As part of Nalanda’s Wesak Programme, we were fortunate to have Mr. Vijaya Samarawickrama (also fondly known as Uncle Vijaya) give a Dhamma talk this morning on “Being Well Begins with Me”, in line with this year’s Wesak theme. “Be-ing” means to be here and now. It is dwelling in the present, letting go of the past and not worrying about a future that has not materialised.
Many people mistakenly define pleasure as well-being. Pursuing gratification of the senses will not lead to wellness; on the contrary, it is bringing more suffering upon ourselves. The first lick of an ice-cream is very different compared to the last lick of the 12th ice-cream! Well-being is not what we take in from external stimuli, rather it is cultivated from within us, in our mind. Suffering is a mental state which we can choose to forgo. So, even when our body is subjected to aches and pain, our mental strength will ensure that we do not further compound our physical ailments with mental suffering. Uncle Vijaya also quoted a local proverb and added his own twist. “Bila jatuh, jangan ditimpa tangga”, i.e. when we fall, don’t let the ladder fall on us.
Uncle Vijaya then delved into the “Six Well-beings”, namely physical, mental, family, economic, interpersonal and spiritual well-being. It is important that we practise and develop ourselves with these well-beings, before we are able to inspire others to do the same.