Protecting the spiritual environment - Wisdom for Life on Earth

The state of one's mind tends to be susceptible to temptations and stimulations in the external environment, thus creating emotional fluctuations ranging from uneasy feelings to severe loss of equanimity. If one employs the safeguard of protecting the spiritual environment when situations arise, one can simply maintain calmness and inner stability, or go deeper to become free and at ease.

According to the principles of protecting the spiritual environment, everyone should maintain balance and stability on three levels, namely, physical, mental and spiritual cultivations. This is commonly known as a healthy body, mind and spirit. However, many people are only concerned with their physical health, ignoring the state of their mental health and, more particularly, neglecting the spiritual practices required to maintain equanimity. Hence, one can perform with spontaneity and great panache under favorable circumstances as if nothing is unsolvable, but in the face of adversity, will only moan and groan, not even knowing how to face oneself. It is through the continual practice of "protecting the spiritual environment" that one can maintain equanimity in both favorable and adverse situations.

How does one cultivate this mature healthy mental state of mind? There are four steps:

1. When faced with situations, perform positive evaluations, and avoid negative predictions.

2. Be able to hold converse thoughts, so as to remain humble in the face of success, and stay positive in the midst of failure.

3. Maintain control through self-restraint and self-motivation in all matters.

4. Regardless of success or failure, peel away all selfish interests and desires, and devote oneself to shouldering the responsibility of benefiting all sentient beings.

Furthermore, how does one practically implement protecting the spiritual environment? One can utilize "kindness and compassion have no enemies, and wisdom engenders no vexations" as the code of conduct. This means that a compassionate heart will create no enemies; if all the living organisms of this world are being viewed as friends and family, we will be able to protect both ourselves and our external environment. When everyone protects their inner spiritual environment, there will be less worries and vexations in everyone, thus attaining the state of protecting the spiritual environment.

Resources: Master Sheng-Yen, excerpt from “Wisdom for Life on Earth”
(Ren Jian Shi)

Translation: Chang, Cheng-Yu (張振郁)
Editors: DDM Australian Editorial Team, Angela Chang (Canada), Keith Brown (Canada)

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