come to pass. Whether it is a joyous occurrences or something that gives us hardship and difficulties, they will all come to pass.

Last, we should learn to give. Venerable Master Hsing Yun said, that the wealthiest person is one who gives.

Dharma Talk 8

Topic: Mindlessness or Mindfulness? It’s Our Call
Speaker: Venerable Miao Zang

Have you ever find yourself forgetting what you want to do when walking down a corridor? Have you ever let your mind run on autopilot and ended up driving to the wrong destination? This week, Venerable Miao Zang discuss how being mindless impact our lives, and how we can remedy mindlessness with mindfulness. After all, the choice is in our hands.

Excerpt from Dharma teaching:

The practice of mindfulness in our everyday life is crucial. We will be more aware of our actions, words and thoughts. When we are more aware and mindful, we will not be emotionally influenced and habitually driven. We will have more wholesome conducts, making sure what we do and say are being mindful towards the welfare of others. Remember, there is no reset button in our life. All actions will have effects influencing others in a direct or indirect manner. Thus, mindful or mindless, it is our call.