To Gain or To Lose


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To Gain or To Lose

Most people who have Buddha's teaching in their heads and their hearts are not afraid of matters of life and death. They will not be worried about death, or about having to go from one life to another, floating with no stability.

Ask yourself, why do you practice Buddhism? Why do good and avoid bad? To gain something? Or to lose something?

Those who practice with the intention of gaining, I have to tell you, are not very likely to be likeable. When they hold off some precepts, they think they have done something very great. They donate a bit and think they have done something very great. They get to know some highly ranked monks and abbots and think they have achieved something very great. This way of training to gain is rather like a child, feeling so happy when somebody rubs your hair or gives you a praise.

On the other hand, it is much more beneficial to practice Buddhism with the aim to lose. Instead of thinking that once enlightened we will GAIN wisdom, luck, blessing, we should understand that at that level we will LOSE sadness and suffering, we LOSE the reincarnation circle. And that will be much better. Once we practice with the aim to LOSE like that, a tiny bit of personal pride would make us feel embarrassed.

All things we have on this earth are only to be left behind and not to be held on. How long can we hang on to those things?

I have told you in one of my essays: "There are only two verbs: To Gain or To Lose". Practice Dharma to gain something or to lose something. This concept will challenge the way people have practised Buddhism over the last 2500 years. Don't ask what one can gain in becoming an Arahant, ask what one can lose becoming one. It is safer to practice Dharma with the aim to lose.

However, on the surface, either way of practice will look the same: do good, avoid evil, donate generously, abide disciplines, etc ...


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