文／ 美國佛心寺研經班學員 Tania HermanThere are many sounds produced from many sources. They are loud and some even deafening. The rumbling of the cars, the typing on the keyboard, the discussion in the monthly meeting, the arguing of the children in the back seat, and the commercials for toys on TV, to mention a few.
Although loud sounds continuously bombard my ears, it is possible to listen to silence. When I pay attention to silence, I can perceive deeper thoughts and analyze my actions. Buddhism teaches me to be mindful. When I hold still to a situation, it allows me to choose how I'm going to react to it. I can observe the lesson and save myself from feeling pain or inflicting pain on others.
Being mindful helps me practice tolerance, and tolerance brings me peace. Practicing tolerance frees me from regrets and expands my view of the world surrounding me.
I can stay in line at the store and not be angry because the cashier is too slow; maybe I would be too in her situation. I can drive and not be bothered by the cars that cut in front of me; maybe they have an emergency. I interact with people of different religions, cultural backgrounds, and races, and accept and respect those differences.
My perceptions were modified when I started practicing Buddhism. I became aware of the control I have over my choices. Tolerance is like the gift that keeps on giving; the more I practice it, the more tolerant I become, and with this, the more peace and tranquility I achieve.