Understanding on Respecting Master
(Minghui.org) The other day I spoke with a practitioner who recently gave birth, and I shared with her my own experience of babysitting my sister's newborn baby. I told her that I utilized most of the time during the day to listen to the Fa, while taking care of the child. The practitioner said that she felt it was disrespectful to Master to do other things while listening to the Fa. I've heard other practitioners share the same views. Some feel it is disrespectful to cook while listening to the Fa, or drive while listening to the Fa, or do other things.
Here is my view on this subject. Whether we are respectful of the Fa has little to do with what we are doing with our hands while we listen, but whether our minds are focused on the Fa. We cultivate in ordinary human society, while having jobs, families, and other responsibilities, so our time is naturally limited. In addition to regular Fa study, many practitioners recite the Fa or listen to the Fa throughout the day, while doing other things.
In talking about consecration, Master points out that the success of it is determined by the mindset of the one conducting consecration rather than the method used:
“He will put a Buddhist scripture inside a Buddha statue. Then he will seal the statue with paper and chant the scripture to it. He calls this consecration, but can the goal of consecration be achieved? That depends on how he chants the scripture. Sakyamuni said that one should chant the scripture with a righteous mind and undivided attention in order to shake the paradise of his cultivation practice. Only then can a great enlightened person be invited.” (Zhuan Falun)
In my understanding, respecting Master means being aware, present, and alert. I feel that listening to the Fa with attentiveness while doing other things is more respectful than reading the Fa while holding the book in both hands, with the mind wandering.
“...when you study the Fa and your mind isn't on the Fa, it's not only a problem of just going through the motions, but also that the person studying the Fa is actually not being very respectful of the Fa.” (“Fa-Lecture at the Conference in Florida, U.S.A.”)
Practitioners who can focus well while studying the book will usually be able to do the same while listening to the Fa, and those who can't focus while reading the book will probably also have difficulty focusing while listening.
Of course, regular, focused Fa study is still necessary. The purpose of this writing is to share with fellow practitioners that respecting Master is not necessarily how we understand it with our human notions. Much less should we impose those notions on others. We should not always pay attention only to how things appear on the outside, but also to the inner meaning of every action.
These are my humble thoughts. Please point out anything that is not on the Fa.
Category: Improving Oneself