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Chapter Three: The Revelation of Truth

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001. The truth is original nature.

002. Inspire all beings with truth; embrace all beings with love.

003. A true Buddha has no form, the true Dao has no shape. The Diamond Sutra states: "Everything with form is unreal; if all forms are seen as unreal, the Buddha will be perceived." Therefore, in such a way the Dao of justice or evil, truth or falsehood can be easily distinguished at first sight.

004. The great Dao has three attributes: no forms, no sentiments and no names. Therefore the true Dao has no form, while the false Dao is all flashy form but no substance.

005. Lao-Tzu said: "Great sound is hard to hear. The great form has no shape." In other words, the loudest notes are silent, and the largest forms are invisible. Thus, you should fear the Dao from which heaven, earth, man, and all things eternal originate. When you grasp the truth and cultivate yourself properly, the Dao will embrace you in turn and make you "great."

006. The essence of truth is emptiness, nothingness, solitude, and stillness; without the truth these attributes simply describe the weather.

007. The Dao is unspoken, but it must be known. Speaking of the Dao, Confucius said "Receive it quietly in your heart.!íLBy this it is meant that this affinity is not just unspoken, but that you must come to know the true essence of the Dao.

008. It is not necessary to expend effort to analyze the truth. It is received directly, cultivated directly and identified directly.

009. The Dao is not a religion and not to be worshipped; its purpose is self-awakening.

010. The truth is within you. It has nothing to do with personnel affairs, nor organizations or the Sutras. Therefore, it is self-cultivated and self-affirmed.

011. Heaven is the sea of truth in the cosmos. As a bucket of water is poured into the ocean, the water quickly becomes the ocean. Thus, if you reach sudden enlightenment, all the embodiments of Buddhas will mingle with your true self.

012. If you do not know what the Dao is, or what the Western Pure Land is, then what is the point of cultivating the Dao?

013. The Western Pure Land is not a place you can go. If it were, then you would be unable to find it again in the future. The true Western Pure Land is where you are transported when you achieve complete stillness and peace.

014. The Western Pure Land is ubiquitous, so it cannot simply be located somewhere. If you think you have found it, you most certainly have not. Nor is it where time and space meet. It is where your mind envelops the universe.

015. The Western Pure Land is everywhere and at any place it is revealed. It is Heaven from pure truth. Completely devoid of human nature, it transcends the relative world and enters into pure contemplation of neither good nor evil. Therefore, it has no identifiable location.

016. The Western Pure Land is the Heaven of truth, the Heaven of original nature, and the Heaven of spirit. It is far away beyond the heavens but also right under your nose.

017. The Dao is constant and normal. It is always the same whether you are alive or dead, and it exists throughout all time. As the Confucian Doctrine of the Mean states: "That which is called Dao cannot be separated from for an instant." Although Dao is so ordinary and natural that nobody feels it, it dominates your whole body, governing your breath, heartbeat, and all bodily functions. If in daily life you let it into your being, in time you will understand its mystery.

018. Lao-Tzu said: "Give birth to it and nourish it. Produce it but don't possess it. Act without expectation. Excel, but don't take charge. This is called Mysterious Virtue." Today most of us go away from the truth, seeking to possess, rely on, and dominate things. How devoid of virtue we are!

019. The Dao cannot be acquired by means of intellectual investigation. One receives the Dao only after deep reflection upon the true self. Exhausting your energy poring over the scriptures, admonishments and the miracles is completely antithetical to and only leads one further away from the Dao.

020. Through observation, the ancient saints came to realize the laws of the cosmos, Heaven and earth. They then elevated their minds to the same level, becoming one with the Dao and giving rise to the cultivation of Heaven and earth. In this way, they became one with God and received eternal life. For Heaven and earth do not speak, but transmit the Dao through human beings. Thus, whoever becomes self-enlightened may transmit and preach the Dao to others. One must first affirm one's primal awareness and realize one's original identity before one may guide others.

021. Dao is affirmed alone; in this others are of no assistance. If investigating the classics were enough, then attending a Buddhist school or seminary would be sufficient. Therefore the ancient saints observed: "One who just talks over food without eating cannot fill his stomach; one who draws a cake cannot satisfy his hunger." When one encounters the great distresses of life this logic becomes crystal clear.

022. Truth is everything. Therefore you must do everything you can to become one with the Dao.

023. Before a movie is shown, the screen is white, and it remains white after the show. It is said, "Since all is void, where can the dust alight?" Therefore, when you come with nothing and leave with nothing, what can possibly trouble you?

024. If you harbor the truth in your heart, you may live in the Western Pure Land. For the Truth is akin to your conscience, and the Western Pure Land is revealed in the conscience. Thus without a clear conscience you may not reside long in Heaven.

025. The universal truth is also the law of nature or action and consequence (karma). When the Three Poisons, the Seven Emotions or the Six Desires distract the heart, nature's laws are violated and suffering begins.

026. The truth is absolute and cannot be seen; human nature is relative and is outwardly exhibited. Therefore, an awakened person communicates with you via the truth.

027. One does not become visibly changed after having obtained release from suffering. Only by concluding causal relationships, thoughts and beliefs can one bring karma to conclusion and return to one's place of birth-the Western Pure Land.

028. Self-awareness (the eighth parijnana: kinds of cognition, or alaya-vijnana from which spring all seeds of consciousness) determines everything. Transcend it and enlightenment is yours. Therefore it is necessary to receive counsel from an enlightened master who can lead you to realize your true self and ultimately attain enlightenment. Otherwise, it is like being surrounded by a swarm of hornets, which not only refuse guidance but may also sting. Sentient beings, guided by the ego and refusing guidance in the Dao, mired in the Three Realms (sensuous desire, form, and the formless world), are thus no different from hornets.

029. One cannot simply forsake the truth. Given that it follows you through this and all lifetimes, you must bring it to fruition.

030. The lesson we learn from earthly hospitals is that the suffering (i.e. the eight distresses: birth, death, sickness, parting with what we love, meeting with what we hate, unattained aims, and all the ills of the intelligent being [skandhas]) endured as a consequence of going astray from the Way is unceasing. Rather than suffer endlessly, repent and receive salvation by returning to the truth today.

031. Embracing the truth in one's heart is eternal security and the best insurance.

032. One who embraces the truth and cultivates the self properly will endure through calamity.

033. The truth spoken must be heard to comfort your lonely heart through suffering.

034. You must support others with truth, not bind them with human nature.

035. If you plead for the truth and uphold the Dao, you are the shield of Heaven.

036. You shall obey the truth in all your actions, as deference is your sacred mission.

037. Be a person of independence and self-reliance founded in the truth, and never waver from the correct path.

038. Mankind has gone astray from God after losing his reason and good conscience. If we regain these, God will always abide with us.

039. Surrendering oneself to the almighty is called "inaction." Holding the truth in one's heart and putting it into practice is called "action through inaction."

040. You are a microcosm of the cosmos and part of God. Everything in God's creation is manifest in you. This is the greatest miracle of all.

041. The truth must be embraced in your heart for it to be real; otherwise, everything is false.

042. Buddhist practices and rituals are extensions of the truth. That is why Confucius said, "If you do not learn propriety (li) you will have no structure."

043. Heaven treats everything well, and accepts everything you experience. Therefore, do not judge or second-guess Heaven's arrangements, for everything is arranged for the best.

044. If you desire to reside in the Kingdom of Buddha after death, you should keep the Buddha's name close to your heart and invoke his name. If you wish to reach Tusita, Maitreya's heaven of full knowledge, you should invoke the name of Maitreya. Be sure not to chant the wrong name. Only those with a strong affinity for the truth may abide with the truth for eternity.

045. Blessed is he who focuses his spirit on Heaven through the Heavenly Portal daily, for he shall obtain favor from Heaven.

046. Now is the time for you to carry out the truth to obtain peace and self-awakening. That is why you should be close to and feel the truth yourself, and not dwell on issues of belief. Therefore, the awakened person does not reveal himself with miracles, but puts his enlightenment into practice by being one with God in everyday living.

047. One who knows Heaven and has returned to the root is called a great loyal and filial man. As the Fifteenth Patriarch states: "Fulfill your filial duty to Heaven; satisfy your loyalty to Maitreya."

048. Loving Heaven is the first step toward attaining enlightenment.

049. Heaven will bless you if you can cast away distracting thoughts and maintain tranquillity in your heart.

050. Heaven will descend to earth without any warning, just as a thief sneaking into your home. Thus you must be prepared at all times for Heaven's arrival (recall that the Dao and calamity will descend together).

051. Bring the truth and hope to people, and their life-wisdom and good nature will grow.

052. Heaven sends the Three Buddhas to come into this world, lead it, and turn it into a paradise filled with truth, kindness, beauty and love. Therefore you should always keep the attachments of human nature from your mind, and you will reside with Buddhas.

053. The 21st century will be the era of reason, so it will be characterized by the survival of the fittest. It says in the Bible: "Unless one is born again, one will not see the kingdom of God."

054. Live by every word descended from Heaven and carry out His will.

055. If you do not act according to the will of Heaven, you will only add to your bad karma even through you mean well. This is echoed in the saying, "Even the practitioner of the Dao who exhausts himself completely receives no merits as long as he fails to practice from the heart."

056. The will of Heaven is: "You shall love the Lord with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind." That is why you shall abide by your faith sincerely to reach the ultimate fulfillment of your true self. You shall love your neighbors as you love yourself, or extend your cultivation into public life. Therefore the first and the ninth of the Ten Great Vows are the same as the first and the second of the laws and methods of discipline.

057. In this world, we experience all the joys, sorrows, sweetness and bitterness of birth, life and death, which together teach us about the suffering inherent in living. This is the tacit revelation of Heaven.

058. Nothing has meaning unless rooted in the greatness of God.

059. The great love of Heaven is shown strongest in the Bodhisattvas, for the Bodhisattvas seek to awaken mankind and spread enlightenment from person to person through the Dao.

060. You are called to witness Heaven's greatness and restore magnificence of the great Dao. For all religions throughout the world will join together as one when all find their true heart and true self.

061. Those who are pure in spirit shall see Heaven. Thus, if you wish to see Heaven, you should practice deep self-cultivation to reach emptiness and tranquility.

062. Whoever hears the truth and believes shall be saved.

063. Remember to return to the original place (the heart) after performing good deeds and achieving merits. As the Parisuddhi Sutra states: "Keep peace of mind in all matters and you shall receive everlasting tranquillity."

064. After attaining enlightenment, it is one's duty to deliver all beings to salvation and spread the gospel of truth. Rank or background has no bearing on these responsibilities. Zen Master Jigong said, "It is not necessary to ask a man who has attained enlightenment what title he holds."

065. Put yourself on the same wavelength as the truth, and you will survive the Final Catastrophe and awaken to your true self in enlightenment.

066. The order of the truth must descend into this world itself. Today, it is our duty to elevate the order of all beings to the dharma of the truth, relinquishing the bondage of human nature to the release and serenity of the truth.

067. Only when you identify with the essence of the Dao will you realize the laws of the cosmos.

068. God created the universe in a particular sequence, first setting down universal law (li), then forging heaven and earth (qi), and finally giving rise to all creatures (xiang).

069. The key to practicing the Dao today is receiving the origin of truth. For truth is unique and many explanations exist to allow easier understanding. It is said, "There is only one way to return to original nature, even though many doors are available." Therefore, you should not make convenience your destination.

070. Just as there is only one sun in the sky, and one king per kingdom, there is only one Dao of truth. Whatever is not unique is relative; relativity begets contention, and this is known as human nature.

071. All growth processes in life are distilled from suffering, blood and sweat. Thus an awakened person transforms his experiences into words of wisdom to deliver mankind from suffering and attain bliss. However, in most cases ordinary men are full of lament about their lot, plunging into an abyss of torment from which they cannot extricate themselves.

072. The common ground of life is our true self, which is a reflection of God. Therefore it can be said that everyone possesses "Buddha nature," and by cultivating the self with the Dao one can achieve enlightenment.

073. Today we follow in the steps of the saints along the paths they took before us. Thus we have no need for worry or fear.

074. People have gone astray from the truth for too long, causing them to endure additional suffering and torment. Therefore the sooner we return to the path of the truth and illumination the sooner we may achieve salvation.

075. Preaching Heaven's gospel of truth puts God in every heart, where the divine power grows roots and the Holy Spirit dwells, filling all with God's love.

076. Subduing the hearts of all beings with the truth can shift the karma of the entire world (shared karma).

077. From out of our shared karma, a great karma shall arise that will deliver all beings.

078. As we bathe our bodies with water, the mind is cleansed with the truth.

079. The Patriarch Maitreya rejects all that do not cultivate the Dao.

080. The Buddha is the truth and the Dao itself.

081. Only the heart that is always focused on the Dao and the truth can possibly attain enlightenment.

082. One does not become a great man by simply listening to the lessons of truth, but rather by putting them into practice.

083. Ask not about and discuss not matters other than the truth and the Dao. For the cycle of birth and death is momentous, yet changes may come in an instant.

084. To contribute all you have is to relinquish everything; to give your entire heart is sincerity. As the Doctrine of the Mean states: "Sincerity is the beginning and end of all things. Without sincerity there is nothing."

085. All matters other than those of birth and death (samsara) are petty matters.

086. Before attaining enlightenment, you must undergo prolonged disciplined practice, painful suffering, and unpleasant affliction, for this is the essence of life. Thus, you must do your utmost to break through the predicaments of this existence to attain perfect enlightenment.

087. Today God's truth is no longer the sole basis of instruction; rather mindfulness is of utmost importance in our spiritual practice. With mindfulness as your "master," you must select books and monitor your actions carefully, maintaining a high capacity for self-adjustment. In other words, knowing how to distinguish between the meaning or spirit, not just the letter of teaching, to attain the wisdom therein.

088. Nowadays, many are unfortunate because they do not embrace Heaven in their hearts, do not accept the gospel of truth, and reject the teachings of the Master. Meanwhile, those who are willing to open up their hearts are the most fortunate of all.

089. Learn from the example of Jesus Christ, who worked tirelessly and steadfastly for the truth, the Dao, and all living beings. Jesus never shrank away from difficulty as he spread the gospel of the kingdom of heaven. If you follow His example, the truth will come into your heart easily and God's blessings will be upon you.

090. As time goes on, calamities and disasters will increase in seriousness and frequency. We must plead for God's forgiveness and mercy, so that we lost sheep can soon return to the Kingdom of Truth.

091. Whatever faith you hold today will be translated into action on the day of reckoning, when success or failure will be decided in an instant. Thus by deciding firmly today what you believe in you shall determine your future fate.

092. As humans, we often disappoint Heaven with our actions. Disappointing Heaven is the saddest, most foolish thing living beings can do.

093. Cultivate the Dao actively and reduce your worldly ties today, for if you wait for the world outside to change it will be too late to cultivate your awareness.

094. Do not allow yourself any expectations for this life, because it is time for Heaven to clean up this world, and at such a time many tragedies shall occur. You must therefore shore up your will and not allow yourself to be overtaken by fanciful thoughts. Never shall you waiver again, as you must affirm that you will dedicate yourself to serving all living beings, cultivating yourself so that you may lead others to proper cultivation.

095. Preaching or listening to the sutras helps establish the truth in your heart, where it is a powerful force against making mistakes and planting the seeds of transmigration. Whenever your thoughts run astray, the truth is the guiding force that restores order.

096. Most people become mired in their own karma, so that they become master-less persons who are unaware of their words and actions. Nor do they sense that their karma has been set, so that after death they become wandering spirits with no place to return. What a tragedy!

097. It is unfair that people fall into the cycle of birth, death and rebirth (samsara), for the truth and the self are never actually diminished. That is why those who stray from God's truth must suffer so much torment (the eight distresses). All beings must wake up! For it is said: "The sea of suffering is boundless, but the shore is at hand for all who repent." Accept the Enlightened Master's initiation and leave suffering for joy in the kingdom of paradise.

098. When people are unable to embrace the truth with their hearts, it is because their karma outweighs their reasoning. With this, their present life on earth is squandered and comes to a close. Isn't that a shame?

099. All Buddhas come into this world to deliver all beings they encounter. But if you abandon yourself to vice, no one can help you.

100. The Dao you seek is the same as that which the ancient saints and Buddhas obtained, yet why are you still unenlightened? Because you lack firm faith, will, courage and determination to see through to fruition, to break through, and to confront all situations you encounter. You also cover up your failings and forgive yourself, losing focus on the central issues. Such shortcomings are the saddest aspects of Dao cultivation today.

101. Ideals are fine, but practicality has its own place. Sincerity without success only results in empty pleasures.

102. The precious value of the Dao is that it is revealed on you; you must incorporate it in your daily life, or nothing shall come of it. Therefore, in your passage through this world you should make no waves, and should embody compassion, forbearance, and clemency. As such you will become one of Heaven's true angels.

103. Do not succumb to the pitfalls of the many unenlightened. We must be prudent and mindful to prevent ourselves from degeneracy. We must also look inside ourselves and monitor our thoughts and actions at all times.

104. We choose to live so that we may attain enlightenment, not to possess mundane things. Love of spouses, children, family, and siblings is inferior love; embracing all beings with the love in your heart is superior love indeed.

105. It is not the right time for you to extend your outward career, but the time is ripe to extend your inner spiritual domain, which is truly the ultimate in "intellectual (wisdom) property rights."

106. When guiding people in the ways of the Dao, you must guide them to return to the Heavenly Portal point initiated by the Enlightened Master, rather than gathering them at your side and ultimately going to hell together. As the Fifteenth Patriarch observed: "An awakened person guides thousands and thousands of people to realize their true nature and achieve enlightenment. But a lost person guides tens of thousands astray into hell together."

107. Even with powerful karma, you must practice correct mindfulness, correct knowledge and correct views.

108. So many teachings and testimonies are intended to encourage you to cultivate yourself by focusing on the point initiated by the Enlightened Master.

109. Today, you should enlighten people with the truth, not with fancy words. If you fail to push their buttons properly no results will be yielded.

110. This is an age of struggle between the Buddha and the devil. Thus, if you are to accomplish the mission of enlightening living beings you must have confidence and courage in addition to correct faith in order to help the Messiah Maitreya attain enlightenment.

111. It is normal to fret about the great matters of samsara, but abnormal to worry about mundane trivial matters. Therefore, the greatest urgency at present is for you to turn your knowledge into wisdom.

112. People feel nostalgia for the past and put great hopes on the future, yet they fail to attain mindfulness of the moment.

113. Devote yourself to Heaven and let Heaven manage everything for you so that you can live a bright and peaceful life.

114. The Three Buddhas come into this world to guide people to know Heaven. Heaven, your true self, is right under your nose. Never tell others to eat while you yourself are starving.

115. Remember that everything on earth represents the good will of Heaven, so be content with what comes.

116. The point initiated by Enlightened Master is the Buddhist doctrine and true dharma. If you do not know how the Buddha reached enlightenment, then what weight will anything you say carry?

117. Use the shield of wisdom to defend against the devil and the fickle human heart.

118. Do not be passive, but achieve a state of action through inaction.

119. A hero or great man devotes himself to the well being of one area. But he who strives for the spiritual elevation of all beings will become a Buddha or a saint.

120. Human nature is the devil, so Heaven wants you to change lanes and return to your true nature.

121. The devil turns truth into idol worship and allows attachment to appearances, so that we forget our own Buddha nature and fall into his trap. The devil fears nothing more than that we possess the truth and understand our original Buddha nature.

122. Those who do not accept or obey the truth reject Heaven. Such people shall be excluded from the great amassment of souls.

123. "Everyone around me is drunk, only I am sober." One must uphold justice and act with courage and selflessness. A correct outlook is also vital so that you may defend the truth. As Mencius said: "Am I a contentious man? No, I just cannot help but speak out for the truth."