Obstacle 1: Kindness in Mind is Sufficient"Buddhism only advocates doing good deeds" is the stereotype held by many people, so it is their belief that as long as they have kindness in their mind, make frequent donations to charity organizations, take part in voluntary work and help others in need, that would be sufficient. What is there to learn in Buddhism? This is the most common obstacle in learning Buddhism for people.
Although harboring kind thoughts, doing voluntary work etc., are very important, they do not equate to learning Buddhism. Our journey in this world is paved with frequent and numerous difficulties, often riddled with uncertainties about the meaning of life and its value, and sometimes even filled with fear of the unknown. In times like these, wisdom from the Buddhadharma can help us clear up these doubts, and subside these fears and anxieties.
The purpose of learning Buddhism is to cultivate kindness, compassion, and wisdom, so that we may apply the wisdom of Buddhadharma to defuse situations arising from the impermanence of life, adverse circumstances and vexations, and thus prevent from sinking into an abyss of suffering. After all, life is filled with ups and downs, and we will most certainly go through many uncertainties and changes. On the other hand,he concepts and methods that we acquire in learning Buddhism will allow us to refine our Buddhadharma wisdom, be it in good or bad times. The possession of this wisdom will help us transcend the pain and suffering of this world, so that even if we are physically tied down here, our minds are free from vexation. That is the wisdom in Buddhadharma.
Resource: Issue 267 of Life Magazine, Dharma Drum Publishing Corporation
Photos: Lee-kha Su (蘇力卡)
Translation: Cheng-yu Chang (張振郁)
Editing: Chia-chen Chang (張家誠), Keith Brown