02 June 2014

Contemplation: Zeal

After reviewing the guidelines for practice, take the following as your contemplation:

Question:  How should followers of the teaching practice zeal?

Answer: They should not be sluggish in doing good, they should be firm in their resolution, and they should purge themselves of cowardice.They should remember that from the far distant past they have been tormented in vain by all of the great sufferings of body and mind.  Because of this, they should diligently practice various meritorious acts, benefiting themselves and others, and liberate themselves quickly from suffering.  Even if people practice faith, because they are greatly hindered by the evil karma derived from the great sins of previous lives, they may be troubled by the Mara and his demons, or entangled in all sorts of worldly affairs, or afflicted by the suffering of disease.  There are a great many hindrances of this kind.  They should, therefore, be courageous and zealous, pay homage to the Buddhas, repent with sincere heart, beseech the Buddhas for their guidance, rejoice in the happiness of others, and direct all the merits thus acquired to the attainment of enlightenment.  If they never abandon these practices, they will be able to avoid the various hindrances as their capacity for goodness increases.

The Awakening of Faith (trans. Hakeda), p. 94-5.  Punctuation and diction altered.

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