09 Feb Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 89
(Last week we ended with: “If you are unclear with this, your lack in confidence and persuasion of others to chant Amitabha, others will not believe. Why? The penetrative power of your physically and mentally energy is not strong enough and others will not believe. The power of drawing is not powerful enough.”)
Therefore, to cultivate the practice of giving, genuinely we speak of helping all beings. This method is no trouble, no cost, and no effort precisely encouraging to chant (mindfulness) Amitabha. To pursue cultivation of oneself in Zen meditation practice, but one does not have this skill. To pursue cultivation of oneself in the method of Esoteric School, but one does not have that kind of natural capacity. To pursue chanting Amitabha everyone can do. Furthermore, the method of chanting Amitabha is the most direct, adequate, perfect and sudden enlightenment method amongst all. It is the “king of Samadhi “- an internal state of imperturbability (tranquility) exempt from all external sensations. In fact, “chanting Amitabha Samadhi” is experiential entry into Surangama Samadhi – All matters are within Buddha-nature which is ultimately inexhaustible and indestructible; that is Amitabha. Using this to persuade, your cultivation of the practice of giving is successfully full.
We just talked about the practice of giving in wealth and the practice of giving in Buddha teaching, now we are going to talk about the practice of giving in fearlessness. Fearlessness is wishing all beings to escape suffering and attain happiness, to detach from affliction, attachment and delusional thinking.
Our modern society, as we just mentioned, is unprecedented seriously contaminated.
What kind of contamination? It is contamination of one’s mind.
Of one’s mind, because there is too much information which has pulled further and further away from the truth of the universe. Of course, there are still many people who would like to have spiritual liberation. There are many Western religious groups and some other Western groups that went searching to the Orient. The Esoteric School was the earliest transmission to the United States, especially Tibetan Esoteric Buddhism, because it was trendy. In the 60’s era, hippie culture was related to that because they wished to free oneself of worldly worries to a certain extent. Why? No support physically and mentally.
Western scientific technologies developed to a certain level, but very poor spiritually. Only relying on music or Christianity has been useless. After reaching to a level, one is lost so they looked to the East. There was a famous movie called “Lost Horizon”, I do not know whether any of you have heard of it? It was about Tibet, specifically that wonderful place of Shangri-la in the Himalayan Mountains. From that time to today, people still look for that place. Why? Cultivation of Tibetan Esoteric Buddhism is more inconvenient. One just needs to set up an Altar with a Mandala. Furthermore, the Guru Acarya, is the teacher that will pass on the Buddha truth to you. However, it cannot be transmitted as one wishes, one needs to be qualified and you must be able to pass his examination before he can pass over the teaching. This is the formal authentic way. There are other fraudulent ways by swindling money, more superstitions; thee phenomena continue until now.
Do these phenomena truly help all beings to free their worldly worries? Of course not. All of them are lost in Supernatural Powers or captivated by Buddha moved to respond entirely, this is where the problem is at. Moreover, there are fake Gurus (teachers) who go to the Western society and manifest tiny tricks of supernatural ability. In fact, what is it? The magic illusion.
The magic of David Copperfield is better than theirs because David’s magic illusion is entertainment and nice visuals, and we know it is unreal. The unreal one cannot help all beings. This refers to Esoteric Buddhism. True Esoteric Buddhism is not just confined to only Tibetan Esoteric Buddhism. Tibetan Esoteric Buddhism references and synthesizes with local Gods and ghost spirits. The form of Buddhism that wants to transmit into this region needs to combine with the local ghost spirits, so it does not destroy the teaching of this world, and also help all beings there. In Japan, Shingon Buddhism of the Tiantai School was later known as Tomitsu. In China, there is the Tiantai School of Esoteric Buddhism. The Esoteric Buddhism of the Tiantai School was established by the great Master Zhi-Zhe (wise man) with the “Three Insights of the Mind”, which is the same teaching of the Surangama Sutra. As I had mentioned previously, it was an uneasy achievement.
Great Master Zhi-Zi is not an ordinary person, he is the Transformational Incarnation of Shakyamuni Buddha. All of his life the main manifestation was to lead people to chant Amitabha. This kind of eminent monk no longer exists at present. Even if you want to see one, you will not be able to find one. Why? Now is the Period of degeneration and extinction of the Buddha teaching.
In the Period of degeneration and extinction of Buddha teaching, only by chanting Amitabha can cross over to Nirvana.
If you truly want to cultivate the practice of giving, you should try to encourage all beings to chant (mindfulness) Amitabha. When you do the persuasion, you need to firmly put into practice yourself; so encouraging others while you carry out yourself, your merit is infinite. Moving with both compassion and wisdom, all meritorious services are not wasteful; when reaching the final moment of life, you will foresee the precise time of leaving. You will know the exact date that you leave and the hour you will be going to the Bliss World of Amitabha Pure Land; then you can hold a celebration party of going to the Amitabha Pure Land and set a good example of leaving for the surrounding people whom have predestined affinity with Amitabha Pure Land. This is a life testimony. You go alive to be reborn to the Bliss World of Amitabha Pure Land, not after you are dead. You go there alive with your mind in mirror-like clarity, either by standing, sitting or crouching in an auspicious way (lying in a recumbent position).
卷 (六) 布施波羅蜜
西方人因為科技文明到了個程度，精神非常的貧乏，光是靠音樂，靠基督教，沒有用。到了一個層次，他就失落，所以向東方去找。最有名的叫【失去的地平線】，各位有沒有聽過？西藏，尤其是喜馬拉雅山。從那個時候開始到今天，人還在找。為什麼？因為藏密修行比較不方便，它要起「壇城」，還要上師阿闍棃 – 就是親教師傳你的法。不能隨便傳，要有資格，你要能夠通過他的考試，才能傳，這是正式的。還有一些是騙錢的、迷信的，那搞得更多，這個現象一直持續到現在。
那魔術還不如大衛魔術，大衛魔術那種幻覺還有娛樂性、可看性，因知道它是假的。假的沒有辦法幫助眾生。這講密教。真正的密教，不是只有藏密。藏密因為參合了很多當地的鬼神，佛教因為要傳入這個地區，它要跟當地鬼神結合，不壞世間法，又能幫助眾生。日本天台密後來叫東密。我們中國有台密 – 天台密宗，天台智者大師創立的，一心有「三觀」，跟《楞嚴經》上講的一樣。上次也提過，不容易。
智者大師 – 是釋迦牟尼佛「化身」，那不是普通人。他一生真正示現的是念佛，領眾念佛。像這種高僧大德，現在沒有了，你想見也見不到。為什麼？末法時期。「末法時期，唯依念佛得渡」。