20 Jan 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.
卷 (九) 精進波羅密
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。