02 Sep Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 117
(Last week we ended with, “Furthermore, this concept of enlightenment became increasingly clear, and one could apply to one’s living more and more”.)
Throughout his life, in the early phase everybody present is about the same and lived in the United States for 20 to 30 years. However. He probably lived longer for around 40 to 50 years. He also came to Western society in the early days, at that time the Eastern region society was in turmoil. He came to Western society, after much trouble he found a job to start his teaching career. While teaching, he worked another part-time job to support a family with wife and children. These experiences that most of us have been through, the psychological feelings are similar.
Later, after he accepted the Buddha teaching, nothing changed in his life. The appearance of life was usual, work was the same, and he got along with the public; however, psychologically there was a noticeable big change.
He stated: “I used to gradually relax to be at peace, without stress. But strangely, after he learned the Buddha’s way, peacefulness was no longer required and the pressure and even the concept of peacefulness was all gone. Seeing different nationalities, I feel they are myself. Seeing cats, dogs, birds flying in the sky, ants and mosquitoes; I feel they are myself. It is strange that all beings on earth feel like me.”
This “self- I” of his has multiple meanings. The first meaning is that although the appearance is different, for instance, animals are different from us, germs are different from us, the mountains, rivers, the great earth and trees are different from us; most people will not pay attention to this.
What do the trees, mountains and rivers or the great earth outside matter to us?
What do the ants, mosquitoes, cats or dogs outside matter to us?”
He said: “Yes, it does matter. They are manifested from our mind.”
This is amazing. This is after learning the teaching of Buddha, he applied it. Judging by wisdom, what he sees is not the superficial appearance, he perceived the radiant essence of the innate life of all beings.
I asked him: “Do you think that an ant could become human?”
He said: “Yes”.
I asked: “How to change?”
He said: “It is very simple, so long as its concept of thinking changes to the human concept of thinking, then its next life will become human.”
His words are really based in the situation. Then I asked: “How about the mountains, the rivers and the great earth?”
He said: “Yes, some mountains look harmonious, some waters provide harmonious feelings and some mountains give feelings of horror and water can be fearful to look at, what is the meaning of this? It is transformed by the will of the people and the way of their thinking. Some nations in the world are born in the environment of barren hills and treacherous rapids, and some nations live in the environment of contentment, harmoniousness, and happy; all is manifested from the way of one’s thinking.”
He was so right about this. Then we continued talking about another matter:
I asked: “Since you realize this level, what do you want to do in your next life?”
He said: “That is simple, in my next life I wish to restore my radiant essential nature, as the essence to help those all living souls who are still in delusion.”
It is uneasy, studying and working for a lifetime, and after difficult living for a lifetime he finally figured it out. Is there still time? There is still time. So long as there is still one breath left, you can change your concept and achieve immediate success.
I recall when I was in Junior High, on the first day of school everyone gathered for morning assembly and all the students had to recite the Youth Code. The first code is the foundation of happiness is to help others. I did not understand when I was young, where is this happiness from helping others? But knowing to help others is incredibly good. It says the foundation of happiness, the foundation is the source, helping all beings is incredibly happy. We live to 40 and 50 years old, or 50 and 60 years old, we may feel this a little bit; but how can one understand when we are young.
卷 (八) 忍辱波羅蜜