Devotion to Both Family and Career
As long as we devote ourselves wholeheartedly to both family and career, we can certainly succeed in both realm.
When guiding people in Chan practice I often remind everyone to "Live in the present. The Buddha is in the present." That means that we should work hard and be at peace, right here and now. Knowing that taking one firm step at a time, rather than taking hasty, shaky steps, is the wise thing to do, we remind ourselves that the present life is transient, and we must proceed by steady steps so as not to live in vain.
While dealing with the practicalities of everyday life, if we are fully devoted to experiencing and adapting to everything we encounter, unconcerned with success or failure, then we are truly practicing the DDM teaching: "face it, accept it, deal with it, and let it go."
In conclusion, as long as each family member shows sincere caring and mutual empathy, it won't take long to create a happy, successful family. Moreover, we will be able to achieve outstanding results only if we devote our full energies to the job while working, focus and think deeply while thinking, and put our whole heart into problems while dealing with them.
Even if we don't gain anything in a material sense, the resulting physical and mental stability, broader experiences, and contributions to society will all be worthy achievements.
(This article is based on a speech delivered by Venerable Master Sheng Yen on August 12, 1995, at a seminar entitled "Pursuit of a Happy and Successful Life" at Dharma Drum Mountain's Anhe Branch Monastery in Taipei.)