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Venerable Beopjeong’s Letter – A Life Skill
“What happens when you die?” A disciple asked his teacher.
The teacher replied, “Don’t waste your time. It’s never too late to think about death when you breathe your last and are buried. Why do you neglect your life and care about death now? What will be, will be.”
Indeed, we have just learned what is silly rather than valuable.
The most precious thing to us is to be mindful this very moment.
What can be said about a life skill is that you should be mindful of your own life all the time.
A true teacher does not teach his disciples to follow him but teaches them to stand on their own two feet.
Those who lead a religious life, regardless of whether they are a monastic or a lay practitioner, should study and practice compassion above all. It goes without saying that getting away from ideological, abstract theory and living a concrete life every moment is to share your life with your neighbors. Sharing your life should not be vertical assistance but horizontal exchange.
You often misunderstand that enlightenment precedes compassion, but you must realize that complete compassion is the very path to enlightenment. Masters of the past also said that renunciant practitioners who set out for perfect enlightenment should be compassionate first of all.
You cannot know the pleasure of sharing without studying and practicing compassion.
You cannot know the joy of giving without knowing compassion.
You cannot be free from your hostility to other people until you share your life with your neighbors without hesitation.
I remember a story that I heard from someone:
A man’s car was about to enter an intersection, but he took his eyes off the road for a second and didn’t step on the brakes. As a result, he rear-ended the car in front. There was a note that read “Just Married” on the rear windshield of the car ahead. The bumper of the car in front was just slightly scratched but he got out of the car and sincerely apologized to the newlyweds. Then the new groom opened the window and smiled saying, “We’re all right. Things happen.”
What the new groom said, “Things happen,” is a deep understanding rooted in love.
Now that a man and a woman have gotten married, both of them should thoroughly brace for all troubles.
The biggest incident in human history has already happened and therefore everything else is nothing more than a small scratch on the surface. I’d like to tell the story to Mr. Kim who said that he would marry when the hot summer passed and the autumn wind began to blow.
I hope you keep in mind the fact that lasting patience and deep understanding are needed for a happy marriage.
Everything constantly passes and changes.
Your point of view sometimes changes, too. Nothing stands still.
That’s why it’s said that you can’t step in the same river twice.
Therefore, you don’t have to take things seriously. Life is nothing but play.
Don’t cling to happiness even though you’re happy; do not avoid unhappiness but just accept it, even though you’re unhappy.
At the same time, keep an eye on every single moment of your life.