With a mind at peace, a life at peace will follow

With a mind at peace, a life at peace will follow.
Let’s support each other and carry on!

Master Sheng Yen, the founder of Dharma Drum Mountain, once exhorted us: “take good care of your mind on every occasion, and keep it at peace. That is the essence of protecting one’s spiritual environment”. With the outbreak of COVID-19 comes a special reminder to thoroughly protect our spiritual environment.

During the period of the Chinese New Year, an outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID - 19) caused a global epidemic which went so far as to take the lives of thousands, forcing us to re-adjust the pace of our lives. In our minds, Buddha is always the Great King of Medicine. Let’s pray to all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas for their serene protection, for an early end to the outbreak, and for all sentient beings’ peace, health, happiness, and well-being.

From the Buddhist perspective, those who suffered from the infection during the outbreak manifested themselves as Great bodhisattvas. Conversely, those who have served in the medical professions truly need public support and understanding, for they too manifested themselves as Bodhisattvas. At this time, when people are deeply worried about both their own and their family’s health, DDM urges people to cooperate with Public Health authorities to best protect themselves and those around them, while providing positive support and blessings for all.

In addition to physical well-being, please also keep your mind at peace through the efficacy of protecting the spiritual environment.. Our body functions in accordance with the state of our mind. That is, as long as we can keep our mind at peace, we still can lead a peaceful and healthy life even under the conditions of illness.

When we are faced with a calamity, it is of utmost importance for us to cultivate a mind of compassion, understanding and empathy. It is also important to practice Master Sheng Yen’s words of wisdom, “Four Steps for handling a problem “-- face it, accept it, deal with it, let it go.” In fact, whether we’re attaining prosperity or facing adversity, we always have the present moment, which is the most complete and optimal time. When we are able to shoulder the public well-being as our own, we are able to strive for the best at all times. Therefore, there is no need to regret for the past and worry for the future; what we should do in the present moment is to replace illusory anxiety with our aspirations for the benefit of all.

Taking it one step further, we can practice two concepts derived from Master Sheng Yen’s dharma teachings: namely,” reverse thinking “and “treading with the tide “. With reverse thinking, we accept this epidemic as a “mission “; we take this crisis as a trial and an opportunity to improve ourselves. As for “treading with the tide “, we can overcome the current difficulties through contemplating the current affinities, having collective sources and strength, and assembling wisdom from all sources to mitigate the crisis.

Please let us strive forward together! As the adage goes, “heaven helps those who help themselves”. Under all circumstances should we always embrace hope. In trusting that brightness comes after gloom, we stand a better chance to overcome difficulties and lighten the future.

With a peaceful mind, we will cultivate a peaceful body.
When we have peace in mind, a life in peace will follow.
Wish everyone a healthy and prosperous life.

Written by DDM Abbot President Venerable Guo Huei (果暉法師)
Translated by Chang, Cheng-yu (張振郁)
Edited by Jack Soong, Elenda Huang, Keith Brown

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