MASTER SHEN-LONG | Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 59
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Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 59

(Last week we ended with, “But when you are deeply immersed in the profundity of Samadhi (meditative concentration), you can see these delicate and subtle transformations.”)


To be in meditative concentration is not unusual, everybody can do it. What is the true state of imperturbable stillness of mind control? It is the state of Samadhi as in Surangama Samadhi within our cardinal behaviors of walking, standing, sitting, lying, sleeping, drinking tea and eating meals. The state of Samadhi can be truly received for use and you can assume any shape everywhere, where your manifold forms of appearances is everywhere to help all living beings. To assume the shapes of candlelight flames, or germs in the air; that is inconceivable as in the smallest to reveal the biggest, the size of a particle of dust or an ion can hold one hundred million Milky Way systems (the Galaxy) and the entire universe within.

So, therefore I say the true Buddha teaching is this phenomenon. From the insight of all as unreal extends to the insight of all as the absence of inherent existence, you can see in the nature of the absence of the inherent existence contains and stores all things; to reveal all has the nature of the absence of inherent existence in all things. Therefore, “The absence of inherent existence and the mode of existence are non-duality” exist simultaneously. It is not having the absence of inherent existence first and then the mode of existence, or the mode of existence first and then the absence of inherent existence; no, it is at the same time. Non-existent and existent are together, at the same time.

Now looking at this candle it has the “characteristics of unreality as it is composed of elements which disintegrates”, where all beings inside come into existence only to perish. However, a candle does exist as an image, and all beings inside also exist at the same time.

How does the Buddha describe “at the same time”?

The moment where it creates, this moment where it extinct completely. 

The Chinese language and words are truly amazing; even ancient Indian language could not cover the description so precisely. This moment means now, every minute and second. Therefore, every minute and second does not exist, being the case that the present is non-existence, and non-existence is in the same way as existence. Therefore, Western Existentialism was overthrown by it; no matter how advanced the philosophy is, it does not work. Philosophy has a framework, an unsubstantial artificial abstract concept; it is not unreal, it is a meaningless argument. The Buddha teaching is not untrue. Buddha teaching establishes all during enjoyment but brings to perfection in all during refuting phenomenal appearances. Even now one of the attendants is blowing their nose, and during blowing their nose establishes Surangama-Samadhi.

Samadhi is the stillness of mind control; how to establish that? Like one who just blew their nose, “blowing the nose without the attachment of blowing, and without the discrimination of the act of nose blowing”; this is a wonderous function of the Buddha teaching. Therefore, the phenomena of “birth, aging, sickness and death” all become boundless wonderous functions. The worldly education has never talked about it. Does anyone say that one was born and then listened to their parents talk in this way? There are none. Everyone’s past lives experienced all sorts of the situation, but only did they not hear the phenomenon of enlightenment. If you have heard it, you can still do it and it can still be done completely; then today you would not be born in the human world to receive retribution, you would not become a man, woman, young or old. It is impossible.

So, speaking about accomplishment, there are two kinds: To accomplish through the realization of the illusory nature of all existence, and to accomplish by realization the insight of all as unreal. In other terms, accomplishment by the realization of the mode of existence, and accomplishment by realizing non-existence. In addition, there is a kind of accomplishment the transcends “the non-existent and existent are one and undivided”.  Since “the non-existent and existent are one and undivided”, then it is called the Middle Way, it is the insight of the Middle Way which is one of the three insights. The Middle means neither attaches to non-existent, nor attaches to the modes of existent.

Some people have stubborn attachments to non-existence, “everything that has phenomenal existence is all non-existent”. If this is the case, the relation between causes and conditions, effects and retribution following the chain of cause and effect to receive karmic-retribution as the consequence of one’s actions is also none-exists. In other words, one can take the law into one’s own hands. Some would attach to the mode of existence where everything is real; one clings to it desperately and do not let go. Even approaching one’s death, all properties, cars, everything is arranged; if the arrangement does not comply with one’s wishes, one cannot die contently, the soul cannot be separated, one comes back and becomes a ghost. If other people want to take property without one’s approval, then the house becomes haunted; this is the most common example. The soul has attachment, obsessed with the phenomena of life and is obstinate that everything exists.

Remember, this is extremely terrible. This attachment to that which exists must be disillusioned to at the least 50% reduction; only 20% less is not enough. At 50%, when it is the time of your death, you will be a bit freer and easier; but you will be half and half in pain and pleasure, so your time of leaving will be very painful. A wicked person with a lot of evil their departure will be more painful. Why? The attachments are deeper. I have seen it before, at the point of one’s death, the body and mind become ill-at-ease and not only does one get overly suspicious, one sees debt collector ghosts. Why? One has done too many shameful deeds.

One shares with one who will pass what is coming, otherwise they see the livestock or animals that they have killed coming to get their revenge and they are afraid. We mentioned a case-record about a butcher by the name of Zhang Sang-Ho. At the time approaching his death, he saw a pack of cattle in his room, and he instantly thought about how many cattle he had killed in his life as a butcher; he was so scared that he lost strength. At the point of coming to the end of Zhang’s life, there was a monk who happened to pass by Zhang’s home and said: “Do not be frightened, chant Amitabha”. Zhang followed his instructions, chanted ten times and saw Amitabha to come take him. This demonstrates that his good roots were manifested. This clearly shows that:

All phenomena manifests from the mind. 

Because there is such a phenomenon in your mind, like the phenomenon of cattle in your mind, there is a phenomenon of killings. If there is no phenomenon in your mind, your head is completely clean, coming to the end of your life, the moment that you leave will be effortless and pleasant.

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


(四 )     空、假、中三觀


(上星期講到: 可是在甚深「禪定」中,入定看得到。)

入定不希奇,每個人都可以入定。真正「定」是什麼定?行、住、坐、臥、睡覺、喝茶、吃飯當中「大定」 -《首楞嚴大定》:那個「定」那是真實受用。那個「定」就有辦法無處不化身,到處都有他的化身去幫助眾生。這火裡面也「化身」,空氣中的細菌也「化身」,那不可思議,小中現大。一粒微塵中、一粒離子中可以裝下一百億個銀河系,可以裝下整個宇宙,裝得下。



「同時」,佛用什麼來形容? 當處出生,當處滅盡。

中國語言文字,實在沒有話講。古代的印度文都沒有辦法形容。「當處」:當是當下、現在,分分秒秒 – 現在。所以分分秒秒不存在,既是現在而不存在,不存在就是存在。所以西方存在主義就被它推翻了,再高的哲學都沒有用。因為哲學有架構,虛的,是人為抽象概念;不是真的,是戲論。佛法不是虛的。佛法:受用中建立一切,於破相中又成就一切。像我們現在眾生在濞鼻涕,它濞鼻涕中建立「首楞嚴三昧」。






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