Buddhism teaches us that our happiness should not depend on someone but should depend on ourselves. And in order to make ourselves dependable, we need to know the Dharma.
Through the study and practice of Buddhism, we are able to build wider scope and clearer mind to see the reality of all beings. From the enlightened eyes, it is seen that we are caused to live in the midst of uncountable blessings at this right moment. The clearer our mind is, the higher sense of gratitude and happiness we would have.
This is the story from “Invisible Eyelash” by Rev. Nikkyo Niwano.
‘Near the gate of the temple Nanzen-ji in Kyoto, there once lived an old woman whom everyone called Tearful Granny. Rainy or shine, she was always in tears. One day the chief priest asked her, “What could be so sad that it makes you cry all the time?” The old woman replied, “I have two sons, one an umbrella-maker at Sanjo and the other a sandal-maker at Gojo. When it rains, I know people won’t want to go out and buy sandals from my first son, and that makes me sad. When the sun comes out, I realize people won’t buy umbrella from my second son, and I grieve over that.’ The priest said, “How about looking at it the other way around? When it rains, be glad that people will buy lots of umbrellas. When the weather improves, rejoice that your other son’s sandal business will prosper.” The old woman took his point. “You’re right,” she said, and from that day on she always smiled and lived happily.’
Rev. Niwano continues, ‘Most people, when they hear this story, laugh at the old woman’s foolishness. However, it is not something that can be so easily laughed away, because many people, big or small, think like this. By searching for the seeds of discontent in one’s surrounding, one makes oneself unhappy.’
“The Thought of the Week” on our RKINA homepage for this week is “The source of happiness is the ability to feel gratitude”. Knowing the Dharma is the key to build the ability to feel gratitude. Let’s study the Dharma with us.