11 – TRAIN TO BUILD UP GOOD PROPENSITY
Those who are far-sighted should learn to give up immediate gratification. By doing this, they build up good propensity and temperament for themselves. This predilection will gradually take deep root in their hearts, get strong and will not be easy to break. Focus on giving support and donation will steadily grow wider and wider to such an extent that we can do an action that other people find difficult to do, just like the Enlightened One, who gave up everything for the goodness and happiness of all beings.
Everything originates from causes. If good things do not happen to us, it is not because others deny it to us, but because there there is no cause to make the goodness happen. The goodness does not exist in the mind of others toward us. Normally, we are displeased and angry with the others because we think they fail to give us what we need. But, if we knew the fact that others do not have anything to give because there is no cause, we would not be angry with them. In fact, it is not others who do not want goodness to happen, it is we who do not deserve it. In this regard, it can be likened to something that does not exist in us. We need many things from our own selves. But, we have not even made it ourselves, let alone should expect it from others.
The Buddhist law of cause and effect states that our good or bad actions (cause) will eventually be returned upon us as good or bad effects. So if goodness is absent in our lives, it is because we have not created it by doing good ourselves.
Most people depend on worldly gains or material riches for their happiness, fulfillment and independence, at the expense of damage to spiritual wealth. Very few depend on mental capacity, wisdom and spirituality for happiness and freedom. Damage to mental and spiritual wealth is a real big loss and a disaster for all humankind.
No life exits smoothly and free from sufferings. But, if we are wise and skillfully make use of it, suffering can make a cause leading to a stable happiness. We know the coldness of the trees because of the sunlight surrounding them. The wise, when life is surrounded by the heat of suffering, can identify happiness in the place where suffering occurs.
Suffering provides an occasion for doing good and helping others. For example, you can bring happiness to a person suffering from hunger by bringing him/her food.
If the ultimate goal in life is peace, what has been damaged is not really damaged, because the most valuable asset is a peaceful mind established in the Dhamma of the sage. What we have gained is called only "mere gain" because all properties in the world belong to the world. We just come and use them temporarily and soon leave them behind.