THREE DISASTERS IN LIFE: HOW TO OVERCOME DIFFICULT TIMES
Maggie H is a Global Explorer and Wellness Guru from Hong Kong. Among many spiritual endeavors, Maggie practices and leads Qigong meditation to help people around the world find their inner balance. Find out more about this and other Eastern Philosophy & Meditation practices every Monday on the ICBRKR blog.
In the East, it is believed that there are three types of major disasters in life: natural disasters by fire, water and wind; wars and diseases; and poverty. The global pandemic we all are experiencing now is certainly one of them and is affecting us like a World War. The rising death toll, the failing businesses, the family separation due to travel restrictions, and the uncertainty make it impossible for people to predict the future.
Hence, many people came to see me as they were feeling lost and helpless about their jobs, businesses, and relationships. In most cases, at first, they feel it's their fault and so they try hard to find ways to change things. But at times like this, the 'normal' ways of handing situations will not work and no matter how lucky you are, your fate is always affected by the country's or the world's karma. Having said that, this doesn't mean that we should sit by and let things go down the wind.
Everything changes and when any change takes place, the deep valleys of the yin period always come before the high peaks of the yang period. By the depth of the valley, we can predict the height of the next peak and no matter how difficult this challenging time may be, it shall also pass when the time comes. The world will then become a whole new place with new ways of living, and so the sages have taught us to take this opportunity to turn over a new leaf — so either pick up on a new set of skills, or focus on improving the skills we already have. These sharpened skills will be quite useful for us to climb up the peak later.
Buddha taught us that the three disasters are caused by accumulated karmic actions of the body through killing, stealing, and sexual misconduct; karmic actions of speech through lying, alienating remarks, and malicious talks; and karmic actions of thoughts through greed, anger, and ignorance. He offered four immeasurable minds, full of love and without discrimination towards any living beings, which the seekers of enlightenment should cherish to overcome disasters.
The immeasurable loving-kindness, benevolence, and sympathy toward all beings. Practising this mind-training technique melts away anger in people's hearts.
The immeasurable compassion and ardent wish to relieve and transform the sufferings of others. Practising this mind-training technique heals sadness and anxiety in people's hearts.
The immeasurable sympathetic and appreciative joy and rejoicing at the success and happiness of others. Practising this mind-training technique releases misfortune and depression in people's hearts.
The immeasurable renunciation, equanimity and even-mindedness. This is the state of mind that regards others with impartiality, free from attachment and aversion. Practising this mind-training technique removes hatred, animosity and the mistaken obsession in people's hearts.
In the past, when disasters occurred, emperors, kings and lords actively performed actions of kindness such as releasing prisoners and opening the storehouse to help the poor, in an attempt to remove any pains and sufferings of the people. If you look around, you will notice that the families practising active love and kindness to their neighbours may not be the richest and most successful people, but they are generally a happy family and live a peaceful and balanced life.
Most of us haven't experienced this level of shock and uncertainty, and it seems appropriate to share the old wisdom as a reminder. May all of us get to see the light at the end of the tunnel soon, and enjoy the hike up the peak with our new set of skills.
Maggie H is a Life Cartographer, Eastern philosopher, Qigong master, Buddhist and Taoist meditator, Feng Shui practitioner, and researcher of Buddhist scriptures. She lives in Hong Kong, and regularly travels to both India and South Korea to further her spiritual growth and development. Her lifelong motto is: "benefit to all humankind."
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