THE THOUSAND KNOTS IN YOUR HEART
by T.T. Kwan and H.F. Jang
I would like to discuss the topic of how to attain happiness by untangling
the thousand knots in your heart.
The Heart Has A Thousand Knots.
Everybody lives in a unique environment. Some are luckier than others, but all
can and do think; think hard, thick far, think good thoughts, think
bad thoughts. However, if you, like many others, fail to guide your
thoughts properly, your thoughts often lead you to a dead end. You simply
create troubles from nothing - waves are aroused without wind. In other
words, your heart has a thousand knots.
What Makes It Knotty?
The main cause of all these knots in your heart is over the phenomenal man
and events. Among the people around you, some want to contribute to
you and others to claim compensation from you. The relationships are
difficult to comprehend. That is why in your mortal life you cannot
understand. The emotions which exist between people or which control
love and hate.
The material world around us is not everlasting, nor does form remain changed.
Value is assessed according to people's whims, and the function of
an object depends on the way it is used by people. The human body is
also a material object, which weakens with age. Materials are meant
to serve humans, but instead we pursue materials and willingly become
their servants or slaves. This gives rise to all our problems.
You self-centered personality is shaped through heaping up a multitude of
experiences from time immemorial in your heart and mind. Conditioned
by your instinct and customs, your mind-set in turn conditions your
good and bad deeds and your wise choices. Confronted by a variety of
people and events, it is only natural that you will respond in one of
several ways, with love, where you expect to possess it permanently,
and hence your greed; with hate, where you want your dislike to disappear
as soon as possible, and hence your anger; with pride, where you deem
yourself more superior than others, and hence your arrogance; with rejection,
where you are suspicious and distrustful, and hence your skepticism;
or withholding your own views with subjectivity and prejudice, and hence
All these mental phenomena, which account for various foolish ways of thinking,
are due to your failure to understand the real condition of people and
events and their causality. When insatiable demands are made on limited
opportunities, you are bound to be confronted by contradictions and
conflicts, and find thins going against you.
Untangling the Knots in Your Heart.
To untangle the knots in your heart, you must first of all understand how
causality works and understand that all phenomena are manifestations
of the mind. At the same time, you must open your heart and mind for
the benefit of yourself and your fellow beings, contemplating causality
through time spanning three (past, present and future) lives, and extending
your compassion to all sentient beings.
After all, causality in Buddhism has nothing to do with predestination, which
claims destiny cannot be changed, and renders the individual to passively
await what one's fate has pre-arranged for him or her. Neither does
causality mean one's past deeds always impact in the same way. Buddhist
causality extends through three lives. That one is born rich or poor
is due to the honest, kind deeds or unkind, mean conduct accumulated
in his or her past lives. All aggressive individuals can go from rags
to riches and an arrogant person from riches to rags. This is the causality
you can see in your lifetime, and how you can change your environment.
If, by any chance, you don't see any retribution you yourself or others
in your or their lifetime for the good or bad you or they have done,
the truth is that no one will go unpunished of unrewarded in the end.
It is just that the time is not ripe yet. The chance of retribution
remains. Just keep your eyes on the future. Causality answers the doubts
about what may appear to be unjust on the surface in life, and motivates
you to create your own future.
All phenomena are manifestations of the mind. Your perception of the external
world (comfort or discomfort), your resultant feelings (pleasure or
displeasure) and emotional responses (love or hate) are all manifestations
of your mind. Other people or events cannot change these. When you are
in a pleasant mood, everything is unpleasant. On the other hand, when
you are in an unpleasant mood, everything is unpleasant. If you are
in a peaceful state of mind, you can adjust to all adversities, but
if you are filled with greed and anger, you will find even smooth sailing
unbearable. If your compassion prevails, you are lovable; in contrast,
if your anger prevails, you become detestable.
Mental knots have to be untangled in your heart and mind. Controlling
your greed, you'll always have a sense of abundance; abstaining from
anger, you'll be in happiness; abstaining from unreasoning passion,
you'll be free from trouble; abstaining from arrogance, you will always
be respected; abstaining from skepticism, you'll have easy access to
good teachers; abstaining from subjectivity, you'll meet worthy friends.
Only you yourself can master your own heart and mind. The Buddha teaches
us to cultivate the mind so that we'll always find happiness in an
imperturbable state of mind.
Understanding causality and being in control or your mind with help you to
untangle your mental knots and advance you self-development. Like others,
you are gregarious, you must put yourself in others' shoes so that you
can cultivate a charitable heart to make others happy, a sympathetic
heart to relieve others from suffering, a jubilant heart to share happiness
with others, and a giving heart to facilitate giving. It is not until
you open your heart and mind to others and make both yourself and others
happy that you are completely happy.
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