My apology for a long absence. It has been a very busy month of retreat and teaching, taking up a lot of my time. But I am happy to do this, this is my job. Many people feel that life as a monk or a nun is much better off. In a way, I quite agree, but in another way, it may not be true. These days, there are many distractions that even monks and nuns cannot resist. Unfortunately, physical renunciation does not necessarily represent inner and secret renunciation.
Emotions are the things that we should be aware of. Whether we are monks, nuns or lay, practitioners or non-practitioners, emotions are the ones that drive us nuts. When we are not aware, our emotions run wild and we become wild, going up and down and never remaining in the balance of calmness.
For example, desires are endless. After having a luxurious BMW, we want to have a sports car like Ferrari and Posche, and after that we want to have another car. Well, even if we have that many cars, we can only drive one at the same time. Not only that, we will end up having a lot of headaches trying to maintain the cars. If we don’t take care of them, mice will come. Somehow, mice love to stay in cars, eat the pipes and give birth in the engine. The entire car will be completely destroyed by these very cute beings, and it will cost a lot of money to repair. Sometimes, we get worried about our beautiful cars being stolen, being scratched, being knocked on, etc. So where is the joy? When most of us bought our first car, we were overwhelmed and felt that our dream had come true. But after our dream came true, our desires tell us to go for more. It is like drinking salt water to cure our thirst, it’s never enough.
When we get angry, we scream and yell, thinking that by releasing the anger to people, we will feel better. But what often happens is a sense of regret, you would ask yourself, “Why did I do that?” Same thing with jealousy and pride, the two other emotion that often make us do silly things and drive us to the wrong direction. We have to sit firmly on our emotions. We should try to never let our emotions drive us round and round, instead sit on them and analyse them and realise what they are. If we can manage our emotions, our life will be a golden chance to make a great leap on spiritual path. Emotions can then become an engine to drive our life positvely and progressively towards improvement and happiness.