Showing posts with label Venerable Shen Kai. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Venerable Shen Kai. Show all posts

Also see: For the Benefit of All Beings


Mr C asked, “What does it mean for you to do things for the benefit of all sentient beings Soh?”


Soh replied, “There are all kinds of ways to do things for the benefit of sentient beings. Bill gates is doing a lot of good to the world in his philanthropy. Buddhists have an additional venue of working for sentient beings: sharing the dharma, which is the highest gift in buddhadharma because this gives other beings a chance to be totally free from suffering and samsara.


This is why I consider those who do not try to share dharma to others in a skillful appropriate way to be having a kind of stinginess. Of course, one has to be very clear in view first in order not to mislead others, and preferably have certain depths of experiential insight (but one can share in one’s capacity even before one has realizations), or one can just guide others to awakened teachers and masters. This applies not just for Mahayanists because the Buddha has instructed us to share his dharma widely, even in Theravada’s vinaya: 


“Go forth for the good of the many, for the happiness of the many, out of compassion for the world, for the welfare, the good and the happiness of gods and men. Let no two of you go in the same direction. Teach the Dharma which is beautiful in the beginning, beautiful in the middle and beautiful at the end. Proclaim both the letter and the spirit of the holy life completely fulfilled and perfectly pure. — Buddha, Mahavagga, Vinaya Pitaka.”


"If we were to wear the countless kalpas as a crown, and our body spanned across three thousand realms, if we do not teach the Dharma to sentient beings, then we cannot be called repayers of kindness.


If we do not try to enlighten sentient beings, we are not repaying the Buddha's kindness. If we feel incapable of enlightening sentient beings, we should encourage others to listen to the scriptures." - Venerable Master Hui Lu


Original text: “假使頂戴恆沙劫,身為幢座遍三千,若不說法度眾生,是則不名報恩者。 


我們若不設法去度眾生,就不算是報佛的恩。如果感覺自己無能力度眾生,就鼓勵別人來聽經。”



This does not mean we should neglect our meditation practice because we can only be of utmost benefit to other beings if we attain Buddhahood. So we should both help others and carry out our practice at the same time.


And when working for others, it should be free from delusional perceptions of self or others. Just like the threefold purity I shared earlier. (On threefold purity, see Supramundane Generosity / Threefold Purity)


It is related to this https://www.awakeningtoreality.com/2012/10/total-exertion_20.html



“ mr c:


From ren cheng magazine (venerable shen kai was my refuge master) but paraphrased and slightly edited from chatgpt:


“People learning and practicing Buddhist have often heard the need to lead sentient beings (to learn Buddhism). Some then become eager to persuade others to learn Buddhism. Despite their efforts, they realize that people are not always easy to lead (into Buddhism). Discouraged, they stop learning Buddhism themselves, ultimately failing to lead even themselves.


We first need to understand what a sentient being is. There are two types: inner sentient beings and outer sentient beings. The inner sentient being refers to our minds and the endless arising thoughts, while the outer sentient being includes everyone else, as well as any beings with emotional states. As ordinary people, we constantly experience various thoughts and opinions in different situations—these are our inner sentient beings. If we do not transform these inner sentient beings, allowing troubling thoughts and emotions to arise and react to situations, how can we expect to lead others (to Buddhism)? Thus, Master Shen Kai often emphasized: "Lead sentient beings, lead sentient beings, first lead inner sentient beings, outer sentient beings then can be led." Bodhisattvas transform themselves and benefit others, and as we learn from them, we too must first transform ourselves, then lead others.


For example, some people chant the Buddha's name, chant sutras, and bow to the Buddha daily but do not work to eliminate their negative habitual tendencies. They argue, bicker, and criticize others, causing their family members to become reluctant to learn Buddhism. These family members question if such behaviors are the result of learning and practicing Buddhism, unwilling to condone them. Some people are overly eager, failing to discern the right opportunities or conditions, talking about Buddhist concepts to everyone they meet, which causes others to distance themselves. Thus, as Buddhist practitioners, we need to first transform ourselves for the better, maintaining joy and clarity. When others see us and our behaviors, they are more inclined to be near us, and we can then naturally lead them to learn and practice Buddhism.


Sariputra and Maudgalyayana, originally practitioners of other teachings, became ordained Buddhist monks after encountering Bhikkhu Asvajit, whose dignified deportment and brief sharing of the Buddha's teachings led them to enlightenment. This story illustrates how one's demeanor and understanding can inspire significant spiritual transformations in others.


Many people have managed to eliminate negative habitual tendencies, like smoking, drinking, and unnecessary socializing, among others, after taking refuge in Buddhism. They began focusing more on their families and treating family members with respect, leading to a more joyous family environment. This positive change has often encouraged entire families and even friends and colleagues to take refuge in Buddhism, establishing a blissful Buddhist community. This exemplifies the principle of first transforming inner sentient beings, which then enables the guidance of outer sentient beings.


Some asked Venerable Master Shen Kai how it's possible to lead all sentient beings, given their vast number. He responded by emphasizing the importance of starting with the inner sentient beings, suggesting that once all inner sentient beings are transformed, one can attain Buddhahood. This advice highlights the foundational principle that personal transformation is a prerequisite for leading others effectively.”


——-


Soh: “ I message people everyday. I think it is important to share with people”

Mr M who went from I Am and one mind into anatman after Soh shared with him on reddit said, “ Yeah there’s something positive about evangelisation, even though I think some religions take it too far. I don’t think I would have come across ATR naturally, and there’s no other resource I’ve found that’s as forceful on what full realisation of anatta is and isn’t.”


Soh replied: “Yeah.. a few people on reddit just realised anatta after conversing with me the past few days


Yesterday just another one realised anatta, was at I AM


I personally try to share dharma to people around me even friends and family


But atr may be too deep for them


Usually i pass them the power of now


If there is a good dharma center its good to introduce to people who you think might be open


I have messaged thousands of redditors over the years, most seem positive with my sharing, only a minority seems averse (usually those that hold tightly to view of self) so i just leave them be


But i believe all will benefit as the tien tai teacher miao lo said


“Nichiren use of the word listen is significant. The passage from Miao-lo that Nichiren cites comes from The Annotations on “The Words and Phrases of the Lotus Sutra.” In that work, the Great Teacher Miao-lo goes on to say: “Whether one accepts or rejects the teachings, they have entered one’s ear and one has thus established a bond with them. And then, though one may comply with them or go against them, in the end one will because of this bond be able to achieve liberation [i.e., attain enlightenment]” (WND-2, 56). While keeping in mind the specifics of a person’s situation, to allow them to hear the Lotus Sutra plants the “seed of Buddhahood” in that person’s heart and activates the world of Buddhahood within them.”””


Several that were very averse to it at first realised anatta later””


—-


Thusness wrote in Dharma Connection:

"Sometimes I wonder why must the topic frequently oscillate between emptiness and preserving an indestructible essence.

    Perhaps after experiencing the boundless brilliance, the aliveness, we feel deep down we must somehow exist in a true, solid and substantial way. The more we experience our radiance clarity, the more difficult for us to let go. This I understand. Maybe we should channel some bits of our time and energy towards understanding the relationship between compassion and emptiness.

    When watching Garchen Rinpoche movie that Piotr sent me, it seems that to Garchen Rinpoche, nothing matters more than sentient beings. Whether there “is or isn’t” an essence seems to be a non-issue; if there is, he would joyfully and generously sacrifice for the benefits of sentient beings when needed. This is what I gathered from the movie.

    I am beginning to see why Nagarjuna asserted that emptiness is the womb of compassion.

    I am beginning to understand without the awakening of Bodhichitta, there is no true realization of emptiness.

    I am beginning to see why Bodhichitta and wisdom are the causes of Buddhahood.

    May Bodhichitta be awakened in our authentic mindstreams.

    Homage to Bodhichitta."

    February 16 at 6:31pm · Edited · Unlike · 10


—-


Someone wrote,

“Funny to even see assumptions of Bill Gates' contribution to the benefit of sentient beings. 

Especially in a group Awakening to Reality.”



Soh replied,


“regardless of bill gates’ controversies or even whether he is a nice person, i was referring to his philanthropic accomplishments:


“- **Global Health Initiatives**: Funding research, treatment, and prevention programs for diseases like malaria, HIV/AIDS, and tuberculosis.

- **Polio Eradication**: Major contributions towards global efforts to eradicate polio through vaccination campaigns.

- **Education**: Investing in U.S. and global education through scholarships, school reform initiatives, and support for online learning platforms.

- **Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene**: Supporting projects to improve access to clean water and sanitation in developing countries.

- **Agricultural Development**: Funding research and projects to increase agricultural productivity and food security in poor countries.

- **Financial Services for the Poor**: Promoting financial inclusion through support for mobile banking and microfinance.

- **Climate Change**: Investing in clean energy research and initiatives to mitigate climate change impacts.

- **COVID-19 Response**: Funding vaccine development, supporting equitable distribution, and enhancing healthcare systems.

- **Nutrition**: Addressing malnutrition and supporting efforts to improve health outcomes through better nutrition.

- **Family Planning and Maternal Health**: Supporting programs to provide family planning services and improve maternal health.

- **Neglected Tropical Diseases**: Funding efforts to combat and eliminate neglected tropical diseases.

- **Innovation in Education**: Supporting technological and pedagogical innovations to improve educational outcomes.

- **Global Libraries**: Initiatives to expand access to digital information through libraries.

- **Research and Development**: Funding R&D for new vaccines, drugs, and diagnostics.

- **Scholarship Programs**: Including the Gates Millennium Scholars program, providing scholarships for minority students in the U.S.

- **Health Systems Strengthening**: Working to improve health care systems and infrastructure in developing countries.

- **Emergency Relief**: Contributing to relief efforts following natural disasters and crises.

- **Gender Equality**: Supporting initiatives aimed at promoting gender equality and empowering women and girls.

- **Mental Health**: Investing in mental health programs and research to improve care and reduce stigma.

- **Data and Innovation**: Funding the collection and analysis of data to inform health and development policies.

- **Advocacy and Public Policy**: Engaging in advocacy to influence policy and raise awareness on critical global issues.””


as an alternative, these are some other similar organisations. Chatgpt:


Rating philanthropic activities, including those of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is subjective and depends on various criteria such as impact, transparency, effectiveness, and public perception. These ratings are not definitive but can provide a general sense of how these organizations are viewed in terms of their philanthropic efforts. Here's a hypothetical table rating the Gates Foundation and ten other notable philanthropic organizations, based on perceived impact and public reception:


| Organization                         | Rating (Out of 10) | Comments                                                                                                 |

|--------------------------------------|--------------------|----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|

| Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation      | 9                  | High impact on global health and education, though faces criticism for influence and approach.           |

| Ford Foundation                      | 8                  | Significant contributions to social justice but criticized for influence on policy and academic research.|

| Rockefeller Foundation               | 8                  | Pioneering philanthropic efforts with a broad impact, though not without its controversies.              |

| Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching | 7.5                | Major impact on education and peace, with a strong legacy, but less visible in recent years.             |

| Open Society Foundations             | 8                  | Prominent in promoting democracy and human rights, but faces criticism for political bias.               |

| Wellcome Trust                       | 8.5                | Significant contributions to global health, praised for research funding, but faces scrutiny for investment choices. |

| MacArthur Foundation                 | 7                  | Known for the "genius grant," innovative in arts and culture support, but impact sometimes questioned.   |

| The Howard Hughes Medical Institute  | 8.5                | Significant in biomedical research support, though its focus is very specialized.                        |

| The MasterCard Foundation            | 8                  | Impacts financial inclusion and education in Africa significantly, though its focus is relatively narrow.|

| The Walton Family Foundation         | 7.5                | Significant in education and environment, but its association with Walmart leads to mixed perceptions.   |

| The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation  | 7.5                | Focused on child poverty and education, with impactful programs, though less known than others.          |


This table reflects a combination of the organizations' perceived effectiveness, impact, transparency, and the controversies they might have faced. The ratings are illustrative and based on general perceptions rather than a rigorous evaluation framework. Actual assessments might vary significantly based on different criteria and personal perspectives.

I took refuge in the triple gems under Venerable Shen Kai at the age of 2, who is a lineage holder in the Linji Ch'an sect and dharma brother of Venerable Sheng Yen.

Here's a poem by Venerable Shen Kai:

https://humanbliss.org/post/1325

修修修,持持持。 得到了寶藏,宇宙的富翁; 非空非有中,法性遍虛空; 還有什麼人我是非,還有什麼熱惱輪迴; 二六時中,光明覺照, 隨緣生死即了,無處不是圓通, 看破放下!自由自在, 粗衣淡食,茅屋蔽身, 白雪當陽,萬里長空, 晚上一輪明月,冬天處處和風, 四季百花開放,飄播萬年馨香, 醒吧! 聽吧! 聽吧! 醒吧! 高山的暮鼓, 遠處的晨鐘。 ― 聖開 ―