|Lecture Delivered at Zhong Yi
September 11, 1997
The value of the truth does not lie in knowing a
lot but in understanding tacitly. Returning to the point initiated by the Enlightened
Master is the guiding principle for understanding the truth. Cease letting your heart and
mind wander outside yourself, and start looking inward at your true self. Abandon the
pursuit of materialism, emotions, desires, and attachments, for all things will soon pass.
Change and adjust yourself accordingly before it is too late. If you do not illuminate
your heart and keep tranquillity in your heart, destruction will be your fate. Thus, you
must maintain an awakened mind and eliminate greed, hatred, ignorance and desire. It is
not that Heaven does not love you; rather, your behavior does not conform to the truth, so
you should become more rational. Only when you abandon the pursuit of materialism,
emotion, and desires can you return to the abode of nothingness. Otherwise, Heaven will
condemn and destroy you. It is said that, "A butcher becomes a Buddha the moment he
drops his cleaver." This is not exaggeration meant to scare people. Every individual
must make a choice, which is the key to his or her ultimate destination. The Kingdom of
Buddha is near, if you do not cultivate yourself and become a Buddha, you defy Heaven! For
the Kingdom of Buddha is the place where all Buddhas reside, so if you do not conform to
the concepts and the requirements of the Buddha, you shall be excluded from the great
amassment of souls. Put the teachings of Truth into practice and you will receive
To receive the Mandate of Heaven from the
Almighty, I had to undergo great hardship. As Mencius stated, "When Heaven is going
to give a great responsibility to someone, it first makes his mind endure suffering. It
makes his sinews and bones experience toil, and his body to suffer hunger. It inflicts him
with poverty and knocks down everything he tries to build. In this way Heaven stimulates
his mind, stabilizes his temper and develops his weak points." I experienced this
hardship so that I could attain enlightenment. As the world is lacking for the truth, I
came into this world to realize the ideal of bringing the truth undertake into man's world
as it is in heaven. For when you possess the truth, there is no need for argument with
Obedience appears commendable on the surface.
You may be obedient and filial to your parents, but if your parents ask you not to
practice Dao, and you obey them, then are you truly a well-behaved child? The truth is
that a truly well-behaved child practices the Dao. Thus, to be my well-behaved means
practicing the Dao and to restoring yourself to your true nature. In this way you will
become good sons and daughters of Heaven. People come to us not because of what we have,
but because of what we have relinquished. If you do not abandon the pursuit of
materialism, emotions, and desires, you fall into the traps of the mundane world. But
those who are able to relinquish show transcendence and nobility. Therefore if you learn
to abandon the pursuit of materialism, emotions, and desires, your mind will become more
peaceful and transcendental, in fulfillment of the truth of Heaven and the needs of
mundane people, who shall see the glory of Heaven in us. We all are Heaven's angels, and
Heaven's angels should guide all beings to know Heaven. However, if you fail to relinquish
the pursuit of possession, thereby obstructing the truth of Heaven, how can you guide
people? Unless you relinquish attachment, you will be abandoned by Heaven and be rejected
by the truth, rendering any practice of the Dao meaningless?
The grace of the Dao of which I often speak
should be revealed from within, not merely on the outside. True grace is the ability to
reveal the Dao from within, or to put it into practice in daily life. If not incorporated
into daily living, it is merely idle talk with no benefit to the great Dao or living
beings. Thus, our duty and mission are like this: to familiarize people with the truth and
to know God. So it is your vital task to cultivate yourself to become a messenger in
fulfillment with Heaven's demands. This is of utmost importance, and must always remain at
the top of your mind. If you are mindful of your role as a messenger of Heaven at all
times, you will surely become a saint one day.
We must avoid falling into the traps of the
unenlightened, whose wisdom is declining and whose thinking is confused. We must maintain
a healthy fear and vigilance, lest we degenerate and fall into the transmigration of the
soul. Allowing this to happen is akin to abandoning yourself and Heaven, not Heaven
abandoning you. Keep fearful and vigilant at all times, maintaining a clear look at
yourself, introspection, and prudence in words and actions. Do so and you will become a
saint, preventing the waste of the time spent in this present life. The greatest failure
is to have been called and yet not be chosen. Since this is the final chance God and
Heaven have given us, I hope that you who have been called will do your utmost to assure
that you are also chosen in the final reckoning. I mince no words to explain clearly what
Heaven expects of you, so that you may understand perfectly, lest you end up with nothing!
Preaching the teachings of Dao should not be a
learned process; rather, you should learn how to reach a state of complete emptiness,
letting the truth pour into your heart. You should preach the teaching of Dao with a
sincere heart, for acting in accordance with one's true nature is the true path and
enables you to become a tool of Heaven. When you must give thought to how to preach, you
sever yourself from the source of the truth and utter merely man's words, rather than
those of the Holy Spirit and the truth. I hope that you can achieve a state whereby you
speak the truth spontaneously, without conscious effort, for such are those whom Heaven
truly seeks to employ. Spreading the gospel of the truth is all that truly matters. Thus,
you should not preach through the screen of your human nature, but rather fill your heart
with the truth and let it out to the world, enlightening your brethren to the essence of
the Dao. By revealing God's glory in yourself, you show the way to illumination through
God. Each of us has a soul and love in our hearts, and through these gifts, you can
understand the truth and entire mystery of the cosmos naturally.
You need neither to look outside yourself nor to
consciously think; rather, you need only apply your inner power directly to understand all
things. Since ancient times, every saint and Buddha used their inner power to attain the
Dao, as this is really the only sure path to enlightenment. Remember not to conceive your
own path to completion, for you need only to directly follow the road established by the
ancient saints and sages. It cannot be stressed too greatly not to attempt to blaze your
own way. Many have made such attempts in the past and have subsequently failed to achieve
their objective. Do not mistakenly believe that you will be an exception.
Now the time has come, so overcome idleness and
refine yourself, for it is your duty and responsibility to sanctify yourself through
proper practice. As all brothers and sisters must help each other to perfect ourselves in
this life, you cannot shrink from your responsibility. Facing the coming challenges, you
must go forward with even greater strength, finding new strength to succeed even where you
have never gone before. For faced with challenges, the more one fails the braver one
becomes, and the more one fails the greater the degree of improvement. It is by never
giving up through such efforts that you will at last fulfill the sacred mission. Everyone
must undertake this mission in similar fashion, and I expect that you all can attain Dao
and become an angel in the great Period of the White Yang. This is also the hope and
expectation of Heaven.
When you are in difficult straits, do not shrink
back but pray to Heaven to help us out of difficulty and embrace every challenge. You'll
be amazed at what you can achieve this way! Look at the ancient saints and sages. Did they
not realize their achievements through blood and sweat? Certainly our practice today
trifles in comparison to their sacrifices. So once again, keep advancement in mind as you
forge ahead, free yourself from worldly attachment, and take the truth as the ultimate
If you worry too much and are held back by the
heavy burden of the ways of the mundane world, how can you possibly awaken yourself and
others? Thus, if you want to become a messenger of heaven, you must manifest transcendent
conduct and thought. And without a transcendent spirit, how can transcendence possibly be
achieved? Thus, it is necessary first to understand your true nature, understand and
follow the teachings of your Master, and you will be able to attain the Dao. I will not
lead you astray, and he who follows me will surely be able to attain the Dao. In this, you
must have firm faith and deep conviction. If those who believe in Jesus can receive
eternal life, why isn't it possible for a believer in the eternal truth to attain the Dao?
The truth is in our hearts and we must harbor firm faith, for all Buddhas rely on this
firm faith to ultimately attain the Dao. Therefore we must follow the example of the
Therefore I am pushing aside the layer upon
layer of karma that burdens all people, for this world is stifled by karma. As people make
this common karma, I must clear it away so that the truth and the Kingdom of Buddha may
reside in this world. We sometime resist the truth unknowingly, and while it may seem that
we are helping truth and Buddha, we are actually keeping the truth and Buddha from coming
into this world with our sins. When you lack wisdom, you become a helper of the devil.
Thus, we should take a good look at our mistakes and make up our mind to turn wrong into
right and resolve to correct our mistakes. Unless you do so, you will become a devil when
your mistakes remain in your heart. I also feel very distressed because we are here after
all in man's world where the devil's hindrance pervades. You cannot say that the devil is
not good, but after he occupies your heart for a long time, he will erode you and make you
deaf to the truth, by which time you will become his accomplice. Thus, you should be
careful in your words and actions, or you will end up resisting almighty Heaven and
incurring Heaven's wrath. It is said, "You can escape natural disasters but the
crimes you have committed will bring about your destruction." Be careful!
When a man desires to possess things, he falls
immediately into the cycle of samsara, or the transmigration of the soul. When he abandons
the idea of possessing things and restores to the essence of "nothingness," he
becomes a Buddha and the world becomes the Kingdom of Buddha. This world can be changed
into a Lotus Land or Kingdom of Buddha with one thought, so today the most important issue
is how to attain this goal with one thought. Everyone comes into this world because they
desire to possess things, so we are used to possessing things, which subsequently summons
the negative power of karma that burdens us and ties us to worldly cares. Thus, if we can
free ourselves from the place to which we are attached, this world will become perfect and
turn into a nation of truth, goodness and beauty, which we call the Kingdom of Buddha. In
this kingdom no one competes for anything or seeks anything, and everything takes place
according to the principle of action through inaction, with no transgressions against
nature. Confucius described such a Utopia: "No one picks up and pockets lost items on
the road, and no one needs to lock their door at night." When every individual knows
his place and lives without greed, recklessness and want in his heart, is it not a perfect
People corrupt the mundane world with their
greed and unprincipled behavior. Thus, change depends on people transforming themselves.
When people want to change themselves, they need Dharma to settle themselves. So the point
initiated by the Enlightened Master can settle our hearts and help us relinquish greed,
recklessness and desire. When this is accomplished, the world will become peaceful and
will no longer be torn by war. When no one desires to possess things, then everyone
possesses many things indeed, for happy is he who is content. Is this not the very
quintessence of the Kingdom of Buddha? If not, what should it be called? When we change
our hearts, the world outside changes also. Therefore we need not change it by ourselves;
Heaven will help us change it, for 'wishes do come true.' If we do not have wishes, then
nothing can be fulfilled. Thus, if you conceive of the Kingdom of Buddha it will
materialize. If you do not conceive of it, it will never arrive.
Today we are fixated on intoxication, lust,
property, anger, fame, benefits and authority, all of which sink this world into
continuous suffering. But when we clear these things from our heart, won't the world
become perfect? Thus, it depends on the choices we make, and whether we can all choose the
proper path. So today I hope that everyone can fill their minds with Buddha and the truth,
and put these thoughts into practice in daily life, and the kingdom of which I speak will
arrive soon. But if you constantly give in to the attachments of the human heart, how can
this world become the Kingdom of Buddha? Hence you must change yourself first before you
can change external circumstances. It is realistic for you to take immediate action to
adjust your heart in line with the demands of Heaven, for if you do not you violate Heaven
and will be destroyed.
This world is about to enter into the Kingdom of
Buddha, and what a propitious time it is! I hope that everyone tries his best to bring
this kingdom to fruition. No contribution will be left unrecognized, and you will attain
sainthood for the next ten thousand eight hundred years. If you help Heaven to attain this
goal, you will be able attain your goal (attain Dao) also. But if you help people commit
sins, you will fall into the transmigration of the soul, be unable to transcend the cycle
of birth and death, and will be cast away from the great amassment of souls for all of
eternity. Thus, you should remember these truths deep in your heart, for Heaven wants to
weed out through competition first. You must change, or everything you do is futile. Right
now everyone is competing for authority, fame, and benefit in the Arena of Dao, making me
too ashamed to face the almighty in Heaven!
I present the best and happiest things
respectfully to everyone, for this is why I have come to the world. But people do not
understand, and neither do my disciples understand my mind, so how many people are my true
close friends? They always seem to go too far or just come up short. So I have no
alternative! No alternative! Since times have changed, I no longer travel high and low
enjoying the sights of the mountains and rivers, for such recreation is meaningless now.
While I used to be fond of such pursuits, now I haven't the mind to travel. This world is
about to change, so when the more trips you take, the more you lose your heart to
dissolution. Although the rivers and mountains remain the same as before, they are about
to change, and people and all things will change also, for great catastrophe is near. You
who can be saved should think of those who have not been saved and help them while there
is still time. You should not only think of yourself but think of other people, because
they do not know they are in a sea of suffering. We see and know that they are in a sea of
suffering, so we should extend our hand to them without delay. Go out and transmit the Dao
to others, and retrieve your heart after transmitting the Dao. After a short period of
cultivating yourself quietly, you will regain your strength. If you do the work of
elevating yourself and others, you are an angel and a Bodhisattva. Always keep this in
your heart. You cannot only transmit the Dao to others and forget to cultivate yourself.
You should point the way to others' true selves and constantly remind yourself to
cultivate your true self as well.
This year, I have lost all inclination to travel
high and low and enjoy the natural beauties of the world. The scenery of mainland China is
renowned for its beauty, but when I visited there I did no sightseeing. Someone might ask
me to go, but how can I get in the mood? I am really not in the mood to go anywhere, for
all will be destroyed despite its beauty? To sightsee is unreal, so I may as well save
myself a trip. The most important thing for Master is to fulfill the mission ordained by
Heaven. Once this mission is accomplished, I will not let God and Heaven down, or all the
expectations upon me.
Let us do what we can do without delay. Do what
you can do now, or you will be overcome with regret when it's too late. I am also doing
what I can while there is time. Concern yourself not with what others think of you;
rather, just do what you ought to do. That is sufficient. Do not lose touch with your
initial heart of devotion and show loyalty and devotion to Heaven. If you serve Heaven
wholeheartedly, Heaven will shield and sustain you in the future. If you devote yourself
to Heaven, Heaven will give you eternity. Simply said, you should serve Heaven with all
your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.
You may appear meager, but you have great power,
so you should be confident and think highly of yourself. Do not lose confidence and do not
expect or long for end results. Just do your best. Let Heaven arrange everything for us.
Do not take issue with the end result but with how much you have done. Have you tried your
best? That is all that matters. As the saying goes, "Don't ask about the harvest, ask
yourself how much cultivation you have put into it." Put yourself in such a frame of
mind and happiness is yours.
The worldwide situation is different now. We see
how many calamities have occurred this year. When you see these calamities, you will know
that earthquakes and famine harbingers of the end of the age. When nation rises against
nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and the gospel of the kingdom is preached all over
the world as a witness to all nations, that is when the end will come. The time for truth
to be a witness to all nations is coming. Today there is a blooming of religions as the
Dao is spread throughout all nations of the world. This is Heaven offering a final
salvation for people, because the time for the truth to be revealed in the presence of man
is at hand.
The Lord treats everything fairly and equitably.
I hope everyone understands this. [The Master points out an audience member] Ms. Xu, you
are a teacher and so am I. You teach elementary school students and I teach some people
who are a bit confused. We should both lead our respective disciples and students gently
with kind words. Because the mouth is made for speaking; but not for transmitting gossip,
rather for speaking the word of truth, spreading the Dao and propagating the truth for
Heaven. In so doing, we can propagate the truth to all nations. Nevertheless, it is vital
not to spread further the weaknesses of human nature over the course of propagating the
truth, as this leads to inconstancy, and is not such a person a poor person?
Today can it be that the merciful Lord in Heaven
arranges this chance for us to meet each other here, and lets me speak the heartfelt
wishes I have not spoken for a long time. I realize how cruel the final catastrophe will
be, but in this cruel calamity, there is a message of salvation. I hope that you all can
recognize this, understand it, and help realize it. Those who have received redemption
should save those who are subject to calamity, and lead people from the sea of suffering.
For slander that may be slung upon you is only temporary, and it will take perhaps one or
two years for you to endure slander and suffering. In time, everything will be all right.
However, you must have the assets that can help you escape calamity and help others to
walk out of the sea of suffering. Unless you do so, you will let your conscience down. It
will be too late for regret, and you will shed bitter tears, for your family members and
loved ones will all pass away. How can you let them down?
Therefore, if the transmitters of Dao are
insincere, you will also be destroyed. So not only the practitioners of Dao will pass
away, but you will also perish with them together? I do not wish to scare you, and you
should always keep a tranquil heart, otherwise you will be destroyed by calamity. Never
allow yourself to be self-satisfied, thinking that you have received redemption since you
have heard the teachings of truth from Master. There is still further for you to go even
though you have heard the teachings of truth from Master. You must light the lantern of
your heart and bring your heart to a state of peace and tranquillity, as that where
redemption lies. Otherwise, how can you be saved? Keeping desire in your heart will keep
you from salvation. Lao Qianren said: "Only he who keeps tranquillity in his mind can
escape calamity in the clouds." So it is not only Master who tells you this. If you
cannot keep a tranquil heart, how can you possibly escape calamity in the clouds? If you
cannot adhere your mind to the Heavenly Portal, how can you keep tranquillity in your
If you implore everyone to adhere the mind to
the Heavenly Portal and hold firmly to the point initiated by the Enlightened Master, you
have a chance for redemption. I can point the way to your true nature, but no one puts it
into practice for you. Pointing out is one thing and practice is another. If I guide you
but you fail to respond, what good can come of it? Such would be a grave mistake, that of
deceiving the Enlightened Master and undermining the patriarchs. What does that imply?
Those who do not act according to Master's words and instructions make such a mistake. You
can hardly realize the gravity of such a mistake, and failing to uphold the first of the
ten great commandments, "To uphold your true self, and to repent and cultivate
yourself with sincerity. It is wrong not to consider these questions in everyday life, and
to just let me consider them for you. You must keep these questions in mind at all times,
and constantly review the ideas and words I speak while you engage in constant
introspection. In this way, your diligent practice of the Dao will let you break beyond
the shackles of karma. When you do, you won't be mired in your present difficulties. If
you desire to break through the bounds of karma, you should read and listen to my
teachings over and over, and you will receive Heaven's mercy. I will also help you in my
way. When you attune yourself to me, you will be saved. When you reach that state,
everything you do will be in line with the truth. When everyone in the world acts
according to the truth, Utopia shall be at hand.
This concept must be transmitted to everyone.
Even though it may take extra effort, you must elevate your spirit to mingle with the Dao,
and be one with your Master. The Platform Sutra says: "The concept of 'self' is the
origin of sin. But to treat all attainment as void' brings incomparable merit!" The
concept of "ego" will make you fall; it is the biggest sin you can commit. The
Buddha Sakyamuni said that "I" was the causal shadow of the six gunasi, the four
mahabhutaii were my body, and the causal shadow of the six gunas was my mind. When your
body and mind are misled, "I" is generated. You think "I" am real, the
four mahabhuta and the causal shadow of the six gunas are real, when in fact this delusion
is the beginning of the transmigration of the soul and of suffering.
Your true origin is "nothingness." You
come from nothing, yet you always think of yourself. But the self is unreal! It is
ephemeral and non-existent. How pitiful you are, to create sins, faults and mistakes from
unreality. Such is not the way to enlightenment. For in order to attain enlightenment one
must cease making distinctions between oneself and others, and free oneself of worldly
cares to allow reflection on the true self and pave the way to enlightenment. I cultivated
myself in this way as well, and you too should constantly reflect upon your true self by
making no distinctions between yourself and others; nor should you harbor expectations of
attainment, because it is necessary for you to reflect upon your true self. This should
come as naturally as all the basic activities in daily life, such as eating, dressing and
sleeping. If you regard reflecting upon your true self as an integral part of daily life,
you will soon get the knack of it.
Never allow yourself to believe that there is a
Dao outside of daily life, or you will never be able to mingle with the Dao. You should
allow the Dao into your daily life, and treat it as part of life, treating it in your
practice as a plain, regular, commonplace entity. For the Dao reveals itself in the way
you get along with others, in your attitudes, your thoughts, and your behavior. The Dao is
in your every thought and action, so you are inseparable from the Dao. Therefore,
"That which is called Dao cannot be separated from for an instant. What can be
separated from is not the Dao" (Doctrine of the Mean). Having the Dao to practice and
propagate and mingle with in your daily life should be quite a joyous thing. Don't you
agree? As Confucius said: "Knowing is not as good as practicing; practicing is not as
good as delighting in practicing. Knowing it is not as good as loving it; loving it is not
as good as delighting in it." Master has made the Dao a part of his life, and life
the Dao itself.
If the Lord is always in your heart, how could
Heaven leave you behind? I can't understand why so many people meet with the retribution
of suffering. This occurs when they leave God, the truth and their true nature behind. So
suffering does not just take place for no good reason. People suffer because they deviate
from the Dao, so they endure suffering and become entangled in the transmigration of the
soul. But look around us and you'll find that man is enjoying himself everywhere. Yet that
is only pleasure amidst suffering, for this man's world is one station in the
transmigration of the soul. So if you look for anything real, truthful or eternal in this
transmigration, shouldn't it be the place where your spirit belongs? The spirit should
return to the true self, because outside of it there is no haven of return, as everything
outside the true self is impermanent and ephemeral. And it is impossible to find eternity
within the transitory.
Look for eternity in your soul, to be awakened
from deep in the heart. Make every effort to know God, to delight in Dharma and be free.
You must exhaust all your strength if necessary, as the Buddha Sakyamuni did, ultimately
achieving enlightenment and awakening to the truth. From there, he took delight in the Dao
and propagated the Dao until his earthly passing. Attaining eternity, he became a Buddha,
a great Buddha and a teacher for Heaven and man.
You must make your own choices about how to live
your life. You are all so clever, but sometimes people can be the victims of their own
cleverness and lose the essence of the Dao. As the origin of the Dao is nothingness,
although you possess things, you get nothing; and while you have nothing, you get
everything. There are many things that cannot be seen or understood, and so many aspects
of the truth you cannot comprehend, because the Dao has no form, no emotion, and no name.
Heaven cannot help but to reveal Master's
identity. I don't like it this way, as anyone who knows me in everyday life surely knows.
Some people cannot allow themselves to understand this relationship with Heaven. But
that's okay. I will do everything I can to fulfill this mission, because if it takes thick
skin, I am the most thick-skinned person and never pay heed to what others say about me.
We don't need to let people know about everything we do; only Heaven must know. Why must
we announce all our thoughts and actions to others? This is unnecessary. That is what is
meant by "accumulating hidden merits." If everyone hears about your good deeds,
only leads to meaningless notoriety.
Therefore Dao has no form nor substance, and
resides in no temple--for Dao reveals itself everywhere. I cannot help but needing a place
to handle my affairs, but this is a necessity. For so long I only rented properties and
never had a place of my own, but there are too many limitations in not having one's own
place. So that's how Sheng An Mountain [Master Tien Jen's retreat] came to be. I decided
to create Sheng An Mountain, despite the disapproval of others. I only did so at the
instruction of the Buddha, as it is not something I wanted or asked for.
Alas! ... Words are not enough! This man's world
is a sea of suffering, for everyone tortures one another. When will people stop hurting
each other? We live because we must practice the Dao and achieve awareness of our true
nature. But we cast aside our mind and nature and our life, and waste our time on useless
discord that causes us prolonged, deep suffering. The afflictions from your brothers and
sisters, people, friends, and the power of karma can wear you out. Thus, we hope that by
having a relaxed retreat to practice Dao, it would be something to treasure, indeed. We
must make the most of such a nice place, bestowed to us by Heaven.
Assume not that the Lord does not bless and
protect us. In truth, the Buddhas sustain and bless us tacitly. They guard our well-being
as we propagate the Dao, and see that everything goes smoothly while we practice the Dao.
They gave us the light of spirit and wisdom so that everyone can come to understand
Master's words. Is this not the mercy of Heaven? Is it not the favor of the Lord? Since
previously you were unable to understand what Master said before, but now you do, your
wisdom has been awakened and the power of karma reduced. Therefore you must always remain
thankful and think about how you can repay the favors Heaven bestows us. Then show your
mercy, concern and care to others, and you will achieve the goal of revealing the great
love of Heaven on earth. This is the revelation of the Kingdom of Buddha. When the great
love of Heaven is revealed on earth, the Kingdom of Buddha will have arrived. This is
indeed a rare, precious occasion, the only time Heaven will have come to earth throughout
the entire current epoch of 60,000 years.
Oh! I am full of hope, expectation, and joy to
engage in the most momentous undertaking for people since the creation of the world.
Really, I am very happy. I do not know about you, I'm happy. Even when I encounter a major
setback, when I think of what we're doing I regain my courage instantly. Everyone knows
that I like to help others. I like to see people live happily and hope that the world can
be full of hearty laughter and joy. This is the family tradition of Maitreya, grinning all
the time. However, everyone must contribute if this goal is to be reached. It requires
considerable effort, and a good bit of sacrifice for everyone. Sacrifice some enjoyment of
ease and comfort now, and reap the achievement of sacrifices in the future. Of course, it
is painful to break new ground ahead of others; the wind is stronger, the tests are more
formidable, the slander of others is greater, but there is great happiness to follow the
suffering and hardship. I hope everyone can understand this.
We must endure a severe winter first, and when
winter passes and spring arrives all the flowers will bloom in profusion. After bitterness
sweetness follows. Thus, do not always think only of yourself, but think of all sentient
beings. Love all beings so that the great love can be revealed, for small love leads us
away from the great love of almighty Heaven. When you are only concerned with yourself,
you leave the Lord behind. When you care for people, God's great love will be revealed.
For all under creation is one; if you cling to the idea of the "self," nobody
can help you depart from the sea of suffering.
To hold love in the heart means caring for
oneself and others, because the Nation of Buddha will be built for everyone to attain
enlightenment, not just you. Thus, it is called the Pure Land. We all hope to go to the
Western Pure Land (Paradise), but here on earth we want to create an Eastern Paradise, to
create a Pure Land of Maitreya. Our old patriarch is so great I wanted to be his helper,
to help him attain this aim to full fruition. So as I lead us all in working toward this
aim together, do not let petty things divide you. Let's all work together as one. When the
patriarch attains supreme Dao and transforms this world into a Pure Land, everyone also
will be able to attain the Dao. Don't let such a wonderful opportunity just slide by.
Seize the chance now!
Hurry up and cast away the attachments of your
inner heart, the self, and all external matters. Cast them away slowly and reduce your
load little by little, until you achieve action through inaction. Lao-Tzu indeed said it
best: "In following the Dao, each day something is lost. Lost and again lost. Until
there is nothing left to do." By continually losing, all persistence will vanish at
last and you will be able to attain action through inaction, and your true self will be
perceived. This is a path to enlightenment. When you keep losing and achieve a state of
total inaction, you will be able to mingle with the "void" and the infinite.
When we keep accumulating each day, we violate the Dao. If you run counter to the truth,
how can you possibly become one with Heaven and attain enlightenment? If you burden
yourself with worldly cares, how can you attain the Dao? Thus, you must keep reducing your
load. Keep this in mind at all times.
Confucius said, One who can purify the body and
mind day after day could be reborn. This teaching is an extension of the concept of
continual losing or reduction. Do not accumulate heavier and heavier burdens, for thinking
too much will only cause more vexations and troubles. Thus, I try to simplify the biggest
issues and troubles, reducing them to nothing. In mainland China, when people say "no
problem" or "it's okay," they often use a phrase meaning literally "no
matter." I love this phrase, for when there are no matters worry about, then do you
not have only the truth in your heart? Matters always pester us, but the truth makes us
happy. The truth can make everyone free of worldly cares and make us happy.
You should always cherish the truth so that you
will have no need to pray for blessing. You do not have to ask Master to bless you,
because you will be safe and well naturally. Let the Lord Heaven bless you directly. The
best way to receive blessing and protection is to keep the truth in your heart and
constantly reflect upon your true self. This way, you will become the happiest person in
this world, for you can free yourself from worldly cares and laugh heartily at all times.
How carefree you'll be! So stop worrying about this and that, and about having more and
more things. Instead of accumulating things and afflictions, relinquish them and
accumulate happiness instead.
You should be able to turn things away, not let
them perplex your heart or hold them in your heart. Regard them as clouds in the sky;
everything will be okay when the clouds float away. For sometimes it's cloudy, but no
matter how the clouds move about, they can never entirely block out the blue sky. Can they
obstruct the quiescence of the blue sky? No, they cannot. Look! The sky isn't blue now.
Can every day be a clear day? Yes, when you do not let your heart become covered in
clouds. Let the sun shine in your heart, and you will be very happy. On a sunny day, the
sky is clear and it seems like you can see forever. So if there are clouds in the sky, how
can they obstruct the blue sky? Similarly, do not let your heart become clouded over, and
you will be just fine. When heart is as bright as the blue sky, you will have the Great
Spirit in your heart and will no longer become disheartened. You become a weak person
because your heart is covered in clouds, making you a poor and afflicted person. Thus, you
should learn how to make your heart as bright as the blue sky.
"All creatures of God are manifestations of
the Dao. When you realize the truth from your heart, you gain prescience and insight into
all things, placing you on a level with the saints of yore and all the Buddhas, and making
the most efficient cultivation of the Dao." Each word of the above wisdom can make
you see your true self and make you return home to the hometown of the true self that is
like the blue sky. For one's true self is the void, and restoring yourself to the essence
of the void can make you return to your hometown. Through "the enlightened way of
returning home" and "the precious lessons of returning home," Heaven tells
us how to return home. It's so simple to return home, for all creatures of God are
manifestations of Dao after all. So you and me both have Dao, and all creatures of God
have Dao also. Since everything is a manifestation of Dao, if you reflect upon your true
self from this view, you will be able to observe and understand Dao and then come to
attain enlightenment. Oh, practicing the Dao can be such a joy, for you abide in nothing.
It is said, "The minds of all the Bodhisattvas and Mahasattvas their should not abide
in form, sound, smell, taste, touch and the laws of Dharma. They should develop a mind
that does not abide in anything. Thus, if your mind does not abide in anything, and does
not abide in the six roots and the six gunas, and you can keep tranquillity in your mind,
won't you become a happy and free person? One can light the heart lamp because one abides
in nothing, and when one abides in nothing, one will be able to illuminate the heart lamp.
So free yourself from worldly cares and do not abide in the six gunas. If you continue to
abide in the six Gunas after you have lighted your heart lamp, your heart lamp will become
dark again, and the inner window of your heart will close. So be very mindful, even
fearful over the door of the mind. If you free yourself from worldly worries, the door of
the mind will open, but if you allow worldly worries to reside with you, the door of the
mind will close. The fine line comes down to a thought. It is the Dharma of the heart, the
way to change Human Nature into Dao nature. I simply preach the teachings of the three
great religions to you, not what I invent. I preach these teachings with simple words, not
abstruse ancient words. All these teachings are the Dharma of the Heritage of Dao--I do
not invent other teachings. The ancient saints and sages all cultivated themselves this
way, so we have to cultivate ourselves the same way, too. Therefore the value of
practicing Dao is to understand Dao tacitly and to gain insight from one's own experience.
Confucius said: "To study and not think is
a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." Thus, do not just listen and not think
for yourself, or you will be unable to distinguish right and wrong in what people speak,
and not even know when someone is deceiving you. On the other hand, it is useless for you
just to think and not to learn, for it is you who persist in the false void. Listen to
teachings and reflect upon your true self at the same time. In this way, you can be a
practical person. So learning and thinking should be combined together, lest you lack
commitment or arrive at an erroneous concept to the essence of the void. If you can learn
from this, and solve the great matter of birth and death, attaining supreme Dao, you will
not waste time and energy in Dao cultivation.
As a vegetarian, you should not be so
calculating and choosy in consuming food. After all, diet is just one of the Six Roots.
One should have a carefree attitude about eating, putting convenience and necessity first.
As Confucius stated, "A learned person whose heart is set upon the Dao, but who is
shamed of wearing shabby clothes and eating coarse food, is not worth counseling the
Dao." Thus, as a practitioner of Dao, you should lead a simple life and start
cultivating yourself to the best of your ability from your mind and nature. It is
impossible for you to handle both internal and external matters well, for you cannot make
up your mind as to which of two to choose. Many people do not notice this and some do not
even know how to practice Dao, and that is why they get nothing in the end.
The teachings I offer you today can help
everyone attain enlightenment and reach the state of harmony that is spoken of in the
Doctrine of the Mean. You should put these truths into effect and constantly focus on
them. If you absorb it and put it into practice, you can lead a truly emancipated,
spiritual life, free from worldly cares. If everyone in this world also leads a similar
life, what afflictions can there possibly be?
I wish everyone peace, happiness, and good luck.
I'll conclude here today. I hope these teachings can benefit you and help you to attain
(1)The qualities produced by the organs of
(2)The four elements of which all things are
made; or the four realms; i.e. earth, water, fire, and wind. The inharmonious working of
the four elements in the body causes the 440 ailments.