Posting Essays

How to keep one’s mind peaceful?

Update: 19/06/2015
In the history Zen Buddhism there is a story about between Bodhidharma, the first Patriach of Chinese Zen and his disciple, Master Huike.

How to keep one’s mind peaceful?


 Huike felt that he had had restless mind recently and he decided to beg his master to settle it for him. Having heard that plea, Bodhidharma told him “Show me your mind and I will pacify it” Then Huike said “I really cannot find it, Master.”  Bodhidharma said: “I have already pacified your mind.”


Obviously, the internal cause of insecurity comes from envy, worry, anger, greed …, which makes a conflict. It may be an inner or outer conflict and it can be a real or an imaginary one.


 Take jealousy for example, some of us may be resentful of others’ success. Instead, we should have been delighted at, praised it, shared the joy with them and learned from their success. Instead of being jealous of their success we should find out why they can succeed and think of the way to success like them. Sometimes, they can do it but we can’t however hard we try. Then, associate it of your evil destiny and unfortunate, being less blessed so that you should make more effort, cultivate more blessings and you will be successful.


 The reason they are successful now because they had made great endeavour in the previous lives, accumulated blessings although in this life they aren’t hard-working at all. Some of us may not admire others’ richness and their high social standing. They think that they have been working hard all life but they are still in necessitous circumstances, and do not feel happy of course. At the time, we should understand that in the past they made effort in practice and sowed good seeds. So, it is not advisable to be jealous of them if we do not admire them.

In addition, greed is also one of the major causes of unsafe feelings. People living a life of contentment are not regarded as greedy ones, Greedy people are never satisfied with what they have thereby enduring suffering.  Experience shows that people content with few desires will find peace and joy in life. Moreover, we shouldn’t find way to compete with others; contrarily if you attempt to work harder, you will achieve success. You should not be sad if the result is not as good as expected. In such cases, it is because causes and conditions have not ripened yet. You will eliminate the greed, the cause of pain and sufferings on such thoughts.

 In fact, insecure mind is due to being self-inflicted. We should find out the reason why we feel unsafe and be determined not to mind these afflictions any longer. For example, after the exam, some may constantly worry about the results; they wonder if they can pass the exam and if they pass where they will study and so on. While others may suppose that “Now I‘ve taken the exam already; it is absolutely useless to worry about it. Let it be as it may. I shouldn’t cause trouble for myself any more. Nothing can cause me affliction and sorrow.” You will certainly be pacified at such thoughts and you may feel that it is silly of you to have such aimless thoughts. 

Besides, you should recite the name of Amitabha Buddha or Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara when you feel insecure. If regularly practicing it, you can manage to remove affliction and find peace of mind.

Venerable Master Sheng Yen.

Translated into English by Bui Thi Bich Huyen.

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