MASTER SHEN-LONG | Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 131
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Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 131

(Last week we ended with, “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.”) 

Therefore, speaking bluntly regarding the authentic Buddha teachings is truly like conversing about life over a cup of tea after a meal. The school of Buddhism uses many induction and analytical ways to summarize and clearly analyze to give you a reference. There are 84,000 permutations of the Buddha teaching which are metaphors of many different beings, and 84,000 sentient beings have 84,000 methods. Everyone’s needs are different, the Buddha analyzed it and it is up to you to decide what you want to do.     

When you are proficient, you have achievements. As seen in many historical stories, an individual genuinely wants to achieve a large undertaking. No matter what the environment, no matter how difficult it is, you must have determination. There are ancient historical stories of “laying on firewood and tasting gall by King Gou-Jian of Yue (suffering patiently but firmly resolved on revenge)”, and “studying assiduously and tirelessly by Su-Qin who stabs himself in the thigh with a sharp instrument to prevent from falling asleep”. Everything was achieved by determination. We see a lot; this determination is not easy for modern people. Why? I think it has something to do with our thinking. Our thinking is mixed, less pure, and less unmixed. The ancients were purer and unmixed. When they said to serve the country wholeheartedly, they would serve the country wholeheartedly; or to be a farmer wholeheartedly, they would be a farmer wholeheartedly; or to be teacher wholeheartedly, they would be a teacher wholeheartedly. 

Our society is very troublesome. Why? Everyone wants to stay in a career that has fame and lucrative offerings. So long as our society today puts profit and benefit first few people can stick to their post. When benefits are at the forefront, the mind is mixed and distracted wanting to make money every day. Even using many different tricks, legal or illegal; whatever it takes. Nowadays there are many such situations like that. How to deal with this? 

Finally, the phenomenon of the universe is getting more and more chaotic. When people’s minds are chaotic, the weather will be chaotic. After the weather becomes chaotic, Mother Nature reacts so, there tsunamis, earthquakes, tornados, and all kinds of natural disasters came.

Everyone’s influence in society is equally distributed. Everyone’s influence is 100%. Some people would say, we are not important, we are ordinary people, the man/woman in the street; what influence does that have? You got it wrong, the school of Buddhism speaks particularly about the “mind”.  If the mind is unhappy for a long time, and after a long time, the people in this place will be affected.  

If just one person can produce this kind of impact, imagine when it expands. People of former times did experienced longevity in that area. Most of you have probably heard about this “Long Life Village” in the deep mountains. Scientists found it strange; how come the villagers all experienced longevity? Their material was so underdeveloped and very exhausting. They had a very strange phenomenon that was: (1) Labor, (2) Simple food, (3) Most importantly, their way of thinking was simple and pure. We just talked three samples, weirdly they have longevity and many people are incredibly happy. 

You ask them, what is affliction? They never know. When they were born, their parents were happy and they were also happy, and they did not have contact with society. Lao-zi described this as: 

A person grows old and dies without having had any dealings with each other. 

Or like a “Utopia”, an ideal place described by Western culture, but it is not this; this state can truly be achieved. Switching to the point of view of civilized people, it is not that way anymore. This group of people are idiots, this group of people is totally uncivilized, we want to help them build a civilization. The more they help the worst it gets, until finally it is all over. Just like the British before engaging colonies all day long, kept saying that they were helping people; it was a mistake.  

So long as your mind arises with fame and profit, and desires of ownership, society changes. We have just talked about the village where everyone’s thought is the same, everything is fine there. Just like cultivating oneself in right practice, if your cultivation is the proficient diligence way, with no mixed diligence, with no chaotic diligence, that is different. You are different in body and mind, mental and physical state carries through to the end which means the cultivation from beginning to end is one straight unimpeded and 100% clean line, and there are no sideways or narrow and winding pass. If you use this way to cultivate yourself in right practice, the impact would be different. 

For example, everyone is familiar with the method of mindfulness Amitabha. If your mindfulness Amitabha is pure and with proficient diligence, that is incredible; the name of Amitabha is non-stop from morning until night. This uninterrupted condition is not intentionally initiated, it comes naturally. I think all of you should give this a try when you have the opportunity. The name Amitabha naturally emerges out of the head as “Amitabha, Amitabha…”, one after one, and the flow will remain even if you are not thinking on it. During your recitation, you must hear with clarity; also, you must recite each syllable with clarity, without distracting thoughts and without interruptions. The interruptions mean there is something to interrupt. Does it cut off? No, it does not. When you talk to people, answer the phone, and do things, strangely, it continues and does not cut off. If it cuts off, that is fake, and you do not have the skill. The mindfulness Amitabha does not break off. 

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

卷 (九)  精進波羅密

(上星期講到: 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。)

所以真正佛法你要講穿來,真的就是一般茶餘飯後,所談的人生。只是佛家用很多歸納法、分析的方法,把它歸納、分析出來,分析得清清楚楚給你做個參考。八萬四千法門比喻很多不同的眾生,八萬四千眾生有八萬四千法門。每一個人需要的不一樣,他把它分析出來了,你看你要怎麼做。

「精」的時候,有成就。不是歷史上都看到, 一個人真正要想成就個大事業,不論是什麽環境,再困難的環境,要有決心。古代不是臥薪嚐膽,懸樑刺骨,我們看的很多。這決心,現代人不容易生起來。為什麼?我覺得跟我們的思想有關係。我們思想因為已經雜了,不精不純。古代人精純,說他一心一意報國,他就一心一意報國。一心一意做農夫,他就一心一意做農夫。一心一意做老師,他就一心一意做老師。

我們這社會很麻煩。為什麼?每一人都在「名聞利養」當中。現在社會只要有「利」字當頭的,很少有人能堅守自己的崗位。利益當頭,「雜」,每天都想賺錢。而且用很多不同的手段,是合法也好,不合法的也好,都來了。現在很多這種情形。怎麼辦?  

最後宇宙現象越來越亂。人心一亂,天氣就亂了。天氣亂了後,大自然起了反應,所以開始有海嘯、地震、龍捲風,各式各樣都來了。

每個人在社會的影響力,其實是平均的。每個人的影響力都是百分之百。有人會講,我們是什麽葱、什麽蒜;我們是小國民、市井小民,那有什麽影響力?你搞錯了,佛家講是心。心念上長期不愉快,久了以後,這個地方的人就受影響。

這光是一個人,這還得了。以前人做實驗,那地區長壽,他們去做實驗。各位都聽過,在一深山野外,有個長壽村。科學家覺得很奇怪,為什麼人家長壽?物質這麼不發達,很苦。發現他們有個很奇怪的現象,就是他們(一) 勞動,(二) 食物單純,(三)很重要,想法很簡單、很單純。

我們講三個單純,想法很單純,食物很單純,勞作很單純,三個單純。怪了,長壽而且很多人很快樂。

你問他什麼叫煩惱?從來不知道。他生下來,父母就很快樂,他也很快樂。也沒跟社會接觸,就像老子講的「老死不相往來」;西方人講的「烏托邦、理想國」;不是的,真的可以做到。可是換了文明人觀點,不是了。這一群人都是呆子,這一群人完全沒有文明的,我們要幫他建立文明。越幫越忙,幫到最後完了。就像以前英國人一天到晚搞殖民地,口口聲聲講是幫助人,搞錯了。

所以只要你的名利心起,心裡想要佔有,這社會就變。剛剛講的村子,每個人的想法都統一,沒有事。就像修行,如果你今天修行是「精進」,不雜進,不亂進,那不一樣。你身心就不同,身心上貫徹始終。「貫」的意思,就是通達無阻。「徹」,就是完完全全、百分之百清楚。始終,就是從開始到最後一條線,中間沒有旁門左道、羊腸小道,沒有的。如果用這方式修行,效果不一樣。

舉例:大家都接觸過念佛法門,都有念佛。如果念佛是精純、精進,那不得了,從早到晚佛號不會停的。這不會停,不是自己故意一定要它不停,它自然的。我想在座如果有機會試一試。自自然然佛號從腦袋就生出來了,阿彌陀佛、阿彌陀佛,一句句,不念它也一樣。念的時候,聽得清清楚楚,念得清清楚楚,沒有雜念,沒有間斷。間斷是事情來了打個岔。斷了?沒有。你要跟人講話聊天,接電話,一樣做你的事,奇怪它不斷,不會斷的。斷了,那就是假的,沒有功夫了。它不會斷的。

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