In the third Gimhāna Sunday Service on 12 June, Sis. Sandy Lim delivered a Dhamma sharing on living in harmony with our family. Harmony is the smooth and pleasant functioning together of two or more parties, resulting in not just concord, but also unity.
When harmony within the family unit exists, it forms the nucleus of a peaceful community. The Buddha taught that ‘the progress of a society’ (aparihāniyā dhamma) can be measured by the ability ‘to meet together in harmony, adjourn in harmony and conduct business in harmony’ (Mahāparinibbāna Sutta, DN16).
Harmony in any community, whether a small group or a whole society, depends on a shared commitment to ethical conduct. When a family commits to the Five Precepts, they are able to maintain trust and feel secure with each other. In the Sangaha Sutta: The Bonds of Fellowship (AN 4.32), the Buddha advised the monks that solidarity is founded on the grounds of generosity, kind words, beneficial help and consistency as appropriate in every situation.
Many however may find it more difficult to apply this with our family, mainly because we often set expectations which are higher than usual when it comes to our spouse and children. Hence, we need to maintain mindfulness of thoughts, speech and actions with our family members, who are those who need and will benefit most from our care, compassion and support. To listen to the full talk where Sis. Sandy expanded on generosity and kind speech towards others, please click here.