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The Meaning of the Fivefold Spiritual Renaissance Campaign in our Era

The Fivefold Spiritual Renaissance Campaign transforms the abstruse and difficult terminology and doctrines of Buddhism into a set of ideas and methods that the average person can understand, accept, and use in their daily lives. It is the fruit of many years of effort at Dharma Drum Mountain. Although the terms it uses are new, its essential spirit and substance remains the Dharma.


Dharma Drum Mountain has designated the Fivefold Spiritual Renaissance Campaign as its "proposition for living in the 21st century." It is not a mere slogan, buzzword, or rhetorical flourish, but a program for the development of the spirit.


Actually the methods of Fivefold Spiritual Renaissance are not new. They were around even in the time of Shakyamuni Buddha. When the Buddha manifested in the world to preach the Dharma, his primary audience was human beings. His aim was to imbed the Dharma widely in people's lives, allowing them to awaken from ignorance and thus resolve their predicaments and uncover the original radiance of the mind ground—the innate wisdom or powers of the mind. By applying the ideas and methods of the Dharma in their lives, people could moderate and subdue their afflictions and habits and ceaselessly build within their mind a clear and cool pure land.


"Spiritual" refers to the mind and ideas. The Buddhadharma is a teaching of the mind as is Chan School of China. The mind itself is a kind of wisdom. In part this wisdom is innate; in part, acquired. Put another way, the preconditions are innate and to them nurturing and development are added. If people have difficulty accepting nurturing and development, it is because they are unwilling to change.


People's views are formed slowly beginning when they are very young. In their childhood years, people gradually establish their own ways of thinking about the world but these ways of thinking are not yet mature. After reaching adulthood, they gradually form mature views, which become individual opinions and ideas. The views that a person already has are not unchangeable. This is particularly true when a person has encountered some suffering, dilemma, or disaster that they cannot resolve. In such a situation, if someone tells him about a certain idea that helps him solve his problem, he may change his previous views and accept the new idea. Counseling from psychologists, guidance from religious teachers, and spiritual conversation with family or friends can all have this function of helping people to find methods of adapting to their environment and interacting harmoniously with others.


The Fivefold Spiritual Renaissance Campaign

Proposed subsequently by DDM to realize Four Kinds of Environmentalism, this campaign has five focus areas, each with four concepts or methods for developing our spirituality.


Four Fields for Cultivating Peace: A Proposition for Uplifting the Character of Humanity

  • Cultivating a peaceful mind
  • Cultivating a peaceful body
  • Cultivating a peaceful family
  • Cultivating peaceful activity


Four Guidelines for Dealing with Desires: A Proposition for Living a Carefree Life

  • Our needs are few
  • Our wants are many
  • Pursue only what you can and should acquire
  • Never pursue what you can’t and shouldn’t acquire


Four Steps for Handling a Problem: A Proposition for Resolving the Difficulties of Life

  • Face it. Accept it. Deal with it. Let it go.


Four Practices for Helping Oneself and Others: A Proposition for Getting Along with Others

  • Feeling grateful for the chance to develop
  • Feeling thankful for the opportunity to hone our practice
  • Reforming ourselves through the Dharma
  • Influencing others through virtuous action


Four Ways to Cultivate Blessings: A Proposition for Increasing Blessings

  • Count our blessings
  • Cherish our blessings
  • Cultivate our merit
  • Sow the seeds of merit


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