Living a Meaningful Life
by Ven. Thubten Chodron©
Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery, Singapore
21 Apr 2006
More Excerpts in PDF format.
Factors of a meaningful life:
- Let go of attachment, anger, jealousy and other disturbing emotions.
[23 min] : Download
- Live an ethical life: abandon negative actions. Includes not harming our future generations by being environmentally conscious.
- Develop a kind heart.
- Purify negative karma, accumulate positive potential or merit. What is positive potential or merit?
- Listen to the Buddha’s teachings, reflect and meditate on them, put them into practice.
- Actualize the three principal aspects of the path: determination to be free (renunciation), bodhicitta (the altruistic intention), and the wisdom that realizes reality.
- Rely on a qualified spiritual mentor.
[33 min] : Download
Questions and answers
[41 min] : Download
- If there were one thing that you could tell someone with very low self-esteem and doing a lot of self-blaming, what would it be?
- Given that good karma cannot be transferred from one person to another, what can one do for one’s parents to benefit them?
- In the Heart Sutra, it’s said that there is no suffering, no cause of suffering, no cessation of suffering and no path to the cessation of suffering. What does it mean?
- What are the benefits of liberating animals? Why are some Buddhist masters against it?
- You said that there’s no need to be the best. But isn’t it true that if we strive to be the best, we can draw out our greatest potential. Will a non-competing nature make one complacent and hence mediocre?
- Is there a way to experience the existence of past lives?
- In a society in which we have so much pressure to be best and to compete, how do we find peace by just being ourselves with our own unique talents?
- When good people suffer and bad people have all the good fortune, it is attributed to their past karma. To me, this is unsettling and demoralizing.
- The practice of animal liberation encourages the sellers to capture more animals, especially on Vesak day. What is your opinion on this?
- About the abbey and prayer requests.
- If you say that past lives is not important, then why do you care about the future?