About Spiritual Cultivation


11/05/2024 | About Spiritual Cultivation    
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Master Jun Hong Lu: There are four types of speech we should abstain from because it will help prevent missteps in life. You must be aware that there are four types of unwholesome speech and be very careful so that you avoid committing them at all costs.

1. Do not indulge in judging others or slander classical scriptures. These are considered unwholesome speech. Do not recklessly make such remarks.

2. Do not have contempt for Theravada Buddhism just because you honour Mahayana Buddhism.

Do not think that Theravada Buddhism is inferior just because it places more emphasis on self-practice and personal well being, unlike Mahayana Buddhism that focuses on helping sentient beings. Such statements are prohibited, and they are considered a very serious negative karma of speech.

Don’t talk the talk, but walk the walk! Do not despise others, not even in your thoughts. Instead, try to actively guide others and encourage them to practise Mahayana Buddhism with us.

Theravada tradition lays the foundation for Mahayana Buddhism – we should help ourselves before we can help deliver others. The essence of Theravada Buddhism is to help oneself, that is, by being disciplined and diligent in one’s spiritual cultivation.

On the other hand, helping sentient beings with predestined affinities, and establishing extensive positive affinities are integral parts of Mahayana Buddhism. That said, we should lay our spiritual foundation based on Theravada Buddhism and make good use of the teachings of Mahayana Buddhism to become a Bodhisattva.

3. Do not speak too highly of someone; neither should you be too critical of anyone. When you go overboard with your praises, for example, you say “You are simply awesome!”, you may tend to sound mushy and fake. You should also not speak ill of others. Many people are extreme in their judgement – they either think very highly of someone or despise them. We must overcome this kind of shortcoming.

Ensure that your praises are well-founded – do not speak with tongue in cheek. Also, be sure to draw a clear line between good and evil. Be brave to stand up against evil deeds and evil people; praise highly and take delight in the virtuous deeds of others.

4. Do not complain or resent.

Do not allow complaining to become a habit as doing so will result in the accumulation of “Yin” (negative) energy. Buddhist practitioners should not allow habitual sentiments like, “I hate this!” or “This is so irritating!” or to persistently complain about things around them.

If you are always in the company of such a person, you will give rise to a lot of dissatisfaction and enmity, while distancing yourself from compassion and modesty. Be equanimous in dealing with others, and do not hold on to any resentments. You need to transform your hate into affection.

Do not always blame, be jealous, doubt or be suspicious of others as all these would only bring sufferings upon yourself.

These are the four aspects of verbal karma that Bodhisattva wishes that we would always be mindful of, it is referred to as: “Cultivation of a peaceful mind through the serenity of speech”.

Source: Master Jun Hong Lu’s Public Talk, Taipei, Taiwan, 5 October 2016

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