One day, I went to the market to buy groceries and noticed a fish cutting board hung by the door of a supermarket.
I started to chat with the store owner. I asked him, “How is your business?” He replied, “Not good.” I said, “With a fish cutting board hung by your door, how can your business be doing well? The souls of the fish and the souls of we humans are equal. They also have feelings and family members. If we kill them, they will hate us…” The owner looked at the fishing cutting board at the door without saying anything, but he seemed to be thinking about it.
The next day, I went back to the supermarket again to buy vegetables. The fish cutting board was no longer seen at the door. I asked the store owner curiously, “Where is the fish cutting board?” He said, “I removed it. What you said makes sense. I will not kill living beings again.” I was overjoyed to hear that.
Actually, I only said a few simple words about not to kill living beings at the time. I did not expect that he would only sell vegetables and would not do business involving killing any longer. This incident touched me greatly. I thought, “If every Buddhist disciple can always persuade people to put down killing knives based on the available karmic conditions in daily life, how many lives will have been saved or rescued?”
Although doing so may encounter some staring by some people with the corner of their eyes, eventually we will be able to reach out to some “reasonable and understanding” people. Once such “reasonable and understanding” people have abandoned evil acts and turned toward doing good deeds to abstain from killing living beings, isn’t it true that we have not only helped them but also helped the living beings who otherwise would have met the fate of being slandered?
Cultivation does not necessarily require going to temples, Buddhist halls, or mountain caves to practice in seclusion. Cultivation is at any time and anywhere in one’s life.
The Lunar New Year is around the corner. Now is a good opportunity for us to persuade our relatives and friends to abstain from killing lives. Therefore, let’s put down the thought of saving face and discard attainment to self. Courageously advise people to put down killing knives. Doing so will nurture our mind of loving compassion. That is how we carry out the conduct of bodhicitta.
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