Saturday, May 5, 2012

Happy Wesak 2012

Wesak Day is always the best day of the year for me. For me, this is the Saka Dawa, whereby merits are multiplied by 100 million times. Tibetan Buddhists celebrate Saka Dawa on other days according to their calendar, but I am not Tibetan. So that is quite foreign to me actually, even though I do celebrate these as well. I am more accustomed to celebrating the Buddha’s holy day on Wesak Day, i.e. on the 4th moon 15th day of the Chinese calendar.  

I feel that Malaysians as a nation is deteriorating. And I am not referring to the government or politicians. I am referring to everybody generally – almost every sector of the society. I feel that people are becoming greedier, angrier, more emotional, more easily resorting to committing crime, too much politicking, can’t evaluate situations objectively, too impulsive and generally more stupid. This bode badly for the nation.  Even Buddhists with many years of practice and study have narrow-minded thinking and behaving arrogantly.  I don’t mind if people disagree with me, but when people ignore you, it is a terrible feeling. But what can I do? Nothing. I feel deeply anguished especially when I see people’s karma deteriorating badly. What is more saddening is when I see young people no longer having the good karma to be interested in their religion. For them, Wesak Day is only an annual affair, just to worship a statue. They prefer to attend a workshop that teaches you to earn more money on futures, than a dialogue dharma session between a Zen monk and a Tibetan High Lama. Then there was the case of some colleagues who do not wish to donate for a lamp lighting at the 4 Great Buddhist Holy Places and meal offering (Sanghikadana) for monks at the 4 Gelugpa moansteries, but make donations for a fund meant to rebuild a local Tua Pek Kong (a local deity) temple.  I have no qualms about people donating to Tua Pek Kong temple, because I do too at times. However, I am sad when people do not see the vast positive merits created by making lamp and meal offerings at Buddhist Holy Places. It is when I compare these people and myself, then only I realise my good fortune. Tremendously good fortune.
So I hope I will never forget that. And I hope you will not, too. In the meantime I want to share this reminder – one of the last reminders – from Zen Master Seung Sahn. It is a short video I found in youtube. He gave that advice in 2003. He left his body in 2004. For serious practitioners, it is time to get serious with your meditation practice. Ask yourself – is there progress? Reflect on this.

I wish everyone a HAPPY WESAK 2012!

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