We need to build up morality by our thinking. If we suppose paying honor to the Buddha as a basic virtue, then how much we should pay honor to the Buddha so that it can be morality. When we worship the Buddha, we think about the Buddha’s countless compassion-loving, absolute Enlightenment, and tireless merits for all beings, then we take a vow that for our whole life we determine to follow His teachings. We must think about that for months and years, then we can build up our first morality of paying deep honor to the Buddha. Our thinking should be like this:
You’re the ocean, while I’m a drop.
You’re the great mountains, while I’m a dust.
We can think about compassion-loving for beings, and this thinking should be trained for years then our mind will get morality. If we only are told about compassion, without mindfulness or vowing to practice, then we will not become moral.
Or we think about humble attitude, we always respect for people, consider everyone as better than we are, consider our self as shortcomings and need to be corrected. We must remind our mind of that every day so that we can attain morality of humble attitude.
Or we think about resigned virtue, because we know we usually meet with many adversities in our life, meet with people who dislike us, try to harm us, and against us. We must still pray the Buddha to grant us compassion-loving for all those people.
Or we think about forgiveness. We should take a vow to forgive people’s mistakes. We should never hate people even though they make mistakes. Even though we must severely punish them for their big mistakes, we should try to help them get better. That thinking must be in our mind most of time.
Buddhist practitioners have two characters, happy and friendly, tranquil and serene. If we are very tranquil but not happy, then our practice is not corrected. Or if we are happy but not tranquil, then our practice is not perfect. When any trouble happens to us, we should blame our self first. It’s said that “blame our self first, blame others later.” People by nature love to lay the blame at somebody’s door, if they get into trouble.
All practices being the principle of compassion-loving, the principle of contemplating Non-ego, principle of Non-existing are considered as Right Thought. Contemplating Non-ego is the important doctrine that guide us to Nirvana; therefore, we need to think deep of contemplating Non-ego. Contemplating Non-existing is that everything in life is easily changed. Nothing is everlasting in life.
The other importance is that we use our thinking to destroy our erroneous thoughts.
Most of meditated practitioners face hard to erroneous thoughts. When to take meditation, they never want to think, but erroneous thought is continuously arisen in their minds. However, their minds are just in their habit of wandered thinking. Before we have enough strong spirit to destroy erroneous thoughts, we first need Right Thought to end erroneous thought. Whenever erroneous thoughts are arisen, we should remind our self that: “not thinking, not thinking”. It’s a command and thinking to end erroneous thoughts. At the first step, we need Right Thought to end it like that, later we will not need Right Thought, but we naturally know whenever erroneous thoughts arise. Any practitioner must go through this step to destroy erroneous thoughts. It’s the right step.
Chinese Zen sect has its own weird method to open the practitioners’ minds to get awakening. When a master saw his disciples going into concentration, but they were not awakened, then he would give them a question, caused them to concentrate while wondering, until they were greatly awakened. This is called Problem Method. But, this method could be only applied to practitioners who got deep into concentration. This can’t be applied to new practitioners who haven’t got deep concentration, because it can harm their mind and make them stressed.