The Meaning of Life: Always Keep a Thankful Heart (Part I)

meaningoflife1-1Many people like to ask the question — What is the meaning of life? This is the topic that I would like to talk about today.

Buddha Dharma is the science of life and it can teach us how to behave as a human being. When we have the wisdom of Buddha Dharma, we will make fewer mistakes and our life will become better. We shall enhance our love, our kindness to all sentient beings. That is the main goal for us in learning Buddhism. This is also the meaning of our lives.

To have a thankful heart is the first step in learning how to love. First of all, we should understand that to be born as a human is not easy compared with so many other kinds of life beings on this earth. All lives on this earth are constantly reincarnating, circulating among the six planes of rebirth. We should also understand that all life beings are equal and that we need to have respect for all kinds of life on earth, not only for human beings, but also for all kinds of animals, insects, etc.

To live this life as a human being is very unusual. From the moment we come to this life until now, there are so many people who have given us different kinds of help. We should not forget any of them. We should find all possible ways to return our thanks, our love and our respect to them. We should show our respect to everyone, their life, their wishes, their knowledge, their behaviour, their feelings, their beliefs and their religions. We cannot just judge them based on our own preferences.

Now we all have a very good life, at least all of you who are listening to this teaching now. We got a good education and we have knowledge. We have houses to live in, good food to eat and clothes to wear. Who has given all of this to us? First of all, that is our parents. They have brought us to this earth. They have given us the greatest love without conditions. They don’t mind if we are good or bad looking, if we are rich or poor. They have given us the best food they can provide, the best education they can support. When we were suffering, they would always be there to support us. When we were sick, they would be there to take care of us. They gave us the most selfless love. We should always remember that. Now they are getting old, they cannot do as much as they used to be. It is the time for us to reciprocate the love back to them. That is something we should never forget in our life. Whenever we get merit from our Buddhist practices, we should dedicate that merit back to them, wish them good health and long life.

The others whom we should dedicate our merit to are our teachers. In our lives, we have met so many different kinds of teachers, some of them taught us knowledge, some taught us how to behave as human beings, some taught us to solve different kinds of problems. We should always express our gratitude to them.

In our life time, when we are in different kinds of trouble at different moments, there is always someone there to provide different kinds of help to us, to support us and we shall always remember them. Maybe, many of them don’t need us to do anything for them, but in our hearts, we shall always remember them. Some day we will be able to reciprocate their kindness.

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