Is there a life free of afflictions? Is there a heart that knows no confusion? We are accompanied by growing pains in family, career, personal development, and indeed,everything. Who can answer our questions? Who can give us guidance? Maybe we all have the same questions. Here, you may find the answers you’re looking for.

2017.04.10   

All the external things will be gone. What really counts is the spiritual development.

 




2017.04.11   

The value of life lies in devotion.

 




2017.04.12   

Self-cultivation means to dig out our own afflictions, and cleanse them little by little.

 




2017.04.13   

Material desire is like a raging flood. Following it only leads to loss and suffering. Establish a noble goal, and have it deeply rooted in our minds and we will no longer drift.

 




2017.04.14   

When seeing others' faults, we should develop introspection and compassion in our mind, rather than exclusion and hatred.

 




2017.04.15  

What many call affection is nothing more than exchanging demands and battling attachments. That is why people in love are either hurting others or being hurt. The root of suffering is not affection but attachment. Only when we gradually let go of our attachment to “self” can we truly be happy. 

 




 

 

2017.04.02

When we are attached to the external objects and unwilling to let them go, we are actually fostering the inner darkness, which would eventually swallow the true happiness, learn to let go, but modest and humble, it does not mean a loss but means to make more room in our heart for happiness.





2017.04.03

The mind grows broader when you look at the starlit sky, reflect upon the future, love all people as if they are your family, and think for others during their time of need. The smaller “I” becomes, the broader one’s mind grows.





2017.04.04

There is no need to look for the “heart”, because it is there all the time. As long as we eliminate delusions and attachments, we will see it.





2017.04.05

The Buddha said that there are two kinds of people who are rare: the first are those who never make mistakes, and the second are those who correct their mistakes.




 

2017.04.06

Farmers industriously sow seeds and cultivate in spring,and wait to harvest in autumn. The same is true with Buddhist cultivation. Carefully sow seeds of good karma, and do not be anxious and impatient about the immediate reward. 




 

2017.04.07

The mind is actually the thought at the present moment. For the people around us like our parents, we should observe their advantages and contributions to us. For the objects around us, we should think about the relationships between them and self. For example, when seeing a tree, we reflect on the importance of the environment. For the things around us, we should analyze the different factors that affect the results. Such practice enables us to develop gratitude, compassion and wisdom anytime and anywhere. 




 

2017.04.08

Buddhism believes “non-duality between personal result and environmental result of previous lives”, that is, all the outer gains come from the inner achievements. The mind as the roots of a tree, and the outer gains as its flowers and fruits, if we want to get rich harvest, we must water the roots. If you get this point, you will never just chase the outer gains, but you’ll always cultivate the mind in order to create good karma.




Q: Master, I have felt restless recently over a complicated love that’s unattainable. What should I do?

A: Holding a piece of burning iron in hands, if you are not willing to put it down, you will just let it keep hurting you.




Q: Hello, Master, I have a knot tied in my heart and hope to untie it with your advice. I have always cared a lot for my boyfriend, but I feel he is often cold to me and doesn’t consider me. Although he says that he loves me very much and has tried really hard to take care of me, I neither see his actions nor feel his love. What should I do?

A: The cause of your pains is that you preset standards in your mind for all things.




Q: Master, I am very sensitive and worried recently. I have felt that my boyfriend has been distant with me. What should I do?

A: Try to broaden our mind. If we only focus on ourselves, our life will become very narrow and full of vexations.




Q: Master, I am in great pain! I found out that my boyfriend restored contact with his ex-girlfriend, and they sent flirting text messages to each other. He explained to me he lost his head for a moment and didn’t mean what he said to his ex-girlfriend. He begged me for forgiveness and trust, and asked for one more chance to keep our love, but I hesitated. I am afraid of being cheated on again if he still keeps in touch with her behind my back. Should I trust him? I don’t know how to get along with him in the future. What should I do? Could you please give me some advice? Thank you.

A: Don’t worry about the things that haven’t happened yet. Worries come from our own delusion.




Q: Master, is there any way that I can control my jealousy, especially in terms of love? Thank you.

A: Where can we find happiness? It does not lie in what we gain. It depends on whether we can eliminate our inner affliction and differentiation.




Q: Master, I hope I can get your advice. I just broke up with my boyfriend. I felt so upset after waking up, and don’t know what I should do. I’m also afraid that I will never meet a person again I love so much. Thinking that nothing can last forever, I feel really sad. What should I do to pull through this difficult time? How can I control my cares about his news? Please give me some advice. Thank you so much. I am really hurting.

A: There are so many wonderful things in our life. As well as there are so many things we need to do. Don’t blind your heart with one obsession.




Q: Mater, I broke up with my love, and my heart was broken. Though I knew everything was illusion and love was just like holding a torch in strong wind, I still held it and was burned by the “fire”. Now my heart is hurting! How can I get through this quickly? How can I put it away completely? What should I do to practice Buddhism?

A: We have various pains because we narrow our lives to ourselves. Once your heart can accommodate more people, pains will disappear unconsciously.




Q: Master, I’m upset and in such pain. My troubles even made me fall ill. My days are filled with tears. I know it’s unworthy to hurt myself for a person who doesn’t care about me. I feel so bitterly disappointed! But I can’t control my mind. Please tell me what to do. Thank you.

A: Time heals everything. Look ahead, and let the past go with the wind.




Q: Master, I have to give up a relationship. What should I do to remove the feelings from my heart? Amitabha Buddha!

A: Cut the knot with a sharp knife.




Q: Master, a person resides in my heart. I should forget the person, but it’s very difficult. What should I do?

A: Reflect on impermanence whenever you recall the past. Gradually you will realize the illusive nature of all things, and then you can put away the attachment.




Q: Master! My beloved cheated me, used me, and treated me unfairly. How can I convince myself to give up my love and hatred to him?

A: Love and hatred can be converted by just one thought, because a human’s mind is not permanent. Love and hatred are caused by our own attachment. Eliminate previous bad karmas according to current conditions, and do not create any new bad karmas.




Q: Hello, Master! I was completely deceived by the person I loved. Now I feel very painful and my heart is full of hatred. I can’t forgive him or calm down myself. I can’t accept this. What should I do?

A: You can do whatever you want to gain revenge, and put yourself in pain forever. Or you may choose to lay down your hatred, end the bad relationship, and open up a future full of hopes.




Q: Hello, Master! My husband wants to divorce me. What should I do? Thank you!

A: We should face the external environment with an open mind and view it according to the law of cause and effect. Sometimes, we give up a road in order to change to a better one.




Q: Master, how should we view the coming and going of love relationships, and how can we face it?

A: Since the human’s mind is impermanent, is there anything worthy of attachment?




Q: Hello, Master! Is it really that difficult to love a person?

A: To develop the love for one into the love for all. The most valuable thing is the love for all sentient beings.


Q: Master, I am 27 years old and still unmarried. My mother has just said that I was fortunate as she was a broad-minded person, otherwise she would have worried to death because I am still single at this age. She also said that her hair had turned grey because she was so worried about me. I felt wronged when hearing this. Isn’t marriage predestined? Is being single a terrible crime?

A: Try to understand your mother’s feeling behind these words, instead of only thinking about your own sorrow and happiness.




Q: Master, I have felt very upset recently. After almost two years’ hard work, I finally got a scholarship for Ph.D. degree at a famous university. I was excited to tears when receiving the notice. However, as the only child in my family, it’s really difficult for me to leave my aging parents and live in another country for 4 years. I even feel guilty for not being a filial child. Master, what decision should I make? Amitabha Buddha!

A: To be a person that your parents are proud of is another kind of filial piety.




Q: Master! What should I do if my goals are quite different from my family’s expectations for me?

A: The difference doesn’t lie between your goal and their expectation, but in the ways in which you and your parents understand and realize them. Try to find the same wishes you have, instead of contradiction and opposition between you, then you will be able to understand each other and communicate effectively.




Q: Hello Master! When I read Buddha’s Sutra of Ungratefulness among Five Kinds of Relationship, I couldn’t understand the farmer’s indifference to his son’s death. I do not fear death. However, do I have to even abandon the love of my family if I want to put away all things? My parents and I had some relationships in previous lives, so we are in one family in this life. I strive for fame and wealth in order to realize their dream. How is it possible for me to put away these? It really annoys me!

A: Only after you put away your worries can you have the strength to shoulder all responsibilities. Your parents’ real dream is your happiness. However, most people misunderstand that fame and wealth is the only way towards happiness.




Q: Master, does ‘filial piety’ mean always following parents’ instruction? Am I filial if I help them to lead an orderly life according to health research results?

A: In the book of Confucian Analects, Ziyou asked what filial piety was. Confucius replied, "The filial piety nowadays means the support of one's parents. But dogs and horses likewise are able to do something in the way of support; without reverence, what is there to distinguish the one support given from the other?”




Q: Hello Master, my father is trying to quit smoking. How can we help him? Thank you, Master.

A: Encourage and praise him generously. Often remind him of the bad points of smoking and the good points of quitting it. Encourage him to hold on to the last.




Q: Hello Master! Because I lost control of myself for a moment, I poured out upon my father all the grievance and pains buried in my heart for 17 years. My old father was shocked to learn that his loving daughter had known about his wicked deeds for many years and had hated him since then. So he left me in tears. I felt so upset. Master, what should I do? Life is so tough!

A: Di Zi Gui (Standards for Being a Good Student and Child) says: When your parents do wrong, urge them to change. Do it with a kind facial expression and a warm gentle voice. If they do not accept your advice, wait until they are in a happier mood before you dissuade them again, follow with crying to make them understand why. If they end up whipping you, do not hold a grudge against them. The Book of Rites: Rules for Family says: When your parents do wrong, urge them to correct with humble attitude, kind facial expression and gentle voice. If they do not accept your advice, you should still have respect and filial piety towards them. Later when they are in a happier mood, dissuade them again. Your repeated advice might make them unhappy. However, you would rather annoy them with advice than see them offend neighbors and friends due to their wrong deeds. If your parents rage at your advice, even whip you to blood, you should not complain, but still keep respect and filial piety towards them. The Book of Rites: Rules for Society says: a noble man should forget his parents’ faults and remember their virtues.




Q: Master, my parents have been quarreling for divorce recently. I tried to help them settle their conflicts, but felt exhausted every time I talked with them. Master, what else can I do?

A: Our parents also felt exhausted when bringing us up. As a child, we should think of their kindness and try to repay them. Outcome is not important, but our affection for them is more important.




Q: Hello, Master! My mother-in-law often complains about her two sons and the other daughter-in-law. Many times I persuaded her that words could easily make bad karma to her, but no change on her. How should I chant Buddhist sutras to eliminate her hatred to them?

A: Chant sutras with respect and devoutness.




Q: Master, I would like to ask a question about filial piety. My grandparents are about ninety, but they still quarrel and even fight. On the day before yesterday, my grandma poisoned herself after a quarrel. Although being saved, she is in a coma. My grandpa regretted about what he did and now wanted to commit suicide. They are really a couple with bad karmic relationship. If they continue harming each other like this, they won’t be free from their bad relationship in their afterlives. Master, what can I do to help them get rid of their grudges? I wish they could feel at ease when leaving this world. Thank you.

A: First, you can chant Buddhist sutras and dedicate the virtues to them; second, take care of them wholeheartedly, and warm their hearts with your filial piety. When the mind is filled with good thoughts, bad thoughts are not likely to arise.




Q: Master, I love my mother very much, so I really wish she could live forever. Whenever I think she will leave me one day, I fall in deep sorrow. In addition, I am worried that she will be scared, frightened, or unwilling to leave when her time comes. What should I do to help her? I would rather give my life span to my mother.

A: You are a good daughter. Kindness is invaluable. You can do good deeds and sincerely dedicate the virtues to her.




Q: Worship to Master! You mentioned that one could dedicate virtues of good deeds to his or her mother. Could you please explain how to do this? Is it right to chant “May this superior virtue of this practice bring bliss to all sentient beings. May all crimes and bad karmas be removed. May we attain the utmost enlightenment”? Thank you very much.

A: Yes. Whom you care about, whom you dedicate the virtues.




Q: Master, my mother is 80. She fell down today and is in ICU now. We are not permitted to visit her. What should I do to relive my worries?

A: Your love to your mother is valuable, but worry by itself is of no help. You may chant the Sutra of the Past Vows of Earth Store Bodhisattva, and dedicate the virtues to her. Also, you can learn from Earth Store Bodhisattva what he did to his mother.




Q: Worship to Master! When visiting my parents in my hometown, I found my mother quite old and weak. I do wish she could believe in Buddhism and pray to Buddha, but I couldn’t persuade her. So I can only raise money to do virtuous things on behalf of her. What can I do to benefit her the most? Print sutras? Which sutras? Or make offerings to Buddhas? Whenever I think that I might not be able to help my parents to believe in Buddhism, I can’t help feeling sad. How can I keep a happy mind?

A: Transform the worries for your parents to the motivation for earnest practice. Practice hard and dedicate the virtues to them.




Q: Master! I received a sad news today that one of my relatives in my hometown died in a traffic accident. I can’t get back to attend the funeral. Could you please tell me what I can do for the deceased? Thank you!

A: You can sincerely chant Sutra of the Past Vows of Earth Store Bodhisattva for your relative.




Q: Master, I often think about my deceased father, and always feel he is still with me. What should I do? Thank you!

A: You can chant Buddhas' names and dedicate the virtues to him.




Q: Master, my grandma passed away two years ago. Even until now, I still often think about her. I want to chant Buddhist sutras for her. Could you please give me some advice?

A: Love other people like they are our family, then everyone would be our family.

Q: Master, my partner and I have decided to get a divorce. I wish we could proceed peacefully in order not to harm each other and our parents. However, my partner has put forward unreasonable demands beyond my ability. I don’t want to make the matter worse. Master, could you please tell me how to deal with it?

A: You should have an attitude that you would have when you are repaying a debt. Meanwhile, deal with it skillfully, and make sure you deal with important issues slowly and thoughtfully.




Q: Master, my father is a very stubborn man, who never listens to others’ suggestions or opinions. How can I communicate with him more efficiently?

A: The water in the stream smoothly flows over stones, while, a stone will collide with other stones. Actually, if we want to change other people, we ourselves also have a stubborn character. For unimportant issues, there is no harm to accept and tolerate others’ opinions. We should make ourselves become softer and more tolerant first.




Q: Master, I really dislike my mother! She only cares about vanity and money. She egged me on to have many boyfriends when I was a teenager, and made many mistakes. Nowadays in my current job, I sometimes have to take care of customers late at night. I don’t want to go, but she urges me to do it in order to get promotion to be a manager. Whenever I am talking with her, I can’t control my anger. I tried to change it but failed.

A: Don’t only think about her shortcomings towards you, but think more about her kindness to you.




Q: Hello, Master! I have gained a lot since I followed you on Weibo (micro-blog). Now I firmly believe in Buddha’s wisdom. Recently, many issues happened regarding my family, which has made my parents become worried. Master, how should I treat a person who is openly selfish and, who benefits himself at other people’s cost?

A: Be strict to yourself and be tolerant to others.




Q: Master, sorry to bother you. I have been a positive member of society and observing filial piety to my parents for many years. But why I always end up with bad results? My family relationships are in a mess now.




Q: Master, my younger brother has a terminal disease and is tortured by pains. Except looking for other medical treatments and looking after him, my family can do nothing to relieve his pain. Master, how can we ease the pain in our hearts?

A: In the pain of illness, we should develop great compassion to the people who suffer from the same. In the pain of illness, we should feel the love and giving from our family and be grateful to them. In the pain of illness, we should think about the impermanence and suffering of life and cherish everything we have. All good thoughts are the best medicine for the pain of illness, so try to help your brother often develop good thoughts in order to keep a peaceful and warm mind. This can not only relieve him from the pain but also benefit his afterlives.




Q: Amitabha Buddha! Hello, Master! My younger brother has been suffering from ANFH over one year. He didn’t get better at all after seeing many doctors. I don’t know what I can do now. Please give me some advice!

A: It is necessary to keep seeing doctors. Meanwhile, you can do good deeds to accumulate virtues for him, pray for him piously, chant sutras and dedicate the virtues to him.




Q: Master, in case a family member dies or becomes seriously ill and I feel extremely sad and depressing, even lose the courage to live, what should I do to change it? Please give me advice.

A: Our love to the family can make us fragile, but can make us strong as well. Mere pain does no good to anyone. We should make vows to bear family’s pains, even that of all sentient beings. Thus you can really help your family members.




Q: Good morning, Master! Both my wife and I have taken refuge in Buddhism. But in daily life, she is very bossy and often criticizes our son and me, so we often quarrel. Our relationship has become frayed. Master, what should I do? Bow to Master!

A: The purpose of learning Buddhist teachings is to correct oneself, not to correct others. Admittedly, her attitude is not right. But if you treat her in the same way, you are wrong as well. Additionally, it will definitely make your relationship worse and harm each other. It won’t hurt to take this as an opportunity to cultivate your endurance and correct your mistakes. Therefore, you will be able to influence her with your actions.




Q: Master, I have become very upset recently. Because I am now pregnant, my whole family forced me to eat meat. They were angry with me when I refused their requirement. But now I have to eat meat, unwillingly. I have had a weak constitution since my childhood, but they believed it was caused by my vegetarian diet during the past year. It is true that I have become a little bit weaker after going on a vegetarian diet. Does this mean I don’t have blessing to be a vegetarian? Am I too stubborn on this issue?

A: Vegetarian diet is good for your health for sure, but your body needs a course of adaptation at the beginning. Additionally, you need to keep a good balance of nutrition from different vegetarian foods. The purpose of going on a vegetarian diet is to cultivate your compassion. If it makes you angry, it is a kind of attachment for sure. If the situation doesn’t allow you to have a vegetarian diet, you may eat three kinds of "clean" meat. Meanwhile, feel ashamed about it and make a wish for taking up a vegetarian diet in the future. Regarding your family, you should be grateful for their care, instead of feeling angry and annoyed.





Q: Master, I know the environment has great influence on people. I live in Hong Kong. Every time I go back, my inner peace will become broken. My family doesn’t understand or accept my belief. Facing the upside-down and delusive ideas in this world, how can I keep inner peace and persistence? Thank you! Namaste!

A: "Up to attain Buddhahood, down to save all sentient beings". On one hand, we should keep learning from good masters and good friends in order to keep "charging" our mind; on the other hand, we should practice Buddhism in daily life through tolerating family and giving them what they need. Faith and mundane life should not be fragmented or opposed. The key point is our intention.




Q: What to do if my spouse does not believe in Buddhism at all?

A: It is because he/she doesn’t know what Buddhism says. From not knowing to knowing, understanding and accepting, it requires time. During the process, the most important thing is to influence and change them with our deeds.




Q: Master, my wife is an atheist. She often has various afflictions and easily gets angry due to her forgetfulness (but she will feel regretful shortly afterwards). My child is disobedient sometimes and unable to concentrate on study. I lack wisdom myself. Therefore, although I can hold my temper on these occasions, I don’t have a method to help them with their problems. So I hope to get some advice from you, compassionate Master.

A: First, be good yourself, so that your family will find Buddhist teachings can make people wiser, happier and more peaceful. Then there is possibility that you guide them to learn about Buddha dharma. If so, they will accumulate virtues and increase wisdom.

Q: Master, what can pregnant women do to benefit fetus?

A: Pregnant women should maintain a kind and peaceful mind and often do good deeds. In addition, they can chant the name of Bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara as many as possible.




Q: Master! I bought a longevity lock for my new born baby. Can I bring the lock to your monastery to be blessed? Is it the so-called consecration? Thank you. You are always extremely busy and please remember to take good care of yourself!

A: Longquan Monastery doesn’t provide the service of “consecration”. The best way to get blessing for children is to teach them to firmly believe the law of karma by doing good deeds and abstaining from bad deeds.




Q: Master, my child is 3 years old. She is spoiled by four grandparents, so she has become self-centered and hot-tempered. However when she goes outside, she is shy, and even unwilling to greet with acquaintances. Now I bring her out every day and encourage her to chat with neighbors. I hope that a good atmosphere can help change her personality. What else do you think I should do? Look forward to your advice.

A: Parents should help kids to form a correct view on life and values. You should grasp the principle of education, make yourself an example for your child and inspire her kindness and gratitude. Only changing minor details is not sufficient.




Q: I have discovered that my child is introverted. Master, what should I do, or what could I do for her? Please give me some advice.

A: Build a space for her with your encouragement and trust, and let her grow freely.




Q: Master, my child has always been very timid, and this has led him becoming bullied by other children. How could I help him? I feel heart aching but don’t know what I can do.

A: Being brave or timid is a minor issue. The most important is to foster his good qualities. You should let him take part in some charitable activities because this can broaden his mind and develop his goodness. Furthermore, it can accumulate collections of virtues and wisdom for him.




Q: Master! My son and I sometimes play war games. Should I start to discourage his interest in this as I feel that he is too young to understand the real meaning of war? I explained to him that wars were caused by humans’ greed which leads to human suffering. So, we don’t want wars. But he can’t fully understand it as he is still too young.

A: Kids should play games less but do more meaningful things.




Q: Hello, Master! What to do if a kid is out of control in school? Teachers are at a loss what to do with him. They can neither beat nor scold him, and reasoning him into school rules doesn’t work at all. The parents don’t educate him even knowing his behaviors in school. He even dares to provoke the school rules and teachers. What can we do to change him? Could you please give me some advice?

A: Actually, the kid also feels painful himself when doing these. When educating him, first you should accept him from the bottom of heart; second, be patient to him. Do not always think how to change him. Parents should reflect on own faults first.




Q: Master, What type of education should I choose for my child, the happiness-oriented education or the exam-oriented education? You once said that people must live a tough life at a certain stage, old or young, either this life or afterlife. So I chose the latter, namely tough life at young stage. However, there is also another saying that people should live in the current moment. If choosing the exam-oriented education, my child will have to give up his hobbies and spend more time on homework, which will make him less happy. Unreasonably high expectation is not a natural process for him. Considering this, I should not choose for him to live a hard life at a young age. What should I do, Master?

A: Blessing comes from virtual deeds and good karmas, not from exam scores. Happiness comes from inner compassion and wisdom, not from hobbies. Once a person sets the aims and values of life, he/she will know what to work on.




Q: Hello, Master! Recently my son hasn’t been active enough in his study and I feel he hasn’t been paying enough attention to it. I can’t help beating him whenever I get angry with him because of his lack of care in his studying. But soon afterwards I feel very regretful. I know that this method of education and correction is not right. I'm quite confused now. What should I do?

A: I don’t think he wants to be like this either. However, he can’t control his mind, just as you can’t control your emotions. As parents, you shouldn’t be a rule-maker, but a companion and a supporter. You should care about and listen to him, accompanying him in his process of growth. You can bring him to Beijing Longquan Monastery in the summer vacation to experience the Buddhist teachings and make more friends.




Q: Hello, Master! I am fortunate to hear a senior practitioner share her experience in Longquan Monastery, which deeply touched me. We plan to study your book Understanding life together. I have a problem that I always repeat mistakes, especially when educating child. My child doesn’t study hard, which makes me very anxious. Could you please tell me if any good method can help my child focus more on study? I hope to change with my child together. Thank you!

A: From our own experience, we can tell growth is not an easy thing. So, don’t worry too much about your child. Only when you set aside all worries first, can you help your child. You can bring your child to Longquan Monastery to attend a Dharma Assembly when you have a chance.




Q: Thank you, Master. After learning Buddhist teachings, I know how important traditional Chinese culture is for a child’s moral values that I am now passing on to my own child. However, my family members, especially my parents, have deep-rooted wrong views and habits. They spoil and influence my child with wrong thoughts, information and disorderly life habits. But they don’t realize it themselves despite me trying to persuade them that about Buddhist teachings and fulfilling virtuous deeds. Now they realize their wrong-doings, but feel difficult to change them; or they know what is good, but can’t do it themselves. What can I do?

A: So we should work even harder to purify and change the family's collective bad karma with our good karma. Practice starts from correcting yourself, not correcting others.




Q: Hi Master! My child is going to take the college entrance examination. By chanting what kind of sutras can give him blessings?

A: Keep an ordinary mind.




Q: Master, I come again. After my daughter went to university, she asked me to work harder to make a name for myself in order to help with her future development. In recent years, I have been enjoying a simple and easy life, without considering her future, so I feel guilty for that. I don’t need to work hard for fame and wealth for myself, but how about her needs? Master, I look forward to your advice. Is this another kind of attachment for simple life?

A: what is a real bright future? Everyone seeks for happiness, however, it does not equal to fame, fortune or social status.




Q: I live on a vegetarian diet and often chant Buddhas’ names. I don’t care much about many things, but except my child. I have paid so much attention to him but feel I have been getting nothing in return. I know he must have his own fortune and blessings, sometimes I really don’t want to care too much about him, but can I really put away? I feel very distressed and was wondering if these actions are based on something I have done in a previous life.

A: When educating children, we should base it on accumulating virtues and wisdom, rather than on the results. Don’t only care about external achievements but ignore their internal growth. Additionally, we should be more inclusive and patient to children, and praise their strong points more instead of holding on to their shortcomings.




Q: Master, I recently took a vacation with my child. During our trip, I heard many people’s comments on how terrible society has become, which made me feel upset. What should I do and what can I do?

A: Start from yourself, and start from your own heart.


Q: Master! I got a job offer that I really wanted, and the new position helped me move forward in my career. However, the employer thought I was less qualified, so he offered a salary much lower than I expected and the average salary level in this industry. I know that I shouldn’t be greedy, but I still feel uncomfortable because I feel that it is unfair to me. Master! Please enlighten me with your wisdom! I really appreciate it!

A: You must give up something to gain something. Look ahead.




Q: Bow to Master! I worked very hard and performed better than my colleagues, but my supervisor only promoted those who had close relationships with him. Though I tried to persuade myself to just focus on the work, I still felt very disappointed. What should I do to eliminate these feelings?

A: We always need other people’s recognition on what we do. This is still a type of self-centeredness, which is the root of all of our sufferings. If we can stop comparing and differentiating things, all will become easy.




Q: Hello, Master! I have a question and need your advice. My overall qualifications and work performance are as good as my colleagues; however, because I do not have a strong background and do not want to “buy” my promotion, I have remained at the same position for years. Others’ promotion often made me feel frustrated and depressed. Sometimes, I told myself: Misfortune might be a blessing in disguise, and just let it be. But living in this secular world, it is easier said than done. What should I do so that I can really let go of my desire for promotion?

A: Make your aim clear. People often walk on a different path away from their original direction, and live other people’s life because they continue to compare their lives with others’.




Q: Master, my boss is an irresponsible person and not upright and fair to his staff. He always tries his best to satisfy the aggressive staff, but ignores the needs of the good-natured ones. What should I do in such circumstances?

A: Try your best to do your duty. Don’t be changed by the environment. Be strict with yourself and be tolerant towards others.




Q: Master, I felt impatient and was angry easily these days, because my boss frequently asked me to do urgent work for his second job. I couldn’t refuse him but had to remain late at work to finish them. I keep telling myself: 1) whatever I do, I can benefit from it; 2) with this experience, I can undertake more difficult tasks in the future; 3) even if he is unkind to me, I still believe that sincerity will bring good consequence. However, resentment came up in my mind from time to time, which made me feel bad. What should I do?

A: An unpleasant situation is the first harm to us; and the resentment against it is the second one. The second is even more harmful to us than the first. So if you can’t avoid the first harm, try to avoid the second, because it is mere self-torture.




Q: Bow to Master. Some of our company’s regulations are impersonal. If I carry out them strictly, I will look like “a lackey loyal to a mean master”. I can‘t bear to bully others, but if I don’t, I will definitely be reprimanded by my boss, and may possibly lose my job. I am really in a dilemma. I look forward to your advice. Thank you.

A: It’ll be great if you can change a job. If not, you should feel ashamed and regretful first, and then do your work in accordance with Buddhist aspiration and practice.




Q: Master, I have been under a lot of stress and worry recently. My family issues have made me very sensitive and my work has been difficult as well. The work is very exhausting and my supervisor does not appreciate my hard work. I felt upset and my temper was getting worse. Could you please give me some advice whether I should continue my work or quit and have a rest? Any Buddhist scripture can help? Thank you.

A: Only in deep inside of our hearts can we find real happiness. Save ourselves a bit time every day for meditation.




Q: Master, I just received a job offer. The new position will give me a larger space and I will be a team leader for the first time. Everything is new for me, and I have no experience at all. I am a little worried that I can’t handle this work, and I am also worried about getting lost in seeking power and material gain. Please give me some guidance on how to deal with these worries and lack of confidence and how to be a leader. Thank you very much!

A: Turn the concerns for yourself to your team. As a leader, you must know how to make good use of collective strength by mobilizing each person’s initiative. This requires you consider not only your and your team’s interests, but also each team member's interests and development. How you treat others, others will treat you in the same way.




Q: Master, I have a question for you. Do you think that being kind to the staff is not suitable for a leadership position? Although my abilities, EQ and IQ are better than my staff, they do not follow my instructions; however they were obedient to their previous manager because he had a very strong personality. Is this problem a prestige or personality issue? What changes should I make?

A: Only respect, trust, sincere care and praise can win others’ wholehearted support. If you hold neglect, exclusion and complaint towards others in your heart, they will definitely respond you with indifference and contempt.




Q: Master, I would like to hear your advice. My working environment has changed and it is difficult for me to stay on. Furthermore, my heath condition doesn’t allow me to stay either. But if I choose to leave, I won’t have any option to return and will face a lot of uncertainties. I am in a dilemma. What should I do?

A: Whatever you choose, do your best. Paths are made by human.




Q: Master, one of my colleagues lacks abilities, so he couldn’t meet the working requirements and affected others’ work. How can I help him?

A: Suppose you were him, what help would you need? Put yourself in his shoes, and you will know how to help him.




Q: Hello, Master! I am a lay practitioner, having taken refuge to the Three Jewels but not the Five Precepts yet. I often have to eat meals and drink alcohol with my boss for work reason. If not, I won’t be able to keep a good relationship with him, or even lose my job. Am I right to do so? Thank you.

A: Make choice according to the karmic law of cause and effect.

Q: Master, I can’t fall asleep at night. What should I do? I have a lot of things to do in the daytime.

A: Don’t worry about the things in the daytime when sleeping. And don’t think about insomnia at night when working.




Q: Master, all I think now is how to calm myself down. I am a man of few words. I was criticized and attacked for this weakness by my previous colleagues. I never answered back, but couldn’t stand it for very long, and so I have changed many jobs. However, it has been a long secret trouble growing deeper in my heart. Other people can tell my “misery” from my words and behaviors, and no one would like to communicate with me. I can’t find a solution to change it. How painful it is! Master, could you instruct me what to do? Thank you very much.

A: Talking little can reduce much bad karma caused by speech. It would be good if you can do more for other people.




Q: Master, may I ask for your advice? Why am I always easily distracted? Especially when I do the important and must-do things but I doubt I will succeed. Is it because I am too eager to gain other people’s recognition?

A: It is because you don’t have confidence and motivation in your deep inside to fulfill the tasks but just want to escape from them.




A: Master, I have been thinking it over long but still not found a reason. Why can’t I be strong when talking to other people? Even if the words I said were powerful, they became weak when I spoke. It bothers me a lot during my work and daily life. Could you help me?

Q: It is the karmic consequence of your past false or improper words, which makes you not convincing now. We should try to avoid chatting, lying, slandering, and abusive words. Talk more in kind, honest and soft tongues, and the situation you mentioned will be improved gradually.




A: Master, I am often too nervous to sleep well before making public speeches, attending important events or going to interviews. Is it caused by egoism? What should I do to eliminate the pressure? Thank you so much.

Q: You felt nervous because you expected to be recognized by other people, so you were afraid of losing face if you couldn’t do it well. Try to change this mentality, and focus your attention on what you will say. Do your best, and then accept any outcome calmly.




Q: Master, why do I always feel nervous when speaking in public or at formal occasions? Is it because I don’t have self-confidence or sufficient experience? How can I keep calm to do current things well?

A: It is because we care too much about ourselves. We are afraid of damaging our images. If we let go egoism a little, then we will feel at ease a little.




Q: Hello, Master! I can hardly obtain recognition no matter what I have done. How can I have the ability to do every piece of work well without fear of other people's comments?

A: We don’t need to live in other people's recognition. Be yourself, work earnestly and diligently, do your duty, and live for the moment.




Q: Bow to Master! I always want to do my work perfectly, even more perfectly. However, I know that all desires lead to bitterness. I am fatigued of work. Should I put down some pursuits according to the circumstances?

A: If we have clear aim in the mind, tiredness will be meaningful. Certainly, accommodating ourselves to circumstances is not letting things go in passive attitudes. It is to achieve a perfect harmony of various conditions.




Q: Bow to Master! I am not good at using time effectively. I have plenty of time actually, but don’t know how to make a detailed and reasonable plan. If I make a time schedule, I am always troubled by failing to follow it, and then easily get angry for no reason. I know that I lack executive strength, and don’t have a clear understanding of myself either. How could I get rid of these bad habits?

A: When making a schedule, you can start from a simple one. Just list several major things you need to do, not set deadline, otherwise you will feel stressed out if failing to follow it. Prioritize your tasks, and make sure the schedule is within your capability.




Q: Master! Anxiety is a common sentiment in study and work. How can I overcome it?

A: The key point is not to blindly compare you with others. Make effort on the “causes” and accept the “effects” calmly. Be active but not anxious.




Q: Amitabha Buddha! Master, may I ask you a question? I always want to compare myself with others on study and work. Every time I see other people work harder than I do, I feel uncomfortable and upset about it. How can I change this way of thinking? Bow to Master.

A: How could we make comparison between the orchid in spring and the chrysanthemum in autumn? Every person has his or her own situation. So, just walk your own way and have confidence on yourself.




Q: Master! How can I keep mentally relaxed while physically busy? Bow for thanks.

A: Make a good plan and then work hard to implement it. Don’t often look back on the finished things, but concentrate on the ongoing one.




Q: Master, how can I be more concentrated when working on tasks? Should I keep tensed up while doing things? If so, is it contrary to “an ordinary mind”?

A: Concentration has nothing to do with tense. It has to begin from training and practice on small things. The results usually don’t depend on whether we have methods nor not, but whether we practice or not.




Q: Bow to Master! How to differentiate “divergent thinking” needed in work and delusions in daily life? Sometimes I think too much about work, and the mind stray from the major points; but if I do not think about work, I’ll become ignorant and will not be able to do my job well.

A: Both “thinking” and “delusions “are psychological activities. The differences lie in: one is needed, the other is not; one follows rules and is in order, the other is out-of-order like a wild horse. What we should do is to strive at training ourselves and hold tightly the rein of the “wild horse of the mind”.




Q: Hello, Master! I would like to ask a question. When doing everything in daily life and work, I should often consider how to make it better, instead of thinking about what I can gain by doing it well. Is it right?

A: Formulate the objective(s) and think over its value before starting a task, which helps to enhance your motivation. However, after starting, you should concentrate on the process, instead of the result.




Q: Master, I am already 22 years old, but I am not in a stable love relationship nor do I have a good career path. I especially have difficulty to set a right attitude to job. What should I do?

A: An ordinary mind is a right attitude.




Q: Bow to Master! Whenever I think I won’t be able to have a future as I wish, I lose peace in the mind. I don't think I desire too much, but just feel that I didn’t receive the appropriate reward for my efforts. Additionally, I haven’t been given the good opportunities like others. How can I get rid of the resentment in my heart? Master, please give me guidance. Amitabha Buddha!

A: “Don’t complain other people are in better circumstances than I am. As a matter of fact, lots of people are even in worse situation.” The secret of happiness is to compare with those who have less material enjoyment than you and to compare with those who have more spiritual pursuits than you.




Q: Bow to Master! I do shift work. Recently, I often woke up at mid-night. How could I keep balance between Buddhist study and work?

A: Although busy with work, we still should make time to do fixed daily practice at home (time arranged according to your situation) as well as visit monasteries regularly to study Buddhist teachings. We should try to follow Buddha’s Dharma in every aspect of our work and life. In this way, we are practicing anytime and anywhere.




Q: Master, thank you for sparing some time to answer my question. But this question still bothers me: There are always rules of competition. Eagles can fly high in the sky because the rule of their competition is clear. However, when people compete, it is hard to avoid purposefully harming others for self-gain, even if they may have good nature. People possess both sense and desire. I wish for my actions to always follow my heart, but if I have to follow the rules of game, I won’t be able to succeed all the time. The process of pursuing profoundness and broadness will start from the very beginning. Therefore, is it difficult to follow the Buddhist teachings when we compete for success in this world?

A: Any single rule in human society is not as important as the Buddhist karmic law of cause and effect.

Q: Hello, Master. I am a high school student. My daily life is limited in school and home, which makes me so bored and agitated that I can hardly throw myself into study. What should I do? Could you please give me some advice?

A: We should set an ultimate goal for our lives, live with aims, and study with enthusiasm.




Q: Master, I am a senior high school student. Why do I live an unpleasant everyday life?

A: All things are created by the mind alone. Let our minds be bathed in sunlight and keep a positive attitude, then the environment around us will be improved. A little more forbearance, a little more understanding, a little more gratitude and a little more giving will lead to a more wonderful life.




Q: Master, owing to the great pressure of study, I was often bothered by something, and even lost sleep sometimes. Please tell me what I should do.

A: Regarding pressure, think more about “how to do things well”, but think less about “what if things are not done”.




Q: Master, I am a senior high school student and will take the College Entrance Examination. Facing this pressure, what should I do to calm myself down and concentrate on study?

A: You may pray to Buddhas, chant the Heart Sutra, and respect your parents, teachers and classmates. Do good deeds to accumulate merits whenever you have a chance.




Q: Bow to Master! I am a senior high school student. As the college entrance examination is around the corner, I sometimes can’t help worrying about many things and feel lost and depressed. Sometimes I even lack motivation and courage to work hard under pressure. Could you please give me some advice? Thank you!

A: Worrying too much does no good to you other than annoying you. It’s better to focus on this moment and make your efforts. When we face the external circumstances, our minds can choose the objects we want to focus on and feel. By learning to be gratitude to and care about others, we can attain a peaceful and bright mind.




Q: Master, I am not sure if it is an appropriate request. Could you please cheer me up for the coming college entrance examination? There are only twenty-eight days left before the examination. I would be really happy if you could give me some encouragement.

A




Q: Master, I performed poorly on a test. I was not angry because I knew I didn’t deserve to achieve first place, but I still felt embarrassed about it. Could you please explain why I had this feeling?

A: Pains always come along with egoism.




Q: Master, I am a girl and I liked competing with others in the past, therefore I was quite excellent in study. Now I don’t think the class rank matters that much, and I tell myself not to care too much about it. However, when I see other classmates studying hard every day, I can’t help feeling jealous. What should I do?

A: When jealousy arises in your mind, think about your real purpose of study.




Q: How to compete with others with a peaceful mind? Although I am a student, my heart is filled with anxiety.

A: There is a saying in a Chinese classic, The Great Learning, “The point where to rest being known, the object of pursuit is then determined.” Only understanding the pursuit of our life can we keep a stable mind in front of various external distractions.




Q: Master, I am a high school student, and have been studying the Buddha’s teachings for two years. I have liked Kunqu Opera for a long time, but I think I have to consider seriously about my future occupation since I will be graduating soon. I did consider applying for admission to Shanghai Theatre Academy. Please tell me what I should do.

A: Set the goals of life and make a plan for achieving them. Once determined, we should strive persistently to fulfill it. Everyone’s future is in his or her own hands.




Q: Master, one of my schoolmates majors in finance and economics, while his interest lies in studying the ancient Chinese philosophies. He feels very distressed because of the inconsistency. He doesn’t know whether he should devote himself in major study now in order to get a good job to support his interest in the future, or whether he should spare time and effort now on his interest. What should he do? Thank you, Master! Amitabha Buddha!

A: No need to view them as a contradiction. Studying is not only a student’s obligation but also a necessary method for raising oneself as well as benefiting others and serving society. Meanwhile, enriching and improving one’s spirit is also an inner strength for life growth. Both are ways of benefiting self and others.




Q: Bow to Master! Is it meaningful for college students to make a plan for future? If yes, how to make a plan? Changes always go beyond plans. When some unexpected things happen, a perfect plan will be ruined completely.

A: Plan the growth of your mind, not specific things. Namely, what kind person do you want to be? What kind value of life do you want to achieve?




Q: Master! My classmates and I keep asking self: What can I do? What do I want to do? But it’s really hard to find answers. We have been thinking about it for several semesters, and feel we are wasting time. Master, could you tell us what we should do?

A: Find a fine example and follow him or her.




Q: Hello, Master! I am preparing for a school entrance examination and have a very heavy workload of review. I have been on vegetarian diet for a long time. But due to excessive use of brain, I lost weight quickly. In addition, I always feel dizzy and uncomfortable recently, and easily become angry. I can’t concentrate on my review at all. I took a physical examination but no problem was found, however I feel a great deal of pain. I feel that my body doesn’t follow my order. Is it because I am over concerned? Please give me some advice!

A: Vegetarian diet can make people smarter, but make sure to keep a nutritious balance. Not be picky with food, and eat more nuts. Many health problems are not problems with the body but the mind. You can meditate for a few minutes every day, and think about what your aim of study is.




Q: Master, I am a high school student. It’s not convenient for me to go to monasteries. So what should I do for practice?

A: Buddhist practice is mind cultivation actually. Respect teachers, be filial towards parents, get along well with classmates, train your kind mind and do good deeds. The Buddha Dharma can’t be separated from worldly life, and it exists everywhere in life. Welcome to often visit my blog and micro-blog.





A: Buddhism is a complete and systematic education of life. To practice Buddha Dharma correctly, you need to follow an experienced teacher and study together with other fellow practitioners. You may come to monasteries to experience the monastic life when you have time.




Q: Bow to Master! I am a senior three student, having lots of stress and worries. I have been trying to eliminate worries and motivate myself with Buddhist teachings. After reading many Buddhist stories, I found Buddhism was broad and profound. So I set a goal of learning Buddha Dharma systematically in the future. However, my family and classmates don’t have any faith. If I tell them I want to study and practice Buddhism, I’ll become a weird person in their eyes. In such circumstances, I have no idea what I should do.

A: You don’t need to announce it, or follow Buddhist rituals strictly in daily life. The key point is to act according to the Buddhist teachings, and make you kinder, happier and more broadminded. While you put effort on personal practice, you should also make a wish of meeting more dharma friends who are studying Buddhist teachings as well. By doing so, your environment will get better and better.