Extracts From Bodhi Web Forum
Our forum and mailbox regularly receive questions. These questions are all multifaceted. My answers merely represent my own opinion, not that of the Buddha. I hope you’ll find my advice useful.
What sort of benefits can wearing various accessories such as jade, gold, silver or coral prayer beads, and sandalwood or Chinese eaglewood accessories, bring about with regard to health, daily living, work, fortune and spiritual practice?
This is a good question. I prefer natural gems, such as jade and even some precious stones that I feel affinity with. I think wearing natural gems is normally good for the body. I prefer jade and eaglewood accessories. Be it precious stones, gold and silver, or plants, these natural treasures have absorbed the quintessence of sky and earth, day and night, so they do have natural energy.
When Heaven and Earth created all things, their energies were evenly distributed. I feel that jade is particularly powerful in terms of absorbing the essence of Heaven and Earth. The energy contained by jade is good for cultivating purity, refreshing the soul, detoxification, relieving internal heat or inflammation, maintaining peace, beautifying, and clearing energy channels. Therefore, many people, especially Asians, love jade. I believe that appropriate accessorizing can benefit our health and fortune.
Women’s jewelry is largely made with gold and silver. Copper or iron are sometimes plated with silver or a thin layer of gold. Sometimes false gold is used, which can lead to allergic reactions. Accessories made entirely or mostly of real gold are well accepted by the body. The stability of anti-acidic gold can, I believe, bring about balance and tranquility of the mind and soul. Many people wear gold jewelry not for fashion, but rather they simply have a wish to wear a gold ring or necklace, a little bracelet and so on; a strong wish sometimes stems from the body’s needs.
Gold’s anti-acid capacity is especially stable, and its ability to transmit electric current is also rather strong, which is why it is used to make sound receivers and transmitting devices. Silver also has similar properties, but its usefulness is lesser. I favor gold over platinum. I would wear a multi-strand gold bracelet if it weren’t for the ridicule of others; a large gold bracelet is seen as a symbol of some crime syndicate. However, I really feel that gold is indeed beneficial to our body.
There are also materials that are even more valuable and rare, such as Chinese eaglewood. Right now I’m wearing a small string of Chinese eaglewood on my wrist; it has an excellent fragrance. Good quality Chinese eaglewood tends to have a sweet smell. Of course, it has not been dyed, nor has it been artificially scented. It is completely natural and can be put to good use as a tranquilizer, disinfectant and antidote, as it has the capacity to overcome negative energy.
Negative energy can be classified into two types. Firstly, Traditional Chinese Medicine states that negative energy carries pathogeny. Chinese eaglewood may fend off the infectious diseases spread by the energy within smell or breath. I believe that wearing it can help prevent illnesses from taking hold.
The second type of negative energy is of a spiritual nature — the unfathomable lifeforces of the demonic. Religious people from all over the world and across several religions, including those undertaking religious cultivation as well as religious leaders, like to wear Chinese eaglewood, sandalwood or other valuable natural fragrances and perfumes. Such fragrances enable one to easily connect with the Divine, preventing any malefic influences from occupying the body and helping the wearer enjoy a pure spirit and mind. Burning these as spiritual offerings is an expression of sincerity and respect.
Regarding your soulmate, apart from being attracted to their appearance, their scent would appeal to you. As for some other people, their smell would immediately make you feel as if they were simply not your cup of tea. As soon as you come in contact with a certain smell, you know from deep within that you are just not compatible with that person.
I will be 24 years old this year and am currently single. I’d like to ask you how I may find the right partner. The women around me are not single, and I don’t have opportunities to find love. Every day I seek guidance from your picture, and I hope that you can help me find a partner to treasure.
This young man is only 24 years of age, why is he so anxious? The current trend is to marry late, and even marrying at 37 or 38 years old is not considered especially late. Those surrounding him are already married, so how will he be able to find a girlfriend? I have no power over this aspect, one must make his own arrangements. Try visiting places where one will most likely encounter women during your free time. One must keep looking for opportunities. Your chances are limited because those around you are already attached; therefore, you need to create your own opportunities. We may say not to value outer appearances too much, but that is not realistically possible. There is a desire for “tall, handsome and wealthy.” No one would ever marry a pig, would they? Therefore, appearance plays a great role in determining how a person feels about something. Appearance is important, as it is reflective of health.
Next, remember that capability is attractive. Our outer appearance is difficult to change since it is given to us by our parents; it is God-given. However, even if your appearance is less than gorgeous, as long as you are relatively capable you will eventually earn respect and good treatment. Capability gives rise to attractiveness, which in turn gives rise to popularity.
Therefore, whatever your gender, no matter what your appearance, I hope that our young friends establish a definite level of capability. That is to say, I hope everyone has, first of all, a set of specialized skills and comprehensive learning. Most books offer some knowledge to be gained. Everyone should acquire the attractiveness of a learned person. True elegance is found in the beauty of knowledge.
Wealth, the last of the three commonly cited prerequisites. I feel that if one has specialized in a certain field, they would be able to construct their own wealth, support their wife and children, buy a house and maintain the housekeeping. Those who wish to create fortune should have a certain level of capability, talent, learning and knowledge. Today, we are living in a world of Internet and information. Anyone can access an entire world of knowledge from a variety of sources.
A reminder to our young friends: Attain a wide knowledge base and also develop expertise in a specific area. You need specialized knowledge to confront life and display the quintessence of your abilities. Wealth must come from having sufficient knowledge that can be converted to riches.
Women looking for boyfriends are in the same position. Unless a mother sees a suitable girl and introduces her to her son, it is very hard to find boyfriends if you only stay within a social circle of ladies.
One must understand his or her partner before deciding if they make a good match. Hence, I hope everyone gives themselves more chances to come in contact with the opposite gender, and creates and sustains relationships. The suggestions I gave to the males earlier also apply to the females. To build a fortune, one must have knowledge. To make oneself more appealing one must also have knowledge.
A fellow female disciple says that she dreams regularly of flying past mountains. Sometimes, when a disaster is approaching in her waking life, she will dream of flying away to escape the danger. This distresses her greatly, and she often wakes up terrified. She has recently been meditating before sleep and dreams of very frightening things, such as being in a totally dark place surrounded by dust.
Dreaming is something that happens for practically everyone. Those who dream about flying are mostly women. I have met many women who have mentioned flying in their dreams, which is an auspicious sign. In this case, this lady has also dreamed of flying away from disasters; this is something that happens under different circumstances for different people. Situations like these are not considered mysteries in Buddhism, they are in fact quite normal. Also, having prophetic dreams is an unusual yet natural occurrence for people.
Now let us discuss dreams of an opposite nature. Flying while dreaming, and feeling light and happy, is normally a good dream. What about sinking, then? As you sink, you want to wake up but can’t, you want to scream but can’t, your heart feels so tightly restrained that you start to panic — this goes on till you are forced awake. This is caused by extreme fatigue and stress which may result in cardiovascular disease. This sort of occurrence will only stop when one is relieved of fatigue; therefore, good quality rest is in order. Your dream may not necessarily be connected to the spiritual world. It could be that you are simply too tired and need to sleep well, eat well and recover slowly. Allow yourself to relax and eat better food, food that can replenish your energy sufficiently.
Reactions that happen within the dreamscape are mostly meaningless. As they say, what you think of in the day is what you will dream at night. For example, you will tend to dream about the person who is worrying you. Others may dream about friends or relatives who have passed away. When the circumstances of the dreams are those of daily life, such a dream does not necessarily have any particular meaning; that is to say, the deceased is not trying to send a message. For example, if you dream of your late father, it is completely normal — it is a memory that is happening within your dreamscape, a fragment of your life. Or, if what you are dreaming is not from your memories, and you simply meet that person without any mood fluctuations or big events happening, it is also considered a normal dream that does not have any particular meaning.
However, sometimes dreams do have meaning. If you dream of a late loved one wanting something from you, and if there are a few words that you remember especially clearly, then that means a departed spirit has given you a message: This you must be able to recognize. If you dream of a departed loved one on a festival night or on the anniversary of their death, the spirit in question may be sending you a message of love. What do we do then? We must make offerings and hold a memorial service.
Of course, if we were to investigate our dreams, the different objects and events in a dream would have different meanings. This is a vast subject. Normally, dreaming about flying, dragons, Buddha, deities and bodhisattvas or, if you are my disciple, dreaming about me, should be considered auspicious signs. Dreaming about distressing, frightening or disgusting things could mean that something bad might happen, but not always.
I have never studied dreams in depth. We may sometimes dream about being restrained by some sort of humanoid being, or a very large object that seems like a wooden board, yet is not. We cannot scream when we want to, nor struggle when we try, and it is a long time before we are rid of this terrible feeling.
From a physical perspective, it might be that people who have such dreams have a problem in their heart or in the blood vessels of their brain. A second interpretation is that they may have hysteria, which means that they are beset by a negative spirit or influence. Under these circumstances, one solution is to partake in more Bodhi Meditation exercises, any of which can cure the issue, especially The Meditation of Greater Illumination.
To take part in more spiritual cultivation is to rely on the bright, compassionate, all-powerful energy of the Buddha to dissipate the negative influence. People who have this problem should not stop practicing Buddhism, and should practice whenever there is an opportunity, or else this phenomenon will continue occurring frequently. A long period of consistent practice may resolve the situation permanently, and receiving the blessings of a skilled master may also bring about resolution.