Lessons from Life: A Happy Person is with Few Desires

Guan Ming

PureInsight | March 18, 2007

[PureInsight.org] Many people
are worried about not being able to satisfy their desires in life.
Although they are anxious to get rid of their worries, they can not
find the real source of the worries. If you ask them the reasons for
their anger or unhappiness, they may sum up the reasons as follows: The
boss is too mean; their friends are unfaithful to them; their children
fail to meet their expectations to attend a famous school; their
husbands or parents are too stingy to give them enough spending money,
and so on. There is a common characteristic in these people: they think
about their personal losses and gains excessively and consider their
own troubles as being the fault of others. They never truly look
inwards to find their own shortcomings or faults.

Most people are very frail and have difficulty resisting various
temptations when dealing with desire. When the desire for material
things is ceaselessly expanded, their minds will be deluded easily.
People's desires have no limit. If a person cannot see through the true
nature of life, he cannot do anything without desire and during his
whole life he will never shake off his worries. That is because when
one desire is satisfied, another new desire will come up.  Only
the cultivators who walk on the path of returning to their origin can
thoroughly put down the mindset of pursuit of fame and gain and be
forever free from worry in this human world.

According to legend, Emperor Suzong was troubled by various worries. So
he worshiped Huizhong, a Zen master from Nanyang, as his Master Teacher
and hoped the master could get rid of his worries and overcome his
difficulties. One-day emperor Suzong asked the Zen master: "How can I
obtain the Buddha dharma?" Huizhong answered him: "The Buddha dharma is
in one's mind. No one can get it from another! Does Your Majesty see
the rosy cloud outside the palace? Can your imperial guards take it
down and put it in the hall?" Emperor Suzong answered weakly: "Of
course not!"

Huizhong said with a sign: "People are always seeking things from
Buddha. Some ask for honor and an official post; some seek wealth and
longevity; some seek a peaceful mind free from reproach. How many
people seek cultivation to become a Buddha?" Emperor Suzong asked
again: "How can one possess the embodiment of the Buddha?" Huizhong
answered him: "Desire makes Your Majesty have such thoughts! If you do
not think of cultivating inwards and waste your life in meaningless
fantasiesy, after a few decades of dreaming, you will be just a
skeleton. Isn't that so pointless?"

"Oh! How can one have no worries or sadness?" the Emperor asked,
backing away. Huizhong answered readily: "Those without worry can see
himself clearly. A person seeking Buddhahood will never think of having
a tranquil Buddha body himself and will always look within. Only those
who worry would think of how to get rid of their worries. Cultivation
is a process of clearing one's mind. No one can do it for another. When
one gives up personal desires and gives up questing for things, one
actually owns the whole world!"

We see that, even a person as powerful as an Emperor, who possessed
supreme power, couldn't satisfy his many desires. Common people who do
not have any power may even have more desires if they don't know how to
desert them. People will have worries if they cannot satisfy their
desires. They will be unable to free themselves. People with few
desires will be happier. When one understands this simple reasoning,
one will be far from worry and live a carefree life.

Translated from: http://www.zhengjian.org/zj/articles/2007/3/12/42693.html

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