On Sunday 5 April, Bro. Tan gave a meaningful sharing on the significance of “Cheng Beng”. “Cheng Beng” is not about performing rituals or burning “material things” to ‘benefit’ the deceased. It is about understanding the root values that maintain harmony, peace and happiness in communal living. The traditional values of kindness, generosity, compassion, morality and respect are rooted in our culture. These values promote mutual understanding and bring about conditions for happiness.
The departed ones are reborn in various realms according to what they have done and how they have lived. Although we can help them by transferring merits after performing meritorious deeds, it is far more important that we ‘help ourselves’ while we’re still alive.
As for the living, it is more meaningful to live a wholesome life cultivating oneself according to the Dhamma. The key principle of wholesome living is “Appamāda” (Diligence). It means cultivating oneself with mindfulness and awareness; developing right views and right livelihood; and developing a ‘sense of urgency’ in spiritual pursuits. If one lives constantly meditative and reflective in accordance to Dhamma, one can be free from the strong grip of “Māra” (defilements).
The ‘Service Sunday’ concluded with dedication of merits to all beings and transference of merits to departed relatives. Devotees then performed various chores in preparation for Wesak. It was indeed another Sunday well-spent with an interesting and wonderful sharing! Sadhu anumodana.