By Dharma Master T’ai-Hsu: The Practice of Bodhisattva Dharma | Practicing Goodness And Generosity, Increasing Bliss And Dispelling Calamities

Faith or confidence in the Three Precious Ones is extremely wholesome because synonymous with this confidence is the desire to practice loving-kindness and perform acts of goodness. According to the Buddha’s Teaching, to respect, to make offerings towards, and to contribute to the happiness and welfare of all sentient beings are the primary field in which to sow the seeds of bliss in this world. Building temples or creating statues of religious personalities, etc., can lead to bliss and wisdom and is termed the field of reverence. Offering devotion, respect and gratitude to one’s parents and teachers due to the fact that they are one’s benefactors is termed the field of grace. We should do our best for the poverty-stricken, the ill, old, weak and disabled, etc., because they have fallen into a woeful state of existence. Therefore, they are deserving of our compassion. Even if we, ourselves, were to fall into states of woe and calamity, should we be armed with our practice of generosity and purity of heart, we would then be able to transform these situations into more fortunate ones.

Natural disasters and catastrophes arise simply as a response to evil minds and unwholesome activities on the part of many living beings. If human beings were to determine to use wholesome mind and pure action in all circumstances, then bliss and happiness would follow naturally. All people want a life free from illness and calamity and full of happiness. To expect a life of happiness without performing wholesome and beneficial activities is not a legitimate expectation. If one does not sow the appropriate seeds, one will surely not reap the desired response or result. The novice Bodhisattva should develop a storehouse of skillful activity and virtue in order to increase the happiness of all sentient beings.

[ Next: Taking The Refuge Of Right Faith ]

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Source: Young Men’s Buddhist Association of America

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