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Make the best of our habits

By The Light of Life - Sunshine Breakfast
Sunday, February 04, 2018

What do we fear most? What do we love most? What are our strengths and weaknesses? Introspection is a very important self-training practice to thoroughly understand ourselves. Without such practice, we are easily influenced by external conditions. Why?

Originally, our heart is the internal cause and the host; and the various phenomena are external conditions and the guests. With lack of training, our heart has no way to recognise its own position. It loses its active role as a host and thus is influenced by external phenomena.

If they take the lead, the heart will fall back into the guest's position. "Putting the cart before the horse", afflictions will for sure arise. Therefore, teachings of the wise are mainly about how to let our heart to be the host or how to use the heart to change the external environment.

Imagine that a wise man arrives somewhere. Influenced by this man's aura, beautiful things will occur around him.

On the contrary, for a psychologically weak man, he will be constrained by the external environment directly. On the contrary, an ordinary man would be very influenced by the external environment directly. With a critical mind, he has no way to sustain a harmonious inner mind.

Usually most of us would be trapped into what happens around us. Our hearts chases after these external phenomena and we feel that we cannot rest our heart. That is quite a common thing. This is because we are used to relying on the extreme views of duality to see things.

Human beings are characterised by dualistic points of view: right-wrong, others-self, good-bad, etc… These are considered as extreme views. What role can they play in our life? They can either trap us into the phenomenal aspects of things or play an active role on the path to enlightenment. Actually, this duality is a tool for us to observe and grasp the state of an issue.

We can directly use our habits of duality to become enlightened from the phenomenon. We are used to looking at things from one and only perspective (only good or only bad for instance). These judgments will further solidify our perception and produce a powerful force, the force of habits. However, little by little we can cultivate a habit of looking at one thing through various angles and become less easily trapped into things. As a result, our heart would go beyond current issues.

We used to judge things by making arbitrary decision like "This is right" or "This is wrong". Now, we can make use of this dualistic habit to be enlightened within phenomena and let our heart to be the host.

To be trapped or not is related to a proactive or passive behaviour. If we take the external conditions as host, our heart will be obscured and lost. Such attachments and solidified mind are the results of running after phenomena, which is passive behaviour.

Whereas, if we can go beyond the attachment to the phenomena and let our heart take the proactive role and be the master, we will become enlightened.

? The Light of Life - Sunshine Breakfast team is from China. They invariably follow the instruction and methods of the ancient Chinese sages and enlightened ones so as to try to solve all kinds of problems and worries in life. Views expressed do not belong to this newspaper.

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