Ven. Chodron at PKS


Living a Meaningful Life
by Ven. Thubten Chodron©
Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery, Singapore
21 Apr 2006

Ven. Chodron giving the teaching in front of the Buddha image.

[mp3 files]

"We have to be brave. It is not necessary to go along with everything we learn in society. If society is going down a wrong path, we don’t need to go there with it…. We have to have our own sense of dignity, our own values, and live according to them."

More Excerpts in PDF format.

Setting motivation.
Factors of a meaningful life:

  1. Let go of attachment, anger, jealousy and other disturbing emotions.
    [23 min] : Download
  1. Live an ethical life: abandon negative actions. Includes not harming our future generations by being environmentally conscious.
  2. Develop a kind heart.
  3. Purify negative karma, accumulate positive potential or merit. What is positive potential or merit?
  4. Listen to the Buddha’s teachings, reflect and meditate on them, put them into practice.
  5. Actualize the three principal aspects of the path: determination to be free (renunciation), bodhicitta (the altruistic intention), and the wisdom that realizes reality.
  6. Rely on a qualified spiritual mentor.
    [33 min] : Download

Questions and answers
[41 min] : Download

Questions asked:

  1. If there were one thing that you could tell someone with very low self-esteem and doing a lot of self-blaming, what would it be?
  2. Given that good karma cannot be transferred from one person to another, what can one do for one’s parents to benefit them?
  3. In the Heart Sutra, it’s said that there is no suffering, no cause of suffering, no cessation of suffering and no path to the cessation of suffering. What does it mean?
  4. What are the benefits of liberating animals? Why are some Buddhist masters against it?
  5. You said that there’s no need to be the best. But isn’t it true that if we strive to be the best, we can draw out our greatest potential. Will a non-competing nature make one complacent and hence mediocre?
  6. Is there a way to experience the existence of past lives?
  7. In a society in which we have so much pressure to be best and to compete, how do we find peace by just being ourselves with our own unique talents?
  8. When good people suffer and bad people have all the good fortune, it is attributed to their past karma. To me, this is unsettling and demoralizing.
  9. The practice of animal liberation encourages the sellers to capture more animals, especially on Vesak day. What is your opinion on this?
  10. About the abbey and prayer requests.
  11. If you say that past lives is not important, then why do you care about the future?


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