20 Jan 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:
- 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.
- 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.
卷 (九) 精進波羅密
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。