Home » Features » Are You Mindful Of Your Spiritual ‘Superstar’?

Unless mindful of the need
to transform mindlessness to mindfulness,
mindlessness leads to more mindlessness.

A teenage girl goes googoo gaga over a superstar. She pastes his posters all over her room’s walls. She goes to all his concerts, where she raves wildly and feverishly shouts words of adoration. She is so crazy over him, that she can’t seem to focus much on anything else. She loses concentration in school, loses her appetite, loses sleep… In short, she has lost herself in mindlessness. In her frenzy, she is not mindful enough to realise that one or both of these desires are involved – (1) She wants to be with him. (2) She wants to be him (or like him). Interestingly, mindfulness of (e.g. Amitabha) Buddha (Amituofo) has similar parallels.

The simplest way to practise mindfulness of the Buddha is by devoted continuous recitation of his name, be it verbally or mentally. This is so as the name of the Buddha is the most basic representation of his completedness in all virtues, chiefly compassion and wisdom. We get this picture of understanding about the Buddha through study of the sutras, where we learn about his character through accounts of how he exemplifies his perfect qualities. Incidentally, the Buddha’s name encompasses the Triple Gem – the Buddha, the Dharma (that he practises, perfected and preaches) and the Sangha (which he is the leading member of).

Unlike the fan, a practitioner of Buddha mindfulness is mindful why he bears his spiritual ‘superstar’ (the Buddha) in mind. He might have just one picture of him in mind, to inspire and remind him to practise, unlike pictures of many worldly idols. He does not go crazy by idolising, but calmly recites his name as single-mindedly as possible. This helps to guard his moral conduct and cultivate concentration, which develops wisdom towards enlightenment. Besides being more focused on daily responsibilities, he is mindful of his spiritual aspirations too – (1) He wishes to be with the Buddha in his Pure Land, to learn from him, (2) so as to be a Buddha (like the Buddha).

Without mindfulness of a Buddha,
how can anyone be with any Buddha,
or become like the Buddha?- Stonepeace

Related Courses:

Related Courses:

Understanding Amituofo Via The Amitabha Sutra (13th Run)
http://thedailyenlightenment.com/2013/12/understanding-amituofo-via-the-amitabha-sutra-13th-run
The Faith Factor: Strengthening Faith Through The Treatise On Ten Doubts About Pure Land (Run 4)
http://thedailyenlightenment.com/2013/12/the-faith-factor-strengthening-faith-through-the-treatise-on-ten-doubts-about-pure-land-run-4

3 Responses to “Are You Mindful Of Your Spiritual ‘Superstar’?”

  1. avatar
    Derringer January 17, 2012

    There is a comment which says ‘Jesus is the first rock superstar’. In a way, the Buddha is also a superstar whom alot of people worship and idolise. Some even shave their head bald to be like him!
    Sometimes I think like hardcore christians who never question the authenticity of the Bible, there are staunch Buddhist who follow the Buddha’s teaching word for word, unable to be flexible when circumstances demands it.
    I once attended a Dharma Talk by a venerable Thai monk, who shares his youth experience. He said that when he was a teenager, he and his friend felt so lost in life that they decided to ‘bet 100%’ on the Buddhist way of life, thus leaving the secular life by becoming monks. Isn’t that radical?
    That’s one thing disturbing about religion, and that is sometimes people adhere to it out of fear, which really hinders their ability to live life.
    I used to be fanatical or ‘too interested’ about Buddhism but now I am just an observer. Reading news about Tibetan monks setting themselves on fire in protest against the Chinese government shudders me and sort of wake me up to how serious and extreme this stuff can get.
    I joined this forum to share my thoughts, and hopefully learn something from what others have to say.

  2. avatar

    There are dogmatic people in all religions. The Buddha is well known for teaching us not to follow any teaching blindly, including his. See the Kalama Sutta at
    http://thedailyenlightenment.com/2009/10/the-twin-criteria-for-rejection-acceptance/

    It is unfair to assume that anyone becomes a monastic out of fear. Most do so to dedicate themselves full-time to the quest for enlightenment, and to help others do the same in increasing compassion and wisdom. Many monastics live life much more fully than non-monastics, as they are more mindful of life and live to help many more without preoccupation to fleeting pleasures that many are caught up in.

    The heads of the Tibetan Buddhist community have already spoken against the self-immolation. Those who did so however, might be totally ready to sacrifice themselves to highlight their plight to the world. If so, they are brave and compassionate. Compare this to religious crusades that have kiled millions in history:

    http://articles.exchristian.net/2002/10/how-many-people-have-been-killed-by.php

    If you wish to share your thoughts in a forum; which this is NOT. It’s a newsletter’s archive, do visit a place with active forumers:

    http://sgforums.com/forums/1728

    You will receive more active comments there on your comments.

  3. avatar

    Mindfulness of Buddha is not idolising, which the Buddha spoke against. It is being mindful of one’s spiritual goal to attain.

    There is nothing wrong with wanting to be like the Buddha. You should learn more before commenting blindly. The cutting off of hair symbolises cutting off worldly vanity; not to resemble the Buddha physically.

    It’s not polite to go to leave assumptions on religious websites, which are likely to be read as truths by undiscerning readers, when they might turn out to be wrong ideas. No one might come around to correct them and this leaves traces of bad karma indefinitely on the internet too.

    A proper forum is the right place to discuss your ideas, to get corrections from many forumers. Here, the comments should be upon the articles featured only, not off tangent and even at times possibly seen as insulting.

    Most importantly, beyond random commenting and foruming, if one wishes to learn about Buddhism properly, not based on misperceptions, it is crucial to attend classes sincerely. There, you can ask questions to get direct answers too. Do try the classes at

    http://thedailyenlightenment.com/category/11

    May all be well and happy

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