The great oppertunity and a single life in a foreing country
Living a single life is difficult in many ways, especially when we consider all the household chores one has to perform. If the single person is working, it becomes more difficult as he has to juggle both his job and all other work.
In fact, most people who live alone in foreign countries think that they do not have any time to perform any religious activity in their day to day life. If you share similar thoughts, then you might become a very unfortunate person in your future. I have recently heard of a person who was killed by a gunman while he was working in a retail store. This could happen to any of us. We don’t know what tomorrow holds for us.
On the other hand, a person living a single life in a foreign country has a great opportunity to practice Dhamma. He is free from family bonds which free him from many responsibilities and commitments. Apart from few get-togethers with colleagues and friends, he has more time for himself. Because of this freedom, he has a better chance of spending his time on learning and practicing Dhamma. He can perform many meritorious deeds.
Some of these things are; spreading loving – kindness (Metta Bhavana) and contemplating the great qualities of Buddha (Buddhthutssati). Since most Sri Lankans living in foreign countries have their own vehicles, they can practice these meditations while driving.
How to practice ‘metta meditation’ was discussed in previous issues on this page. What are the two main methods of spreading metta?
• Appamana cheto vimutti
• Mahaggata cheto vimutti
You can also recite the Pali verse of metta bhavana as in “Ahan avert, homi, abyti pajjo hitmi, anigo Mini, suki antinan parikarami”. Learn the meaning of this pali stanza first. Then your effort is more meaningful.
Reciting the Pali Stanzas to worship the Seven Supreme Buddhas (Sath Buddhu Vandana) is another way to accrue merits while you are on the way to work.
Practicing Buddhanussati daily will also bring you a lot of merits. Contemplating the infinite great qualities ofthe Supreme Buddha summarized in the Pali stanza “Ithipi so Bhagavli Arahan, Samma Sambuddito, Vijjacharanha Sampanno, Sugato, Lokavidu, Anuttaro Purisadammasarathi, Satta Devamanussanan, Buddho, Bhagavii” is how one should practice this meditation. Again, you must know the meaning of each of these great qualities.
There are many other Buddhist meditations that we can practice. These meditative thoughts can be used to replace our unwholesome thoughts. Once we get used to it, it becomes very interesting and easy to cultivate these meditations.
Moreover, one could even try to observe the precept of “Abrahmachariya veramani sikkhapadan samadiyami”, which says to refrain from sexual activities, inside the five lay precepts of a Buddhist. If a person who lives alone has the determination and effort; observing this precept will bring him a great joy, merit, and one more step closer to the Nibbana than before.