17/5/2021 – “Joyful Dharma” Reading Club Report
Topic: Buddha-dharma: Pure & Simple – Dual Cultivation of Merit and Wisdom
A total of 25 participants attended this week’s reading session facilitated by Elder Advisor Sister Lillian.
From the passage written by Venerable Master Hsing Yun, the dual cultivation of merit and wisdom should be equally emphasised with practice and understanding, knowledge and action, as well as listening and experiencing to complete the practice of Buddhism. From the discussion that follows, Elder Advisor Sister Lillian created some awareness and self-examination among the readers by questioning what they understand about dual cultivation and how one should go about practicing them in life.
Some readers shared their early experiences and how they cultivated both merit and wisdom by doing the 3 good deeds, helping people to solve problems, being patient to listen to one’s problem, participating in charity activities, reading sutras and listening to dharma talks, joining dharma classes or reading clubs and so on. We also hear sharings from our dharma brothers that cultivation of merit and wisdom require the perfection of wisdom and generosity as well as observance of precepts, meditative concentration and prajna wisdom so that one can contemplate to gain true wisdom. Other ways of practice also includes prostrating to the Buddha and meditation practice to purify one’s mind. In reality, some may not be able to practice the dual cultivation due to one’s background, causes and effects, conditions and affinities. Nevertheless, a practitioner of the bodhisattva’s path should not stick to only one method and should always try to have a good balance by reading sutras and learning the Dharma to cultivate both virtues.
As a reflection of this topic, we revere the advise of Venerable Master Hsing Yun that when one listens to, contemplates upon, and practices the Dharma, one is essentially “entering the attainment of samadhi through listening, contemplation and practice”, which ultimately increases our insights and capacity to acquire merit and enhance our wisdom.
The class ended with a “Prayer Before Retiring for the Day” followed by Transference of Merits. May we dedicate the merits from the learning and sharing of the Buddha-Dharma to all sentient being, may all be safe and well.
Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu!