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Make Every Day a Sunny Day
—My Philosophy of Life

林瑞光寫於聖荷西 1997年6月27日 By Rui-guang Lin at San Jose, June 27, 1997
沙彌尼近廣師 英譯 English translation by Shramanerika Jin Gwang





Learning Buddhism doesn’t mean one reads sutras and commentaries all day, and then calls oneself a Buddhist. Everyone knows, of course, that it’s most important to cultivate in our daily lives. If in your daily life you fail to be compassionate and treat all living beings equally, or maybe you even look down upon and despise unsightly living beings, then you’re wrong. All Buddhadharma begins with kindness and compassion. To illumine the heart of compassion, to spread kindness and compassion, you must keep your temper, treat others warmly, and perceive the world with a tender heart.

I have a big family with about 21 members. We see each other nearly every day; thus one of the most important issues for me in my daily life is how to cultivate and study Buddhism in a big family. As it is said, “One variety of rice sustains a hundred varieties of people.” Since I’m an elder I deal with many irritating concerns. How can I maintain kindness and compassion in those situations? I believe I practice kindness and compassion when I remain unprovoked in infuriating situations! I believe I practice kindness and compassion when I should be hateful yet remain unresentful! I believe I practice kindness and compassion when I should complain yet remain uncomplaining! I believe I practice kindness and compassion too when I am patient! Kindness and compassion eradicate all negative emotions; it helps me become more softhearted, more embracing and warmer than before.

Furthermore, we must use wisdom to stabilize and focus the mind and spirit so that we’ll possess a clear and pure heart. My family owns a business, and I feel that if we lack a pure and clear heart, we’ll easily be corrupted into becoming crafty business people. Wisdom means not being depressed when you shouldn’t. Wisdom means not hesitating when you shouldn’t. Wisdom also means not doubting when you shouldn’t. Wisdom can even mean to be self-effacing and willingly make sacrifices. Wisdom lets me face my habits courageously and unify and harmonize my mind’s states. Wisdom is also to follow the six great principles of the Sagely City of Ten Thousand Buddhas: not to fight, not to be greedy, not to seek, not to be selfish, not to pursue personal advantage, and not to lie. My principle is that if you want it, I’ll give it to you; I will have my own heaven and earth. Isn’t there a saying in Chinese, “There is sky above each and every person’s head”? Hence, I want my sky to always be “clear and sunny for ten thousand miles, the light of the sun shining everywhere.”

With a pure and clear mind, you can take a moment to slow down your steps, look at flowers and trees and listen to the birds sing. Take a moment to peer out the window, watch the legion of stars, gaze at the clear moon and take a walk in nature. Take a moment to relax yourself, extend your hands and pray for this world of ours. Take a moment to open your heart and make a wish, anticipating that your beautiful and wholesome thoughts, your quiet contemplations, will extend far and wide. Relax your heartstrings and arouse your compassion; value everything that you own. Treasure the time that you spend with every member of this big family.


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