22 Aug Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 50
[Series of Master Shen-Long expounding on the Prajna Paramita (Perfection of Transcendent Wisdom) Heart Sutra]
(Last week we ended with, “You only need to learn a few words among the Sutra by heart which is sufficient.”)
All material phenomena are not different from no phenomena; the fundamental essence of no phenomenon is not different from all material phenomena. You get up in the morning to remind yourself there is no need to be overly attached to all phenomena, overly fussed about everything, then your mind will see boundless open vistas. You go to work and regard your boss, colleagues or co-workers whether they are either levels above you, the same level or levels below, or even your old enemies or creditors; you will see all in clarity. During the entire day, you practice being disillusioned with all and letting go. You need to practice this the extent of your living. In the evening after work when you go home, you are very tired and take a shower, and have a meal. I advise each of you to watch less television.
Why? You have enough afflictions; there is no need to watch again.
Some people say watching TV helps them to relax. Speaking truthfully, it is not relaxing; it is taking you to another place to have delusional thought. You think it is relaxing.
After you shower, what should you do? Very simply, you should compose your mind. Do not think about anything and meditate for five minutes. After five minutes, you can either recite the Sutra, or practice chanting Amitabha.
Why recite or chant? Your imperturbable stillness of mind control is not strong enough, after five minutes you will want to watch TV again, or you will want to do other projects or plan. Then we need to use 10 more minutes to still our mind control.
How to have stillness of mind control? Recite Sutra.
For the beginner, one needs to recite Sutra. Sutra recitation can stabilize your mind. When reciting Sutra, there is no need to care much for its meaning. People nowadays seem to want to understand the Sutra first before they will recite it. Frankly speaking, it is impossible to understand it thoroughly; while your mind has not been purified of defiling illusion, there is no way to comprehend this kind of completely pure condition.
Just like a moment ago when we talked about the Heart Sutra, if your mind has not been purified of defiling illusion, you will be unable to enter its condition; and you have only heard the surface meaning of my explaining words, everything seems to mean what it means, but it does not. Every day, during morning and evening exercises, remind yourself at least once for three to five years; this is called fundamental learning.
To learn what? To learn a way of thinking, a way to look at things and an attitude towards your life. Doing this all positively and proactively.
After you take hold of life and see it clearly then you and your co-workers will never be in disharmony. You and others will not generate conflict because of different concepts, you will not just merely accept them, you will not have any afflictions from it. This is called applying Buddha Dharma (teaching) while living.
How about treating yourself? Your body and mind feel delighted. As you perfect your skill, you will know where you will go in the future and will be completely clear about all. Our body is just like clothing; you can take it off at any time.
Someone might say: “I cannot do this. I am too serious about “birth, aging, sickness and death”. It is impossible for me to do this.”
Then one makes life difficult for oneself. Our body is like clothing that needs to be maintained and taken care of, but you shall not have any attachment to it. When you possess it, it becomes trouble! If you make use of it, then it is very simple. Therefore, a smart person keeps usage rights and does not want ownership rights. To a person of wisdom, usage and ownership are the same, and they have let go of both usage and ownership; one makes use of it as usual but without the thought of using. Moving one step further, one does not have the concept of usage and ownership, one is completely without any thought, and one has even let go of usage.
Why is one not using? Their way is known as effortlessly achieving the way of enlightenment leading to nirvana.
Now when talking about reality, we use the condition of the Heart Sutra. For instance, when other people scold you, you do not hear it. It is not that your ears have a problem, your mind was fundamentally not focused on that. If people say you are good, you do not feel happy; if people say you are bad, you will also not be angry.
Why? It is because all phenomena are: all material phenomena are not different from no phenomena; the fundamental essence of no phenomenon is not different from all material phenomena.
Everyone, have you all not thought this through clearly now?
It is like driving a car and knowing all the traffic signs and all the left turns or right turns are clear. For instance, if you are driving a car to a new place, your mind uses the method – there isno impurity and no purity, and there is no increase and no decrease. You are crystal clear after having clarity regarding the map, and you begin driving and there is no need to have any doubts. Your driving time is relaxed and pleasant, not helter-skelter. It is your moodiness being removed and using your wisdom and using your rational mind to start.