They must not think that this world is meaningless and filled with confusion, while the world of Enlightenment is full of meaning and peace. Rather, they should taste the way of Enlightenment in all the affairs of this world. If a man looks upon the world with defiled eyes dimmed by ignorance, he will see it filled with error; but if he looks upon it with clear wisdom, he will see it as the world of Enlightenment, which it is. The fact is - there is only one world, not two worlds, one meaningless and the other full of meaning, or one good and the other bad. People only think there are two worlds, due to their discriminating faculty. If they could rid themselves of these discrimina- tions and keep their minds pure with the light of wisdom, then they would see only one world in which everything is meaningful. Those who believe in Buddha taste this universal purity of oneness in everything, and in that mind they feel compassion for all and have a humble attitude to serve everyone. Therefore, they should cleanse their minds of all pride and cherish humility, courtesy and service. Their minds should be like the fruitful earth that nourishes everything without partiality, that serves without complaint, that endures patiently, that is always zeal- ous, that finds its highest joy in serving all poor people by planting in their minds the seeds of the Buddha's teaching. Thus, the mind that has compassion for poor people, becomes a mother to all people, honors all people, looks upon all as personal friends, and respects them as parents.
In Buddhist psychology, one way to satisfy the various cravings of human nature is to find proper and construc- tive outlet for them. The person whose one-pointed drive is undermining his constitution and destroying his dispo- sition, can find other activities to give him inspiration, relaxation, and enduring pleasure. Most of the desirable directions toward which man turns his attention are in some way Enlightening or ennobling to his character. He experiences enrichment and a new sense of values. He may learn that he will be just as happy reading a good book as watching a crime program on television; that inspiring music will give him greater internal security than an escape through dissipation can possibly bestow. There are wonderful things that people can do to increase their own inner happiness and make life more valuable to others. But while the drives to success are strong, we give no thought to the enrichment or refinement of consciousness itself. If we become so tied down by career that we have no time or strength to broaden our interests, and cannot begin to fulfill our natural instinct for self- im- provement, something is seriously wrong. We have built a way of life that protects everything except man himself. He must always sacrifice the real values of his nature to maintain his institutions, enterprises, and projects. Sim- plification of living would bring benefits to everyone, and an important step in this direction is to give priority to such activities as obviously deserve first attention. How does a tense and confused person justify his own condition? Almost certainly he blames his misfortunes upon other people. He is unhappy because they do not appr ciate him, do not share his point of view, or because they interfere with his immediate objectives. None of these grievances can actually be regarded as a legitimate cause for complaint. There is no real reason why others should cater to us, or permit us to use them to achieve our personal desires. Most of all, we should not feel slighted or abused because we do not have our own way. Such matters should be solved in the quietude of our inner lives. We should learn to expect little and appreciate profoundly any expression of the good will of oth- ers that may be directed toward us. The demanding person is always unhappy, primarily because he has no right to demand. Elaborate programs of ulterior motives, which we hope to advance through the ignorance or even cu- pidity of others, are wrong in the first place and deserve to turn out badly. The moment we fully realize that we are not entitled to advance ourselves in any way at the expense of others, we will begin to clarify our own think- ing and remove causes for dissatisfaction with our friends and associates. Always, selfish- ness and egotism com- plicate the problems of living and ultimately lead to sorrow. The whole procedure is vain because life itself will not support any of these private, self-centered purposes. Everything that we accumulate will be dissipated; ambi- tions are meaningless even when we attain them, producing only weariness of spirit. Actually, the purpose of this entire way of thinking is not futility, but maturity. It is perfectly possible to live a meaningful life without break- ing the rules with which nature protects essential values. But we must come to realize that there is only one pur- pose that really makes life worthwhile, and that is to improve in those characteristics which we can take out of this life when we go. We are fully aware that we are going to depart, and we know that our departure may be sud- den and unexpected. Most persons therefore give some thought to what they leave behind for their descendants. As we grow in insight, we come to understand that the best gift we can bestow upon young people is the desire to live according to good and honorable principles. This is far more important than material wealth. We build a heri- tage for our children through personal example in our daily living. Thus, we should ask ourselves if we are creat- ing a pattern that we would want them to follow. Do we choose to enjoy harmless activities and find pleasure in simple amusements and harmonious associations with friends and family? In personal relationships, do we de- mand little and give all we can? Do we find special joy in creating and preserving beautiful things? Do we put our full heart and soul into our labor, finding in work a sense of fulfillment, and not an odious chore? Are we able to experience quietude as something that brings us close to the ideals we value in our own hearts? The devout Bud- dhist loves to walk among the stone lanterns on the grounds of a temple and unite his thoughts with all the beauty of the world, remembering loved ones who walked this path long ago. It is not difficult for him to feel the invisible presences that gather around the sanctuary. Here is a world far from war and hate and strife and all the legends and fairytales appear very plausi- ble as the moon makes a path of silver across the temple pond. The Buddhist has a remarkable capacity to live in a wondrous realm of "dreaming true," where all the hopes of the young are still cherished realities. Quietude prepares the way for the beauties of his simple and powerful faith. Actually, he cannot be disillusioned, for he has found a region of radiant light, of benevolent beings, of little miracles sensed even in commonplace occurrences.