Illuminations

By Ida Eva Zielinska

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Dharma Master Cheng Yen responds to questions and comments from visitors, volunteers, staff, and disciples.

Letting Children Develop Naturally

Question: “Master, what is the appropriate way to discipline children?”

Answer: “Raising children is like planting saplings. If you intentionally give too much water and nutrients to the soil, the roots will quickly rot. Children are the same. You should be aware of their capabilities and let them develop naturally. Being overly protective or spoiling them only hurts them.”

Educating with the Wisdom of Bodhisattvas

Question: “My child doesn’t behave and doesn’t study. What should I do?” 

Answer: “Parents can only do their best for their children. They do not have the right to restrict their children’s development. They should plant blessings for their children and cherish all sentient beings with a mother’s heart. Parents should also use the wisdom of bodhisattvas to educate their children. Do not worry over the children; otherwise, you can unknowingly add to the child’s negative karma.” 

Loving the Person Our Child Loves

Question: “I put in a lot of effort raising and nurturing my only son. I never let him help with housework. He was successful as a student and has established a successful career. He is now married and has children. However, my daughter-in-law not only expects him to do all the housework but to also take care of their child. I cannot bear to see this happen to my son.

Answer: “If you love your son, you should love the person your son loves. If he is willing to give of himself for his loved ones, you should be happy for him!
Try to treat your daughter-in-law as your own daughter. Imagine that this daughter has found a great husband. Then, you won’t feel bad for your son. Besides, your son is willing to take on this housework. As long as he is happy, and as long as the two of them have good chemistry and are not fighting with each other, what is there to complain about?”

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Excerpts from Pure Wisdom by Shih Cheng Yen (Jing Si Publications, 2022).

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