On Sunday, 12 June, Bro. Tan gave a Dhamma talk which re-energised our spiritual learning and practice, after the busy Wesak Buddha Day period. He reminded us that we needed to grow with wisdom after years of learning the Dhamma. Wisdom helps us to be more humane, kind and considerate.
During this Gimhāna Retreat, everyone was encouraged to pay more attention on learning and practising Dhamma, and to monitor their own progress with a daily log. The personal log acts as a guide and reminder to carry out our daily spiritual tasks and perform kind acts.
Bro. Tan said that the Gimhāna theme ‘A Life of Wisdom’ equates to ‘A Life of Blessings’. People look for blessings of happiness, good health, peace, harmony and other positive aspects of life. How can we acquire these ‘Blessings’ then?
The Buddha taught in the Mangala Sutta (Sutta Nipata 2.4) that there were 38 qualities that can bring about blessings in life. The first two are ‘to avoid association with foolish people’ and ‘to associate with wise, noble people’.
Furthermore, in the Anguttara Nikaya, the Buddha also taught us to attain a life of blessings, by (1) associating with the wise; (2) learning the right Dhamma; (3) paying wise attention (Yoniso manasikara); and (4) practising in accordance with the Dhamma. Associating with wise ones who are virtuous and who comprehend the Dhamma can positively influence and lead us to tread the path of wisdom.
However, Bro. Tan cautioned that it is important that we do not fall prey to fake ‘gurus’. We may develop trust in a wise teacher as our kalyana mitta, one who can guide us in our journey of spirituality; but we should be discerning enough not to follow blindly everything the teacher says without thinking or understanding.
We are grateful to Bro. Tan for his constant encouragement and generous sharing of the profound Dhamma to guide us in our practice. Sadhu anumodana!