Choose Good Conditions, Then Your Life Will Change Drastically ---- Learning the Law of Happiness fr
In the fields of academia and sports too, encountering an outstanding teacher makes a huge difference to our personal growth. Our lives are greatly influenced by the environment we are in or the people we encounter. In this article, let us learn about the importance of conditions.
What is the source of the rice that we eat?
What is the source of rice? Well, that's easy: it's rice seeds. Without rice seeds, we can't harvest any rice. However, no rice can be produced with rice seeds alone. For example, if you place rice seeds on a table or in the South Pole, you can't harvest any rice. It is only when the rice seeds (cause) are put together with soil, water, sunlight, etc. (conditions) that rice (result) is produced. Buddhism teaches that a cause needs something to help it produce a result. This is called the "conditions." Shakyamuni Buddha teaches that all results appear due to a cause and conditions coming together. Whether we experience fortune or misfortune, there is no exception to this.
Life changes depending on who you spend time with
We have learned that the cause of our destiny is our own actions (seeds).
If the cause is different, then the results we receive (our destiny) will be different too. Therefore, Shakyamuni Buddha taught, if we want to be happy, it is important for us to avoid planting bad seeds and to strive to plant good seeds. But there is no way to change the seeds we have already planted. So does that mean there is nothing we can do? Well actually, there is: you can still choose the conditions. If the conditions change, then the results will also change. Therefore, Shakyamuni Buddha taught us to choose better conditions. The people around us and the environment we are in have a huge influence on our lives. You cannot keep bad company without being corrupted too.
Try to avoid bad conditions
Master Shinran teaches us the importance of conditions as follows:
We should try to keep our distance from people who do bad things and stay close to and befriend true Buddhist teachers and Buddhist friends.
"Maintain a respectful distance from those who are given to wrongdoing and do not go near them. Rather, draw near to and associate with true Buddhist masters and fellow followers." ----Lamp for the Latter Ages*
If we get close to bad conditions, we will be pulled towards bad things and be gradually more and more negatively influenced. So we should avoid bad conditions. On the contrary, if we become close to people who encourage us to do good and avoid bad things, our lives will naturally change for the better - flowers of happiness will bloom.
*Lamp for the Latter Age (Mattosho): A collection of Master Shinran's letters and sayings
A dull life changes to a shining diamond
Let us take the example of carbon to see how drastically the results can change according to the conditions. There is an endless supply of carbon on this Earth. If a normal amount of heat and pressure is applied to it, it forms coal, which is not worth much. But if intense heat and pressure are applied to it, carbon can form diamond. This is the hardest material on Earth and one of the most valuable. Although the cause is the same in both cases, the results are astonishingly different because of the different conditions. "My life is just the same thing, day in, day out. What meaning is there in this?" Our lives may seem dull and uninteresting in this way. But if we encounter the strong condition of Buddhism, even such a dull life can be transformed into one that shines like a precious gem. That is why Buddhism teaches that a bond with Amida Buddha is the most wonderful condition out of all conditions. It is very important that we know this.
Lesson Point Life changes drastically depending on who you spend time with and what environment you put yourself in.
Both Shakyamuni Buddha and Master Shinran teach that we should avoid bad conditions and choose good conditions.
For a happy life, there is no condition more wonderful than a bond with Buddhism.
Thanks to Shakyamuni Buddha, we have been able to learn of the "law of happiness." If you want to be happy, there are two ways that you can change your destiny:
1. Change your deeds 2. Change your conditions
It is you who creates your own future.