MASTER SHEN-LONG | Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 130
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Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 130

(Last week we ended with, “Some were lucky and did not suffer any after-effects. The after-effects mean many problems occur.  Serious ones such as, a family break down and people die, or the death of a family member; the lighter ones are body sickness or mental problems— we have seen too much of these.”)   

The “practice of giving the Buddha teaching” must rely on our own wisdom. We just talked about the “practice of giving Buddhist books”, if your wisdom has not reached to a standard some Buddhist books look like Buddhist books, but they are not. They are remarkably similar inside and everything seems right, but it is not. So, you must be truly clear about your own wisdom phenomenon. Your mind must be very pure, clear, and composed and then you will know that there are problems at glance. You will clearly know how come there are problems here and you will not circulate them. 

These phenomena are quite common in the past and today. I used to be in a Monastery and saw many Buddhist books mixed in with Christianity books and Islamic scriptures. It was not only that, all kinds of weird books were mixed inside the piles. 

So, I asked the people there: “Are these books in circulation?” 
They said: “It is not. In any case, as long as the book is a good book, we all circulate.” 

It is over. As we mentioned last time:

Some people said: “Regardless of what kind of religion, as long as it teaches to be a kind person, a good person, and does not engage in any bad deeds, then it will be fine.” 

This is the basic level; you must get rid of afflictions then you must read the Sutra. If you want to help all beings to remove afflictions it cannot be general, you cannot take your own opinion as opinion. 

Previously, I have seen a monk who left home when he was young and after being a monk he did not know what the Buddha teaching was. He was very proficient diligence and hardworking. 

Proficient, the other aspect is never slacking off, very diligent. 
Diligent, means non-stop and very direct. 

What does he cultivate daily? He handles the “Repentance Ceremonial Service” incessantly and is an expert in “Performing the Ritual Service to release the souls from purgatory to find peace” for the public. There are many monks (or nuns) who left home with no formal education of the Buddha teaching. They become monks (or nuns) of a family ancestral shrine, or a temple which is assembled by the master and his disciples. Because his master did this, his disciples and the next generation disciples will do the same to rush performing the Repentance Sutra Services. Let us leave it alone for the time being, however, his thinking behavior is completely identical to an ordinary person in all professions without wisdom and do not have what is called a monk’s skill of destroying afflictions. I believe you have seen a lot here. 

To put it forward today, it means no matter what class or status, truly make up the mind to do good deeds today because you must see if you have this level. Particularly, the Buddha teaching cannot be short of indefiniteness and unclearness. Once it becomes that way:

  1. The ghost and spirits will respond. The ghost and spirits will disagree to it. Once they see this situation, there is clearly a problem and you still vigorously promoted it. This is trouble. 
  2. One wears the kasaya (the outer patchwork worn by a Buddhist monk). People see a monks’ identity to accept the practice of giving promoted stuffs. They do not know there is problem. Most good men and women are unclear and confused. In future, they leave home to become monks or nuns and their retribution will be to go to the hell, and all their disciples and the next generations will follow. 

The last two times we talked about the social phenomena, from the perfection of keeping the moral precepts and the perfection of tolerance under insult, to the perfection of proficient diligence; these phenomena truly happen in our society every day.

The proficient diligence of body with our labor or by means of the so-called contract or agreement between us and all beings, uses the body labor to earn legitimate expenses. A percentage of the expense or even all to practice of giving to help all beings. This phenomenon is the “right action”.

The Eightfold Correct Ways explains the right action. The phenomena of “right action” means we have proper profession, so this condition inside our body and mind can help all beings with almsgiving. We ask ourselves, in other words not only your labor but also mental construction should be built. How to establish mental construction? Same old statement, “With wisdom”. 

Therefore, this wisdom is extremely important. Where does wisdom from? It is precisely your mind must be fixed and undisturbed.

How to be fixed and undisturbed? Being proficient diligence in mind.  

For example, mindfulness Amitabha. No mixing, no doubt, and no interruption, this way is called proficient.Proficient refers to unadulterated, not in a mixed diligence. Many people are diligent in a mixed way; everyone in this room does diligent in a mixed way, the mind goes eight different directions. Diligence in a mixed way does not mean no good—you can form a connection for future salvation. You also participate in various Buddhist religious ceremonies, recite various Mantras, and advocate the time and place of all religious activities to everybody. This is correct however; your mind must be unified. After the mind is unified, mindfulness Amitabha all the way to the end will result in being welcome by Amitabha. 

It is like doing business. Focus on the quality of your business and focus on how to sell, popularize, and marketing. Doing all of this is right but you need to be proficient. There is another requirement besides proficient which is continuous. Then we are into the stage of diligence, which is not only continuous, but one must keep advancing. Regardless of which profession or line of business, even if you have already retired, the method of cultivating yourself in right practice must progress, steadily rising. It means that you need to raise the level.  

>>Click here to read the full series of Master Shen-Long expounding on Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra

 (九)  精進波羅密

(上星期講到: 有的很幸運,沒有遭受到後遺症。後遺症就是很多的問題,嚴重的是家破人亡,輕的不是身上有病,就是精神有狀況,這我們看得太多了。)

「法布施」裡面還要靠自己的智慧。剛才講「布施」佛書,你智慧不到程度,有些佛書看起來以為是佛書,它不是的。裡面很像,講的都好像對,好像是這樣沒有錯,實際都不是。所以你自己智慧現象,要很清楚。你心要很清淨,很清、很定,你一看就知道裡面有問題。這裡怎麼有問題,清清楚楚,就不會流通出去了。

這個現象在過去、現在都很普遍。以前在一個寺院看到很多佛書,基督教的經典也在裡面,回教經典也在裡面,不僅這樣,各式各樣奇奇、怪怪的都在裡面。

我就問人,我說:「你們流通的?」

他說:「不是,反正只要說是『善書』,我們都流通。」

完蛋。就像上次講,有人說:「不管它什麼教,只要做善人、做好人,不要做壞事,就可以。」對,這是基本層面,但是你要去除煩惱,就要看《經書》。你要幫助眾生能去除煩惱,不能籠統,不能拿自己的意見為意見。

以前看過個出家人,很小就出家。但是出家後,不知道什麼叫佛法。也很「精進」,很勤勞。「精」另外一方面就是永不懈怠,很勤快。「勤」是不停止,「快」是很直接。他每天修什麼?不停的辦經懺,專門幫人家超渡。有很多出家人沒有正式的佛法薰陶。在子弟廟、在師徒廟,出家。因為他的師父就這樣做,他的徒子、徒孫都這樣做,趕經懺。那姑且不談。他的思想行為完全跟士、農、工、商,跟一般人一樣,沒有智慧;也沒有所謂出家人斷煩惱的功夫。我相信各位在這裡看的很多。

今天提出來講,就是表示說:不論什麼樣的階層、身份,今天真的要發心做好事了,你自己要看一看自己有沒有這個程度。尤其佛法不能籠統,一籠統:

一, 鬼神就有反應。鬼神不同意。鬼神一看到這情形,明明是有問題的你還大力的宣傳鼓吹,這個麻煩。

二, 穿了出家人的袈裟,人家是看到出家人的分上,接受你「布施」的東西,所謂推廣的東西。不知道有問題,很多善男信女搞不清,糊裡糊塗的。好了,將來出家報應到了地獄去了,徒子、徒孫也跟去。

這兩次講的社會現象,從「持戒」跟「忍辱」講到「精進」,都是講社會現象。這現象在我們社會裡面,真正是每天都發生。

「身精進」是以我們的勞力或者以我們跟眾生之間所謂的契約、合約,用身的勞力來賺取正當的費用。以費用的百分之多少,甚至於全部,「布施」出去幫助眾生,這現象叫「正業」。

「八正道」裡面講「正業」。「正業」的現象,是我們今天有個正當職業,把我們身心裡面能夠幫助眾生的這個條件等於是「布施」出去。那在這個範圍之中,我們就要求自己,就是說不僅你的勞力,心理建設也要建設好。心理建設怎麼建立?還是一句話,智慧。

所以這智慧,太重要了。智慧怎麼來?就是你的心要定。

要怎麼定?要「心精進」。

舉例:念佛。念佛不夾雜、不懷疑、不間斷,叫「精」。「精」,是純,不是雜進。有很多人是雜進,在座各位也有雜進,一心八用。雜進那不是沒有好處 – 結緣。法會也參加,咒語也念。什麼時間怎麼樣、怎麼樣都講,這對,可是心要統一。心一統一以後,一個法門念到底,佛就來接引。

就像做生意,專注在你的生意品質上,專注在怎麼樣推銷、怎麼推廣、怎麼來做marketing,這對,可是你要精。「精」還有一個,要有恆心、要持續。這就講到「進」,「進」是不僅持續,要進步。不論是那一行、那一業,就算退休了,修行的法門要進步,就是節節升高。什麽節節升高?就是層次上你要升高。

>>Click here to read the full series of Master Shen-Long expounding on Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra