HAPPINESS – FAMILY
BUILD – UP
Author by Vietnamese language: Thích Thắng Hoan
Translator by English: Minh Vân
I have had a good opportunity to learn Buddha’s teachings when lwas nineteen year old. When learning Buddhism, l feel interesting and happy and l have recognized that it is my spirit food.
Thanks to Buddhist philosophy, l have been living a better life. I have tried to be a good member of my family, a good friend of the community and an honest citizen of the country.
And at that time, l also had a good opportunity to have seen Venerable Thích Thaéng Hoan when he was a young, active and respected monk at AÁn Quang Buddhist temple (Saigon) since 1960s.
He became a little monk when he was eight year old. Then, later he has been my family’s teacher until now. During over five decades, Venerable Thích Thaéng Hoan had witnessed a lot of changes in Vietnam society that is not better! He has been thinking of the Vietnamese people and his home land and would like to build up next generation better. To achieve this sublime duty, Buddhism has had an important role to bring the engaged Buddhist Dharma into the young people’s minds to help good seeds of understanding, compassion and non violence grow up. For that reason, he wrote this book named HAPPINESS –FAMILY BUILD UP. If all the members of a family who practice understanding, compassion and nonviolence in mindfulness will live in harmony, joy and happiness; and if all the citizens of a nation who also practice these Buddhist teachings will enjoy happiness, joy and prosperity.
In this small book, Venerable Thích Thaéng Hoan would like to tell us it. I absolutely agree with his view-point, so l try my best to translate it into English.My dedication to the youth. If l could have some mistakes, please understand about it.
I think that it’s very necessary for Vietnamese people to build – up good families in which all the members will be happy.
All of us need it on earth.
I would like to introduce you, our dear friends this book.
Please read and practice it in mindfulness, you will be successful and have the happy family for life.
Finally, although Venerable Thích Thaéng Hoan is now 88 year old, but he always thinks of the future of the Vietnamese people. I would like to say, “Lots of thanks and the best wishes to Venerable”, who hopes that all of our offsprings will be honest and happy.
San Jose, California, USA
How unhappy it is! Many young people after getting married and separating from their parents, are not successful in building–up their own families. All their dreams are collapsed. They are suffering because their couldn’t have true happiness as they have expected.
Almost of teenager look at the future life as animated living pictures and wonderful music, but they don’t see the other side of life, where they would have experienced lots of difficulties and traps on their roads.
Really, the young are not selfish. It means that they just live an individual sexual life. On the contrary, they always think of and take good care of their lower, but because of before getting married and beginning an independent life, they have not been taught carefully more to treat each other between husband and wife with a good behavior that their older generations had experienced during their lives. They haven’t known the best ways of building up the happiness of their families that their parents and ancestors have transmitted to then. They didn’t read or listen to the precious teachings of the past generations. They only have watched the daily media that has infiltrated into their minds and continues to bomb any exciting things from their childhood. Then, they have been influenced by wrong view and action without selecting what is good and what is bad in books, newspapers, internets, and so on, etc….. These are attractively material living philosophy that has not contributed good ideas for building-up good families.
I would like to see the Vietnam people have good families in order to build-up a perfect, modern, and civilized society, so l wrote this work named HAPPINESS – FAMILY BUILD– UP as a guide book to offer young friends some ideas that help you become your family’s wonderful members.
Actually, in this book, l will show you a nice and human Buddhist behavior of Vietnam cultural tradition based on the teachings of Buddha as basic condition for HAPPINESS – FAMILY BUILD-UP.
How amazing and funny it is! While having been a child monk at age of eight, l haven’t had lots of experiences about the familial life, but l have talked about happiness and family build-up. However, until nowadays, l am eighty year old in 2007 and after over a half-century of Buddhist teachings, l am often in touch with the suffering of the members of broken families, l understand and love them. This has been making me think that the essence of the teachings of Buddha is the content of this book that l offer to you tobuild-up a happy family.
However, my dear friends, you might not agree with or believe what l have said, because l never get married and haven’t lived in a family like yours, but after many years of studying and teaching Buddhism, l have perceived that the teachings of Buddhist Sutras such as Nikaøya, A-Ham, Great Nirvana Singaølaka Sutras, or Dharma Talks are very usefulfor couple life. Especially, during the time l was young, l had learned psychology, physiology, sociology at university with my student friends, l have seen that these lessons are according with the view point of Buddhism. In addition, during many decades, l haveneared a great number of Buddhist families, which have been often broken. I understand the causes of their sufferings and those who learn and practice the Buddhist teachingswill improve the happiness of their families in which it is me as their leader.
I have realized that the engaged Buddhism is the most necessary to our lives, because it is a religion of compassion while the violence have occurred daily in our families, our society and all over the world. I think that, first, almost of our families need the teachings in Buddhist Sutras and Dharma Talks if they would like to have good families, so l try my best to offer you this work based on the precious principles of Buddhism in order to educate every member of our families to have a good behavior that is to useful in this civilized society, but full of violence. Although the nowadays environments are so different from the past ones, but Buddhist teachings are absolutely true and useful forever.
In this book, l have issued living principles of Buddhism to stop or solve problems in our families and at the same time to renew our minds for rebuilding-up the relation between husband and wife and improving their happiness. To be happy, the majority of the people think that our partners have to be rich, beautiful, or higheducated. It’s clearthat those who have gotten these above-mentioned conditions wouldn’t have true happiness. In fact, for my opinions, it is not true, because if we continue running after them forever, we will never be satisfied and never look for happiness….. The more we have ambitions the more we have sufferings; we just gain happiness, when we have good minds that have understanding, compassion, and love being basic conditions for building-up the true happiness of family. They are good energies that will support partners to help them overcome all difficulties on earth and be successful in living a true and happy life.
Basic conditions are based on six Buddhist principle called peaceful and respectful behaviors. In the time of Buddha, in every Kingdom he formed many Buddhist communities named Sangha Unions consisting of 300, 500, 1250 Bhiksus, who had lived in peace to practice and spread Buddhism until nowadays thanks to six daily moderate and respectful behavior principles. During thousands of years, they have helped Buddha’s disciples became great men of compassion and nonviolence of mindfulness. I think that they have been still useful in building-up the happy families of the Vietnamesecommunities on the world and in Vietnam. If all the members of every family follow these teachings of Buddha, that family will be happy and gain success for life. Although this guide book is not absolutely perfect, but It is so necessary that the parents should remind their sons and daughters to read It before they get married in order to prepare a new couple life carefully and gain the true happiness in their future families. While being a young monk, l came to THE BUDDHIST AN QUANG INSTITUTE to learn Buddhism. At that time, I did my best just to study Buddhist philosophy and practice the teachings of Buddha successfully. I had generally learned how to build up the happiness for a family, butI didn’t think much of It, because l thought that it was a worldly things. But when l went abroad teaching Buddhism in many countries, especially in the U.S.A. and Canada. I have met many Buddhists, almost of them are students and young youth. They asked me, “Which Sutra of Buddhism teach how to build-up a happy family?”
I see this question very interesting that make me review Buddhist Sutras and l wrote this work. I think that it is imperfect, because l have not experienced as a husband or a father of a family with some children, but l welcome honest intellectuals and scholars’ ideas to improve the content of this work; especially, l am waiting for readers’ comments which will help me make it better. And l hope that it would become a guide book in the hand of Vietnamese teenagers before getting married in order to build-up a happy and successful family in future.
VIEN HANH PURE BUDDHIST TEMPLE
Buddha calendar: 2551, Solar calendar: March 4, 2008
Bhikku Thích Thắng Hoan
FAMILY HAPPINESS BUILDING – UP
I.- IN CONTENT.
Family happiness is a big question for our lives. From the old days until nowadays, all the teenagers, who are growing up and have done their best to look for the true happiness, but they are always suffering, because they don’t know the true nature of the happiness and where it is. Almost of them think that all the pleasures of the human beings are outside from the mind. These are the material pleasures, so they do their best to build-up happiness based on five kinds of worldly pleasures such as wealth, beautiful women, fame (high function), delicious meals and splendid chateau, but in reality, they wouldn’t gain the true happiness. Those who are rich have their own sufferings, those who are poor have their own sufferings, those who keep top functions have their own sufferings, those who are ordinary persons have their own sufferings, too……. etc…….. It is true that all families have their own sufferings.
Many of them don’t know that the true happiness is born from the mind of every person that has to be cultivated by the seeds of understanding, compassion and non-violence. If there are not understanding and compassions in the relationship between husband and wife or members of the family, it will be a big suffering in daily life.
*- In a family, if husband and wife are not living in peace, there will be no success.
*- In a society, if a community has always violence, there will be troubles, fighting, lawsuits and killings.
*- In a nation, if the people are not living in peace, there will be wars and misery.
*- In a world, if many nations don’t want to live in peace, there will be wars continued and human beings destroyed.
Because of the danger of conflict, Buddha created these six peaceful and respected living principles called six nice behaviors.
Living in harmony means behaving each other peacefully and respectfully in Sangha community. In Buddhism, harmony doesn’t means weakness, but means encouraging living in peace, understanding and love in order to offer joy and happiness to all and achieve our common and impossible missions.
If you would like to build-up the family happiness based on these six kinds of Buddhist behaviors, we have to perceive clearly the meaning of the links of Interdependent Co-Arising in Buddhism. What does it mean?
III.- INTERDEPENDENT CO-ARISING ESSENCE.
The Interdependent Co – Arising Essence is the law of cause and effect. When there’s enough causes, there will be effects. All the events or phenomenon that are appearing developing and disappearing are the forms following the law of cause and effect to continue their access. This is being, that is; that is being, this is; this is not being, that is not; that is not being, this is not; this is appearing, that is appearing; this is disappearing, that is disappearing. There are patients, there will be doctors. And even herds and plants supply oxygen to living beings, who themselves supply CO2 to the herbs and plants. All forms in the universe are following the laws of causes and effects, so a poet wrote:
“Plants give us oxygen to live on Earth happily. People nourish plants with carbonic to help flowers bloom wonderfully.”
(Thang Hoan’s selections of poems)
Based on the laws of causes and effects, lf you would like to live a true and happy life, we have toperceive basic following values: Family value, inter-relationship value, function value.
1.- FAMILY VALUE:
The family is the base of the household, community, and society. It value has two realms:
a, Household Realm:
Household Realm is based on family name origin to evaluate relationship level in household which consists of many family units of the same family name. The household is highly evaluated when every family member is gentle, honest and truly happy. The relationship between family and household consists of two aspects: Material relation and spiritual relation.
b, Material Relations:
A man has two parts: body and spirit. These two parts exist in harmony, but the spirit (mind) is the chief of all the human activities. Look deeply inside the body. How is the relationship of all the members of the household.
In my blood, there is my parents’genes. In my father’s blood, there is my grandfather’s genes. In my mother’s blood, there is my grand mother’s genes. In my parents’ blood, there is my grand-parents’genes. My ancestors’ genes are being in my blood. That means that the life doesn’t stop, it is a continuation. No birth, no death.
When identifying it scientifically, we see that your whole body is nourished by your ancestors’ blood produced and developed continually. It is like a bean seed that grows up and is developed completely to become a bean tree, so there is not only out parents’ blood in our bodies, but also our ancestors’ blood in ours, through many past generations. According to the conditioned production of all forms in Buddhism, we have to agree with this perception in physical relation.
c, Spiritual Relations:
In addition, beside the physical relation, every person has the spiritual relation in the family and household. It is the relationship of mind. In Buddhism, mind is the chief of all activities of our lives. Mind is present, human being is alive; mind goes away, human being is dead and its body is decayed; mind is honest, life is bloomed; mind is dishonest, life is dark in the abyss of hell. You recognize that to look for the way to happiness and joy, or you want to go on the way to suffering for your life. It belongs to your mind.
When identifying so, how is the humanly spiritual relationship to the household? Based on the conditioned production of Buddhism, this relation to the members of the families would go through seven generations of ourancestors. The spiritual sources would go through the parent to their offsprings. It is like an electrical line from an electrical plant to light bulbs in every house. The spiritual relationship of a person to their ancestors is described in a popular verse, “Trees have its roots, water has its sources”. It means that a tree has its root that help it grow up and bloom and water has its sources that supply water going through rivers to the ocean. You are a person you must have your ancestors.
If we cut off all the spiritual relations to our parents and ancestors, we would lose the energy of the whole family and household. Now, we only have our individual own energy that is not enough strong to deal with all the traps and difficulties of the life. Imagine it is the same that we cut off the electrical line of the electrical central plant. Now, lf we want the light, we have to use battery that has not enough electricity for all the light bulbs in your big house. I have seen a woman who has no job. Only her husband works for their family, but unfortunately, her husband has been sick for a long time and dies. She suffers deeply, but she overcomes all the sufferings on earth, becauseher dad, mom, brothers, sisters and her relatives love and support her. Now, she lives the happy life. Why could she enjoy again happinessand joy? Because her household, her ancestors, her parents has been transmitting love to her. I also witnessed an event that had occurred in a Buddhist family having four children. They had just come to the United States of America. One of their two sons went to shool. He is a good boy. He always got high grade. But suddenly, he got lower grade, he got mad at shool, and police caught and put him in jail. Their whole family is deeply suffering! And all the members of his family and his relatives have loved and supported him. At the same time, the well-known Buddhist monk and his disciplines have loved and helped that boy and his family over come those sufferings. Why does that family have the strongest energies of understanding, love and compassion to support their miserable son? Because that son has good dad, mom, brothers, sisters, good relatives and good ancestors of many past generations who has transmitted understanding and compassion to him. Nowadays, that family is so happy.
That shows us that the close, deep and intimate relations between a person and his parents and their ancestors of many past generations give us a clear perception that those relations are so deep that they couldn’t be separated and cut.
For preventing unhappiness from happening to our lives in the future, we shouldn’t cut off all the spiritual relations of our parents and ancestors by unrespected behaviors to them. On the contrary, we have to improve those above-mentioned relations by the love and respect of offsprings that should take good care of their parents when the latter eat, sleep and think about something. The sons, daughters should make their parents happy, because the latter always love and believe in the formers. If we cut off all the relations of our parents and ancestors, our mind will be hurt and we will be suffering, because we are ungrateful! Surely, we will have our children that are also ungrateful to us. Of course, they will make us unhappy. We could escape worldly laws, but we couldn’t escape the laws of cause and effect.
2.- FOR THE COMMUNITY AND SOCIETY.
How is the relationship between a person and community and society? First, we should analyze the relationship between a person and his community.
a, The Community Relationship.
Community consists of many people that work with the same carrier, have the same ideal, and view-point such as religion, company, union, political party. The relationship between a person as a member of a religion, company, union, political party is realized:
*- A religion is respected and appreciated by the social community, because each follower has the right perception, honest actions and compassion, and she has a life in harmony and peace with his/her partner in order to achieve their ideal. On the contrary, there are some religions, which are not highly evaluated by the social communities and the majority of the people don’t believe any more in them because their follower don’t indicatetheir sublime value to the human community.The bad behaviors of the minority of some followers would make others fearful and thosereligions would be badly in fluenced as the proverb said, “Only one small warm could spoil a pan of soup”. A religion that uses violence is not a religion, because it is inhuman.
*- A political party is loved and participated by many people thanks to Its members that have lived a sincere life, have united all of them and have always indicated the virtue of their party.
*- An Union is strongly developed thanks to lts leader and members who have been living in harmony in close cooperation and doing their best to achieve their sublime duty and at the same time, understanding and sharing their impossible missions in order to serve all the people.
b, Relationship in society.
In a society, there are many other communities living together, where individuals, families, households, political parties, unions, religions, etc…… have been cooperating and working together in harmony. If you would like to build-up a good society where every individual could enjoy peace, joy, happiness, civilization, prosperity, liberty, equality, and democracy, you have to create a strong economy and human culture. It needs honesty and devotion. On the contrary, in a society, if there are some violent bands and dishonest individuals, of course, there will be no security. It would bring sufferings to all the people.
All the evidences issued let us see how important the relationship is between an individual and the family, household, community and society. All these human relations that are the most necessary for the existence of the human beings belong to the conditioned production of Buddhism. The members that are living in a family couldn’t escape from their familiar relations, especially the spiritual ones. It is clear that thanks to his mind, a person can perceive his true happiness. After recognizing the great value of our livings through the close relations between a member within a family, household, community and society, we should advance one more step, which is the value of support.
3.- VALUE OF SUPPORT.
According to the conditioned production, the supports of relatives are not only important for human beings but also for all the animals and plants on earth. Without supporting each other, all the human beings in universe couldn’t be born, growing up and developed. For example, the soil is the support for plants. On the fertile soil, they would grow up strongly and bloom beautifully; without it, they would be weak and dead. The parents, ancestors are the supports for offsprings. The formers are honest people, the latter will be safe, happy and proud; lf the formersare bad guys, the latter would be unsafe, poor and suffering. If you want to live a good life, you have to perceive the true value of the supports of your ancestors. Your life has three periods of these supports: teenage, adult-age and old-age.
a, – Teenage.
For Vietnamese conception, the period of time from being born to thirty years old of a 30 year old man has enough intellect to deal with difficulties on earth. At this time, for the Buddhist perception, a teen has two supports for living, growing up and improving the knowledge from parents and masters.
1, Supports From Parents:
If parents have no hope, they will not give birth to you; lf they don’t love you, they will not give you enough foods and clothes; lf they don’t sacrifice their own happiness to their children, they will not support your school to become anuseful person. Our presence on earth is the great sacrifice of the whole life of our parents, so for our parents, the grateful children has to remember and love deeply their parents in their hearts, pray for them and express our sincere gratitude to them, especially on spiritual aspect.We shouldn’t have the un respected behaviorto our parents. That could hurt them. We should understand our parents who had sacrificed their own personal happiness to us and sometimes they had been much suffering during their lives by the wrong doings of their children.
2, Supports From Masters.
Our parents give us bodies, but our masters would teach and help us become clever and useful men. We should remember their supports towards us. Our masters had also supported us like our parents. They had built-up our intellects and given us lots of experiences to prepare any things for our lives. Nowadays, we are so proud of being an useful individual having the capacity and living together in order to improve this civilized society better thanks to our masters’ supports from many past generations. The devotion of their teachings has to be remembered forever as your remember you parents. Remembering our masters is also improving our spirits of gratitude.
b, – Adulthood.
The adulthood is from thirty years old to sixty years old. In this period, a person would have enough experiences and intellect to engage into the society and build up his future. During this time, he needs supports from family and religion for build-up a good behavior. The religion is the support for the people on the spiritual aspect. The family is a transmitting unit of the household to help offsprings be successful and famous through generations. The family is a small society consisting of husband, wife andoffsprings. The husband and wife have to recognize his/her necessary presence to help each other overcome all the difficulties or share successes and failures in order to build-up the true happiness for their livings on earth. The religion is a paddy field of virtue that help the human soul and spirit develop and bloom. The body is sick, we need doctors to cure it; the mind is sick, we need religion to cure it. The doctors use medicine to treat their patient bodies. The religion uses Dharma to treat the patient mental health. Thanks to doctors, we would have good health; thanks to religion, we would have ethics to live a happy life. If we would like to become a good person, we should perceive it deeply the patients’ mental health.
Some people think that they don’t need to marry, because if they have family, they would be much suffering. They have the supports from their friends. That’s enough joy. They don’t understand that friends only help us in a short time and in some particular cases, but they wouldn’t take good care of each other for life. In addition, our friends could help us in certain financial limits, but they couldn’t share happiness and suffering as the Vietnamese Proverb said, “Friends could advise someone of something, but couldn’t give someone money forever.” (1) While husband and wife could help each other anything forever, lf they are true lowers. (1) “Giving chopsticks and advices, but no rice”. It means that advising someone of something, but no giving someone money forever. In brief, we have to get married and have a good family that will be a strong support for our livings in order to build-up the true happiness and joy for life. Those who don’t get married wouldn’t have good goals for their lives in the future, would be seeking this worldly sensual pleasures worldly (duïc laïc traàn gian), be suffering in their old-age and go to hell after death. For my opinion, lf we don’t get married and would like to have a better life, we should becomeaBuddhist monks, Bhiksus, who have supports from Sangha will go upward to mindfulness and be free from birth, death and sufferings. In brief, if you would like to live a good life, you have to have a stable support of your family or your religion.
c, The Old-Age.
The old-age is from sixty year old to the death. The old people often worry about their future:
*- Their bodies don’t work in harmony. They are often sick, so they always worry about the health.
*- They don’t achieve yet their dreams while their health doesn’t permit them to continue their working.
*- After they die, their children would love and support each other or not.
*- After they die, their children could have enough capacity to overcome difficulties on earth.
*- They often feel sorrowful,because they have no more any important roles to support their offsprings.
*- The older they are, the deeper their sensation is! So they feel solitary and sad when they are sick.
*- They worry, “After death, would their offsprings celebrate the funeral as they had wanted?”
*- They worry deeply, “They don’t know where their souls will go.”
It is the old people’s common psychology, they would be so sorrowful and sometimes nervous! Then, they could have illusions and mental health! If you love your parents at this time, you should have stable supports towards them. That means that you should understand this psychological crisis and do your best to share their sorrow until they die. Those who fulfill these sublime duties had perceived the true value of human existence on earth.
4.- THE VALUE OF FUNCTION.
The human function is the duty. Perceiving the human function is also perceiving the duty. The function of a person is the human behavior with thewarm sentiment and deep gratitude towards the old ones.
1, The sentiment is the feeling that shares pity, love, or sadness. It is not sexual love between a man and a woman. This sexual love is not stable according to the psychology,because if we have to eat the same food forever, we wouldn’t like lt. On the contrary, the love is based on mindfulness and understanding that will produce the true love. Those who understand each other will love for life.
2, Gratitude is grateful duty and showing good behavior for the support of someone. Those who have the gratitude and responsibility in all conditions will share happiness and sadness with their partners and overcome difficulties to help them be successful in the civilised society.
The true sentiment and gratitude are good behaviours among the people whom we have often related to such as parents and offsprings, husband and wife, and teacher and student.
*- Relationship between parents and offspring:
Parents and offspring should behave each other with-true sentiment and gratitude. We should perceive that plants have their roots, water has Its sources. Everyone has his/her parents. We have our parents, so we have to perceive the precious value of sentiment and gratitude between the parents and offsprings. In addition, we should teach them that they should remember this highly spiritual value.
*- Relationship between husband and wife:
Husband and wife are very important members of a family. If one family lost a husband or a wife, that family would lose joy to build-up the stable happiness for life. In the close relations between husband and wife in a family, each has to consider him/her as a part of his/her body. It one of two is separated, the other will lose his/her good energies to create the life happiness. At the same time, he/she can’t preserve theproudness of the family name of the household that they had vowed in front of the cult towards their ancestors while getting married. We will talk about it later. According to the conditioned production, those who recognise this mutual value for the existence of a family can build-up the true happiness.
*-Relationship between teacher and student.
We have already received the value of relationship between master and student that is just presented with the title “Support from masters”, we should have the true sentiment and gratitude to our masters. If we fulfill our duties towards our masters, we, on the aspect of spirit, will improve highly the human virtue as good conditions for building up the happiness and living the joyful life. The generally mentioned-above evidences have indicated the essence, value and meaning of the human relationship of conditioned production theory of Buddhism. We are human beings who have been living on this planet, couldn’t escape this natural low: cause and effect. A baby that is born has had the relations with parents and other members of a family. When growing up, he will have it with husband or wife and the household, his masters, his community and society. This relationship is the most important, so if a family member who has his/her own happiness should bring it to other members. He/she has to have obligation to behave each other with the true sentiment and gratitude.
IV.- SIX BUDDHIST RULES OF PEACE.
After understanding the conditioned production, we would like to talk about building-up the happiness based on the six Buddhist rules of peace and welfare. According to Buddhism, living peacefully means living in harmony without certain limits. This is the spiritual human harmony. All the members that live in the same family have to have it, so they will have peace and welfare. Land, water, wind and fire always have conflicts each other, but they still work in harmony to build a human body. Why aren’t husband’s and wife’s spirit in harmony to build-up the common happiness? A family is a small society, where one of them, lives and wants to gain the true happiness, he/her needs the supports based on six Buddhist rules of harmony to build their future. Those are six peaceful and respected behavior ways consisting of: living together peacefully, talking peacefully, thinking peacefully, practicing peacefully, arguing peacefully, sharing benefits equally. Here are the following meanings:
1.- LIVING TOGETHE PEACEFULLY.
We are living in the same family. We should unite to protect ourselves. We should not use violence to dominate others. For doing so, we should follow these rules:
A.- FOR THE FAMILY:
1, Purifying the Marriage:
We should get married after understanding and loving. The marriage has to be based on the true love between a man and a woman, not only love making (sex). The ideal love has the sublime meaning and focuses two goals: Transmitting the ancestral heritage to next generations and improving the virtue of the household.
a)- Transmitting the ancestral heritage to next generations is the duty of the family’s members. That means that any sons and daughters have to be married and have children to follow their ancestor traditions and their household would have lots of offsprings who themselves have been making it stable, larger and better through their families and children. If you would like to preserve your household, you should follow these principles:
1– Husband and wife should control and limit sexual desires. Lovemaking hadto be temperate. Buddha said: “Buddhist monks and nuns must destroy sexual desires while Buddhists must be temperate in lovemaking.” Being temperate in sex will make the genes healthy and the couple will have healthy and smart babies. You know that weak rice seeds will not produce healthy and strong rice trees on bad soil. Animals know how to limit their sexual desires in doing sex. They only make love in the sexual season. The couple has to think that getting married in order to have smart and healthy children who will succeed their ancestors not only enjoy sex.
2– When the wife is pregnant, according to the GREAT NIRVANA SUTRA, she and her husband must keep her body pure until she gives birth. For preserving the foetus pure, the wife must follow these conditions absolute:
*)- Don’t make love during pregnancy. If they make love during this time, they would supply the sexual desires to body in the foetus, and when he/she grows up, he/she won’t control and limit the lovemaking illness.
*)- Don’t be jealous and boring, because that will make the baby slow and dull later and that also will make her/him painful and tired.
*)- Don’t be hurry up, don’t get mad and don’t be worried about something, because that will make the foetus nervous and that is not good to the eighth sense alaya, which has been producing the baby’s mindful system in the foetus.
*)- Have healthy foods, no alcohol. Don’t eat too much. Do so daily, the baby will be stronger, bigger and smarter. For example, when a wife is pregnant, she eat shrimps and crabs too much, a baby will have allergy, etc…..
3-While being pregnant, a wife wants to have a nice kid, she should see a beautiful statue of Buddha for contemplating daily. According to the Buddhist’ teachings, the psychology of eight consciousness (sight, hearing, smell, taste, mind, manas and alaya), she pray sincerely every night in front of that Buddha, she will have a handsome boy or a beautiful girl, because our mind is like a camera.When seeing someone, it will takes that form. When you love someone immediately his/her form appears in your mind. When a woman is pregnant, her alaya chooses the baby’s form already being in her mind as a model to build her baby form that moment. But after that, this woman thinks about another one, her alaya will continue to take this form plus the former one to build his/her new baby that the mommy loves at that moment. According to the same perception, at the same time, this woman should buy some beautiful pictures to contemplate them and pray every day, she will have the perfect baby
4- Every family has to have a family register that tell us those who are relatives in the closed relationship and those who have been successful in their lives. They are good examples for next generations.
b)- The family members have to make their families wealthy and famous forever for their ancestors. They have to manifest the virtue of their family name. The virtue is the spiritual value of each person as the proverb said, “A flower has a good smell because of its pistil, a person becomes a gentleman because of his virtue. Talent, wealth and fame cannot make a man of virtue; only liberated mind, right perception, nice behavior and true compassion would produce virtue.” How do the family members earn money? What is your job? Those could make you respected. And how do you behave? It is your individual behavior that would make your parents and ancestors respected and loved. Realizing one of them would show that we have had the wonderful family and the ideal love. That means that we know the supreme value of the marriage and loyal loving of the couple.
c)- Principles for building-up an ideal family of a couple that our ancestors have suggested in this proverb are following:
“A vise man would look for a good wife at a crowded market, a wise lady would look for a husband in an army.”
+ Crowded markets mean at crowded fair, where there are many sellers and buyers coming for trade. Especially, lots of beautiful ladies would show their beauties and characteristics, so, it is easy to know their behaviors being nice or ugly.
+ Three military units mean an army consisting of central Unit, left Unit and right Unit. Each Unit has 12,000 soldiers. In the army, many young men would show their talent, so ladies can see them manifest their capacities and behaviors being good or bad.
+ Young men and young ladies would like to choose their lowers, they should go to some crowded places, where many people come and they will select the good ones. The standard of choosing someone as a lowerwho is good is about 60%. It’s 0.K. Don’t look for a guy who is good 100%. It’s very difficult. And after marrying, husband and wife help each other improve his/her behavior. Our ancestors often said, “We should train children when they are kids and to teach a wife, we should do it in the early days after becoming the wife.”
These are the basically relative principles for choosing the lowers and building-up the ideal love. Those who perceive rightly and apply them would sanitize the true value of marriage.
2, Respect and Esteem Each Other.
Those who would like to be paid respect have to manifest their individual personalities such as courteousness, modesty, understanding and compassion. These characteristics would make them esteem. But in reality, according to Buddhism, human beings are the results of many past lives’ Karma and are recently being led by ambition, anger and wrong perception, which have been leading their mind and their actions. That means that all the people have the wild seeds in their minds. But when being lowers, all their faults are also lovely, because they are being hidden in the deep mind to wait for a good opportunity to appear; and when being husband and wife for a long time, those faults in the favorable conditions, would appear again and make conflicts between the family members. Young men and ladies always idealize their lowers with good characteristics. But after marrying, they have been living together those ideals have collapsed and both of them are completely disappointed. Then, they have no more paid respect to each other by bad behaviors.
We should understand that husbands and wives have their individual honors. We should respect each other. We absolutely don’t insult our life partner at the presence of offsprings, friends and relatives. That means that we absolutely don’t let them know our life partners’ mistakes, don’t insult each other or relatives of husbands and wives, or don’t use violence to women. It is unacceptable! In addition, The husbands and wives must protect and defend each other in any cases.
It is cautious that we should not push our life partners against the wall. They would react strongly and harm the family happiness. The proverb said, “Human beings who confront a big problem must find any ways to overcome it; animals that are going to be killed strongly react.” This is the second principle the members of every family have to understand to build-up the stable foundation of the family happiness.
3, Building the Confidence.
Aftermarrying, husband and wife only believe each other by promises and actions. It means that he/she only knows his/her appearance, so they do not have yet the true mind, because they don’t understand yet deeply each other. Although, they are living together in the same room, but they still have a little bit doubt in his/her mind. That is, both always watch their moves. For example, each of them has to go out for doing something while the other often calls him/her for control. That shows us that they still have a little bit doubt. They lack their confidence, because in the beginning they had made friendship, they had covered bad seeds in his/her mind and only had shown good ones to his/her partner. And when they have been living together for a longtime, the bad seeds have appeared and grown up slowly. Then, they had developed and created conflicts between the two partners: husband and wife. By then, day by day, these doubts have increased.
If they would like to stop it, the couple have to apply basic following principles to regain the true confidence:
*- If a husband wants to meet any lady, he has to have “rendezvous” at his wife’s presence.
*- Let the wife receive her as the principal receiver while the husband should keep a subordinate role.
*- If a wife wants to meet any man she should have “rendezvous” like that at her husband’s presence.
*- Let the husband receive him as the principal receiver while the wife should keep a subordinate role.
We should know that according to Buddhism, loving between man and woman has another side: They have been husband and wife, but because of some conflicts, they are separated, and they would become enemies easily; those who love, but are not loved, would become jealous. There is a beautiful girl whom, of course, many young men love, but she loves only one guy, so the others would find any ways to harm her happiness. Be careful to defend the above cases, which might happen to our family. If we don’t have it, we are lucky. To prevent whatever being like that, we should apply the first principle mentioned above:
b, 2nd Principle:
Those faults are spiritual illness, not physical one, body illness. The body illness is cured by physicians while the spiritual illness has to be curedby Buddhist Dharma to help reconcile each other. To improve the spirit, both have to learn and practice Buddhist teachings to eliminate those spiritual illnesses in order to make our minds pure and peaceful. Those are good conditions to build-up the family member’sconfidence.
4, Concerning about taking good care of each other.
Husband and wife are living in a family, but their minds are different. He is going on this route while she is going on that one. Each is living on his/her own island. They never share their happiness and sadness. Of course, they never take care of each other. They are unhappy. For example, on the contrary, when the husband is doing something like that, he looks tired, the wife comes and brings him a cup of milk and says, “Are you tired honey?. Enjoy it. Do you need my help?” And he should do the same when he sees his wife do something. These words and actions show the understanding and the compassion of the couple. If both could do like this, they will be happy. Those who always follow the individualism, treat each other as a regular friend, always think about his/her own benefits or of money, don’t have understanding and love! When they need something, they come; when they don’t need it, they go away without leaving a little bit understanding and compassion. Those who have the behavior like that would never build-up a happy family. Those are the following principles of concerning about and taking good care of each other:
a, The wifehas to understand her husband’s expectations and favorites. If those don’t harm their family happiness, the wife should let her partner be free to realize them. And the husband has to understand his wife and does the same. He should make her happy and joyful in her mind. For example, the wife would like to go to pagoda, because it is her ideal. The husband should encourage her and be always ready to drive her to the Buddhist temple with joy when she needs it. Although he doesn’t believe in Buddhism.
b,The couple should take good care of each other. For example, the couple had worked at different company. Sometimes, when the husband comes home first, he should go out to receive her and smile at her and help her bring somethings in. The wife also does the same when her husband comes home late. Doing so would taking good care of the couple. He/she should not just look at his/her partner without saying “Hi, Darling!” When coming into home. “Greeting is better than a party”, said proverb. – That means that “Hi” is more precious than a big diner. If you would like to have a happy family, you should remember this advice.
c, The couple work every day. If any partner coming home earlier has to go to the kitchen for cooking or preparing something for a family dinner; if they go home at the same time, both should go to the kitchen to help each other have a wonderful dinner for the family. It should not let a partner prepare a dinner while the other one reading newspaper. If he works at night, she works at day she has to cook a dinner for her husband. They should understand that both have been tired at work, so we have to share all the difficulties and help each other overcome them. Being the life partners, we should have understanding and compassion in order to treat each other fairly and lovely.
d, The husband and the wife should go home after working to see his/her partner. Then, he/she can go anywhere. Both should understand that each of them is waiting for his/her partner at home for having dinner or talking about the success and failure of that dayto learn experiences, so after working, the lover should not go aroundto search for friends for relaxing while his/her partner is waiting for him/her and worrying about his and her going. It does not benefit for building-up the family happiness.
e, If the couple work on the same day and in the same hours, but in different company. If one of them comes home first, should wait for his/her partner coming in. Then, the coupleenjoy the dinner together. They shouldn’t take dinner separately or each of them has dinner while watching Tivi. If the couples who are busy in his/her job, should spend week end to have the understanding and loving dinner of the whole family. It is the spiritual and magnetic field dinner to consolidate the understanding and compassion in the family. On the contrary, continuing to take dinner separately will make the spiritual and magnetic field of each of the couple go in different way and meet with another magnetic one that will pull him/her to go with it. If these conditions are continued, the couple’s happiness will be riskier. These are the above-evidences to take good care of the couple and nourish the family happiness.
5, Living in Harmony to Build-up a Family.
(The couple living in harmony would empty the Pacific Ocean)
a,Before you want to do something, you should discuss it and reach an agreement will your wife. You shouldn’t decide to do something without discussion and agreement with your partner. If your wife doesn’t agree yet, you should set aside to think about it, although you see that it is logical. When both reach the agreement, you will create it. For example, you would like to build a company, you should discuss it with your wife and convince her to reach an agreement. And then, we will create it. You shouldn’t do it alone without your wife’s agreement.
b, When investing into any business, both have to do together. You shouldn’t do it alone while your wife do another job. Both should cooperate together and share the work, dutyand co-responsibility. Doing so, they will understand, encourage and help each other have close relations between the husband and the wife who would be happy and positive to consolidate their confidence. It is a great encouragement in the process of building-up a happy family.
c, To build-up the family happiness, the husband and the wife must share co-responsibility for success or failure. If it is successful, we will enjoy together; if it is unsuccessful, we won’t say: “Because of your mistake”. We must have the co-responsibility to try our best to solve problems. We mustn’t surrender and never complain anyone. On earth, there is nothing absolute. If there is the daytime, there will be the nighttime; obscure, light; river water up, down; lucky, unlucky; failure, success. We must believe strongly in this natural law to go forward on our life road map. We must perceive that according to Buddhism, we must find out the ways to get success in life, and nobody can do it for us.
B.- FOR OUR CHILDREN.
The couple have to perceive that we have children in order to focus two goals: First, succeeding our ancestors; second, taking good care of parents in the old age. To get these two goals, parents have to create the following basic principles:
1)- Mommy Breastfeeding.
According to psychophysiology, relations between psychology and physiology indicate that when the mind thinks about something, the physics is excited. For example, while thinking about the wife, the husband wants to kiss her. When sexual psychology appears, at once the physics is impacted to have sexual intercourse (to make love). The other psychological actions are the same, so we can conclude: The mom’s towards-baby loving would make the baby love her, if she breastfeed. About the qualities of mom’s milk, a book named “Being healthy, smart and developed (your baby) of the U.S. Agriculture, Medical and Human Services Ministry”, a Chapter: “Mom’s milk is the best one for your baby.” PQ: “Mom’s milk is the best for your baby”. Being breastfeed, she/he isnot often sick and has no allergy, and smarter. At the same time, breastfeeding helps moms prevent from having some health problems.
If you would like to study about breastfeeding and mom, please, connect Laleche Union at 1-800-Laleche or Web at www. Lalecheleague.Org/. So, those who want baby’s love should breastfeed.
2)- Don’t cherish children when they are sleeping.
Mind always has its own energy. For example, the mind of craving can lead someone toward actions of craving, the mind of anger can lead someone toward actions of anger, the mind of ignorance can lead someone toward ignorant actions sometimes, we can’t refrain it, etc…… The actions of cherishing and kissing would make the mind of sexual craving exciting. It has the root of being mad in love and might be a leading factor, which command all the actions without insight. When you have loved someone, you always see him/her nice and attractive, but actually he/she is not, so we shouldn’t cherish the children that are sleeping.
3)- Creating Sentimental Refuge between Parents and Children.
According to above-mentioned co-arising conditions, human beings need the sentimental refuge for living, enlarging and developing their minds, but those who are living together as husband and wife and don’t take refuge in the sincere sentiment won’t happy and joyful. They are living together without the true and intimate sentiment, so they have treated each other as robots and just taken advantage of each other instead of sincerely sharing the happiness or sorrow. In a family, if you would like to have happiness and joy, you have to build-up the sentimental refuge. If the children have taken refuge in their parents because they always need it, they will love them and sacrifice to them.For example, those who have put the sentimental refuge on animals such as bears, puppets, cats, dogs will love them and be ready to defend them. Why does baby more love bears, puppets, cats and dogs than their parents because the latter haven’t given them the sentimental refuge in which the former have wanted to take, so the children have to take refuge in other places such as bears, puppets to nourish and develop their own sentiments. If the parents expect their children who love and remember them, the former should let the latter take the sentimental refuge in their parents from a baby to an adult. To doso, they should apply these following principles:
a, Parents have to sleep with their children.
When our children are from 2 to 12 years old, the parents often have to sleep with them. Dad has to sleep with boys and mom has to sleep with girls. They should usually tell their children good examples of parents and ancestors. Don’t let them sleep alone in a bedroom during many years. It would make them seem solitary and isolated. When they have been growing up, of course, that would maketheir sentiments further and strange to their parents, and they will have no understanding, love and good relations with them.During long, somber, sorrowful and fearful nights, he/she have no Dad or Mom that he/she takes refuge in, so he/she must take refuge in bears, puppets and something else. To do so, they feel safe and warm for sleeping. Slowly, the hand-made bears puppets, dog, cats will become their good friends in closed and intimate relations during his/her life while they have felt so strange to his/her parents that he/she has a little bit understanding and love for them. Sometimes, l myself slept at night in a large house or in a big room lonely in the quietness and solitude, which made me unsafe and fearful! Of course, a child would be so fearful, so the parents would like to expect that their children will understand and love them and they have to find any ways for sleeping with their children who would have a good opportunity to take refuge in their parents and feel safe and joyful.
b, Good examples for offspring.
Especially, girls are always proud of their parents success and goodness and they also are sorrowful about their failure and badness when they have met with their friends who told them the bad things of their family. The parents have to indicate good characteristic as an ideal, which their children should follow. They should not make them lose the credit because of bad habits through their deeds, words, or ideas. “There will not be a good child as there aren’t good parents”, said Proverb in the book named the happiness of the couple, p99 of Ven. Dr. K. Shi Dhammananda. Thich Tam Quang translated: “Parents’divorce is children’s biggest unhappiness and make their psychology hurt deeply and seriously because of lack of refuge for their mind. It also makes the sublime ideal lost toward their parents who have been sacredly admired by children who, then no more will pay respect to their parents. That will enter their minds and they will feel deeply sorrowful when they think that they will be left behind by their parents’ divorce and won’t have a good future. If there are small problems between husband and wife in a family, we should discuss and solve it secretly. Don’t let children know it. Don’t let it hurt their innocent souls. If there are big problems like divorce, and our children become adults, we should discuss it with them, because they might have constructive and useful ideas to reconcile with each other. Doing so, we love our children. Actually, those are greatest unhappiness and sufferings for them when we have left them behind to search for the personal happiness. In brief, the parents have to always indicate good examples for their children through deeds, words and ideas.
c,Taking good care of children’s education.
According of the book named Happiness Couple Translated by Thich Tam Quang: “Home is a first school and parents are first teachers. Kids often learn first lessons, which is good or bad from them” wrote author. The duty of parents always have to concern about children’s living, especially their education, basic foundation of children’s future happiness.The teachers cultivate the seeds of knowledge about sciences and the parents cultivate the seeds of understanding and compassion. But schools are more different than society. Schools give general knowledge to students, but the schools of society give living experiences to them. To avoid the conflictbetween the education at school and the experiences in the society in order to build-up the future happiness for children, parents have often to take good care of them with the following conditions.
1)- First Conditions:
*– Those who learn well will be rewarded.
*- Those who have low grade will be encouraged, and if they have high grade, they will have gifts at the end of the month.
*-If we see that they have low grade at the end of the year, parents should let them follow their studies according to their favorite, so their brains will be developed, and they will be successful “If you have skill in any job you will be stable and rich”, said Proverb. That means that if you try your best to do any job you do like, you will have a good life. Don’t force our children to learn subjects you like, but they don’t like them.
2)- 2nd Condition:
Parents should follow their children’s subjects they have learned at school. Sometimes, they are good or bad to our family relationship. Those subjects are useful to scientific-technical aspects but might hurt the family sentiments and behavior.Theseare the following examples:
*)- At school, teachers had faught students about their duties. Boss has to pay workers according to labor and skill. He may not exploit their workers. But at home, their parents need them to do something. After having done, their children ask for money, but their parents don’t pay, and they always think that their parents had exploited them. Then, they ask their children that who had told you that? “My teacher”, answered their children. From that time, the relations between parents and offsprings would become worse, so the parents have to understand them and explain how is the gratitude towards their parents and their ancestors.
*)- At some universities, professors had taught the sex philosophy to studentsand had thought that sex-making with many people is not guilty on the virtuous aspect, so after having learned, they want to enjoy it, but they have not known that doing so will make themselves and their family and society suffering, and others won’t pay respect to them. They also think that sex is just a cheap merchandise, which is not precious and is cheaply soldat the Flea-Market, and is called “The Flea-Market Loving”. Here, these marchandises are on sale.
In addition, there are many subjects that would hurt morale, virtue and sentiments in the family, which the parents should keep in mind to explain to their offsprings in order to make them remember the gratitude towards their parents. That means that the offsprings have to help parents, but don’t ask for money, because it is a mysterious and sublime duty towards their parents and their ancestors.
3)- Teaching Them About Virtue and Filial Piety:
Virtue is the basic foundation of the human beings, and filial piety is the first condition of the human behavior. According of the Buddhist Karma, a new-born baby is not good or not bad, but the good seeds and bad seeds related directly to his parents are still in his/her mind (in his Alaya) and they are waiting for favorable conditions to appear and receive bad or good results for his/her life. There is a theory saying that a new-born baby has a good nature. There is another one saying that a new-born baby has a bad nature. A new-born baby who has already had a good nature could not become a bad one and a new-born baby who has already a bad nature could not became a good one. But according to Buddhism, the new-born baby is neither good nor bad, but this one who has been living in a good environment could become a good human being, and but if this new-born baby who has been living in a bad environment could become a bad one. The neither-good-nor-bad new-born baby has already had numerous good and bad seeds of the past karma in his/her mind, but they don’t have yet good conditions to develop and appear to show the good or bad ones of his/her own life according to his/her karma. “Nearing the bad, you will become bad; nearing the good, you will become good”, said Proverb. Because of these reasons, the parents have to educate their offsprings to avoid bad actions, do good things, keep mind sane in order to build-up the virtue for their families. Here are following principles to build-up the virtue and filial piety for the offsprings:
*- When being kids, they should be educated to say “Hi, Sir; Hi, Mam; Hello, Sir; Hello, Mam; Yes Sir; Yes, Mam”, when they see visitors. They should not regard the visitors without greeting or saying polite words.
*- Practice children to know how to do the good: give alms, help the old and disable, etc…..
*- Teach children to pay respect to the old, cede the young and love brothers and relatives.
*- If the parents are Buddhists, they should often take their offspring to Buddhist Temples to pray in front of Buddha, attend meetings with Buddhist friends to learn Buddha’s teachings and other works like donations of money to Buddhist Temples. The parents first have to do it and give their children money and teach them how to put it into the donation box. For example, when we burn incense sticks to pray in front of Buddhist alter, we should give them each and show them how to do it.Tell them: Do it after me these are images, actions and works, which have been leading our children as good habitudes to help cultivate virtue seeds in the offspring’s mind.
1)- Filial Piety:
The parents have to organize simple filial piety days like Mother Day and Father Day of the United States of America with good qualities, but not for formality. On this occasion, the offsprings offer a small gift and a card of wishing the long living, good health and happiness. It is not enough yet. In addition, they have to show their true respect and love towards their parents. If the parents are Buddhists, they should choose July 15, a filial piety Holiday for the whole family. Here is the process of organization:
*- On Sunday evening, all the offsprings come into the sitting room.
*- Choose an oldest one to represent them to read a letter of appreciating the good things of their parents ( This letter in English or Vietnamese).
*- The representative among them offers a rose to their parents who offer them each.
*- Then, the parents give each of them a small filial piety gift.
*- After that, all the offsprings chant the rose song (in English or Vietnamese).
*- At the same time, all the people enjoy tea and cakes.
*- Finally, the offsprings’ representative sincerely says the deepest Thanks and the best wishes to their parents.
When growing up, the offsprings will never forget the impression of this filial piety celebration. It is one of the subjects of the filial piety education, which is very useful and effective for the young people. Thanks to this filial piety celebration, the children after marrying, will know how to organize it for their offsprings later.
2)-Don’t interfere in the children’s family affairs.
Most of the parents often have interfered in their married sons and daughters’ personal affairs. They always control their children’s own lives and force them to live like the parents’ lives. That would make harm our children’s happiness, dig deeply the separation between the parents and children, lose the good sentiments towards their parents and have the deepest prejudice between the parents and their pride and son-in-law. Actually, when being old, they would need their children who would take care of them.They should teach their children the individual independence to afford themselves their family affairs. Before marrying, sons or daughters have to be educated how to live a happy life between husband and wife, to know how to make money legally and virtuously, to share sentiments, to feed offsprings and to have good behavior in the society……..
When their sons or daughters were married, theparents shouldn’t interfere in their individual happiness. If being asked, we should give them some advices, but they decide and have responsibility about their success or failure. Absolutely, we shouldn’t order and force them about doing something, because doing so will make them have prejudice to be led or inferiority complex to receive parents’ commands and reproaches. Remember that we should always use soft words to talk with them.
The parents should remember this proverb: “Treat people the way you want to be treated”. We aren’t satisfied that our parents always interfere into our individual affairs. So we should not interfere in our children’s own happiness.
3)- Don’t Let Religion Enter Family.
For my viewpoint, the parents shouldn’t bring religion into family. They should let family go towards religion. That means that the parents shouldn’t force pride or son-in-law to become his/her partner’s religion before marrying. Forcing to do so, the parents could actually hurt psychologically the children’s minds who begin their loving while they don’t understand clearly and believe yet the new religion. In this case, the lovers follow a new religion only because of loving their parents, but not because of understanding and believing strongly a new religion. Actually, they don’t love that religion.
Religion is a sane and sacred organization and refuge while family is a secular society. To tie a religion into marriages is to lower the sacred value of the religion while the lovers don’t have the strong belief in that religion.The members of family take refuge in the religion as an ideal in order to relax tension and pacify their minds, and that religion will make them happy for life.
The partners have taken refuse in the religion that is making their minds sane and they have built the true belief on their stable love. And then, they will take refuge in their own religion to improve themselves their minds in order to build the true happiness.
In a family, life partners have the same religion. It is easy to bring it into that family before marrying. While in any other families, the husbands and wives have the different religions, it is very difficult to bring it into the family, so the parents shouldn’t force their sons or daughters to follow another religion that they don’t like before marrying, because they don’t have yet the true belief in that religion and because they are not free to choose themselves their own religion.
The parents should let their children be free to choose it according to their knowledge, if they really love their pride and son-in-law. Don’t interfere into their private affairs. Don’t use the religion to dominate the young’s lives. If the parents understand and let them free to select the religion they like, how nice it is!
4)- To The Relatives.
Our close relatives are our parents and our parents-in-law. Our parents are the closest ones that directly share, protect and concern generously about our lives. They also are the stable refuge for our lives on the route to build the family happiness while our parents-in-law are the indirectly close relatives that would support our minds, encourage and give us lots of experiences that would make our lives successful, safe and joyful. As being sons, daughters, sons-in-law and daughters-in-law, we have to understand and pay respect to them.
a,- Having to pay respect to parents.
Generally speaking, we are not generous and fair, because we only love and pay respect to our parents while we don’t pay respect to our parents-in-law. The sons-in-law and prides have to perceive clearly that: if there aren’t our parents-in-law, there will not be the wife and husband you are loving. We should be sincere to love and pay equal respect to our parents and our parents-in-law. If you love your wife, you have to pay respect to your parents-in-law; and if you love your husband, you have to pay respect to your parents-in-law. “I love my husband, so I have to pay respect to my mother-in-law. Actually, she is not my relative”, said proverb. When living in the sane family, be careful! Never make your life partner’s mind hurt, because of no paying respect to your lover’s parents. She/he would be sorrowful and shameful for it. That would make the family unhappy and might lead to divorce.
In addition, if we have been sons-in-law or prides, we have to love and pay respect to our life partners’ relatives and friends in order to realise a comfortable and joyful environment for our own lives. Thanks to nice behaviour to our relatives and friends of two sides, we would have a friendly and intimate impression of all the people and a full support on the route of building-up our family’s success.
For example, your brothers-in-law or sisters-in-law are jealous, you should have a moderate behaviour towards them, because you have loved your life partner, if that jealousy doesn’t hurt your family happiness; but if that has influenced your private affairs, you should have the nice behaviour towards them, too. At that time, husband and wife should understand each other and shouldn’t argue with them. It is not good for your happiness. Remember that they are out siders who have never been living in your family. Don’t worry about that!
We also have the right perceptions that have indicated the nice behaviour and paid respect towards our relatives of both sides and all friends. That is the way you use to improve your mindfulness as “Flowers smell good, thanks to pistil;people are respected, thanks to mindfulness”, said Proverb.
b,- Often Visiting The Parents Of Both Sides.
Often visiting the parents of both sides is the duty of the son-in-law or pride having the filial piety and also the personality of each person. Those who know how to improve themselves the personality value and to follow the human behaviour principles towards the parents couldn’t miss this sacred duty. Often visiting them will focus three goals:
1)- 1st Goal.
The basicbase of the human society is complicated and sophisticated relations on the living aspect, especially on the sentimental one between the parents and their children. Generally speaking, the parents always love their children and expect taking good care of them for life. But according to the social morality, the parents must help them marry. If not, It is a serious fault, because they are irresponsible for their children’s future happiness, but because of their loving, they don’t want their sons or daughters building themselves new own families, which is separate from taking care of them. Because of that reason, in the old day, in Vietnam, there was a customs called “Pride picked-up and son-in-law picked-up” to the parents-in-law’s family to live on and their sentiments won’t be hurt.
Nowadays, in the civilized society of the advanced science, the pride and son-in-law customs are no more for the young people. After being married, the young couple always want to live an independent life, which they always wouldlike to expect. They never want to be tied and dominated by the faded customs.
On the psychological aspect, the parents would feel to be left alone and behind, when their son or daughter has an independent and own life. Now they will feel solitary and sad, because they have no more responsibility to protect and take care of them. That is why the children have to understand deeply the infinite love the parents have given them, and they should often visit them and take care of the health of the parents of both sides that would make them reduce the sorrow they have been handling for life.
2)- 2nd Goal.
Because of loving so much their offsprings, they always feel unsafe. They are so worried that they couldn’t eat and sleep well. They always think that their children have been too young, innocent, unexperienced and incapable to deal with difficulties and traps during their live. These are the parents’ perceptions.
*)- At school,lessons are different from in-society lessons. At school, students only learn theories, but couldn’t learn the experiences of living; in the society, people couldn’t learn the theory, but they could learn the useful experiences helping overcome problems on earth.
*)- Our children are more intelligent than their parents, but they lack experiences in the social deals; the parents aren’t as intelligent as their children, but they have lots of experiences in the social deals.
*)- Our teenagers are innocent in the society and only know the people’s appearances, but they don’t know deeply anything inside them. Sometimes, these appearances are false! For example, our children only know one side of love, but they never mention the other side!
In the society, they are innocent to think that their life routes are always full of flowers, they always have good opportunities to continue going onred carpets to achieve their happiness, so their behaviors are always “reùglo”(exemplary) and never flexible to follow conditions for dealing with problems successfully. In the society, sometimes, we also need “reùglo” behaviors to run our businesses and make money. But on the sentimental aspect, we should be flexible to attain to success, because “Sharp comments hurt the others” who would become our enemies while our goal’s building-up a family happiness. To attain to it, we should follow conditioned behavior, which is flexible like water flowing from small streams through rivers, lakes to large oceans. In the social relations, the conditioned behavior is a right “savoir vivre” as a Presbyterian said, “The wise is also dead, the idiot is also dead, only the knowledgeable lives on”. It meansthat those who use the conditioned behavior, will live in harmony with all the people. They will be successful, because they have lots of experiences in the social relationship such as our parents, so when being teenagers, we need our parents’ teachings that are the precious experiences during their lives. That’s why the parents of both sides always worry about their children’s future although they got married and had their independent lives. It’s important that we should listen to our parents. If their teachings are useful, we accept them, but if theirs aren’t useful for us, we should listen to hear them nicely. The children shouldn’t have the unrespected behavior towards their parents.
3)- 3rd Goal.
As being in the old age, the parents are nearing the death. The body is weak, painful and tired; the mind is unsafe and worried about the sorrowful destiny of the old, because their life route is shorter and shorter, and they have been walking near the tomb. They haven’t known, then, where they are going to come. They couldn’t have a good future. At this time, the parents are so miserable, so we, the filial piety sons-in-law or brides should deeply understand them and often come to take good care of their health and comfort them. It would make their sorrow relieve and bring them the happiness at the end of their lives. Here is the 3rd following goal.
c,- Encouraging and helping parents go to Church, Buddhist Temple.
The ethics isthe basic base of the life of an honest person.The person needs the ethics while the flower needs its perfume. “Flower smells good thanks to pistil, people are respected thanks to mindfulness”, said proverb. The ethics has the magnetic field, which has connected and united the loving of all the people that support you in order to help you have enough strength to overcome all the difficulties in life.At the same time, the ethics is likely to be your precious treasure accumulated from the past karma to the present and future ones of your life on the route that would make your mind pure. We could say that ethics is a vital remedy to improveyour mind, enforce your living and build-up your true joy and happiness.
At the old age, the parents should practice the mindfulness to have the spiritual baggage for their next lives on the mindful way in order to liberate the suffering of the human life, so when the parents would like to practice the mindfulness or do something to help the poor and disables to improve the virtue,as their good children, we should do our best to help them achieve their goals and if the parents don’t know how to practice the mindfulness, we should encourage them to be interested in improving their ethnics in order to make their live better. We shouldn’t let them spend their last time uselessly.
D.- FOR THE SOCIETY.
Be moderate and courteous to all the people, we shouldn’t be arrogant. Those who are moderate and courteous won’t make themselves lose the personality, but on the contrary, will make their personality higher and lighter like the North Star in a dark sky. The gentleman needs to perceive clearly these important elements:
1)- We have the close relations with the society. These loves would protect our lives. If our relatives of the family and the members of our community don’t love us, we will be unhappy for life. For example, we are doing a small business, a shop selling coffee and cakes. Of course, we need lots of customers to come for enjoying our coffee. If there are many customers who have loved us and come to enjoy the coffee, we will earn much money; but if there are many customers who haven’t loved and haven’t supported us, our business will go down. Of cause, we won’t be successful. Our livings have close relations with our neighbors. “Our relatives who are living far from our house are not more helpful than our neighbors”, said Proverb.
2)- In the society, there are lots of people that are selfish and jealous. They don’t like others that are richer, more talented and more intelligent than they are. They have used any means to insult and harm others in order to make them fail of their purposes. Those are the true characteristics of the people in the worldly society.
If you would like to have your life better for building-up the family happiness, every member has to indicate the moderate and courteous behavior to all the members of the family. This nice behavior is a necessary condition on the psychological aspect to connect and unit the lovely sentiments of all the people around us. That would eliminate or at least reduce all the conflicts in our family, which have made trouble in the process forward building-up the family better. Doing so would create one of necessary conditions to make the couple happy and successful.
1,-Indicating the Gentleman’s and Nice Ladies’ Behavior.
–Husband: a husband must be a gentleman and a family chief with four nice characteristics such as personality, walking and standing, speaking and dealing with someone (how to behave). He must love and take good care of parents, love brothers and sisters, love the homeland, love the fellow citizens and keep promise.
– Wife: a wife must be a nice woman. She should be moderate and polite. She always indicates four noble characteristics such as being clever in working, speaking nicely, being serious in clothing and being honest and well-behaved.
In addition, the couple should be careful in clothing when going out. That would indicate our personality. The husband and wife would like to be a gentleman and nice woman when behaving with others. They have to follow these following principles:
a,- When meeting with visitors or outsiders, we shouldn’t wear in-room clothes such as Pyjama or T-shirt. On the contrary, we have to wear diplomatic clothes. According to the Vietnamese, we have to put on the long pants and long-sleeves chemise and a woman has to put on Vietnamese dress. We shouldn’t wear short clothes or pyjamas when dealing with them. If we wear in-room clothes such as Shorts and T-Shirt…….., we will make following mistakes:
*- We will make others lose deep sympathy with us, because we feel disdain for them.
*- We will make others think that we might be low-educated, lack of culture in relationship.
b,- When dealing with visitors or outsiders, woman should put on serious and beautiful clothes and speak nicely. If she doesn’t have the good appearance when going out, she will make the following mistakes:
*- She will make others lose respect towards her and think that she might not be a nice one.
*- Wearing low-cut clothes and speaking impolitely will make her husband lose his belief.
The life partners have to understand each other that the husband has his friends, and the wife has her friends. She won’t feel proud when her husband going out doesn’t wear nice clothes; and he also won’t feel proud when her wife going put doesn’t put on serious clothes. Your friends would estimate how your social behavior is.
These are necessary elements for us to build-up our family happiness. We should keep in mind that it is two difficult to look for a precious gift and it’s also two difficult to look for an ideal lover, so if we would like to have a happy family for life, be careful in speaking and clothing.
2,- Eliminate The Gossip Outside.
Talking about the gossip in a book named “Nieäm Phaät Thaäp Yeáu” of Gear Master Thieàn-Taâm in P.153 noted again a short poem of Venerable Hueä-Naêng as following:
For eliminating the troublesome
Stop the gossip,
Leave behind the love, or non-love,
Lie down with two straight legs for relaxing.
For building-up the family happiness, according to Buddhism, the gossip in a big problem. Most of people have a bad habit, which is hard to be cured. It’s the gossip. For example, they don’t know how to look for a good solution to solve problems in their family. By then, they told that to outsiders; or they often bring a gossip from somewhere to their family to discuss. It will make the family members trouble and unjoyful! This is the illness that Buddha call false words, or lies. That means they don’t tell the truth. They calumniate. They have told the controversial stories of their family to someone else and brought the bad ones into their home, which will make their home unjoyful and unhappy. The couple want to live in peace, happiness and joy. They should practice these following principles:
*- We shouldn’t bring the gossip back home to discuss. It isn’t related to our family and will make it trouble and unhappy, because everyone has different ideas about it; there have been some couples divorced by that gossip, so the Buddhist law doesn’t permit Buddhists bringing the gossip back home that will make the couple’s minds trouble and unjoyful.
*- We shouldn’t talk about the bad things of our family with outsiders. In our family, if there have been some problems, we should discuss with each other to solve it ourselves and don’t let outsiders interfere in our private affairs. It isn’t a good choice, because it will make lose the credit of the family. If the husband and wife can’t solve their conflict, they should ask for their parents to help them solve it in order to reconcile each other and if they are the followers of any religion,they should need their master’s help to conciliate between them.Moreover, if the outsider isn’t good and he/she can make the conflict more serious than it is, so the bad thing will spread more than imagined. All the people have known it that it isn’t good for their household.
The couples who are living in harmony will be happy. If they don’t practice stopping the gossip, they will be unjoyful and unhappy in the future. They should practice keeping nice silence in order to eliminate the gossip day by day. They will live in harmony, mindfulness and happiness.
2.- TALKING PEACEFULLY.
(Mouths speaking nicely without debating.)
Speaking politely and moderately without debating means using soft and nice words without confronting each other in order to maintain safe and joyful environment. In any occasions, if we would like to know something clearly, we should discuss it moderately and nicely in brotherhood and prevent from debating and confronting. If we expect to achieve it, all the members of the family should follow these advices:
a,Making concessions to overcome problems.
According to Buddhism, the worldly life has two sides: honest, dishonest; good, bad; up, down; day, night; high water, low water. The life route always runs as the river always keeps flowing. And thanks to impermanence like flowing water, human beings continue to live on as water continues flowing, so it isn’t stagnant. Because of the life impermanence, these two sides of living have been appearing during our lives. We have been living in the life of permanence of these two sides above-mentioned, so we couldn’t prevent from having problems, which have always occurred in our lives more than good luck.
We are Buddhists, so we have known the true nature of the human life and should behave nicely in a very difficult situation according to every conditions that mean that when we are lucky and rich we shouldn’t be proud of it and change our minds and forget the difficult situations ahead. On the contrary, we should prepare anything to wait for and solve them. Be patient, behave nicely and make concessions to overcome difficulties, which will pass and we will see good luck again. Be always optimist. We have known how to behave nicely according to the conditions. It means that we have to deal with the bad things that won’t shock us and make us suffering and desperate. On the contrary, if we haven’t known to behave nicely according to the conditions, that means if we haven’t been ready to deal with the difficulties that would take place, we will fail to achieve our goal for life.
These above-mentioned suggestions let us know that we always behave according to conditions when we meet with bad luck. When confronting difficulties and failing, we shouldn’t reproach God why he hasn’t help us, but we should make concessions to overcome them and be patient. Then, tomorrow it will be beautiful. Don’t be pessimistic. If not, we will receive the failure.
b, Using nice words for behaving.
The couple daily behave each other, so we have to use nice words. “No spending money to buy words, choose nice words to speak to make satisfy each other”, said Proverb.
As human beings, we could have made mistakes and haven’t liked to be commented, because of our self-pride about them. If husbands and wives have had some shortcomings, we should use nice words to speak to each other for solving conflicts as following principles:
*- Don’t make any comments about our partner’s mistakes in front of others or our offsprings.
*- Use nice words to comment about his/her shortcomings. First of all, we should appreciate his/her success with 80% of good behaviors; and after that, we should use nice words to note the shortcomings nicely to make him/her understand and mend his/her “Savoir vivre”.
*- Practicing listening to the deep words of his/her heart for understanding and loving him/her, because we also understand that he/she would like to mend his/her behaving. Because of his/her self-pride, he/she doesn’t want to accept his/her shortcomings. In this case, he/she should continue listening to his/her partner until he/she has known that he/she wants to mend his/her mental wound. Immediately, the husband should kiss his wife and go silently to some places. By then, his partner will mend the wound himself/herself. For the life partner, we shouldn’t think about who is right and who is wrong! The love will be renewed by the understanding and compassion and the family will be happy. By contrast, if a partner always gets angry and use violence against another one. That means that he/she doesn’t know what is right and what is wrong. The former has pushed his/her partner against the wall. Of course, the latter will react. “Those who are in danger will find out any ways to escape or fight back; animals who are in danger will react”, said Proverb. If the human being has been put against the wall, they will struggle against us; and if we want to kill the animals that will react and bite us.
In brief, using the nice words will make the couple safe, joyful and happy; and the family will live in harmony. Those are important elements for building-up the happy and stable family forever.
3.- THINKING PEACEFULLY.
(Any questions need to be explained)
If a husband or a wife is worried about something or has any questions about family, which must be directly, moderately and frankly explained. He or she shouldn’t keep them for a long time in mind. If not solved, those worries would become psychological cancer in his/her heart; and if it has been developed, it will be difficult to be cured such as craving, anger and ignorance being stored in the human beings’mind. This psychological cancer is also the cause of the family conflict, which is the obstacle for the reconciliation of the couple, so their family is unhappy, and the building-up of the family couldn’t be improved to live a good life.
To solve conflicts of families, the couple should create these following conditions:
*- The husband or the wife has to think that he/she is this family’s main member as a big and old tree, which has been giving a shadow for the whole family. It is a strong and stable refuge for offsprings. The couple must believe each other and don’t let the little doubt make the family trouble. There are families where the couple has been living in the same house and seeing daily, but no understanding and compassion. That means that they haven’t been living in harmony. They haven’t enjoyed happiness. That is creating bad influences towards the couple’s living future and harming their offsprings’ psychology. According to psychology, although a husband and a wife have been living together, but each mind has each way. Surely, the result is that he/she will take for another partner for his/her refuge, because they haven’t believed each other anymore; and the children are, too. Although, they have been living with their parents, but when they haven’t believed in and understood them, they will look for other friends for their refuge. Those who have been living in the same family, but haven’t understood each other, will never be happy. In the family, to prevent from a problem like that, every member must make others understand and try to solve it. If not, all the family members won’t be happy.
*- To solve problems in order to improve the family happiness, the couple must do their best to make his/her partner understand each other with the true love. Doing so could clear all the doubts in their minds. Here are the solving-problem principles: — Based on the reconcilable mind, — using nice words, — and face-to-face talking in order to forget the boring past and renew our minds and behaviors to make a new life for the present and future where the couple and their children will be happy.
*- From now on, don’t allow anyone to evoke the past mistakes. The couple have to think that there won’t be bad things to happen in their family. And if there would be a little trouble between them, because one of them continues to evoke the past mistake. Surely, it’s easy to become a big problem, so they should prevent from having it.
b,- Discussing in harmony and peace.
If one member of the family has some suggestions or questions, we should discuss harmoniously and moderately with understanding and compassion in order to have good solutions. To achieve it, all the members of the family should follow these rules:
1)- Any good ideas should be accepted joyfully.Before planning to do something, the couple should discuss together and accept it. The husband or wife shouldn’t create a project, which the partner doesn’t accept. In the family, if you have children who are adults, you should let them contribute good ideas. You, your wife and children will become a staff team working together to achieve your plan easily. The parents should give their children opportunities to participate and help them do family business in order to let them recognize hard works to get money, and at the same time make them save money. In family activities, the parents and their children should follow these principles.
2)- The parents must accept any ideas, which many members accept, although it’s your offsprings’ ideas. It’s a democratic rule that will help the family be better. For example, there is a discussion, we should let all the people speak out, so we will have many ideas good and bad. Likely, we must listen to some bells’ sounds, we will know which one is clear and better.
3)- Keeping good relations – Forgiving others’ mistakes according to Buddhism, human beings have been receiving the karma of past lives such as craving, anger, ignorance, arrogance, doubt, bad mind, etc……, which are kings dominating our perceptions and human lives. Three karmas craving, anger and ignorance are seriously dangerous to our lives. And at any moment, they are always present in our mind. If these three karmas become our minds’ leader to deal with daily activities of all the members of our family, they will be crimes inside it. But we would like to destroy these karmas, actually it isn’t easy! We must practice the understanding and compassion for a long time during our lives. Always keeping them in our mind could help us restrain them. Because of these above – mentioned bad karmas, human being will follow doing bad things such as:
*- For human beings, especially the couple for the first time were lovers who were nice, gentle and lovely. They had dealt with each other by soft and polite words and fine behaviors. But after marrying, they have been living together for a long time, the true nature, the bad karmas appear. They change their thinking and altitude and they don’t pay respect to each other anymore. Now on, they have often used rude words in daily conversation that have made hurt his/her life partner in front of friends and offsprings. It would insult him/her. The couple would like to build-up a good family where they will live happily for life, they must have a good behavior anytime and anywhere.
*- The couple before marrying, after marrying.
If one of them has had any mistake and regrets to have done it, the other should forget it, let it pass away forever and will never evoke it again. With the deep understanding, compassion and true forgiveness, they will renew themselves to build-up the happiness for their family. Doing so, the partner, who had done that mistake, won’t have any complex in his/her mind. Surely, he/she will be happy for living together.
4.- PRACTICING PEACEFULLY.
(Practicing Mindfulness with Sangha Rules in Harmony)
All sangha must keep Buddhist rules for their learning Buddha’s teachings and practicing mindfulness. Religion has its norms, nation has its laws. And family has its principles as family laws, which affirm orders between husband and wife and parents and children. To maintain the happiness of the family, we have to follow these laws:
A)- Carrying out family laws.
Carrying out the family laws means the husband has his roles, the wife has her roles, and the children have their roles.
According to Buddhism, a family is a small society, which must have its laws like an association with its regulations that affirm the orders of its organization, the family laws affirm the value, responsibility and duty of every member of the small society. That means the member has to learn much in order to have a right perception for realizing his own personality and duties, and creating the sublime and sacred value and duties of husband, the wife, the father, the mother, the wonderful children. There are some families living in the same house, buteach member never follow the ethics and laws of the family and live independently with the craving of the individualism, so he/she will fall into the depravity. Most of families haven’t prepared its laws for a family as a small society keeping order between all the members, so each of them such as husband, wife, sons, daughters, …..,who keep living on with the individualism. That means each person follows on their cravings freely. Teens don’t obey their parents and their old brothers and sisters. If in a family, there hasn’t been a staff team that has issued good ideas leading family members, it will have lots of problems, which couldn’t be solved in the right direction. Thanks to the family laws, members can restrain their individual cravings and keep on honest livings with understandings and compassions in good relations with the relatives. Some people said that husband has to argue with his wife, it’s natural. But they don’t know that those arguments will make pollute their family environment in which their children’s minds are also polluted day by day and they don’t believe in their parents as an ideal symbol. Now, they don’t pay respect to them. The other ones go out for living separately. This bad conditions will set angry fire to burn their family happiness.
B)-Understanding the law of causality will help you avoid the faults.
According to Buddhism, the law of causality is natural and essential in the universe. It isrunning all Darma activities. That means that it decides all the forming of Dharma in the universe. The human beings can escape from the worldly laws,but can’t escape the law of causality. In the society, those who do like to drink alcohol are drunk, drinking alcohol is a cause, being drunk is an effect; those who do like to play gamble will lose money, playing gamble is a cause, losing money is an effect; those who are stealers will be arrested, being stealers is a cause, being arrested is an effect, etc…… There are stable relationships from three generations of human beings, Buddha said in the sutra of cause and effect. “You want to know how your past life was? Look at what you are now having. You want to know how your future life will be? Look at what you are now doing.”
From that principle, nowadays in our society there are lots of people who have been doing bad things and at the same time there are also lots of people who have been doing good things. All these results which we are now revolting were already cultivated in past lives, so we should avoid bad things. Doing so, we will not create bad causes for our present lives. We should know that my mind is a camera. If we take a picture of guilty as bad cause, which one day will appear and lead us to bad effects for future lives. We have to perceive with mindfulness not to create guilty. Of course, we will enjoy safety and joy. It is very clear that we don’t go to bed late, we won’t be sleepy tomorrow.
C)- Improve the knowledge to solve family problems.
This is the wisdom of Buddha, not the intelligence of the worldly human beings, because the intelligence of Buddha consisting of understanding, compassion and acception could solve family problems successfully. It is created by Buddha’s mind, which has been experienced learning, thinking and practicing. These are three doors of Buddhism to liberate oneself. Learning Buddhist Bibles will help make your mind immense like large ocean. Thinking of Buddha’s essential teachings will help you know Buddha’s secret and deep ideas. Reading and practicing Buddha’s teachings will help you liberate yourselves. The above – mentioned mindfulness is different from the human beings’worldly intelligence, because of Buddha’s mindfulness consisting of the understanding, compassion and acception. Those who had learned many subjects would have the intelligence and only become savants. In brief, those who had learned, searched, studied and experimented could become the savants having the human beings’ worldly intelligence while Buddha had experienced meditation practice and had the sublime wisdom that helped him know clearly the true nature of the universe and human beings, so the worldly intelligence can’t solve the human beings’ sufferings, but Buddha’s teachings can relieve their mind. For example, doctors, scientists, psychologists still have sufferings during their lives. On the contrary, Buddha’s mindfulness have the good energies to help relieve theirs, destroy the roots of sufferings and bring the happiness to their family. It is the most important on earth for all of us.
The couple would like to improve Buddhist’s mindfulness to solve troubles in their family and make it joyful and happy, both of them have to try their best to learn and practice Buddha’s teachings. It is likely to have the worldly knowledge, worldly intelligence, every person has to have learned during the life to revolt successes of his career. Especially, for Buddhism, the more you learn Buddha’s teachings,the more you feel joyful. It is likely to be a patient who have taken medicine the doctor gave him. He will be better. If he continue taking it, he will be recovering from an illness. According to Buddhism, those who do like to learn Buddhist sutras don’t need to be promoted, but they need happiness and willingness. The more you are willing the more you are joyful in your mind. In brief, the couple would like to build-up the stable happiness for life, the two partners have to learn Buddha’s teachings and practice the mindfulness to choose the right direction to live an ideal life on earth forever.
D)- Behaving with the understanding and compassions.
Buddhist’s compassion is different from the human beings’ pity and love, which always have its other side. If you take pity on someone who never thinks of you, you will hate him, if you love a pretty girl who doesn’t love you while she has loved another one, you will hate her. In Buddhism, there is only without-hatred compassion. Buddha only gives out the nonself compassion without receiving. In Sanskrit, it means Maitrya plus Karuna, which consist of bringing joy and happiness to all the people and making their minds freely relieved in order to improve their lives, although they are our enemies or our friends. Those who have the compassion for the human beings must have the non-self love. They consider the lives of other people as theirs. The human beings have the worldly minds such as craving, anger, ignorance, arrogance, doubt, cruel ideas, etc….., which have been hiding in Alaya. To destroy them, we must open your arms to embrace them and calm them down. It is likely to be a mom who embraces her baby in her arms when he is crying. Don’t let craving, anger and ignorance lead us to wrong directions. It will become big problems. In brief, we must use the understanding and compassion to deal with angerand destroy them.Then, those who have been practicing Buddha’s teachings should look at the human beings’ craving, anger, ignorance, etc……, to check their own minds to justify that they are now pure and joyful or not. Those who practice the understanding and compassion are likely to be a mom who behaves towards her lovely children. It is also likely to be a hen that behaves towards her chicks. The parents who behave towards their children with their love would have a difference: they could love this one so much and another one a little bit, so it would make their family unsafe; on the contrary, those who behave towards their children with the understanding and compassion wouldn’t have any differences. It is also likely to be a hen that loves her chicks without asking them to give something back or express the gratitude towards her. Here is the difference between love and compassion:
*- The compassion shows the nonself activities with this slogan: “Buddhism needs, we will come; the human beings need, we will go anywhere and won’t be afraid of obstacles and danger.”
*- The worldly love shows the self activities. Those who have a worldly love always look for safe and good jobs and avoid hard and dangerous ones, do like to command more than engage in heavy works.
*- The compassion is based on helping all the people without receiving rewards and their gratitude.
*- The worldly love is based on helping someone, in order to get benefits. That means that the helper asks for gratitude or some gifts.
*- Those who have the compassion are ready to help all the people including enemies.
*- Those who have the worldly love always help relatives, friends, but never help enemies, or help others a little bit.
*- Those who have the compassion never need the fame. That means that they don’t want someone else knows them. They are unknown.
*- Those who have the worldly love always need the fame. That means that they expect to be well-known by all the people.
We know that a family is a small society where if there is Buddha’s compassion that could destroy the suffering and separation, so the couple have to behave each other by the compassion that will prevent the bad luck making the family unhappy. To do so, both of them should try their best to practice Buddha’s compassion.
E)- Keeping and practicing Buddha’s norms will improve the personality.
The norms of Buddhism for Buddhists are.
a, The first is no killing.
b, The second is no stealing (exploiting).
c, The third is no sexual misconduct.
d, The fourth is no lying.
e, The fifth is no drinking alcohol.
And the norms of confucism for gentlemen are:
1- Those who are human are not killing
2- Those who love justice are not stealing (not exploiting)
3- Those who have rite are not sexual misconduct.
4- Those who are mindful are not drinking alcohol.
5- Those who have credit are not lying.
The five norms of Buddhism and the five Permanence of Confucianism have the same meanings in order to build-up the human personality. Actually, there is a little bit difference between the five norms of Buddhism and the five Permanence of Confucianism.
*- The five permanence of Confucianism tell us to learn and do it without vowing.
*- The five norms of Buddhism tell us to learn, do it and vow to practice them.
*- The five permanence of Confucianism only mention words and actions without ideas.
*- The five norms of Buddhism mention words, actions and ideas as well because the mind commands words and actions.
Because of the above-mentioned reasons,the Buddhist has to vow practicing Buddha’s norms well to have a good mind, which will create a nice and respected appearance in order to live a good life, so if the couple were Buddhists and would like to build-up the true happiness, they have to practice hard and purely Buddha’s norms.
5.- ARGUING PEACEFULLY.
(Solving problems peacefully.)
If there are good ideas or questions the Buddhists should explain and solve problems peacefully in order to help our friends understand clearly. In a family, if all the members have understood each other, they will love each other, so the husband and wife have to:
A,- Exchange ideas to understand each other. Being born on earth, nobody is proud of knowing everything and nobody could have lots of experiences on all aspects of the life without needing others’ advices to deal with the complicated problems related to the living of the people. Each person is a specialist. This one knows agriculture, but doesn’t know mechanic engineering; the other knows medicine, but doesn’t know mental health. According to conditions, our lives needs specialities to serve our livings, especially in the field of the spirit, so we need the best advices to help make our lives better day by day. If the couple would like to have a nice and wealthy family, a husband and wife or any member who have selected some good ideas or useful experiences from others should share with the family partners in order to make them understand and contribute to the common cause of the family. The couple who have understood each other will together build-up the happiness of the family in harmony. But those who have lived together, but haven’t understood each other, because this one is intelligent, the other is slow, wouldn’t be successful in building-up a happy and wealthy family. In brief, on earth, there are many ways to realize the common cause for our family, but we should select the best “Savoir vivre”, which is simple, human, free and non-violent, because it is the understanding-and-compassion “Savoir vivre” as a Way for our lives forever.
B,-Sharing when being unsuccessful. When being the husband and wife, we should understand to help each other. When this one has mistakes, difficulties such as unemployment or failure, the other has to share them, understand and console his/her partner to have enough energies confronting with next problems. In this case, the other has to have a good behavior toward him/her, because he/she has been worry and sorrowful, or one of them shouldn’t find other way to go away and leave him/her alone because of his/her own individual craving. It would make his/her partner mentally sorrowful and his/her family will be trouble, unsafe and unhappy because of their belief lost.
Usually, lots of people do like something absolute, an absolute solution, but they will never see it, because everything has two sides: good and bad; rich, poor; prosperous, decadent extremely happy, extremely miserable. An honest person living on earth isn’t arrogant when he’s rich and he won’t give up when he’s poor. He always has a strong will to wait for new opportunities.
Keeping the beliefmeans that the husband and wife have to cooperate closely, share the failure and sorrow, help each other have enough courage to confront with coming difficulties and always believe that their lives will be better in the future.
If they would like to keep the belief and understanding, the two partners have to choose their family happiness and children’s future as a basic focus of their ideal to overcome all the difficulties. To achieve it, they shouldn’t follow the individualism, personal craving. If the couple always think about it for his/her own needs that surely will harm their happiness, and their family will be collapsed. Finally, his/her personal happiness won’t have its refuge in the field of spirit. That will lead their lives to the abyss of misery, so the couple must have the right perception to cooperate closely in order to eliminate any obstacles during the up-and-down lives toward their family happiness. It is very important that the husband and wife must be sincere in love. When they have the true love, they will overcome all the obstacles on the route to build-up the wonderful happiness of their union.
C,- Knowing to live a stable and happy life,Presbyterian said,“The wise is also dead, the idiot is dead, too, but the knowledgeable will live on.”
a, The Wise is Also Dead.
A wise person could die because of his failure. Sometimes, he has nothing for eating and could die in prison or he could be killed at many backward countries all over the world. Why? Because he is so wise that the others are afraid of him and could harm him. You are living in a community, a society, if you let the other ones know your intelligence and wise, they will be jealous of your success and hate you and find any ways to surround, isolate and harm you in order to make you failed. They are satisfied when you are put down in the abyss of misery.
Said proverb, “Neighbours are more precious than further-living relatives”, because the former could help us. But living in the community, you are very rich, because you are so intelligent and wise, so many people could hate and harm you. Sometimes, you would be killed, so the wise is dead, too, if the neighbors don’t love you.
b, The Idiot is Dead, Too.
An idiot is dull, ignorant, slow and passive. He/she isn’t smart and creative, so he/she couldn’t do good job. He isn’t well-educated, so he can’t preview what will happen, because he doesn’t have a right perception. He believes in someone or something easily, so he is exploited during his life. Sometimes, he become a beggar living by asking people for food and money on the sidewalk until he dies, so the proverb said, “The idiot is dead, too.”
c, The Knowledgeable Lives On.
Those who know how to behave, will have the stable happiness, actually because those who know how to behave well aren’t dull, slow and passive. On the contrary, they are smart and wise, but don’t let the others know that. Those persons have no enemies.
*- Those who are dull, slow…. have to learn and practice Buddha’s teachings to have the wisdom that will help them know clearly and deeply the true nature of all things.
*- Those who craving, anger and ignorance,couldn’t have the wisdom, and they couldn’t be honest! They use any means to attend their ambitions without thinking of the effects in the future. In addition, when getting success, they show their arrogance and feel themselves invincible.
*- Those who know how to behave nicely have the supreme intelligence, which could foresee what would happen and have the right perception to plan and run their jobs. At the same time, they prepare to deal with obstacles and effects and avoid dangers for their lives. They have known that there is nothing absolute on earth, so they always look for relative and moderate solutions to solve problems. Doing so, they have no rivals, because they are so wise to recognize that the life is impermanent: day and night, the level of ocean water up and down, rich and poor, prosperous and declined, lucky and unlucky. These are the law of the impermanence and causality of the universe and Dharma. We are living in it and are also its cells, so we won’t escape these laws.
Those who know how to live a good life when having a good opportunity, aren’t arrogant, and they never throw money over the window and always prepare for badluck. If they have saved money for a long time in the past when being unemployed, they wouldn’t worry about that and they have much time to wait for another opportunity. In addition, when being rich, they aren’t so proud of their talent. According to Buddhism, the wisdom plus the understanding and compassion would make all the people love and pay respect to them. These gentlemen will be helped and protected by neighbors and friends. The Poet Nguyeãn Du’s wonderful verses, “When you have the talent, don’t be proud of it. Next to it is a misfortune.” In brief, those who are moderate, honest and flexible can change easily to suit any new situation and condition for living on.Encourage each other to try out for learning and organizing charity. As we know that when we have physical sickness, we must take medicine, but when we have mental health, we must take Buddha’s Dharma medicine to relieve our mind. According to Buddha, a mental patient must use Buddha’s teachings to cure himself, and you must be a doctor and you cure yourself. Nobody can cure you. And if you would like to become the doctor to cure the mental illness, you must try out to learn and practice Buddha’s Dharma called King Medicine, the best Medicine which is effective enough to cure and liberate suffering in your soul. Thanks to it, you will get your true happiness and Buddha is only a teacher, doctor or a guide. Absolutely, he isn’t a rescuer. In brief, the couple would like to have the true and stable happiness, they must learn and practice Buddha’s teachings to become the excellent doctor for curing their mental illness.
In addition, we have to encourage to organize charity to improve compassion that is the best medicine making your body healthy enough for its recovery. The compassion is vital energies of joy and happinessthe human beings need to build-up the couple’s stable union for life. The compassion factor can absorb and change conflicts into conciliations of different opinions in the community. The human compassion is only improved in charitable organizations. The more we have well-organized charities the larger and deeper we have the compassion. Those who would like to organize charities always want to bring joy and happiness to the miserable. Of course, these good factors will be cultivated, have grown up in their minds. They are good seeds.
In brief, those who would like to enjoy the true and stable happiness have to learn and practicing Buddha’s teachings and organize charities for life in order to liberate sufferings and improve the understanding and compassion in their minds that will make their lives pure and honest.
6.- SHARING BENEFITS EQUALLY.
(Benefits are fairly shared.)
According Buddha’s Laws in the Sangha, benefits must be divided fairly to all the members. No one is permitted to take lots of things for using as his/her own properties. To live a safe and happy life in harmony, we must follow these principles:
a, A Member May Not Decide Personally.
The property of a family belongs to husband and wife. To use it, the couple must discuss and reach an agreement, and the husband and wife may not decide personally.
What is the husband’s property? And what’s the wife’s labor?
In the old days of the Vietnamese society, a husband was a chief who had dealt with outsiders, looked for jobs, got money and created the properties of the whole family. It was his own property while his wife had worked at home, taken care of home, land and children. At the same time, she had kept money and properties of the family. Her role was also important. It was her labor. In brief, the husband and wife had the equal right to enjoy these properties and use them if approved by both.
Nowadays, a husband has his job. A wife has her job. The couple cooperate together to build-up the family having their own properties. The husband and wife have the equal rights to enjoy and use it. For using it, the couple must discuss and reach a common agreement in understanding and harmony. Not any partner has his/her permission to take it for other goals, because it has been belonging to the two: husband and wife. If each partner has self-respect and behaves nicely, clearly and fairly, their loving and happiness are wonderful and stable forever.
All of us know that almost of conflicts and problems in families between husbands and wives, brothers and sisters and all other relatives have been occurred anywhere on earth because of money that can change people: I would like to give you this example. In some past decades ago, millions of Vietnamese fled their country to settle in the United States of America and many other countries all over the world. They have become wealthy while their relatives in Vietnam have become poor. They have often sent money and gifts to their relatives in Vietnam, but sometimes their partners didn’t know it. That could make their family unhappy and the couple divorced and their children unsafe and boring for life. If the couple would like to have a happy family, each partner shouldn’t be selfish. But on the contrary, he/she should be generous and the couple have to behave each other fairly. It is so important that we should mention it during our lives.
b, We Should Save Money.
As you know the income of the family is limited, but the needs of the family is limitless and you shouldn’t forget the good luck and bad luck whenever they come and go. There is one thing you know that the good luck seldom comes second time, but the bad luck will come back many times. And you would be very tired to confront with them during your life. We should know that your job sometimes goes up and down and your account is sometimes full and empty, so we should save money and we only spend money for our necessary needs of family. We always prepare for the worst conditions.
For example, your wife needs a car to go working and take your kids to school. Look at your income of your family. If it’s medium, you shouldn’t spend much money to buy an expensive car in order to show your wealth. It isn’t necessary, because it isn’t true and good. Actually, you must work two jobs to get enough money for afford this brand new car. You are so tired! Who understands you? Sometimes you have trouble such as accidents, losing job, you will be worried about your family’s future and unhappy! And your children will be boring and they don’t know how to help their parents.
To supply some things for your family, you should select some objects useful with good qualities and shouldn’t buy some things noble and expensive with brand name. You have to know always that before buying something, look at your purse and income, because it’s very difficult to earn money. In addition, first you know how to arrange and decorate simply your house, which would become beautiful and noble. In simplicity, you will see beauty; secondly, you don’t need to show your expensive car, clothes and splendid house because the appearance is false; thirdly, you have opened arms and heart and a simple and honest life with nice behaviors indicate your supreme personality.
In brief, to be economical for our family, we should save money to preserve our family happiness from suddenly coming difficulties. We shouldn’t spend too much money for unnecessary needs.
c, We Must Plan Your Spending Money.
There are a lot of people who have no plan to spend money. They don’t save money. When they have good jobs and earn much money, they spend much of it for their passions or unnecessary needs, so when losing job or having some troubles, they won’t have enough money for necessary needs. At this time, they must loan it and debts will accumulate. Of course, their family will have troubles and won’t be happy. They won’t see a good future. At the same time, their children will have no hopes to go to school. That will make their whole family unhappy.
To prevent any problem during the future life, the couple must have a box of money in cases of emergency, additional spending and donations.
d, Box of Money in Emergency.
The couple must save and reserve some money per month to prepare for accidents, illness, cars repairs, etc……..
e, Box of Additional Money.
The couple must save and reserve some money per month to spend for other cases such as holidays, parties, associations of community, birthdays, etc……..
f, Box of Money for Donations.
The whole family must save and reserve some money per month for social donations. I would like to remind you about it that vitamin is necessary for improving your body, and good doing is necessary energy for improving your mindfulness, which will make your life joyful and safe. If you would like to harvest it, you must organize charity centers or donation clubs to help miserables, support Buddhist Temples, build Buddha statues and print Buddha sutras, because these places are good environments that nourish your compassion flowering by following reasons:
*- Firstly, the poor and miserable need donors who will have good condition to improve their compassion. “The human beings evoke human mind”, said Buddha.
*- Secondly, supporting Buddhist Temples, Sangha, building Buddha statues and printing Buddha Sutras will give us much of good luck because of praying daily.
In brief, every family must have a spending plan including a box of money for donations, which will make our whole family joyful and happy in the present moment, and positive and optimist for the future. Those who have realized it, have behaved kindly towards their relatives. They are worth being respected in the society.
g, Enough Is Enough
Those who know how it is enough in living, have simple lives without passions and luxury “Knowing how it’s enough is joyful, worrying too much is boring”, said Buddha Sutra. They have been living in a certain limit and saving money.
“Those who know how it’s enough, always feel happy although they are sleeping on ground, those who don’t know how it’s enough, don’t feel happy although they are living in Paradise”, said Buddha Sutra. Those who know how it’s enough are not attracted by five kinds of worldly pleasures:
a,- Craving of money,
b,- Loving beautiful women,
c,- Loving fame,
d,- Loving good foods,
e,- Loving good sleep in luxurious house.
“Those who love five kinds of worldly pleasures are likely to be a dog gnawing a piece of dry bone, a guy holding a fire torch burning going against the wind, to holding a dangerous snake, having a treasure in a dream, being fruits on the branches of trees that many people want to gather, holding a piece of meat that a herd of birds are struggling to eat. They are foams of water…..”, said Nirvana Sutra- book 22. These five kinds of the worldly pleasures are impermanent.
In a family, these five worldly pleasures must be restrained according to their needs we can afford. Don’t let them lead us to pursue passions. If we let them be free, they will harm the family happiness, because:
1- If we love money too much, we try our best to make it and will forget our family happiness.
2- If you love beautiful ladies, you will forget your loyal partner and children. That will harm your family happiness. Always love and think of your life partner.
3- If you always pursue the fame, and show up or flatter, you make lose your personality.
4- You eat to live a good life, not to live on to enjoy good foods,you should be moderate. If we do enjoy good foods and alcohol too much, it will harm your health.
5- When you sleep too much, your body will become fat; your brain won’t work well, you won’t be intelligent and will be slow. On the contrary, if you don’t get enough sleep, you will be tired and sick, so you should be moderate in sleeping.
In brief, you should know how it’s enough for living a simple and good life and accept necessary and modest needs. You don’t run after luxurious fashions and passions. You have to stop where you should stop. You should live a simple, modest and joyful life and improve your knowledge, you will be happy. Those who know how it’s enough in living, have been defending their family and taking good care of their partners and children in any conditions. They have been satisfied and happy. The people have paid respects to them.
These are the basic principles for living together in a family in order to build-up the stable happiness. Its essentials consist of psychology, physics and physiology of Buddhism in Buddha Sutras and they are based on six peaceful behaviors to help Buddhists live the good and happy lives in mindfulness of Buddhism. The spiritual values of the above-mentioned principles could lead our minds to harmonize the human psychology, physics and physiology to avoid troubles for every individual, family and society. For the teens, these peaceful principles are handbooks that are very necessary before they get married. They are also the most useful for young couples on route to build-up their happiness. And the parents, thanks to them, would educate their offsprings to have the safe and happy lives. Those who are determined to realize these peaceful principles of Buddha’s teachings completely will have good families becoming the wonderful samples in the society. They are also the best ways for our long and stable career to liberate our worldly lives.
California, San Jose , oct. 9, 2016