09 May Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 104
(Last week we ended with, “Have you seen a baby come out with a joyful smiling face? None. All of them come out with bitter expressions or loud crying at the birth. After you are out, it depends on your personal karmic retribution, the ripening of action from the cause and effect with this family’s members.”)
With regards to “lustful thought”, if all beings do not have lustful thought, no one would enter a mother’s womb in preparation for rebirth into this world. Stated in the Suramgama Sutra:
If a true practitioner has lustful thought, then it is cultivating oneself in right practice as if trying to cook sand in a bowl of white rice.
This is impossible. Because the “cause” is not right. The Chinese constantly emphasize:
Everything that is evil is headed by lustful (excessive) thought, of all virtues filial piety is most important.
You should not be mistaken; “lustful (excessive)” as I just mentioned not only applies between man and woman. Everything after indulging and getting greedy refers to “lustful (excessive)”.
The Fifth Patriarch Hong-Ren of Zen Buddhism in his Song of Enlightenment states:
“Moral-precepts, stillness of mind control and wisdom” is precisely “killing, stealing and excessive sexual misconduct”.
“Killing, stealing and excessive sexual misconduct” is exactly “excessive sexual misconduct, anger and ignorance”. That is “moral-precept, stillness of mind control and wisdom.”
This is great! But do not be mistaken you cannot copy him. Of course, he sees the truth of the universe and knows all phenomena manifest from our own Buddha-nature. This is what he is talking about. A lot of people get it wrong. They copy him and as soon as they copy, it is all finished, and one goes to the hell.
When the virtuous Patriarch emphasizes “Greediness, aversion, and ignorance”, it is precisely “moral-precepts, stillness of mind control, and wisdom”; he does not have discrimination. If you are greedy, that is your personal confusion and cognitive distortion. What he sees is your Buddha-nature, pure, bright and without defilement. Therefore, all beings who devote oneself to enlightenment, cannot obtain competence for two reasons:
One has the feeling of inferiority. The feeling of inferiority one considers themself completely lacking ability. In that case, Buddha or Bodhisattva teaches us to cultivate ourselves in right practice, we are far inferior of it. It is very difficult. We are self-abased.
One has a swelled head. After being over arrogant, one looks down at Buddha and Bodhisattva; one cultivates blindly and practices groundlessly.
Where do these “killing, stealing and excessive sexual misconduct” three fundamentals come from? It is from “greedy, aversion and ignorance”.
Ignorance is “excessive sexual misconduct”.
Aversion is “stealing”.
Greedy thought is “killing”.
Honestly, with greedy there also exists “killing, stealing and excessive sexual misconduct”. It is the same way with “aversion and ignorance”.
Modern people cultivate like a blind turtle swims in the ocean, when is it able to surface? Passing through the infinite existence world-periods, one encounters the method of chanting Amitabha. The method of chanting Amitabha is like a floating driftwood in the ocean, the turtle just holds on to it to breath out. Therefore, everyone cultivates oneself in right practice and there is no need to bear a burden. What I mean about burden is the “killing, stealing, and excessive sexual misconduct” or “greed, aversion and ignorance”, you took those too seriously which can also hinder your cultivation practice because you have pressure. In the past, a person with a severe stealing habit would chop off his own hand but it was of no use, even without his hand, his mind still thinks of it. Even if he destroys his body or chopped the head off, it is still of no use because the thought remains. He does not understand the “stealing” phenomenon is:
There is not a single thing originally, where can any dust (phenomena) be provoked.
It is the same way with “excessive sexual misconduct” and “killing”. The more serious you treat it, the heavier the burden you will have. However, the more you want to ignore it then the thoughts of “killing, stealing, excessive sexual misconduct” or “greed, aversion and ignorance” will follow you around daily.
Cultivation of oneself in right practice, everyone needs to figure out. It must be moderate either being overly excessive or falling short of, both are no good. Regardless, the adjustment for either the body or mind must be moderate. Knowing that “greediness, aversion and ignorance” and “killing, stealing and excessive sexual misconduct” are manifested from one’s own Buddha-nature, then it is easy to handle. Since the Buddha-nature can manifest “greediness, aversion and ignorance”, it can also manifest “moral percepts, stillness of mind control and wisdom”. At the time of manifestation, it is dealt with skillfully and easily. Doing repentance daily, to seek forgiveness daily, this is not the change; it increases your burden as you re-think “killing, stealing and excessive sexual misconduct” over again, and re-think “greediness, aversion and ignorance” again.
What is the true change? It is to switch your secular thought to “purity, enlightenment and compassion” by using the name of Amitabha to be the representation. When you think of Amitabha, I am originally pure without defilement, disillusioned with all, furthermore I have also let go of all. Only the method of chanting Amitabha can help all beings.
卷(七 ) 持戒波羅蜜
修行，各位要搞清楚，過之而無不及，也不好，要適中。不論調身、調心要適中。知道「貪、瞋、痴」,「殺、盜、淫」是佛性變現的，那就好辦。佛性既然可以變「貪、瞋、痴」，也可以變「戒、定、慧」。變的時候，四兩撥千斤。每天去拜懺，每天又懺悔，這個不是變，這是增加負擔 – 又想一遍「殺、盜、淫」，又想一遍「貪、瞋、痴」。