On Sunday 19 June, Sis. Buddhinī Tan gave a Dhamma sharing on ‘Living in harmony with family’. She explained the importance of the Four Bonds of Fellowship (Sangaha Sutta AN 4.32) in enhancing the interconnectedness of those living together and cultivating harmony within our families. When applied with right understanding, we become more caring, relate well and are more useful to one another, leading to everyone dwelling in happiness and unity.
The first principle of ‘Dāna’, helps us to not be selfish, but instead consider the needs of others and give with open hearts. Parents role-model this as they give unreservedly for their children’s upbringing, even at the expense of their own needs. The second principle of ‘Peyyavāja’ – amicable, sincere and useful speech, requires much mindfulness to uphold because our reactions are often led by our emotions. Too easily do harsh words divide; kind words however form bonds of fellowship.
‘Atthacariyā’ is the third principle of performing actions that are for the well-being of others. The spirit of supporting our family is beyond material needs. Nurturing relationships require us to spend quality time connecting and sharing moments of happiness. The fourth principle ‘Samānattatā’ means behaving consistently and equitably. When we treat others fairly and with empathy, everyone will feel appreciated and inclined to do the same.
May we always bear in mind that supporting our parents, and cherishing spouse and children are themselves blessings supreme (Mangala Sutta, Sutta Nipata 2.4). To listen to the full Dhamma talk, please click here.