Some FAQ’s When I First Came to the Dharma Path

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What is spirituality?

Spirituality is recognising one has faults and that there is a method to overcome these faults and applying those methods. Going to a Temple of Worship is not spiritual but it supports one’s spirituality.

How do we practice Buddhism?

All beings are controlled by anger, desires and ignorance – so-called self-cherishing mind. We hate our enemies, love our nearest and dearest and have no cares whatsoever to a stranger. Practising Buddhism means transforming our minds, so that we can cut down our anger, desires and ignorance. We change the way we view things around us, to accommodate others. That is the best way to eliminate our self-cherishing mind.

Do we need to have a teacher to practice?

Like studying, we need a qualified teacher who can teach us the best and quickest method (according to our level of intelligence) to achieve the required results. Similarly, we need a qualified teacher to guide us on our Buddhist path – to show us the best and quickest path.

What is karma?

Karma means ‘action’ is based on the Law of Existence which only an omniscient being understands. Every action we perform – good, bad or neutral plants karmic seeds in our subtle minds that will ripen in future (not just this life but in future lives). Like the English proverb, “if you sow the wind, you will reap the whirlwind”, good actions create good results whilst bad actions create bad results.

How do I overcome the bad karma?

By practising dharma – start with the preliminaries of making lots of good offerings and prostrations to collect merits. Perform good actions with good motivations. Read many dharma books and attend dharma talks. Ask questions if you do not understand. We may not be able to stop the bad karma ripening but at least, by practising now (and not procrastinate) we may soften the “blow” (so to speak).

What are Merits?

All good actions done with the right motivation will generate merits. Whilst karma will exhaust itself, merits do not. Good actions with wrong motivations can give rise to good karma – such as making donations for publicity. But the good results generated will exhaust and downfall is inevitable.

 

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