The following discussion is reproduced from the thread Good Thoughts, Words and Deeds — The Shaolin Arts and Daily Life .started in the Shaolin Wahnam Discussion Forum on 2nd August 2007
Sifu Jonathan Say
Instructor, Shaolin Wahnam Scotland
9th August 2007
The most important part of the 3 principles is to have "Good Thoughts".
Sigung tells us:
|As thoughts can become reality, we must have good thoughts all the time. What a person thinks is the most important of the three factors shaping his karma, the other two being speech and action. The Buddha teaches that karma is caused by thought, speech and action -- in that order of importance.|
From questions and answers: http://wongkk.com/answers/ans06a/feb06-3.html
As thoughts initiate the karmic process it is most important to have good thoughts as they will lead to good words and actions.
I have adopted a few practices to ensure that my thoughts are good. Firstly I have found that good thoughts can be divided between those for yourself and your life and those for other people and their lives (of course there are other types of good thoughts which I will come on to).
A fantastic way to have good thoughts is to practice Gratitude every day. Sipac Anthony wrote on another thread:
|Practice gratitude. Again, this may seem difficult, but I recommend that you try it anyway. Before, during, or after your chi kung practice, or at any time during the day, take a minute to practice gratitude. Pick something -- anything -- to be grateful for. It can be a person, an object, a place, a pet, anything. During this exercise, don't let yourself get distracted by negative thoughts. If your mind wanders, gently bring it back and focus on the feeling of gratitude. If the feeling is minimal, give it time. This is a skill, and it will get better with practice.|
This is wonderfully powerful advice. The Shaolin laws offer us other inspirations for good thoughts such as:
|1. Required to respect the master, honour the Moral Way and love fellow disciples as brothers and sisters. 2.|
We can think good thoughts for our Master, Lineage and Shaolin Family.
|3. Required to be filial to parents, be respectful to the elderly, and protective of the young.|
We can think good thoughts for our parents and family, and for other people we meet day to day.
|9. Obliged to be humane, compassionate and spread love, and to realize everlasting peace and happiness for all people.|
Our thoughts should be filled with love and compassion from an open heart.
As well as practicing gratitude for our lives we can gently visualize or have a gentle thought on how we wish our lives to be. Sigung gives us good advice on this practice in "Chi Kung For Health and Vitality" when he describes creative visualisation in the chapter with advice for sportsmen. If we have not been trained in these practices then it is best to just have a gentle thought such as "this meeting will go well, I will play tennis to the best of my abilities" etc. So we can think good thoughts about any activity or event we are going to undertake.
Another practice I have found to help in the cultivation of good thoughts is as follows: Let go physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually and smile from your heart. Then enjoy, in a relaxed manner, whatever you are currently doing. This maybe enjoying walking or eating, the sound of the wind in the trees, listening to a loved one, beautiful music or whatever you are doing at some time. Practicing this daily in conjunction with exercises like Gratitude bring wondrous results.
One of the most important aspecst to having good thoughts is learning what to do when bad thoughts arise. Sigung talked about this at the most recent review course in Malaysia and his advice was there are two options. We can either replace them with a good thoughts, thus neutralising the thought. Or we can smile from the heart and let go of the thought, using the skills we develop in our Shaolin practices.
Choosing to use these two methods on a daily basis can literally change one's life. These practices can really help to manifest the spirit of Shaolin, and act as invaluable tools for enhancing our lives and cultivating spiritually.
When we cultivate so that we have predominantly Good thoughts we achieve wondrous effects such as good fortune, better results in our work and play, our hearts opening, spiritual cultivation, emotional and mental stability to mention but a few. Here are two more quotes from Sigung that I find relevant on this subject:
|Meanwhile, think of good thoughts and do good deeds whenever you can. Good energy is simply incompatible with minds and deeds that are evil.|
|"Luck" here is not "mere chance" but "good fortune as a result of previous good thoughts, words or deeds". You are right to say that nothing is based on chance. Everything is based on cause and effect, called karma in Buddhist terms. Basically, good cause begets good effect, and evil cause begets evil effect. This is a great cosmic truth, so simple that many people find it hard to believe. The principle is simple but the workings and manifestations can be very far-reaching and profound.|
Good thoughts are in line with the phrase I have heard a few times recently on the forum: "There are two ways to see a situation - the negative way or the Shaolin Wahnam way"
I will finish this post with a quote from the Venerable Hui Neng from the Platform Sutra:
|"A single light can eliminate the darkness of millennia; a single piece of wisdom can dispel the ignorance of a million years. Do not worry about your past, always think of your future, and for your future always think good thoughts".|
Sifu Jonathan Say
Shaolin Wahnam Scotland
I would like to share with you a great cosmic truth. What you are and will be, is what you think. If one constantly thinks of himself as being sick and unhappy, he will be sick and unhappy. It is very important that you must always have noble thoughts — of yourself and of others. And especially when your mind has become powerful, you must always use it for good.
Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit
Sifu Joan Browne
Instructor, Shaolin Wahnam Ireland
9th August 2007
Thank you for starting this lovely thread. I really have enjoyed reading it.
I am sure it will inspire and motivate many here to remember how important Thoughts Words and Deeds are in living a good life.
Here are some quotes that I personally like:
All that we are is the result of what we have thought.
If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought -pain follows him.
If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows him, like a shadow that never leaves him. (Buddha)
The wise one fashions speech with their thoughts- sifting it as grain is sifted through a sieve (Buddha).
The mind is everything, what we think we become. (Buddha).
Smile from the Heart,
PS....glad to hear of so many Hugh Grant fans.
The grateful mind is constantly fixed upon the best, therefore it tends to become the best; it takes the form or character of the best and will receive the best.
Books don't mean a lot unless you open them, Hearts are the same.......
Shaolin Wahnam Wales
9th August 2007
Hugh Grant! HAHAHAHAHA! It's true! Sifu had it right when he said that Wahnam men make excellent husbands. Which single woman wouldn't love to marry a guy who can genuinely enjoy the dreaded Chick flick?!
"All these moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain...."