Living Wisdom


The Magic Key to Soothe Pressure

I have a friend whose relative was heavily in debt and escaped overseas. My friend stayed in Taiwan. However, because he cosigned with his relative in financial dealings, the debt-holder confiscated all his savings and family belongings. My friend was also barred from leaving the country. Because his company and house were taken away, he had to work for somebody else. But every time my friend found employment, the debt-holder would find out where he was working and made him use his salary to pay his debts.

He later came to me to air his grievance, "Master, my life has come to a dead end. That man is too detestable; I want to kill him and then commit suicide." I advised him, "If you kill him, you will have killed a man; if you then commit suicide, you are responsible for two lives." He thought this way because he thought that he had no way out - he would be paying off his debts for his entire life. But he was taken in by his friends and did not have to worry about where his next meal was coming from. I pointed out to him that this alone was good fortune. At the same time, I tried to enlighten him with the "four fields for cultivating peace": mind, body, family and activity. His problems are still not resolved, but he has lived peacefully for many years.

Some people are more adept in soothing pressures. They allow their brain to start anew after filtering events or they have a little chat with wise friends and jointly arrive at a resolution. There are even some who will voice their grievances to each other and go for a drink together to boost their courage. Their pressures will be released in this way. However, this is only a form of poison to one's spirit. After we awaken from the tipsy feeling, the pressure returns.

The best way to deal with this is to take the advice of Buddhism. We should not resist pressure, but should lower it, to turn it into dust and ashes. Like Chinese shadow boxing's "getting a thousand gold coins for four liang," using meager strength can naturally dissolve the weight of a hundred kilos. "Use profundity to deal with reality; use nothingness to deal with existence." If we are in a stage of profundity and nothingness and our opponent is in a stage of reality and existence, the latter cannot apply its strength. But how do we do this in practice?

We have to face it, accept it, deal with it and let it go. No matter what the circumstances, we must confront them; no matter what the pressures, situations and crises, we must not evade them. We have to accept that these things happen and not pretend it's not happening. Moreover, we have to utilize our own resources, including our wisdom, experience, skills, physical capability, time, and wealth, as well as the resources of the social and natural environments to deal with it. Some people have an abundance of resources while other people's are scarce. There are problems that can be solved but still exist after being solved. Even if we can't solve a problem, we can at least keep our lives intact. Therefore, we must learn to let it go and not take it to heart. Furthermore, we should not be dejected, or feel that we cannot raise our heads and have to spend our lives in perpetual regret.

As for the working class, they commonly confront job pressure. In order to soothe these tensions, they can learn the basic steps of meditation. We can sit down for about five to ten minutes, give our heads a moment to filter events and then deal with troublesome situations. When we are anxious, we can make errors easily. At this time, quiet meditation is the magic key. We can experience breathing in and out for five minutes. This is not true Buddhist meditation but is still highly beneficial to us. At the same time, we should let go and try not to think about the dead ends of our lives when the pressure is monumental. It is not advisable to think that we are done for, and we should avoid endless calculations. In this way, our pressures can be soothed.

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