Topic: Buddha-dharma: Pure & Simple — Letting Go
A total of 41 participants joined this reading session facilitated by Bro. Andy Ooi. Tonight, we are honoured to have Ven. You Zong as our guest. The class started off with a 5-min meditation lead by Ven. You Zong, to allow participants to relax and focus a moment to calm our mind.
As quoted by Venerable Master Hsing Yun, letting go does not mean we end up having nothing. On the contrary, only by letting go can one be at ease and liberated. Master also opines that people nowadays find it hard to let go of even a comment or a person—all due to lack of inner strength.
The facilitator raised a question to the room — how do we manage a relationship between letting go and giving up. Some readers shared their views that couples should consider to compromise and maintain family harmony and especially if they have children, they should not give up but, let go of their ego or stubborn behaviours to accommodate each other. From Ven. Ru Xing’s perspective, it is not a matter of letting go or giving up but rather, their attitude towards love. A very subtle monastic view indeed! Venerable recommended a book titled “The Road Less Traveled” written by a psychologist, M. Scott Peck, as reference how to apply the psychology of love and spiritual values to manage a relationship. Venerable described her definition of letting go is “a way of accepting and adapting, and progress for the better from that moment onwards”.
From the Buddhist perspective, attachment is craving, which leads to “clinging” and pursuing of worldly materials. From the sharing of readers, in order to detach ourselves from such cravings, one should apply and practice the Buddha’s teachings and reflect on the Twelve Links of Dependent Origination as a guide.
On another discussion how we look at life and death with detachment, some readers shared that we should cherish quality relationships with family members so that when impermanence happens, the family members will be able to reflect on happy moments spent together and use it as a source of strength and inspiration to move on. A reader also shared some stories to exemplify how we can detach from attachment by letting go of the burden that we carry on our backs and follow the Middle Path. Venerable Ru Xing reminded everyone to contemplate and recite the Amitabha Buddha’s name so that we can aspire to be reborn in the Pure Land.
Venerable You Zong was invited to share her experience about “letting go”. Before coming back to Malaysia, she had affinities to serve at the Buddha Museum in Taiwan and New York. In spite of her vast experiences and having served at well-established temples, she had a desire to serve the communities in India and willing to give up the comfort of her present environment. Unfortunately she was unable to realise her dreams due to unfavorable conditions in India at the moment. Instead, she was advised by Chief Abbess Venerable Jue Cheng that although she cannot go to India to serve physically, she could still do great things to help them by gathering resources from Malaysia and send it to those needy there. This is exemplary of letting go and picking up with ease so that one can still achieve great things, as long as one has a magnanimous mind.
We hope all readers are inspired and constantly reflect on the Buddha’s teachings and learn to let go of our sack to truly experience a carefree life. The session ended with ‘A Prayer Before Retiring for the Day’, followed by transference of merit.