Is pet taking The Three Refuges just a ritual conducted as a kind of formality to satisfy the pet owner’s wish? Will it give non-Buddhist the idea that Buddhism is a religion that is superstitious?

Owners who convert their pet are purely their own wishful thinking, because they believe firmly that it is their responsibility to provide the best for their pets.  This is similar to the love shown by parents who arrange for religious ceremonies for their new-born baby.

Buddhism believes that "all beings possess Buddha nature", and animals are no exception.  Although they are animals, their temperament could be modulated with the influence of good environment.  We used to have two dogs in the monastery in Vancouver.   They are carnivores before they came to our monastery.  After taking The Three Refuges, they become herbivores and practice with us.  One loves the recitation of the Buddha’s name while the other adores meditation.  When the bell for practice sounds, they would immediately return to their own “hut” to practice. There are so many of such examples and cases.

We truly believe that life is in an endless cycle of birth and death.  When the causes and conditions mature, the seed of kindness will germinate, and it would be born in a higher realm in the future.

What should I do to help my dog to have a better rebirth? How should I prepare for my dog’s funeral? Should its ashes be taken home? When its tongue turned grey before death, I supported the doctor suggestion to administer an injection to put it to sleep so as to lessen its suffering. Am I considered a murderer for doing that? Do I have the right to remove its suffering in this way? In fact, the dog is already 17 years old and it has been sick for about 4 to 5 years, its organs are failing and it was experiencing difficulties in breathing. Anyway, it would die gradually, I couldn’t bear to see it suffer, so I decided for an injection to put it to sleep. Will this increase its bad kamma? I feel very guilty for doing that.

You are caring towards animals.  You had done everything you could to take care of the dog.  The bondage between both of you had surpassed the relationship between humans and animals. You had done well in terms of predestined affinity.  It is human nature that we "couldn’t bear the suffering of all sentient beings".  Since your dog had died, it is no long important to talk about how it passed away.  The most important thing is that you need to be in peace with its passing and hope that it is able to take rebirth in a good realm.

Buddhism talks about the past and present lives.  If you wish that it could take a good rebirth, you must let go of your sadness and guilt as soon as possible. Your dog can surely be able to sense any negative emotion from you, and how could that be “wholesome”?  You should send your blessings and guidance to your dog with a loving heart and great faith.  As for the formality of the funeral, it is not important now but do not keep its ashes at home.  If possible, please store the ashes in a bag made of cloth and bury it under a tree so that it would be re-connected with the heaven and earth.   

Take good care of yourself, you have many responsibilities in your life, once a responsibility has fulfilled, you have to let go and move on to care for other sentient beings with love.


Venerable, I wish to enshrine the statue of Avalokitesvara in my house. We have an altar without any Buddha statue in our living room because the rest of my family members follow the practice of Japanese Buddhism. Could I place a statue of Avalokitesvara in my bedroom instead of the living room? Is it alright for me to put the statue some distance away opposite my bed? What is the procedure for conducting a consecration ceremony for the statue. Venerable, I would appreciate your advice, thank you.
Have you discussed with your family members about putting the statue of Avalokitesvara on the altar?  Buddhist from the Japanese tradition also pay homage to Avalokitesvara.  It would be great if they agree to it as the whole family would be worshipping Avalokitesvara then.  It is better to place the statue in the living room.

If they reject your idea, you should pay attention to the following if you were to place the statue in the bedroom:

  1. Are you single or married? If you are married, it would not be appropriate to place the Bodhisattva statue in the bedroom.
  2. If you are single, the Bodhisattva should not be facing the bed directly, or you could install a curtain to block off the view when necessary. You should be mindful not to change your clothes, being naked or be in any disrespectful posture when you are in the room.

For the consecration of the Bodhisattva statue, you could prepare some pure water and recite the Great Compassion Mantra three times, then wipe the image with the water.  You should offer a glass of clean water to the image every day and contemplate on the compassionate nature of Avalokitesvara, and practice according to his teachings. 

Best wishes to you. 

How could I be reborn in the Pure Land if I am unable to continue with the recitation of the Buddha’s name after being administered with general anesthesia in a surgery?

It is true that you would lose you consciousness after being administered with general anesthesia and therefore unable to recite the Buddha’s name. 

I suggest that you make it a habit to recite the Buddha’s name as your daily practice so that you could continue to do so at your deathbed even though you are under the influence of medication.  With these accumulated resources, good deeds and the good karma from practicing the recitation of the Buddha’s name, they could be of great influence to your destiny upon death.

I am aware that I should practice and recite the sutra every day, but due to space constrain at home and busy with household chores, I am dead tired after my full-time job and I fall into a state of sloth and torpor that hinder my practice. My question is whether I could practice outside home? There are garden and pier near my house. To avoid from being lazy at home, could I read the scriptures such as the Ksitigarbha Sutra, recite the Great Compassion Mantra and the names of the Buddhas in the garden or along the pier?

The practices of chanting the sutra and reciting the mantra are not being confined to indoor, they could be done outdoor if the place is suitable and safe.  You must know the objectives for these activities:  chanting the sutra enable you to understand the teachings of the Buddha after which you should try to purify your thought, speech and action.  This would sow good seeds in your Alaya consciousness, weaken and reduce your bad karma.

It would be good if you could maintain a clear mind which could help in the purification of your thought, speech and action even when you are tired.

All the best to you.

When I was sorting out the information on an investment project, I noticed that there were incidents of killing and bullying due to the fights for power and land. It is now necessary to promote the project again, and I am concerned that it would lead to more disputes and injuries. Would this cause any bad karma? After a year of turmoil and low salary, I need to give my best in promoting this project in my newly joined company. How could I adjust my emotions and feelings?

It is not easy to gain a foothold in society. Very often we fight against each other or even kill each other because of fame and gain.  You have a good frame of mind that enable you to distinguish the rights from the wrongs. If possible, you must be very careful not to violate the law, take each step mindfully to ensure that the decision you make is not causing any harm to others nor benefitting only yourself.  This is because even if you could escape from the law in the society, you could not run away from the law of causality.  Saying this may make you more worried, but it is true. You have to make a wish or a vow that if this job is not suitable, you would rather look for another job.

Other could do wrong but not you. 

Venerable Amituofo! I would be grateful if you could tell me how a laity should behave righteously. I am 47 years old, born and bred in Guangzhou. In early November 2018, I went to Donglin Temple in Jiangxi to take the Bodhisattva precepts but till now I am still uncertain how I should live a righteous abiding to the precepts. Basically, I could recite the Bodhisattva precepts on new moon and full moon day.

Since you have taken the precepts, simply observe them. You should visit Buddhist temples more often whenever opportunity arises.  Safeguard your beginner’s mind as if you are protecting a young seed, this would cause the Bodhicitta in you to develop and bloom.

What scriptures should I recite for the daily morning and evening chanting sessions that are being conducted at home?

Daily practice for laities should be simple in order for its long-term continuity.

You could choose one of the followings for your daily chanting:

The Heat sutra, Amitabha Sutra, Ksitigarbha Sutra (one chapter per day), or the Universal Gate Chapter (Pu Men Pin), and The Three Refuge.

These are just my suggestions as they are the shorter and more common, there are also many other sutras to choose from.  Allocate 10 minutes in the morning and evening chanting sessions to recite the name of the Buddha or a Bodhisattva.

Depending on your time, mental and physical states, you could choose any sutra for chanting.

My friend is suffering from narcolepsy, could he learn and participate in meditation related classes?

Has your friend gone through any incident that has greatly affected him, hurt him or made him sad?  Could he sleep at night?

Meditation allows our body and mind to rest, to be calmed and settled, and produce a therapeutic effect.  He could try.

According to Buddhism, we are supposed to accept willingly and without complain when the effect of karma takes place, this is the working of the cause and effect of karma. The Ksitigarbha Sutta has clearly stated that we reap what we sow, even our close relatives could not bear the consequence of our actions for us. But it is normal for us to complain and push ourselves to a dead end when we met with emotional adversity. Please advise how should we deal with it sensibly?

In the Buddhist context, it does not mean that you couldn’t complain but because of the followings:

  • Whether it is karma or cause and effect, be done with it in this life and not let it continue into your next life.
  • It is useless to complain, instead it would cause hatred and the feeling of powerless.

It is normal for us to suffer from mood swing and perplexity but make sure it does not last too long, because this would weaken us and disrupt our lives.  Do not punish ourselves for others’ mistake.  In fact, the world would not stop operating due to the lack of someone or something, it is only because of our unwillingness to let go.  You could try to do volunteer services to increase your strength through collective group energy to overcome your hindrance.

Venerable, may I know how to pronounce the word "A" in "Amitabha"? Some Venerable pronounce it as "all" while some pronounce as “ah”. Although I should not discriminate the teachings from the Venerable and simply concentrate on the reciting without other thoughts, isn’t it better to correct it if given the opportunity?

In ancient times, on a certain mountain, there lived a pious old lady who used to chant "Om Mani Padme Niu" non-stop.  She was very dedicated in her practice that people at the foot of the mountain could see bright auspicious light emitting from where she lived.  They admired her power and asked her about her practice. When they discovered that she had mistakenly pronounced "Om Mani Padme Hum" as "Om Mani Padme Niu", they corrected her.  The old lady was disappointed and thought that she had wasted all her effort in her practice, she was very discouraged and couldn't continue her practice anymore.  The bright auspicious light disappeared from then on.

What I want to convey is that the main point in reciting the name Amitabha is not on its pronunciation but on whether you are diligent and attentive while reciting.  “The puja of Three Periods of Contemplation Service" states that "the recitation of Amitabha's name can transform a restless mind into clarity."  The emphasis is placed on being mindful in the present moment and recitation is being done without strayed thoughts.

Regardless of whether you are reciting the mantra or the Buddha, it is important to assimilate the body and mind and subdue your defilements.  I hope I have cleared your doubts!  Thank you.

Is there any conflict in practice if a vegetarian who is on long-term medication are taking medicine consisting of animal components?

All precepts are being established for the accomplishment of man.  Not only the laities, even the monastics are allowed to consume such kind of medicines for the purpose of prolonging their life for the propagation of the Dhamma. Furthermore, these medicines are taken without the element of greed, therefore, please feel at ease to nurse your health by taking these medicines.

Am I right to say that for the accumulation of good karma, it is important to refrain from all the negative or harmful speeches besides not eating meat?

I take vegetarian food and chant the scriptures for my father who has passed away recently. Could these be done without expecting return? My teacher said that it is impossible that I do not ask for any return.

Your teacher is right, it is impossible that one asks for nothing in return, because becoming a vegetarian and chanting the sutta are acts of filial piety, do not doubt but instead do it with earnest sincerity. 

I am a medical professional. I have lots of work pressure due to the heavy workload in the wards, the shortage of manpower and the need to train students. I am physically and emotionally affected and my body is deteriorating. What could I do from the Buddhist perspective?

In all the domains of practice leading to enlightenment, visiting and taking care of the sick is considered the foremost.  You are blessed with the ability to care for the sick and to train new staff for the hereditary succession of your profession.

Do you usually take a breather away from your work?  What are your interests apart from work?  You need relax yourself and meditation is good way to do so.  Simply enjoy your breathing without letting your mind being drifted away with other thoughts.  In this way, by focusing on the present moment, your body and mind could relax and rest.  Are you willing to try?

Not long ago, the doctor has diagnosed that I have a small tumor in my liver, which needs to be removed. I am calm in accepting the news. May I know which type of sutras should I recite to overcome the pain and suffering during the treatment period?

Any sutra would be effective when you have the energy and the right mentality to overcome difficulties.

Your body would be weak after the surgery and it would be difficult for you to concentrate if you were to recite a long sutra.  You may start with reciting the Heart Sutra.  After a period of time when your body is slowly recovering, then you may recite the Chapter of Universal Gate of the Lotus Sutra.

Besides chanting, you must stay positive and be optimistic.  I hope you could rest well and I wish you a speedy recovery. 

Does selling insurance contradict to Buddhist teachings? Is there a need for monastics and laities to purchase insurance?

No, they are not contradictory.  If you put insurance to good use, it provides you with protection and allows you to plan for your life.  Anyone could buy insurance.

My father is a Christian and he has decided on the rituals to be used when he passes away. Could I chant the sutras and perform Buddhist rituals for him?

I would like to ask you:  Are you a Buddhist? If so, how would you feel if someone recite the Bible to you?

You must give him what he needs if you love him.  You could chant the sutras or perform Buddhist rituals for him in private so that you could have a peace of mind and as a form of dedication of filial piety. 

Would you consider telling your father that you would read the Bible to him?


















































1. 泥土裏可能有很多蚜蟲的卵,所以要消毒,須大曬,翻土。
2. 為避免蚜蟲生長,可試在泥裏加上咖啡渣,Starbucks 有得免費取用。
3. 偶爾白醋清水稀釋噴在菜葉。
4. 如果用盤種,不能放置在太潮濕的地方。
5. 如果用了以上的方法之後,所種的菜仍然有這個問題,就需要考慮種第二種菜;需要輪流耕種。


師父,您每次舉辦講座,我們都很難請到門票,可否找更大的場地,讓更多的fans 聽到師父的演講?

你的見解絕對正確,但不是人人都有這境界,佛教徒也是人,都有他個人的性格,都有他學習的障礙。不要因為某些人 跟自己想法不一,就去判斷某個宗教或某個團體,這樣只會令自己眼光狹隘,心量窄小。一個在信仰上真正有得益的人,必定能洗滌內心的煩惱,提升心靈的清淨。你涉獵佛教,無非是想更充實自己,佛菩薩的話你不聽不學,卻去聽其他人的話?


本人最近因病處於無薪病假,公司最近要求本人提早退休。本人對公司非常失望,心中爭扎,是否應該對公司作出控訴? 本人非常喜歡這份工作(護士),就算感染沙士,也沒有埋怨任何人,康復後便重回工作。 求法師指引,感謝!
1. 此處不留人,是否會有其他地方有你發揮的機會和空間?在香港,護士需求很高。
2. 提出控訴,會否造成兩敗俱傷,或可能輸的是你,勞神傷財之外,還會產生怨懟,或會不利你往後發展。
3. 你放無薪假多久了?公司是否也有他的苦衷?
I have been suffering from a critical illness for about two thousand days without the support from my relatives and friends. I miss them especially during the festive seasons. Having fought the disease alone, I am physically and mentally drained from the side effects of medication and aftermath of the operation. Now I have to face the probable recurrence of the illness and the spread of the disease. I am too tired to fight anymore, and very much want to give up. How would you face the situation if you were me? I am very unhappy and even thinking about ending my life.

The past few years have been difficult for you.  You have been suffering and busy coping with the illness and the side effects of the treatments.  With the hope of recovery went in vain, it is understandable to feel helpless and dire, and elicit a roller coaster of emotions.

Our lifespan is limited, so we should ensure that we are the master of our lives by deciding how we should spend each day.        

If I were you, I would firstly tune my mindset, stop wasting time dwelling in sorrows and blaming others; I would spend my time to improve the relationship with my family and friends, and to put some efforts in my spiritual cultivation, such as repentance, practicing right understanding and right mindfulness, in my daily life.  I would cherish myself more.  When I have the energy, I would do something I am interested in, or what I intent to do but did not take any action.  I would live in the present moment and no longer waste my time thinking about the past and worrying about the future.

I hope the above would be helpful to you.

At the start of this New Year, I wish that you would make full use of every day by living in the present moment.

People say that our destiny is fixed from the day we were born and nothing could change. I came from a single-parent family, always long for a company in my life journey, but my wish could not be realized. The fortune-teller told me that marriage is impossible for me in this life. Is fate really unchangeable?

Do not totally believe in fate or what the fortune-teller has told you.  By spending more time serving and building good relationships with others, your destiny could be changed.

Happiness is not necessarily obtained through marriage, you can also be happy when you meet like-minded friends. 

I have no friends, I no longer trust anyone for fear of being hurt again. I do not even have someone with whom I could share my thoughts, but luckily, I am still living happily. However, I often talk to myself to refute my own thoughts and the unhappiness in me. Do I need to see a doctor? Am I abnormal?

People who are afraid of being hurt are usually easily wounded by themselves.  In fact, everyone has a unique personality and extraordinary abilities to protect himself.  People who are truly capable of self-communication are those who could thoroughly understand their inner feelings and emotions.  Since you have chosen such a lifestyle, accept it with ease.  Do you need to see a doctor?  Ask yourself whether you would believe what the doctor says?

I understand that everyone has his own life to run, to experience his gains and losses, and bear the consequences accordingly. I can’t help but interfere when I find him doing the wrong things. Am I correct in doing so?

There are people who would refuse to take any advice at certain stages of their lives, or they would reject the suggestions from certain people.  To do him real good, you should hold your tongue after giving him your advice for three times. Save the good relationship or the resources for a later day. 

It is difficult for a person with a clear mind to do this as it requires great love and patience. It is unwise to be too anxious sometimes, and I believe that he would gradually change with your love and care. 

I think my advice is good, if you do not take it, don’t you see the similarity in his ignoring your advice?

My friend called and cried over her negative treatment report. She has to start a new round of electrotherapy. Besides having to bear with the physical pain, she has to stomach the mental trauma which is even more difficult to evaluate. I really do not know how to console her apart from crying with her. How should I tell her to face her situation and what attitude should I adopt when interacting with her?

If you are contented, you would be grateful for everything you have. If you are not, then every experience is considered as suffering.

Suffering cannot alleviate suffering.  Weeping with her when she cried would only intensify the suffering in both of you.  You have to guide her to reflect along this direction:  Fortunately, my children have grown up when I contracted the disease; there is still hope to be cured; and there are supports from friends……..  Adopt a positive attitude when communicating with her, only if you could perceive things in such way could you accompany her through this difficult time.

How to get along with someone who is active, hasty, with a strong opinion, and never thinks that s/he her/himself is the cause of the problem?

As everyone has different personalities, it accounts for the different attitudes when handling things.  Is there any problem if his/her viewpoint and decision are accepted by the majority of the people?

Even if s/he has a problem, you are unable to change him/her.  Put aside the prejudice against her/him, get close to her/him, and be mindful of how much you respect and tolerate others.

I am unhappy because my eyesight has deteriorated recently. Although I have learnt the skills needed for the visual impaired and joined the related organization, it is of little use. Are there any other solutions?

The deterioration of your eye-sight is an inherited health issue which is inevitable and irreversible.  You could not change what has taken place to your body, yet you could adjust your mentality instead.  While you are still able to see, build up the habit of putting daily necessities in the same place such that you know by heart where to get them, and train your sense of direction.  Instead of worrying about tomorrow, cherish what you have at present and prepare for the future.

I am over 50 and have a pleasant and well-off family. My children have grown up, and my job is rather smooth-sailing. I should be contented but I sometimes feel unhappy. I don't know what is missing in my life?

You are a very lucky person yet you sometimes feel unhappy, the following might account for that:

  1. Was there anything unpleasant happened in your life? If so, that incident might have left a deep imprint in your mind and memory.  These feelings and influence need to be dealt with; or
  2. You have been working hard for your family and yourself all these years and your family has been your only focal point. Now you should try to extend your care and concern to a bigger group of people.  The value of your life will grow when you offer you help unconditionally to those in need, without asking for return.  This proves to be a win-win situation.  You would definitely become a happier person.

There is nothing known as a perfect life, in times of happiness there bound to be elements of sadness. With the realization of this principle, you would be undisturbed by any encounters in life. 

A friend whom I have known for 20 years is diagnosed with lung cancer – while she is undergoing treatments, she rejects all friends and visitors. I worry about her and hope to pay her a visit to mitigate her sense of loneliness. But my good intention was met with her assertive rejections. All I can do is to send her text messages from time to time, and share my merits from my morning and evening chanting with her. I feel sad and would cry whenever I think of her, accompanied by a deep sense of regret that I am unable to reduce her suffering. I could only pray to the Buddha and Bodhisattvas to bless her hoping that she could be at peace both physically and mentally. Venerable, what else can I do?

You should respect everyone instead of doing what you wish to do.  Your friend might want to concentrate on her recovery or she is still unable to accept her illness.  Regardless of whatever reason, you should send her your blessings to reduce her anxiety of seeing others.  The best way is to share your merits with her. 

Do you know what is meant by sharing of merits?  That means to share with others the merits from the good deeds that you have done.  You feel sad and shed tears for her frequently, then all she receives would be sadness and tears.  In order to strengthen the merits from the chanting of the scriptures, one requires a joyous and faithful heart.  Send your blessings with sincerity and loving kindness, and pray that she would allow you to visit her.  If you really wish her well, then go and take care of other people.  This action would connect the hearts of both of you, only when you could be at ease physically and mentally, she is then able to do likewise.

Try your best, you would surely achieve unexpected results with sincerity.  Your loving kindness and good intention would be felt by your friend.

There are people who use money to buy various kinds of luck-enhancing items such as dzi beads. What is the philosophy behind the purchase of these items? What are the negative effects of relying on these things to change our fate and luck?

All matters which are formed ecologically between heaven and earth have their natural energy. This kind of energy could change the surrounding magnetic field, influence the physical and psychological reactions of people, and bring about the good or bad effects on them.  However, it is not ultimate to rely solely on these things otherwise no disaster would fall upon those people who sell them.   

The strongest power lies in your heart.  The most practical and ideal way is to be able to control your mind, change your mindset and maintain right thoughts even when the surrounding circumstances are unfavourable.    

I have been sick for years. Not much improvement from visiting the doctor. The situation would worsen if I get angry with my children or husband. How should I treat my illness?

Refrain from getting angry even when they irritate you.  Smile more and shower your love on them.  Everyone loves to be close to a wife or mother with a smiling face and a loving heart.    

Do not put all your attention on your husband and children.  Radiate your loving kindness to those who need help around you.  If you are able to do this, I believe your illness would be cured soon.

Is doomsday in 2012?

Do not be concerned whether there is doomsday or not.  If it is true, it would be the concern of the whole world instead of an individual’s.

You should treat every day as your doomsday and your birthday.  Cherish every day and live it to the fullest.

I am deeply saddened by the catastrophes that have occurred in recent years. What could I do? Could I recite the scriptures?

You could recite the scriptures, dedicate your merits to the victims, send your blessings to the survivors and radiate loving kindness with sincerity.  Hope that the deceased could take rebirth in the three upper realms and the survivors could get the assistance they need to return to their normal lives as soon as possible. 

You could make a donation if you can. 

If any monastery organizes the "Three Periods of Contemplation Service" or any other pujas, you may participate; make use of the support from group practice in recitation of the scriptures, share your merits thus accumulated with your loved ones.

"The sun rises from the eastern sea and sets in the western sky, our day can be of sorrow or happiness; do not push yourself into a dead end when you meet with a problem because it would bring discomfort to both your body and mind.” Venerable, could you please explain the meaning of the above paragraph?

This comes from the “Kuan Xin Yao” written by Mr Zhao Puchu.  They are simple and straight phrases which are very beneficial to you. 

Life is like the sun - rises from the east and sets in the west.  Your day could be filled with anxiety and sadness, or with joy and happiness.  It all depends on how you choose to live your life.

It is very common to encounter good times or adversities in your life. No matter what you are dealing with, do not push yourself to a dead end, otherwise you may never get out of it.  So long as you remain calm and unaffected by adversities, you would be “physically and mentally at ease”.

I am always unhappy, lack of confidence and clinging on to my ego. I feel so miserable. Am I still considered a good person? How should I handle someone who has the same personalities as mine?

"Ego clinging" means self-centered, it refers to a person who is only concerned of “self”.  Even though others might have good suggestions, you would reject them based on your own ideas and opinions.  As you do not care about others’ feelings, you are easily troubled and this affects the people around you.  Although you could not be classified as a bad person, you are definitely an unhappy person.

When two persons of the same personality meet, with each holding on to one’s own views, they would end up parting with discord.  If the other person is your family member, the relationship would become more distant and it would be difficult to experience family love.  In your youth, you can afford to use abundance of your energy and will-power to support your “ego”.  But when you are old or sick, with your declined physical and mental health, holding on to your ego and attachment would bring you lots of sufferings. 

It’s very simple to be happy.  First of all, let go of your ego or the concept of “self”, change your bad habits and care more about others.

It is not difficult to build up your confidence.  Start with doing something within your ability, you would then feel that life is abundant and joyous. 

When I was young, I had an abortion. I was unaware of the severity of my action then, now I know I had created very bad kamma for aborting my baby. What should I do?

There is definitely kamma being involved for taking a life, it is not the time to feel guilty but to take the following remedy actions:

  1. You could put up a tablet for “Fetus XXX” during the Qing Ming Festival or whenever any monastery is conducting large-scale rituals.
  2. If possible, you can recite the scriptures yourself and share the merits with the aborted fetus with a heart full of loving kindness. Send your blessing to him and direct him to take a good rebirth.
  3. Do good deeds on his behalf every month - it could be in a form of monetary donation or providing service to people who are in need.
I have been cheated by my good friend, should I take revenge?

Do not think that being cheated is a kind of “loss”, see it as “gain” instead.  What have you gained?

  1. See the true side of the person;
  2. Will not be conned by him in the future;
  3. Learn to protect yourself;
  4. Feel fortunate that although you are thinking of taking revenge, you have not put your thoughts into action;
  5. Know that evil deeds could bring lots of sufferings to others, and therefore treasure everyone around you.
I feel bad and emotionally imbalanced when I need to be kind to people who have not treated me well. What should I do?

If you could not be kind to those people who have treated you badly, then treat yourself well first!

Pay attention to the ups and downs of your emotions, when you notice that you have negative emotion, do not try to find out who caused it, quickly bestir yourself.

Why does a good person often suffer from illness?
A good person might not only have sickness but also a lot of sufferings. Are you puzzled? All sufferings or setbacks are like debts, they are due to something that is not adequately done or rightly done in the past (it is not necessarily to be in this life).  A good person is similar to someone holding a capital sum, and you could only pay off your debts when you have the capital.  Your life would improve when you are debt-free. 
I have two daughters who have just entered secondary school. My husband is having an affair with another woman. Should I divorce him?

Your girls are in their adolescence which is an important stage of their life and they could be rebellious.  An irresponsible husband is undoubtedly harmful to the family.  Does he stay at home often? Is he supporting the family financially?  How does he behave?

If he is carrying out his duties as a father well and shows concern for his daughters, you might wish to maintain the family for the sake of your daughters for the time being and re-evaluate the situation until when your daughters have grown up.

I met a male colleague in a new company two years ago and we were attracted to each other like a magnet. He was bad-tempered and a divorcee, we ended up going separate ways due to some empirical reasons. Now I get to know another man meeting my criteria, but I am sad to see him as a portrait of my former self prior to learning Buddhism. What should I do?

Since it is difficult to decide, then do not make a choice now.  Let your emotions settle first and you would gradually gain the wisdom and courage to make the right decision.  Think deeply and profoundly, true affinity must be able to withstand tests.

After getting married for less than a year, I am shocked to discover my husband has been exchanging intimate text messages with another woman. Although I panicked after learning about their affairs, I waited for an hour to settle my emotions before questioning him. He said that they have not yet started any relationship and told me not to worry about it. He promised me that he would not contact her again and asked for my trust in him. I am still worried as he had such kind of conviction before marriage. What should I do? How should I adjust my mind? Could Venerable please give me your advice?

It is definitely upsetting for any wife to discover her husband having an affair with another woman.  Having waited for an hour before confronting him, it shows that you are a very calm person.  Although you should have confidence in him, you must also protect yourself because people’s personalities vary.  If he has previous conviction, you should be prepared and have plans of your own. 

First of all, do not get pregnant for the time being to avoid bringing harm to your children in the future.

It is important to be psychologically prepared. If you are a Buddhist, you would know how causes and conditions arise.  Sadness is inevitable, but you must learn to face it.  Ask yourself these questions:  If he were to leave you one day, how are you going to survive?  Are you going to be resentful for the rest of your life? Or accept it, cheer up and move on with your life?

There are three things you can do now:

One:      Learn the skills of earning a living; this would enable you to support yourself financially and pave the path to a good future. 

Two:     You can do these at home every day: Send your blessings, share your merits, and your thankfulness to him for creating this family with you.  Let the feeling of happiness that you have with him regenerate within yourself.   

Three:   Since he wants your trust, then you should not doubt him, try your best and give your full support to save this marriage. 

Remember what you are doing now is not for him, but solely for yourself. Do not blame anyone when you discover that the outcome is not up to your expectations or wishes.  If you could not find happiness within yourself, how could you expect others to bring you happiness?

There is always a reason for the arising and diminishing of causes and conditions, read more Buddhist books and you would have a clearer view and direction in your life.

I am a divorcee with a grown up son. After studying Buddhism, I understand that I am partially responsible for my failed marriage. I have made a promise to the Bodhisattva that if my ex-husband turns over a new leaf, I would still accept him and treat him well. I initiated the reconciliation and invited him back home. At first, everything seemed to have gone well. However, recently I noticed that although he is physically back home, his heart is not. Furthermore, he is so arrogant. I realized that I am the only parent of my son. Should I continue to treat him nicely?

Your wish has been fulfilled, hasn’t it? You have expectations of him but he is not willing to contribute more to the continuation of this relationship.  You should not have any expectations or being too accommodating with him as this would only bring more suffering to everyone.  Your main responsibilities now are to take care of yourself and your son. 

Eight years ago, we met on the internet and became close friends. During this period, using various excuses, he kept asking me for financial support. Previously, I was skeptical about him, but as I did not want to lose him, I chose to believe him. Four months ago, I initiated a break up, but the feeling of being deceived has been lingering in me. I repented in front of the Buddha and Bodhisattvas and hope to let go of this relationship and emotions as soon as possible.

There is a price for everything in life and you should learn from this incident.  Losing money is a small matter but maintaining right mindfulness is what matters most.  It’s time you should put a stop to it if the kammic relationship can end in such a way.  You could not let go as your attention is still focusing on this person, you should spend your time serving others instead. 

Reflecting on this incident, you would attain a higher level of wisdom and a clearer state of mind to understand human nature and the teachings of causes and conditions.  These achievements could not be measured in monetary terms.  You should be thankful for your encounters in the past eight years.  Be mindful that you must not continue on this wrong path but take the right path courageously. 

I am a fifty-five-year-old widow falling in love with a man who does not love me. I yearn to see him once a week but this is suffering to me. What should I do?

Love is two-way. You fall in love with a man who does not love you.  You should let go of this relationship, otherwise you would be in deep trouble.   

Instead of just concentrating your love on an individual; you should extend your love to other people and all those who are in need of it.        

The most attractive feature of a lady is the ability to radiate love.  You look for love everywhere, but if you stop looking, Mr. Right may just be right there beside you.

1. 每個人本來就各有意見,一點不和便有分歧,不出奇!重要是,你先放下心頭的氣,好好跟兒子和新抱談話,如有誤會也好化解;你也可以問清楚,是否需要你的幫忙?如果不需要,你也可以省心,尊重他們的決定,不要勉強。
2. 人與人之間是互動的,就像你要送禮物給人,對方不接受,你就開心收回,好來好去;凡事不要把自己看得太重要,一切感受也不要太著意,待今後因緣成熟時,說不定他們還要來求你呢。
Venerable, after learning the Dhamma and becoming a Buddhist, I realized that my mother has accumulated a huge amount of bad kamma through her actions. As she is quite old now, I am worried she will not have the opportunity to learn the Dhamma. What can I do about it?

You are very filial to consider about your mother’s well-being.   You have made significant progress after learning the Dhamma, being able to convince your family about the goodness of Buddhism and put what you have learnt into practice. 

If your mother is willing to accept your opinion, you may invite her to participate in activities, courses, etc. organized by the monasteries, so that your mother can also benefit from the Dhamma.

If your mother is unable to accept the Dhamma at this moment, you may continue your practice.  Do not force onto her as it will cause greater rejection.

Venerable, I have always blamed myself for the abortion done when I was young. After learning Buddhism recently, I realized that I have created bad kamma through the abortion. I do not know what to do? What sutta should I chant that would allow me to share my merits with my aborted child. I do not want to conduct Taoist rituals for my child. Venerable, please tell me what to do as I am very confused now.

First of all, you need to give the aborted fetus a name, recite the Ksitigarbha Sutta every day, share this merit with him, repent to him for your wrong doing and ask him for forgiveness.  Make this your life-long practice.   

My blessings to you!

Every night, I recite the Ksitigarbha Sutta for my critically ill mother who is a non-Buddhist. I am usually tired at night after a day’s work so I could not really concentrate on the recitation. I hope to recite the whole Sutta every night so that I could share the merit with my mother. In such a condition that I am in, I am afraid that there is no merit at all. How can I mindfully complete my recitation every night?

Your filial piety towards your mother is touching.  It is not easy to complete the recitation at night after a day’s work.

Practice emphasizes on perseverance and diligence, you can recite one section per night instead of the whole Sutta.   

In addition, visit your mother as often as you can and try to understand her thoughts and concerns.  If there is any unresolved conflict between the two of you, say “sorry” to her besides telling her “I love you”, and “thank you”. 

Please take care of yourself!

Venerable, do you believe that parents would hurt their children? I have been mentally tortured and controlled by my mother for more than 40 years. She sees me as a sinner and a burden. I have been constantly reflecting for the past year and found that the only way out is to stay away from her as this would provide an opportunity for both of us to start afresh. How could I be mentally peaceful?

From the understanding of the cause and effect of kamma, I believe that some parents would hurt their children.   

You have been mentally tortured by your mother for 40 years and you are still by her side, this shows how filial you are!  If you could not bear with it anymore, you could choose to live your life in suitable and beneficial way.  To practice filial piety does not necessary mean you must live together to practice filial piety.  By avoiding and not making her angry could be considered filial too, and this could improve the relationship. 

If you are a Buddhist, spend some time every day to worship the Buddha or repent on the grievance between the two of you.  If you are a non-Buddhist, send your blessings to your mother every day and wish her a better life in the future.  Are you feeling aggrieved?  You have obviously been tortured by her and yet you have to repent and send her your blessings.  You should read more books about kamma, then only you would understand that this is the most thorough way of resolving grievances.

You have done well but it needs wisdom to “pay off your debts”.  Your mother has made you suffer for 40 years, from now onwards, take care of other people's mothers, and you would live a happier life.

If you are unable to get along with your siblings, it is as if you have no siblings. How could you reduce the grudges with them?

"You will not meet each other if you are not enemies”, “you will not enter the same door if you are not a family”, so there bound to be grievances in a relationship.  How to find family love among grievances?  All parties must bear responsibility when conflict arises.  If you want to heal the wound, you have to give in, send your blessings and love-kindness to them every day, and tell them "I am very grateful to you because we ever had happy moments together.  I forgive you and I wish you happiness.”  After a period of time, tell them “I love you very much” and then continue with your life.  After some time, you would discover that your mentality would have changed.

Try it out and you would find that this way of sharing your merit is incredible.

My sister has a strong personality and likes to use sophistries. Due to conflict of interest and her utterance of inappropriate words, she got mad at me and she stated that she would like to have less contact with us. I hope to defuse her resentment with compassion, but to no avail. How should I get along with my sister?

Your sister's personality is relatively self-centered, persistent, and impatient. She would get agitated and angry with people when things do not go her way.  You should not speak or take any action for the time being, do not respond or show concern towards her.   You could send her a short message to bless her during festivals such as Chinese New Year, Mid-autumn Festival or on her birthday but maintain minimum contact with her and wait for a suitable time in the future.

Do not bear hatred, do not complain, do not blame her, share your merits with her, there would come a day when the situation would improve.  Please bear with it, my best wishes to you.



My parents quarrel frequently, what should I do? When would the radio programme "Healthy People on Earth --- Spiritual Well-being” be relaunched? My mother listened to almost every episode previously which helped to open up her heart and mind?

The frequent quarrels of your parent often makes you feel helpless, but remember not to add in your opinion.  If you have the energy, clear out the clutter in your home and make it a comfortable place for living.  If possible, try to move to another place to have a change of environment, and it might help to redirect everyone’s attention.

The Spiritual Well-being program has been temporarily suspended.  Whether it would be relaunched depends on future conditions.  If you are interested, you could listen to the "Every family has a scripture that is often being recited",


Why do some parents who are physically and mentally well and kind-hearted give birth to children with disabilities?

In order to give birth to a child who is physical and mentally well, it requires many conditions besides having a kind heart.  Let’s put it this way, it is due to the kindness and a loving heart they possess, they are able to take care of the children with special needs.   This is the most precious mission they are given this life. 

My husband is always thinking about gambling and does not take care of the family at all. What should I do?

You should leave him alone and direct your attention to taking care of your family. 

It is difficult for people who are addicted to gambling to kick the habit.  You must be patient and treat yourself with loving kindness. 

When my children start dating, how should I communicate with them?

First of all, do not criticize, oppose or stop them from doing so, instead show your love and care for their sweet relationship.

When they realize that you are the person whom they could speak to, they would confide to you about their feelings and the relationship.  Let them know that you are there to support, help and accompany them in this most memorable and loving journey of their lives.    

My daughter is twenty years old. She met her boyfriend two years ago and cohabitated with him. She thought that I have always been manipulating and controlling her and I should stop doing so after she reached eighteen years of age.

She came back to me after five months because she was abused by her boyfriend.  I tried to find out more about it but she refused to communicate, all she wants is money.  She would shout and yell nasty words if she could not get what she wants.  What should I do?

You should be in peace with whatever that comes or leaves.  When your daughter needs you, you have the responsibility to protect her but it is not necessary to question her.

This is because your daughter is unable to be at peace with herself, with what arises and diminishes, and with her current situation and her future.  Simply let her experience life by herself.  The most important thing is not to give up on yourself. 

All along, I do not have a good relationship with my family members. I have tried to change my attitude and expressed my love towards them but I am unable to touch their hearts or to ask them not to take things to heart.

You have to touch yourself first and let go of the thought of hoping your family members could let go of things. 

"Give a thief enough rope and he will hang himself", "haste does not bring success", so do not try to change them but continue to express and shower your love and concern towards them.  

My dad has been unsuccessful with many suicide attempts. How could I help him to dispel suicidal thoughts?

Please spend a few minutes every day to imagine that your father is living a healthy and happy life.  You must really feel what you imagine with faith and hope.   

"All things are created by the mind alone", but this does not need to be conveyed to your father.  Just spend a few minutes of your time every day to radiate positive energy to him, and you might get unexpected results.

How should I handle a family member got a stroke or has been in a vegetative state?

First of all, family members must take turns to visit him, take care of him, help him to find the value and meaning of his life by praising him and thanking him for the wholesome acts that he has done in this life.  Although he is in a coma, he could certainly hear the loving words from you.    

Secondly, most people who have suffered from a stroke have things that they could not let go of.  You must try to find out what the unresolved things are and help him to settle them so that he could be in peace with no hindrance.

How could I let go of the pain that arises from the death of my loved one?

You must let go as you still have other responsibilities and family members to take care of.  It is understandable that you would miss your loved ones but do not let yourself fall into a prolonged period of grief and sorrow.

If the living relatives refuse to let go and cling tightly to the relationship, then the deceased would have difficulty in taking rebirth in a good place. 

Therefore, when the life of your loved ones comes to an end, you have to face this fact positively.  Wishing him going to the best place is the greatest love and filial piety shown towards him.

My aunt will be holding a banquet to celebrate her birthday. As I do not have a good relationship with her, I do not intend to buy her a gift but I feel bad about it. What should I do?

It is through certain conditions that both of you are related, this is a life-long relationship.  You must be feeling very uncomfortable with this distressed relationship. 

You may wish to take the opportunity of her birthday to express your friendliness to her.  You may give her a call to wish her happy birthday or ask her what gift she would like to have.

People like others who care about them, especially our seniors.  You must try to get along well with each other.   

When something happens at home, everyone has the consensus to deal with it positively, but we are usually affected by our negative emotions. What should I do?

If something happens to a family member, we have to give him time and room, and wait for the right moment to turn the situation. 

Firstly, you could convey your feelings that are difficult to express verbally by sending an email or text message to the other party.  Secondly, you have to change the energy around you.  You should think of the happy times you have spent together before the incident.  Put that happiness and harmonious energy in your mind and tell yourself that the problem has been resolved.

Use your mind to create whatever outcome you wish to have.  The great energy of your thought could turn negative emotion into positive.  Do not have sorrowful thoughts, otherwise, the outcome would be in accordance with your thoughts.

Why is there son who owe debts and abandon their wife and children, being so irresponsible?

There are all types of people in the world, not to mention those who owe debts and abandon their wives and children irresponsibly!

When a person does not care about his conscience, he could behave worse than what I have said.  Could you accept it if I say this is due your past debts or kamma with him?

If you could not accept it, please reflect on it and see whether in the past you have been spoiling him or accommodating his misbehavior, thereby making him think that he is the greatest of all.