MASTER SHEN-LONG | Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 135
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Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 135

(Last week we ended with, “Basically, there is still a word in our mind – greed, mentioned earlier regarding the habit of “greed, aversion and ignorance”. Curiosity is part of “greed”. To have erroneous thinking about many things as either this or that is “greed”.  If you cannot cease “greed”, to cultivate yourself in right practice there is no effect, never mind having the state of proficient diligence.’)

The first several levels of proficient diligence are especially important. You must be able to practice of giving and throwing away the affliction is called practice of giving. You must have compliance with moral precepts, after throwing away afflictions, your own mind has purified of defiling illusion and are naturally in line with the rules and disciplines. After being in line with moral precepts, Tolerance under insult will enable you to not have forbearance; you are in the state of “there is no thought of attachment and discriminations regarding to the tolerance, without thought of tolerance then you feel that all adversities are very natural, you are in the true state of tolerance”; then there is no impact of who insults you. 

Why? Your body and mind are already purified of defiling illusion. You must go through the prior three levels before you can be proficient diligence.

Why? After being without afflictions then anything you do follows the teaching of Buddha. 

What does it mean, “following the teaching of Buddha”? It is precisely as most people say to be perfectly logical and reasonable. In fact, to emphasize more straightforwardly, being perfectly logical and reasonable in what? It is in accordance with the tranquil and radiant essence of universe life; in accordance with the enlightened, the tranquil, and radiant essence of all beings is endowed. Conforming to this theory and method, your proficient diligence is on the right path. 

How is proficient diligence to be reasonable? It is mindfulness Amitabha. We are Buddha originally; therefore, mindfulness Amitabha is perfectly logical and reasonable. 

Time of mindfulness Amitabha with mind in proficient, purity, and progressively that is proficient diligence. Therefore, this is not a single, independent one, it must be in line with the preceding, and has hierarchies. 

All of you have cultivated for infinite existence of world periods, no achievements to date, why? It was cut off halfway. 

How did it cut off? It is quite simple; you do not have the foundation of ending the afflictions. 

You ask the one, many people are in a disordered state all day long, some fellow practitioners are yawning, why? One has an unsettled state of mind and on pins and needles for 24 hours. 

Looking attentively around, before when doing the Sutra explanation, many people were fidgeting.  Why? They cannot control themselves. Whether you say they are used to it, or you say they really have habituated tendencies of affliction, no matter; the mind has fluctuated too much every minute and every second. The mind fluctuating too much exists two phenomena: either being dazed or being with a scattered mind. 

Being dazed, in the same way as sleeping, one cannot lift one’s energy.  
Being with a scattered mind, one’s mind is going up, down, left, and right; one does not know what one is busy with daily, buzzing like a headless fly. When the headless fly circles around, it does not have a feeling; once it stops, it wants to sleep. One is dazed to what extent? Dreaming in the middle of the night. This is also not bad. This is called proficient diligence in affliction, to be proficient diligence in sleeping.

Therefore, speaking of proficient diligence, how can we turn it around? Turn it according to the truth and the teachings of Buddha, turn it to be useful for ourselves and all beings. It is important to think about it. Furthermore, life is short, we have often heard from the virtuous ones of the ancient explain, 

Like fish running short of water, for what do we rejoice? Strive on diligently and vigilantly. 

This is an excerpt from the Warning Gatha of Samantabhadra Bodhisattva. We live very day, swimming like fish in the water happy. But the water is getting less every day, and our afflictions are like the sun. The sunshine is too big and keeps shining on the water, the water evaporates; when the sun shines on the water continuously, it is over, the water is gone, and the fish is dead. 

Everyone thinks, why cannot I make great effort? Why cannot I be with proficient diligence? 

Still a concept. I have talked about it again and again during Sutra explanation, but it was still a concept. The concept of man leads to a man’s destiny, leads to one’s future retribution from the chain of cause and effect; as a man-himself sows, so he himself reaps; it is the concept.  Since we are learning the way of Buddha, it is necessary to change our secular concept to the Buddha concept and be willing to completely change it to the Buddha’s concept. This is the starting of proficient diligence. We are not now, currently we listen to Sutra-explanation assigned to listen to Sutra-explanation only, mindfulness Amitabha assigned to mindfulness Amitabha only, the worldliness is still the same. 

I met a friend two days ago and he chatted with me. He asked: “To cultivate myself in right practice, by any means how to do it correctly?” 
It has been 30 years; how to cultivate himself in right practice? Is it not simple!
I asked: “What method are you using ordinarily?” 
He replied: “Mindfulness Amitabha”. He said again: “I feel uneasy every day, I do not know how to mindfulness. I do not know whether to sit or stand.” 

I believe this phenomenon exists for everyone, everyone is just a little less and a little more. This phenomenon is that he is unclear about the true facts of the universe; in other words, he does not have the enlightenment concept. This is particularly important.  

>>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: 就是個「貪」,好奇心也屬「貪」,這妄想很多事情怎麼樣、怎麼樣,「貪」。要是「貪」不斷掉,修行沒有效果,更談不上「精進」。)

因為「精進」前面的幾個層次都很重要,你要能夠「布施」,把煩惱丟掉叫「布施」。你要「持戒」,把煩惱丟掉後,自心清淨,自然符合「戒律」。符合「戒律」後,「忍辱」你不要忍,「忍而無忍,無忍而忍」,誰對你侮辱都沒有用。

為什麼?身心清淨了。要前面三個層次,你才能「精進」。

為什麼?沒有煩惱以後,做任何事情才如法。

什麼叫如法?就是一般人講合情合理。

實際上要講的更直接,合什麼情?合什麼理?合真正宇宙生命的清淨光明的本體,合一切眾生都有覺悟的清淨光明的本體、道理;這理論、方法都合了,「精進」就沒錯了。

怎麼樣「精進」才合理?念佛。我們本來是佛,所以念佛合情合理。

念的時候精念、純念、進步的念,就是「精進」。所以這不是單一的、獨立的一個,要配合前面,有層次性的。

大家修無量劫,到今天沒有成就。為什麼? 就是中途都斷掉。

怎麼斷的?就是很簡單,沒有斷煩惱的基礎。

你問他,很多人一天到晚雜雜亂亂,有同修打哈欠,為什麼?心裡面二十四小時七上八下,坐立不安。

注意看,以前講經的時候,看到很多朋友坐立不安。為什麼坐立不安?自己也無法控制。你說習慣也好,你說他真的有煩惱習氣也好,不管;就是分分秒秒心裡波動太強。波動強有二個現象:不是昏沉,就是掉舉。昏沉,就是睡覺,精神提不起來。掉舉,是上下左右,不知道每天忙些什麼; 像個無頭蒼蠅嗡嗡嗡。無頭蒼蠅轉的時候,他不覺得,一不轉的時候,停下來,他停下來以後就睡覺了,昏沉。昏沉到什麼程度?半夜還要作夢。這也不錯,這叫「精進」煩惱。這也不錯,「精進」睡眠。

所以講「精進」,怎麼樣把它轉過來?轉成如理如法, 轉成對自己有用, 對眾生有用。想一想,很重要。而且人生很短。常聽古大德講:「如少水魚,斯有何樂,大眾當勤精進」。這是普賢菩薩《警眾偈》裡的一部分。我們每天過日子,像魚在水中游很快樂。可這水一天天的少,把煩惱比喻成太陽,太陽太大了一直照水,水蒸發了,再照一照,完蛋了,水沒有了,魚就死了。

大家想,為什麼我沒辦法用功?沒有辦法「精進」?

還是觀念。我講經一再講,還是觀念。人的觀念導致人的「命運」,導致人將來的「因緣果報」 ,是觀念。既然學佛了,就要把世俗觀念換成佛的觀念,要肯徹底把它換成佛的觀念,就是「精進」的開始。我們現在不是,現在是聽經歸聽經,念佛歸念佛,世俗還是世俗。

前兩天碰到一個朋友,他跟我聊天:他問:「修行到底怎麼修?」

已經三十年了,修行怎麼修?不是很簡單嗎。我說:「你平常什麼法門?」

     他說:「念佛。」

     他又說:「每天身心不安,不知怎麼念,坐也不是,站也不是。」

我相信這現象,每人都有;每個人只是少一點與多一點。這現象就是他不明暸宇宙真相,換句話說,他沒有覺悟的觀念。這一點很重要。

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