Sunday, March 19, 2006

5 C's and The Dhamma

5 C's and The Dhamma

Our local Buddhist Association conducted the first English Dhamma Youth Camp in 1993 after a few years of failed attempts due to poor response ..... many students still had a ‘fear’ or ‘phobia’ for English.
One of the interesting things in every Dhamma Youth Camp the organizing committee had to do was to decide on the names of the 5 Groups in the Camp. They had to be Dhamma-based and from which good Dhamma lessons could be learnt.
Over the years we had used various Group names such as :
· Metta ( Loving-Kindness)
· Karuna ( Compassion)
· Mudita ( Altruistic Joy )
· Upekkha ( Equanimity )
· Panna ( Wisdom )

· Right Speech
· Right Action
· Right Effort
· Right Mindfulness
· Right Understanding

· Faith
· Energy
· Concentration
· Mindfulness
· Wisdom

· Sacca ( Truthfulness )
· Sati ( Mindfulness )
· Samadhi ( Concentration )
· Saddha ( Confidence )
· Sila ( Morality )

· Peace
· Bliss
· Happiness
· Freedom
· Truth

· Generosity
· Morality
· Patience
· Loving-Kindness
· Equanimity

I remember one year there was a student who suggested that we should name the 5 Groups using the 5 C’s which according to him are :

Ha!! Such is the tremendous influence of the materialistic world. Naturally we could not use these names. We explained to the student ( and his friends ) that there are far more important and meaningful things in life than those 5 C’s which do not guarantee a person happiness, peace and wisdom. Of course, as lay people, there is nothing wrong with earning some cash honestly, have a career based on Right Livelihood, own a car for use, have a house for shelter and using a Credit Car to facilitate things in our mundane living. The problems and negative effects arise when one
· Spends one’s life chasing the 5 C’s with little time for Dhamma. ( Many of us would say : Well, we’ll wait until we are older when we have more material comfort before we learn and practise Dhamma. But we forget this IMPORTANT POINT : We can’t be sure that there’ll be a time and opportunity in the future for us to learn and practise Dhamma. Life is Uncertain but Death is Certain. Reflecting on this, wouldn’t it be wiser for us to integrate Dhamma into our life, our work, our family NOW ? )
· Attaches and clings on to the 5 C’s. Do not forget that attachment, craving and clinging are the root cause of Dukkha or Suffering.
· Is ‘ambushed’ or overwhelmed by more and more greed, anger and delusion in the mad pursuit of these 5 C’s .

After explaining to the student and his friends the dangers of these 5 C’s, we assure them that we would use 5 C’s to name the Groups but in a different way. For the Dhamma Youth Camp that year, the Groups were named as follows :
· Calmness
· Charity
· Compassion
· Clarity
· Confidence

Calmness A big problem today among the young and old alike is a greater and greater degree of restlessness, agitation and boredom in our mind. When will we learn to tame this mind of ours so that it is more concentrated, calm, mindful , peaceful and wise? It is urgent that we start NOW and the best way is The Dhamma Way.
Charity Reaching out to others is an integral and essential aspect of Dhamma Practice. It is indeed sad to see people becoming more greedy, selfish, self-centred and “kiasu”. The practice of Dana or Charity is greatly emphasized by the Buddha and Dana is a most meritorious action.
Compassion Karuna or Compassion is one of the 4 Brahma Viharas ( The 4 Sublime States or Divine Abodes ) . The cultivation and growth of compassion leads one on the Path to liberation of the mind and perfect bliss. The world would be a better, happier and more peaceful place if more people show compassion to all living beings.
Clarity To develop a clear and wise mind is one of the most if not the most important objectives of a good Buddhist. One walks the Buddha-Dhamma Path cultivating Compassion and Wisdom until the goal of Nibbana is realized.
Confidence Saddha or Confidence in the Buddha’s Teachings is one of the 5 Spiritual Powers . One must have confidence in the Triple Gem – The Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha. The only true Refuge is Refuge in the Triple Gem.

If we base our life on the wrong 5 C’s , we will for sure be afflicted more and more with these 5 C’s :
* Confusion * Conflict * Calamity * Chaos * Clashes
Let us aspire to have or practise the good 5 C’s !

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