Thursday, November 22, 2007

Dharma in Multimedia Format

I have taken to viewing Dharma talks on DVDs with wify, a habit she has cultivated for some time now. Previously I did stop briefly about my business and sat down to watch with her. But it was never sustained. This time, though, is different, largely because the delivery goes beyond the pedantic, the speaker often weaving life happenings into the wisdom lessons.

So for the past few days we were watching several recordings of Dharma talks given by Venerable Master Huei Lu when he delivered a series of Dharma talks over three days in early December 2005 at the Singapore Dharma Convention 2005. The three themes that he covered are: Delving into the Karmic Forces; Transforming Knowledge into Wisdom; and Understanding the Mind and Discovering Buddha Self.

The scanned DVD cover.

Ven. Huei Lu, who is domiciled at the Kaohsiung Wen Shu School in Taiwan, is a witty and erudite Dharma teacher who has a knack for freely sprinkling humorous anecdotes just at the right moment to emphasize a point, effortlessly drawing quotes from various sutras at will. Perhaps he was speaking in Singapore where English is widely spoken, he resorted to the use of some everyday usage of English to illustrate the ways toward detachment, or at least lessening the craving for fame, status, and keeping up with the Joneses.

A screen shot of Ven. Huei Lu delivering the Dharma talk.

One instance is to“shut up” when you have nothing new to say. He cited the example of a couple engaging in frequent squabbles. Each time the wife would say, “If not for the three kids, I would have left you long ago”. The way to marital bliss is for each party is to say what needs to be said, once, and then just walk away, ostensibly to cool down.

The other is the ubiquitous “so what?” as a repartee to any comments, the more glorifying the more potent it becomes. He is so rich. She is so beautiful. He is so famous. And a retort like “so what?” would help diminish, if not eliminate, conceit for those put on the pedestals and envy for those around the pedestal. For fame, beauty, and wealth are all impermanent. And the earlier we realize these simple truths, the earlier we will be enlightened, and be in touch with the proverbial happiness that has been so elusive for many.

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