** If you see your Guru as a Buddha, you will recieve the blessings of a Buddha ** If you see your Guru as a Boddhisatva, you will recieve the blessings of a Boddhisatva ** If you see your Guru as a friend, you will only receive the blessings of a friend **

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July 2020
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Dear friends

Dear friends, 

I know that covid-19 has taken many innocent lives and brought so much pain and worry to so many

people. However, this doesn't mean that we have to surrender ourselves to this difficult situation. There are many meaningful things that we can embrace now to make this painful moment into a purposeful moment. We cannot say that there is only one way to make one's life meaningful. Everyone might have their different priorities. For instance, personally, I am using this difficult moment to learn new things, not to mention increasing my daily prayers. I am also sharing my thoughts with others by, for instance, reviewing what I have studied a long time ago and teaching the monks at my monastery. I have even managed to plant different varieties of vegetables and fruit trees around the monastery grounds, which I have found to be a refreshing and healthy way to spend this precious time. In doing so, however, the thought occurred to me that simply eating vegetables does not mean that we escape sharing in the negative karma of killing that is an unfortunate byproduct of farming. Even though we might not intend to harm other beings, nevertheless in the process of planting and raising vegetables, we will inadvertently hurt many lives who also call this land home. For instance, I found that when planting fruit trees, if we leave them untouched, there are thousands of insects who will infect the plants and enjoy our hard work before we can reap the rewards. At the same time, if we used pesticides, then we would take the lives of all those precious beings. Of course, I can afford to leave the plants undisturbed for the insects to enjoy, but poor farmers who rely on their crops for their livelihood do not have this luxury. In such a scenario, the most effective way to avoid taking the lives of other beings would be not to eat at all, which is impossible for us. So, while it is better to eat vegetarian meals whenever possible, even in this case we still need to pray for the lives that were harmed along the way to bring that food to our table and also for the farmers whose hard work enables us to enjoy delicious meals. This is just my opinion. In life, we all face continual challenges, but we must keep persevering. Sometimes we may succeed and other times we may fall short of our intended aims, but we should never give up and always try our best, since that is where success lies.