A Harmonious World

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Cited from the Grand Master Wei Chueh’s Dharma Talk

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A  harmonious society and a harmonious world are the fundamental conditions for a  happy and peaceful life. In this multi-faceted, ever changing society, with its  materialistic progress and close interaction between people, human desires are  pervasive and problems surface. This  results in mental agitation for many, and the importance of peace and harmony  is ever more apparent. To achieve a harmonious world, we must consider not only  ourselves, but also our environment. If people wish to lead a harmonious life,  they must not only satisfy and maintain their basic material needs, but live in  harmony with others, have a sense of values, have a calm and peaceful mind, and  maintain a physical environment amenable to human existence.

Today, although the acceleration in technology brings humanity many  conveniences, we have not used them wisely, creating greater problems and  disharmony in the world, even leading us to the possible dangers of human  destruction.  We have many problems  today, the most important of which are: 1) wasting and depletion of our natural  resources, 2) serious pollution and damage to the environment, 3) a large gap  between the rich and the poor, 4) weapons of mass destruction, 5) conflicts  among races, religions, and cultures, and 6) impoverished spiritual life caused  by materialistic advances and excessive pursuit of fame and profit.  These problems can no longer be solved by  just a few countries, but must be faced by the whole world.

If we investigate all our problems, the ultimate source is our  mind. Buddhism points out the key insight that all things are created by the  mind.  In examining any problem, from the  individual up to the world, if we start from observing the mind, we will find  the fundamental issue. We must not only employ scientific research, but also  nurture and practice self control, with a mind free of excessive desire, with a  compassionate mind to benefit others, with the great wisdom of Buddhism that  teaches the three liberating doctrines of “precepts, samadhi, and wisdom.”  Otherwise, no matter how much technology advances, we cannot avoid the  calamities caused by greed and avarice.

A harmonious world must be replete with many conditions, but the  essential principle is to accord with the Buddhist teaching of the “six-fold  reverend harmony”. They are:

  • physical harmony—our actions should be  harmonious;
  • oral harmony—our speech should be in agreement;
  •  mental  harmony—our thoughts should be peaceful;
  •  harmony in  views—we aim to reach consensus, a common understanding;
  •  harmony in  moral conduct—we should restrain our actions and observe the regulations;
  • harmony in benefits—we should share our benefits.

If we can observe these six  harmonies, whether we are a small organization or an international society, we  can achieve harmony. But to create a harmonious world, it is of foremost  importance to have harmony in views; that is, to establish the right viewpoint  and mutual understanding.  Buddhism views  the world as intimately inter-connected and without a ‘self.’ If there is  no-self, there are no conflicts; with no conflicts, all things will coexist  harmoniously.

In today’s world of globalization, we have multi-faceted values and  interact so closely with each other that, in order to reduce our conflicts,  people or nations cannot regard themselves as the center of the universe and  only think of benefiting themselves.  We  must realize that all things are intimately connected, and that we should  respect and appreciate each other. We need to recognize the importance and  wisdom of harmony, and realize that only by achieving a harmonious world will  peace and happiness in life be possible. With such a harmony of views, all the  other five harmonies can be achieved and the creation of a harmonious world is  possible.  The Buddha Dharma purifies the  mind. Purifying the mind is the foundation of a harmonious world. Practicing  and spreading Buddhism is the realization of purifying the mind, achieving a  harmonious society, and a harmonious world.