Every morning, in the pitch blackness of the hours before dawn, our monastery wakens. The ringing of the big bell and the rhythmic beating of the large Taiko drum penetrate the quiet stillness, drawing all to the Buddha Hall to begin the morning recitation. The setting is one of utter serenity and peace. By the time the recitation has ended and I walk to the Buddha Hall from my study to give my daily Dharma talk, the darkness is already beginning to recede. Dawn is just breaking over the horizon; the sun slowly rises, its rays passing through the branches of the trees, its beams scattering shimmering light. It is a most beautiful scene. In that serene moment, as I look out into the gardens, I feel that everything in Nature is speaking the Dharma to us.
In all moments of our life, as we face the world around us, we need to keep a similar inner state of utter serenity, peace, and purity. When our heart and mind are so, then looking out upon all the world's things, we shall hear the Dharma they are speaking to us.
This, too, is the state of mind we should have as we study the sutras and Buddhist teachings, for it is only with our hearts that we can touch the wondrous realm of the Dharma which the sutras try to describe for us. When we listen to an explanation of the sutras, we need to be very mindful and strive to experience the state the sutras describe. Our hearts need to connect with the sutra and that state. Without that connection, we cannot truly enter into the teaching and comprehend.
From Dharma Master Cheng Yen's Talks
Compiled into English by the Jing Si Abode English Editorial Team
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