The world of Tzu Chi Augusts 2021 (Vol.136)

2021 • 08 44 harma T he Buddha then used yet another analogy: “Afflictions are like the snake that sleeps in your mind.” Once it is disturbed, the snake will bite. “They are like a black adder sleeping in your room; use the hook of upholding the precepts to quickly remove them.” Afflictions are just like a snake in our house; we must quickly take an iron hook and carry the snake outside. Otherwise, how could we feel safe? We must constantly remain vigilant and use the precepts to guard against invading afflictions. “Only when the sleeping snake has been removed can you sleep soundly.” Once we have carried out the snake, we can sleep peacefully. Likewise, we can only be at ease in our spiritual practice if we get rid of the afflictions of greed, anger and ignorance. Only then can we walk the Path without worries. We are all disciples of the Buddha, so we must be vigilant. This applies not only to monastics, but also to lay practitioners. Once the viper of afflictions has invaded our mind, our entire life may be ruined. Therefore, “Those who dare sleep before they have removed it are people without shame.” Those who want to rest before they have eliminated their afflictions are people without a sense of shame. Spiritual practitioners must always maintain a sense of shame and practise diligently. A sense of shame brings good thoughts “The clothing of shame is the foremost of all adornments.” How can we dignify our life and show respect for our own spirit? We may only do so by upholding a sense of shame, for it causes us to always reflect on ourselves. Even if we cannot immediately cultivate a level of virtue like the Buddha’s, at least we should have the courage and loving-kindness of a Bodhisattva. All Buddhas began as ordinary people, and since they could become Buddhas, so can we. We may be ordinary people, but at the very least we must be diligent in our practice and strive to emulate the Buddha and Bodhisattvas. This is how we can truly show self-respect. If we make a mistake, then we must quickly admit to it, and then always remember to not make the same mistake again. A person with this mindset can truly be rescued. If, on the contrary, we do not dare admit our mistakes because we fear that people will CHAPTER 5 - PRECEPT OF SLEEPING