Why do we walk around a tree when we practice Energy Bagua? Someone said it is a form of reverence, but Grandmaster JinBodhi points out that it is because of love. What is selfless-compassion and love? Let’s hear from Grandmaster JinBodhi.
We Worship Because of Love
(I am from Vancouver. My son, who is 18, is in this camp. I am thankful to my son for coming with me to Malaysia.)
Your son accompanied you here?
(My son went to a Christian school at 7. He has been studying in a Christian school. So, he thinks he should be connected with Jesus Christ. But the places I have taken him to are all Buddhist temples or centers. All are related to Buddhism. So, I think my son is compassionate. I have 3 children; when I conceived them, I was a vegetarian. They have never eaten meat. I hope my child can understand many truths during this camp. For example, why do we face a tree when practicing Energy Bagua? He said, “Why should we worship a tree?” I hope Master can inspire my child. Thank you, Master.)
Very good. You are a vegetarian. Your 3 kids have been vegetarians from the womb. Your child accompanied you here. It shows he is very considerate. He is mature for his age.
Let’s come to his question about worship. Who said that we should worship the tree? I didn’t. Facing a tree is a practice method. “I grow as the tree grows.” The tree is a life. It is a thing in Nature. In fact, it is more like a god or spirit. Think: Is a tree different from your body after you die? Walking around a tree isn’t worshiping it. First, walking around a tree helps us walk in a circle. Second, a tree is a living being. We show our love for Nature through the tree. A tree represents Nature. A tree is a real, ordinary life in Nature. We connect with Nature through a tree. As I guided everyone to practice Energy Bagua, I stressed, “I am the tree, and the tree is me. I am Nature, and Nature is me.”
If we only worship an image, then no image is needed at all, be it the image of Buddha or Christ. Viewed from the highest level of religious belief, image worship is an ignorant act. Regarding worshiping Buddha statues: If you practice for many years, what you worship isn’t simply an image. We worship him not because he is a deity. He is the most compassionate teacher who tells us a truth. This truth is like a formula that works for all matters. The Buddhist truth is that causality applies to everything. If you often beat others, they will beat you. You say, “I didn’t beat others, but I am still beaten.” That’s caused by others’ greed. Then you can understand it. Viewed in the context of human nature, all things in the world can be understood.
If you don’t ask questions, I wouldn’t know that you have misunderstood. Practicing Energy Bagua around a tree isn’t worshiping the tree. But you remind me: In a sense, we should “worship” the tree, as we are grateful. We thank all those that help us. When I walk, I avoid treading on grass or killing ants. It is all because I love the world, so I thank everything.
(Thank you, Master.)
Jesus Christ was great. But many wars occurred between Germany, England, and France. Their fighters all believed in God. Over the next 300 years, were the wars between Christians and Muslims caused by their religious deities or God? No, the cause of wars is overattachment to religion. True Universal love wasn’t there. The Buddha said, “I can become a buddha, and so can all sentient beings.” So, I worship him.
We are ignorant. If you want to know more, study European history and see who started those wars. Few wars in history were caused by Buddhists. Buddhists abide by these words: “Take whatever comes.” They resolve issues through self-reflection. If they are assaulted or lose their business, they say, “My merit isn’t enough. Forget the pain. I will practice for my future lives.” If their families are killed, they release the souls of the dead, asking for Buddha’s help. They believe their time has come. This is self-liberation. It’s self-awakening. How compassionate and tolerant they are! This is Buddhism. With their own inner strength, they resolve their sorrow, and comfort their wounds and hurt hearts. This is “take whatever comes.” It has allowed Buddhism to endure.
To be exact, Buddhism isn’t a religion. It is a philosophy of self-consolation, self-liberation, and pacifism. Because of this, wars and fights were avoided. If Buddhists fight with each other, then they haven’t learned well. They are criticized. Buddhists never start a war. Take a look. In order to protect Buddhism, have any Buddhists thrown bombs? Very few. I can’t say there was none, due to someone’s bad temperament. But in the entire Buddhist education, there is no advocation of violence. Buddhism always advocates self-liberation. This is the part that has touched me. I don’t believe in anything blindly. Because I benefited from it, I constantly studied it until it had deeply touched me. Then I became a firm believer. You can call Buddhism anything. In this learning process, I changed from a petty-minded to relatively broadminded person, no longer calculating. Compared to a saint, I am still small. But compared to my past self, I am a saint now. This is my perception of Buddhism.
No one but you can liberate yourself; you must convince yourself. With your compassion, you resolve all obstacles, pains, blows, or failures. Easier said than done. If your child is harmed for no reason, can you stand it? No. However large the pain, a Buddhist will eventually resolve it and hold no grudges. Resolving it is not bearing or tolerating it. Some try to persuade others, saying, “Don’t fight back when people swear at you. Don’t lose your temper when you lose money in business; bear it.” Bearing it means you try to bear something unbearable. One day you won’t bear it anymore. True, wise resolution is achieved through compassion. With pain, dissolve it, and say you aren’t suffering. Even if at first you pretend not to be suffering, eventually, you are truly not suffering. In order to liberate yourself, you won’t retaliate. You forget the pain on purpose. You try all means to resolve your hatred and not retaliate. Don’t be vengeful if offended. It is rude. Such behavior is hurting others out of ignorance.
If offended, just think you did something wrong. It is not the other’s fault. We need to check what we may have done wrong. In childhood, I was beaten by other kids when I walked by their houses. I asked my mom, “I didn’t offend the kids. I was just passing by the place when I went shopping. Why did they beat me? What did I do?” My mom replied, “You passed by their place so it is your fault. Can’t you take another path?” I felt my mom was so useless and cowardly. Now I realize she was wise. This is compassionate wisdom. Some moms might respond differently, saying, “I will protect you with a knife. Ask your brother to beat him with a club and break his legs.” Such cases exist. All kinds of responses exist. Who doesn’t love their own child? My mom asked, “Why did you walk that path? You could walk the other one. Those kids are bad-tempered. Just avoid them.” It sounds like my mom was cowardly. But it was compassion, as one thing is stressed — do no harm to others.
I was touched repeatedly by what I learned in this process. Not harming others is difficult. May I ask you, have you harmed others or any animals? If you haven’t, raise your hand. To the vegetarians, have you harmed worms? Haven’t you eaten vegetables containing worms? Be aware: That is also being harmful. If you deny it, you are shameless. When you have telepathy, you can see the lives on the Chinese cabbage leaves. Do you know that? If a thing undergoes birth and death, it is a life. You still eat Chinese cabbage leaves, yet you consider yourself a compassionate person? That is ignorance. If you know little about lives, how can you protect them? So, slowly, learn not to harm others for your own existence.
Don’t take others’ lives to feed yourself. We are doing this every day, right? You are biting fried chicken legs and steaks. Aren’t you taking others’ lives to feed yourself? You are wearing a suit and tie, eating a steak with a knife and fork. How civilized you look! You are just a murderer in a clean suit. Where is your civility? Your civility is slices of beef on your table and a glass of wine with a waiter’s service. How benevolent the murderer looks! How can you say you are civilized? You sacrifice others’ lives to feed yourself.
I am so sorry; I lost control of my speech. When we speak, we should have self-control, but I let my tongue slip today. This is, however, my true understanding. It is even hard for me to achieve it, despite saying it. I am an honest man. I strive to achieve it. How about you? Can we start refraining from harming others to feed ourselves? Who can achieve it? A few hands up. The more courageous ones? It is not courageous, but compassionate. If that steak were from your child’s body, would you still want to eat it? While you are eating the meat, the mother of the cow is staring at you. You are eating a piece of meat from her child. Putting yourself in the cow’s place, how would you feel? Can you still live? Why have many bullfighters been killed in Spain’s bullfights? Many have said, “Bulls are crazy.” Bulls are not crazy, but they should kill the bullfighters.
How many people slice the beef and eat it, feeling civilized? Some say, “Humans are meant to eat beef.” Then you deserve to be killed by the bull. What does “meant to” mean? Today we view this through the lenses of life and compassion. Let’s look closer at this. Do you know what it really means to be either a meat-eater or vegetarian? Even vegetables are living beings. But if we don’t eat beings with blood, we get less energy of hatred and killing. Just use your dietary choices to remind yourself: I want to be compassionate and I don’t want to harm lives. Slowly, you pass this information to your family, children, and friends. Your heart starts becoming compassionate and soft. Your external behavior becomes compassionate and soft. This will unblock your meridians, blood vessels, and heart knots. Your illness will be gone. This is self-healing, the best method.
There is more to harming lives. When pigs, dogs, cows and sheep are butchered, do they develop hatred? A hateful dog’s bite is poisonous. Their teeth are poisonous. The poison is from hatred. When humans with hatred bite other animals, they will also kill them. The wound’s infection will cause death. But if you love them, kissing them won’t kill them. They feel happy, tasting your happy saliva. Poison arises because of hateful thoughts. When we have compassion, many of our behaviors become compassionate and soft. Naturally, we are aware of others’ feelings, gains, and losses. When we compassionately care about others’ feelings, our heart is opened by compassion, unknotting over and over. Many afflictions or blockages will dissipate. Great wisdom will arise. Once your heart is open, it will lead to other blockages dissipating. A tiny act of benevolence leads to the unfolding of our whole life’s wisdom. If you always consider others’ gains and losses, you will achieve whatever you intend to do.
I hope my rant was of some help. I hope all your illnesses and the knots in your heart disappear. (Got it.) I wish you a happy family, successful career, and your children’s success at school. May you be healthy and recover from all illnesses! I wish your family prosperity! I wish you good health!
Today, I expressed myself freely, but it wasn’t a lecture, just naturally communicating with you. Much of what I said was provocative. If you are upset, please forgive me. Thank you, all.