|001. The process of reduction from
having to not having is called "Dao cultivation."
002. Becoming a Buddha is the goal of our practice of the
Dao, so establish a strong will when you practice Dao. If ever your ambition should
deviate from this goal, your results will fall off the mark.
003. To attain the perfect enlightenment is the
goal of Dao practice. Therefore you must not have many ambitions or interests when you go
forward toward this goal. As Lao-Tzu states: "When the sage governs, he clears
people's minds, fills their bellies, weakens their ambition and strengthens their
004. To practice Dao is to keep a tranquil mind
at all times. If you do so, then wherever you go, you are the Buddha himself because a
Buddha can make himself at easy in any situation. When you free yourself from worldly
cares, release comes instantly.
005. Practicing Dao means working toward
attaining "great ease," which is achieved by reflecting deeply upon the self.
006. While maintaining equanimity while asking
for nothing, practicing Dao is intended to make the "small individual" mingle
with the "great Dao."
007. To practice Dao is to adjust oneself to
conform with the natural laws of the cosmos and restore orientation.
008. Practicing Dao is the key to breaking
through the transmigration cycle of birth and death.
009. Unless one can calm one's thoughts while
practicing the Dao, one will fall into the cycle of the transmigration of birth and death,
and suffer continuously.
010. It is useful indeed when a practitioner of
Dao really desires to enlighten himself and to transcend birth and death, and to deviate
from the suffering of life cycles. Otherwise, life is wasted since the practitioner had
listened to the gospel of truth for a long time yet failed to put it into practice.
011. Dao practice aims to solve the great matter
of birth and death. Failing to do so, you accumulate the constraining power of karma.
012. Practitioners of the Dao should weaken the
six roots and strengthen return to the Root (one's true self), in order to transcend birth
and rebirth, and avoid disaster.
013. The value of practicing Dao is to
understand the truth. How can one practice Dao if one does not understand the truth? If
one does not understand the truth, the Dao cannot be spread.
014. As a practitioner of Dao, the only thing
for you to do is to retrieve your lost heart. Thus, do not go off into wild flights of
fancy that will bring you torment.
015. He who desires to attain enlightenment
relies on his inner virtues. Otherwise, it is useless for a practitioner of Dao to
accumulate merits without cultivating inner virtues (benevolence, justice, propriety,
wisdom and faith).
016. A practitioner of Dao should hold the key
of Dao Cultivation; that is, he should be eager to understand the essence of the Dao.
017. As a practitioner of Dao, you must not
gripe to Heaven and grumble to people. As soon as you fall into such thinking, the sea of
truth becomes the sea of suffering at once.
018. To practice Dao is to cast away all things
that you did not have at the very beginning.
019. To practice Dao is to maintain tranquillity
before you give rise to a discriminating mind.
020. While practicing Dao, you should keep a
peaceful and balanced mind so that you can attain enlightenment. Thus, do not become
afflicted with the four irregular minds, i.e. indignation, fear, anxiety or luxury. If you
cannot maintain mental stability, you will be unable to attain enlightenment. It is very
important to take this truth to heart.
021. To practice Dao means being able to both
take this up and put things down. Only after assuming one's duty and returning to the
truth can one truly put down all worldly cares.
022. Practicing Dao aims to free one from
worldly attachment; the heart is tranquil in its original state. If one desires to possess
things, it is due to a human heart and fanciful thought. Thus, the factors determining
whether one can be free from worldly cares are the strength of karma, level of the
realization of truth, and courageous behavior.
023. Practicing Dao aims to make one's mind
reach a state of complete tranquillity, not to give one magic power to fly here and there,
or to see through things. These are abnormal powers and belong to heterodoxy.
024. The key to practicing Dao is to hold the
"center," which is the same as the teaching in the Doctrine of the Mean, which
states: "When the feelings of joy, anger, sorrow, and delight are perceived but not
displayed, it is called the 'center'."
025. Attaining enlightenment is the goal of our
practice of the Dao. If you cannot attain enlightenment, you cannot find your true master.
Thus, an awakened person who is like a bright lamp standing in the dark brings brightness
to this world.
026. Devote your greatest effort to completing
the journey of Dao practice. It is impossible to meet success accidentally and fail
027. All you have to do in your lifetime is to
practice Dao. Thus, you should cultivate yourself honestly, concretely and earnestly. This
is not a guest role for you, as Dao is attained through blood and sweat.
028. Cultivation requires complete awakening to
the moment, otherwise birth and death cannot be transcended. This is because the Three
Hearts (the past, present and future hearts) and the four notions (the notion of an ego, a
personality, a being and a life) will block up the path of attaining enlightenment and
cause great pain.
029. Never lose your bearing in Dao Cultivation
when the power of karma is manifest. And never break your line of defense in Dao
Cultivation when you are in a hurry or suffer deprivations and hardships.
030. When you practice Dao, you should reach the
state of one heart and one ambition, and always remain diligent.
031. When practicing Dao, constantly purify your
ideas, eliminating distracting thoughts and wild fancy.
032. A practitioner of Dao should maintain a
mindset apart from all material things. Do not become trapped by your own consciousness,
concepts, opinions or persistence.
033. Practicing Dao means being aloof from the
world and returning to emptiness. For it is impossible for a man to embrace Heaven and the
mundane matters at the same time.
034. When you practice Dao, you need not engage
in pointless argument, for it has no bearing on your life or death.
035. Practicing Dao means self-introspection
only, not discussing matters of right and wrong. As the Platform Sutra states:
"Sincere practitioners of the Dao do not pay attention to people's faults."
036. Practitioners of the Dao who are
sidetracked by personnel matters, argue about the right and wrong, and fail to cultivate
their mind and nature, will be destroyed by future calamities all the same. So what use is
it for them to practice Dao this way?
037. When you practice Dao, you must not be
besieged with personnel matters. You should focus strictly on adhering your mind to the
Heavenly Portal and returning to the true self. As our Master admonished us, "Do not
care about anything but enlightening the true self. Heed not all causes you may encounter;
care for the truth only."
038. Practicing Dao involves using human nature
as a vehicle for returning to true nature; this way, inter-personal relations will not
039. When you practice Dao, do not fall into the
limited sphere of human nature. Leap beyond human nature and take a look at the sphere of
the great void.
040. Do not be jealous and greedy, nor envious,
and do not blame God and man while you practice Dao. No matter how you may suffer
deprivations and hardships, you must always observe your true heart and true self.
041. Practicing Dao entails looking within
oneself, to face one's defects and attachments honestly. Fail to do this and you leak away
042. While practicing Dao, you must be
thoroughly in charge of yourself, your thoughts, actions and words. Therefore you should
speak and act cautiously.
043. If you deceive your conscience and cheat
yourself while you practice Dao, you cut off the return path to heaven.
044. Never discriminate when you practice Dao,
or you will nullify all your precious efforts and waste your accumulated merits. The
Platform Sutra states: "The lost man, who without moving his body, discusses the
right and wrongs, merits and demerits, and likes and dislikes of others violates the Dao
in all his actions."
045. The value of practicing Dao is to make one
know his faults, correct his faults and possess the ability to look within the self.
046. Practitioners of the Dao must achieve
self-consciousness, self-reliance and independence. This way they do not influence one
047. A practitioner of Dao should surpass and
conquer the self to achieve independence and detachment.
048. Practicing Dao means settling body and mind
and cultivating oneself in order to support others. Other worldly matters are of little
049. Practicing Dao means gradual attainment
while enlightening the self and others. With temptation and forbearance shall come growth.
050. The value Dao practice lies in
"consciousness." Thus, he who belongs to the upper level of intelligence
realizes Dao with a smile; an intermediate practitioner practices Dao painfully; and a
lower level practitioner prostrates himself pitifully.
051. It is not necessary to think when you
practice Dao, only to bring out your sincerity and face your own conscience.
052. Practice Dao means adhering your mind to
the Heavenly Portal and returning to the true self. Thus, rather than just thinking about
it or studying it, you must put it into true practice.
053. As a practitioner of Dao, you should learn
to be alone and become accustomed to loneliness. Also, restrain yourself from idle talk.
054. The practitioner of Dao must hide himself
for Dao cultivation. Life is very short, and you will fall into another life cycle if you
fail to attain enlightenment in this present life. However, even if you return to this
world again, if you fail to gain virtuous knowledge or become mired in ignorance, you'll
be an old person by the time you awaken, facing life's termination once again. Remaining
unenlightened, you will be trapped in the cycle of life, death, and rebirth over and over,
subject to myriad calamities. However, in this present life, we have encountered the
Enlightened Master and have received the Dao, for we have a good condition and an affinity
with Buddha. Thus, if you do not put forth effort forth to cultivate yourself, time will
not wait for you. Oh what a pity when the impermanence of life manifests itself. You may
have reached the requirements and the realm of emptiness, but not having reached the
sequence of the realm of nothingness, solitude and stillness, you cannot attain true
enlightenment. So now you realize how far you must go in practicing Dao. For life is too
short, and when the power of karma comes, we do not know whether we can steady our heart?
Therefore we must refine our consciousness and treasure the time to practice Dao with all
055. As a practitioner of Dao, you must not
always desire to understand external matters and should close off the Six Gates (eyes,
ear, nose, tongue, body, and mind). You will plummet into pitch darkness if you give rise
to fanciful thoughts.
056. It is not necessary to look for a quiet
place to practice the Dao, for practicing Dao involves freeing your mind from persistence
to the six roots and the six gunas. When your heart escapes from the six roots and six
gunas for a minute, tranquillity will fill your heart for a minute. Thus, the ancient
sages said: "You need not find a place by mountains and water to sit and meditate.
Just cast away the products of the mind, and you can refresh the mind."
057. When you practice Dao, put forth efforts to
both realize the Dao and cultivate yourself, and you will attain great achievement.
058. Practicing Dao means not always siting in
meditation but achieving the four conditions: mercy, almsgiving, quiescence and honesty.
These four conditions are the path to becoming a Buddha. If you meet these four
conditions, you are indeed a Buddha and a Bodhisattva.
059. Practicing Dao aims to steady an unstable
mind at all times. Never deviate from your true heart for an instant in daily life.
Cultivation is a matter of the heart, not of the flesh.
060. Practicing Dao means maintaining
tranquillity while in motion, not just while sitting in meditation.
061. Put the classics of the world's five great
religions into practice and encourage yourself at all times as you practice the Dao. The
Heart Sutra teaches, "Reflect upon your true self." The Platform Sutra says,
"The origin (one's true self) is nothingness; where will you stain yourself?"
The Tao Teh Ching instructs, "Investigating it with a lot of talk is not like holding
to the center." And Mencius said: "To practice Dao, one needs nothing but to
retrieve his lost heart." These teachings are all useful mottoes to live by.
062. As a practitioner of Dao, be free from
cares and cultivate yourself with a pure heart. If you burden the mind, you will be
fearful and uneasy, and will gain nothing at all from Dao cultivation.
063. As a practitioner of Dao, you cannot do
something against your conscience that causes you to feel sorry. If you do, you will be
unable to inhabit the Pure Land. Therefore, you should treat people and Heaven sincerely.
064. As a practitioner of Dao, you must serve
the almighty in Heaven. This is the most severe rule.
065. As a practitioner of Dao, you should
maintain superb virtue, conduct and correct concepts, and be honored to serve Heaven,
Buddha, the Bodhisattvas, and all people.
066. It is enough for a practitioner of Dao to
measure all behaviors against one's conscience. One must reflect upon one's conscience
067. As a practitioner of Dao, you must maintain
a sincere heart towards Heaven, the Three Buddhas and yourself.
068. As a practitioner of Dao, strive to attain
this goal: "Freedom from worldly causes and conditions, and equanimity at all
times." How can you achieve these goals? Relinquish attachments under all conditions
and situations. How can one achieve this goal? Understand the truth, have wisdom and
courage. All three conditions are equally vital.
069. Practicing Dao is your responsibility, and
contentment brings happiness when you are grateful for all you possess.
070. Practicing Dao does is unrelated to
external things. The "internal essence" is the most important factor, for it
will influence your life and is the key to your rise or fall.
071. Practicing Dao means elevating the spirit
constantly in order to attain supreme goodness. This is called Buddha knowledge and
072. As a practitioner of Dao, you do not need
others to encourage and comfort you. You must make progress by yourself and awaken to
yourself, to enlighten your true self and obtain the great power of wisdom.
073. As a practitioner of Dao, you must fulfill
the following conditions: do not give rise to fanciful thoughts; do not say what you
should not say; do not do what you should not do; do not act against the truth; and handle
074. As a practitioner of Dao, you should lead a
conscientious and careful life. Always keep the Holy Spirit in your heart. Constantly
cultivate your mind and nature and examine yourself carefully. The Book of Odes states:
"Those things that the Superior Man is unable to attain to are exactly the things
that others cannot perceive."
075. As a practitioner of Dao, you should
possess strength of character, for the saints also insist on the dignity of Dao. As
Confucius instructed: "When you study the occult and perform miracles, later
generations always tell about it. This I won't do. As a Superior Man, to go according to
the Dao and abandon it half way--this I certainly cannot do."
076. Practicing Dao aims to resolve the problem
of human desires. Using transient life, we can attain the eternal life of wisdom.
077. As a practitioner of Dao, you should have
firm faith, maintain your vows and never waver. Thus, you should cultivate yourself with
your enlightened mind. If you do not seek to enlighten and realize your true self, you
fall into sin.
078. Never lose sight of the objective of the
Dao in your practice.
079. As a practitioner of Dao, you should
restrain yourself in speech and behavior. Restrain your temper and maintain a kind and
pleasant countenance. In this way, you shall shine as an example of a practitioner of Dao.
080. Dao practice is the heritage of experience,
so you must accept instruction from the Enlightened Master to derive benefit from Him and
attain great achievement. Otherwise, your efforts shall be fruitless as you lose direction
or cultivate yourself blindly.
081. In your Dao cultivation, you must reach a
state of making no distinction between yourself and others. You should be prepared to
sacrifice your life to propagate the Dao and save people. Clinging to the ego is the
beginning of conflicts and war, so forget the "self" first.
082. Practice Dao entails rebuilding the body
and mind. Just like government efforts to sweep away crime and corruption, it is an
ongoing and regular process that takes time.
083. Those who practice Dao with confidence,
wholeheartedness and perseverance surely can attain enlightenment.
084. If you regard everything as not important
while you practice Dao, then contentment will bring you happiness. Perhaps you will not
always be satisfied, but as long as it's acceptable that's okay.
085. Practicing Dao is intended to restore your
correct thought from fanciful thought. Therefore practicing Dao is a correct view of life
for an awakened person, the mean that guides you to adjust and return to proper and
correct attitudes toward life.
086. Practicing Dao means paying slight
attention to mundane matters, while regarding the inner essence as important. Therefore
you should not be affected by mundane matters, but put your true self first.
087. When you reach a certain level in Dao
cultivation, your mind will become pure, bright and still. You do not possess magic
powers, but respond to all things with your frame of mind. You do not persist in form, but
prevent mundane matters from disturbing your peaceful mind.
088. When you practice Dao, you should make
changes in your heart first. If you do not make changes in yourself, you will be unable to
089. If those who practice Dao can cherish
gratitude and repentance at all times, they will attain great achievement in Dao
090. Practicing Dao aims to make one subdue
fanciful thoughts and attain enlightenment. Let the perfect and bright true self shine in
091. When you practice Dao, you should cultivate
yourself with a natural, unintentional and yielding mind.
092. As a practitioner of Dao, you must have
principles, ideals and aspirations.
093. As a practitioner of Dao, you must have
great wisdom, great benevolence, and great courage, and must take responsibility and
perform tasks with full vigor and promptness.
094. A practitioner of Dao has no liberty. His
liberty consists in elevating his mind and nature, achieving freedom from worldly cares,
and transcending the Three Realms (desire, form and formlessness). This is true liberty.
095. Practicing Dao means maintaining a steady
mind and cultivating the self while neither being dissolute or constrained.
096. As a practitioner of Dao, you should learn
selflessness and action through inaction from Heaven and put them into practice
immediately. Once you know right or wrong for yourself, instantly repent and reform
097. As a practitioner of Dao, you should have
the spirit of a Bodhisattva who can sacrifice himself for all. A Bodhisattva lives and
dies for the Dao. Awakening is achieved to save this world and to deliver people,
otherwise you are merely selfish. And a selfish heart cannot be one with the great
merciful heart of the Maitreya Buddha.
098. As a practitioner of Dao, you should remain
mindful and respond to whatever you encounter. For where there is essence, there is
manifestation. Further, you should be an example of a Dao practitioner and be able to
tolerate anyone or any thing.
099. As a practitioner of Dao, you should not
hesitate to open your arms and heart to deliver people and embrace all beings.
100. As a practitioner of Dao, care not for
yourself only. You should contemplate whether you have shown care for others or done
anything to benefit them. "Have a mercy on those who are not of your blood, and on
the indigent." When you can tolerate anything, you will not have a discriminating
mind and the world will become a commonwealth.
101. As a practitioner of Dao, follow the
example of the Three Buddhas and deliver all beings in this world with noble character,
incorruptible principles and great mercy.
102. As a practitioner of Dao, you should have
your own style. For example, four Bodhisattvas (Guanyin, Wenshu, Puxian and Dizang) who
followed the Buddha Sakyamuni represented individually the qualities of mercy, wisdom,
action and faith. Buddha Sakyamuni also relied on them to spread the Buddha Dharma. The
Zen Master Jigong exemplified selflessness and limitless mercy. What is your greatest
103. As a practitioner of Dao, you should speak
as little as possible, for you will lose your vigor and cause conflicts. Thus, do not
engage in idle gossip, for it will only harm your self.
104. As a practitioner of Dao, if you do not
give priority to practicing the Dao, how could you say that you are a practitioner of Dao!
Dao is in you and you cannot find it from the outside.
105. When you practice Dao, you must go away for
a length of time and rid yourself of all worldly cares.
106. As a practitioner of Dao, all you have to
do today is go away and cultivate yourself. This way, you can recharge your essence,
spirit and soul for the longer journey ahead.
107. Keep tranquillity in your heart at all
times so that you may confront whatever will happen in the future. This is proper
108. Those who pay little attention to external
matters and can enlighten the internal true self are true practitioners of the Dao.
109. To stabilize each fanciful thought
immediately is Dao cultivation. Thus, if you cannot quell each thought you give rise to,
you will fall into the cycle of birth and death.
110. To return to the great void from the
mundane world is the essence of Dao cultivation.
111. The process of making your thought return
to the state of non-thinking from the state of thinking is true Dao cultivation.
112. Never give rise to fanciful thoughts while
you practice the Dao. If you cannot hold onto the "One"-- your true heart and
peaceful heart--fanciful thoughts will constantly arise.
113. Do not harbor any expectations or seek any
gains from Dao practice. For when you can keep a tranquil mind and have no motives in your
heart, you will be able to attain enlightenment.
114. Those who practice Dao sincerely embody the
power of wisdom, mercy and forgiveness, clarity, and the ability to set mundane matters
aside. On the other hand, those who do not practice Dao shall not have such attributes.
115. Those who do not practice Dao sincerely are
merely tourists in the realm of Dao.
116. Care only for cultivating yourself, and not
for external matters. Thus, the first consideration is the true self, and all else is
117. Those who do not obey the Dharma to
practice Dao belong to the Lesser Vehicle of Dharma. In common practice, when people
prepare for an examination, they must study hard or take lessons after school. As a
practitioner of Dao, how can we not make efforts to cultivate ourselves? This is the basis
of becoming a saint or a sage. So it is a basic and essential condition for you to put
deep effort into practicing the Dao.
118. Other people's terminal in Dao cultivation
is our starting point, so you must take it seriously and value it.
119. Practitioners of Dao are unable to break
through bottlenecks in Dao cultivation because of: 1) Residual worldly cares that cause
fixations and torment; 2) failure to fulfill filial duty, causing pricks of conscience; 3)
insufficient realization of the truth, causing constant torment by human nature; 4)
failure to cultivate the self deeply, and withdrawal from advancement; 5) merely repeating
what others say, and failing to enlighten the true self.
120. You should put effort forth to cultivate
yourself post haste, for a gentleman abides in the tranquillity of his true self in order
to wait for the Mandate of Heaven to come upon him. Thus, abide in the tranquillity of
true self and you will reap the fruits of your effort.
121. The four principles of not doing taught by
Confuciusi are the amulets for escaping from the Final Catastrophe and the key points of
122. Cultivation requires respect; fearful
respect of God, and reverent respect for all beings.
123. The true essence of Dao practice means
being able to cultivate yourself while walking, standing, sitting or sleeping. Be able to
uphold the "center" at all times and always keep tranquillity in your heart
after responding to whatever you encounter.
124. In this present life, your most serious
defects are areas you failed to cultivate well in past lives. If you did not complete a
certain "course," you will fall into the cycle of birth and rebirth
continuously, repeating your faults again and again. Thus, you have to amend these faults
in this present life. When you have many defects and weaknesses, you have to make up more
courses and study harder. There are no guarantees in Dao cultivation, so you have to try
your best to amend. Complain not; just do your best to complete all your courses.
125. People always regard the consciousness of
karma and worldly attachment as real, but regard the essence of the true self as unreal.
Amending these concepts into correct concepts is Dao cultivation.
126. Practicing Dao at this time raises strength
of concentration in order to have the power to commune with the gods in the future.
127. Dao cultivation means subduing the fanciful
thoughts and casting away human nature. The origin of the heart is birthlessness. What can
you do if you allow your heart to wander all over the universe? Thus, your duty is to
uphold "birthlessness," affix your mind to the center that before thinking, and
maintain hold on the center.
128. Use the strength of concentration that
comes from practicing Dao to control wavering feelings.
129. Those who do not concentrate their minds on
the Heavenly Portal and do not reflect their light inward are not real practitioners of
130. An unenlightened thought is called
ignorance. Thus, you should always awaken to each thought you engender while you practice
131. If you do not cultivate yourself perfectly
and do not light up your heart lamp, you betray your own conscience.
132. You should obey the Correct Dharma while
you practice Dao. Only the Correct Dharma can help you attain enlightenment, so you should
treasure this opportunity.
133. At this time, you must subdue your human
nature; the most important thing is to abide by your own Buddha nature.
134. Reflect on your past and advance your
future. Become accustomed to practicing the Dao alone.
135. It is very difficult to find a good cave on
earth. As with acupuncture, the acupuncturist must find the correct point before inserting
the needle. Similarly, you must find the correct starting point for Dao practice. You will
know if you seek the Enlightened Master.
136. Only by practicing Dao can the power of
karma be eliminated.
137. Buy a false image of Buddha and become
reborn; practice true Dao cultivation and transcend birth and rebirth.
138. The Six Patriarch said: "Since the
word 'Yana' (Vehicle) implies 'motion' (putting into practice), argument on this point is
quite unnecessary." Thus, a true practitioner of Dao should suit his action to his
words and each thought shall be quiet and without worldly cares.
139. The most urgent thing for you is to put
effort into practicing the Dao. If you do not cultivate yourself today, what will it mean
to amass souls?
140. Practicing Dao like a monk at home is the
way to cultivation of the great Dao. Everyone in the whole world should understand this
truth, because human nature requires a quiet and peaceful spirit.
141. The great Dao actively enters this world to
deliver people, so the family can practice Dao together to maintain their human ties. The
superior and the inferior can get along well and maintain a peaceful mind. They may look
like ordinary people, but their minds are freed from worldly cares. Thus, becoming a monk
or nun does not necessarily mean moving to a temple, but rather leaving the home of worry
and the chain of birth and death and rebirth.
142. Those who are unable to conduct
self-examination and achieve self-awareness are not true practitioners of the Dao.
143. If you desire to attain enlightenment, you
must attain a state of "One heart and one intention, achieved via progressively deep
cultivation." Focus on cultivation, and your soul, spirit and body will reach a state
144. Never let the power of karma come between
the practice of Dao by you or others.
145. If not for the process of Dao practice, the
Pure Land would be a hell for all beings. In the Pure Land, there are no distinctions
between you and me, yin and yang, the seven emotions and six carnal desires, and
everything belongs to the realm of the spirit. Therefore, always uphold the
"center" before thinking, and you can always reside in the Pure Land.
146. Human beings are the soul of all creatures,
but they have lost their innate instinct and their awakened mind. Therefore, men must
undergo the process of cultivation to restore their origin.
147. To stabilize each thought as it arises is
true Dao cultivation. True Dao cultivation is perfecting your mind and nature.
148. All you have to do in this present life is
to cultivate yourself and make your soul achieve supreme goodness.
149. Restore fanciful thoughts to correct
thoughts and abnormal thoughts to normal thoughts. This is proper cultivation.
150. Without correct knowledge and views, and
without a complete character, how can one possibly practice Dao?
151. People should know their fate and be
satisfied. Insist on practicing Dao even though through extreme suffering. As Confucius
stated, "The Superior Man never leaves goodness for even the time of a single meal.
In moments of haste he acts according to it. In times of difficulty or confusion he acts
according to it."
152. The point initiated by the Enlightened
Teacher is a very profound and subtle Dharma, and is a real Buddha Dharma-- namely the
Correct Dharma. It is the only way to stop the transmigration of the soul and to transcend
birth and death to attain enlightenment.
153. Dao is transmitted by saints and people
must practice Dao on their own. Thus, since you have received the point initiated by the
Enlightened Master, you should make efforts to cultivate your inner true self.
154. From ancient times, those who practice Dao
sincerely were spoken ill of, but they still keep pursuing the truth of the Lord and
advance bravely without complaining or regretting.
155. "Receiving Dao first and cultivating
yourself later" does not refer to the end of the world, but rather that as of the
year 1984, the entire world entered the era of amassing souls. Thus, it is critical for
all people to cultivate the Dao at this time.
156. Discuss the concepts of Dao cultivation
when you are with fellow disciples, and do not talk about mundane matters, for attachment
to mundane matters will cause people to lose faith in Dao. Thus, exemplify the style of a
saint and become a model for people.
157. A true human being is one who in everyday
life exemplifies the five virtues (benevolence, justice, propriety, wisdom and faith).
158. At this time, it is vital to know the
following clearly: Over the process of delivery of beings, human emotion, numbers (of
those who have received the Dao), and miracles are important. During the amassing of
souls, what is important is true nature (the truth), the results of Dao practice, and
shattering all forms (to penetrate the truth).
159. Concern yourself only with obeying the
rules. Thus, the 3,000 awe-inspiring manners and the 80,000 bylaws of conduct are divine
manifestations of Buddha Dharma.
160. The ancient saints said: "Better to
cultivate yourself for one day than to give sermons for a thousand days." This
aphorism underscores the importance of example through action.
161. The process of practicing Dao is similar to
firing pottery in that one must undergo tempering over time until all conditions are right
to attain enlightenment.
162. Withdraw from man's world immediately so
that you can enter the realm of the Pure Land. Withdraw from man's world thoroughly, for
you should not be uninhibited and unbridled as you practice Dao. You must be diligent in
Dao cultivation day and night, for you must love the Dao to become one with the Dao. Learn
from the example of the monks in Japan's Yongping Monastery, for they exhaust their
energies trying to learn the essence of Zen and Dao. Only dedication yields results.
163. Every practitioner of Dao says that he
wants to relinquish worldly cares, when most actually want to abandon control over their
164. To identify and resolve your internal and
external problems is the essence of Dao cultivation.
165. Do not pick a fight or become involved in
causes and conditions. If you have seen much of the world, you will contaminate yourself,
causing obstacles to your Dao cultivation.
166. Laws govern behavior, while cultivation
governs motivation. Therefore, beware of your thoughts. This is the first step to
practicing the Dao.
167. Studying sutra is supplementary to
practicing Dao, which should always come first.
168. Converting your passions into a holy
mission free from extraneous sentiments is the essence of Dao cultivation.
169. Unless you have cultivated yourself fully,
do not make idle comments about others. As Jesus stated: "Do not judge, so that you
may not be judged."
170. It is meaningless for Master's followers to
seek his guidance unless they understand the truth clearly and cultivate themselves
171. Magic powers cannot resist the power of
karma, and the Buddha Dharma cannot resist one's inner consciousness. For inner
consciousness pushes one to love and to pursue external things. Therefore, you should be
realistic when you practice Dao, for each step you take is a mark of progress.
172. Cultivating the heart, mind and body is our
mission. Mencius said, "To preserve your mind and nourish your nature is to serve
Heaven. Not seeing duality between short life and long life, cultivate yourself by
awaiting it. This is the way to establish your destiny."
173. Practicing Dao means doing what we are
reluctant to do, which is not easy to overcome.
174. We practice Dao to our best ability and let
Heaven arrange everything for us.
175. As a practitioner of Dao, all you have is
nothingness. If you always want to possess something, then the void will become hell one
day. Men are fond of mundane things, so when the truth of the Lord enters this world in
the future, Heaven will clear away all idols and return to nothingness.
176. As a practitioner of Dao, you should not
compete with others and should be content with everything you have. Thus, no matter
whether you gain achievements, hardship, or weariness in this life, this world is still a
177. Dao cultivation should reveal the true self
178. As you practice Dao, be sure to seize each
moment and hold no expectations for the future. It is sufficient to simply maintain
tranquillity in the moment.
179. Recognize the importance of Dao cultivation
and practice Dao when walking, standing, sitting or sleeping. Thus, reflect upon your true
self not only by sitting down in meditation but also through mindfulness at all times.
Ultimately, you will attain a state of constant self-reflection.
180. If you do not cultivate yourself sincerely,
instead just polishing up your surface and letting the Eight Winds affect you, you are no
different from other common people. Thus, he who practices Dao sincerely will not be
affected by external appearance. Similarly, the fish in the sea do not know that there are
waves on the surface of the sea, for the waves only appear on the surface.
181. There are several possible reasons you have
yet to attain enlightenment, even though you have practiced Dao all this time: 1) You have
lacked a sincere heart; 2) you do not have a clear concept of Dao; 3) you are subject to
multiple external temptations; 4) you lack a firm will.
182. Practicing Dao means utilizing various
forms to realize the truth. Since ancient times, all the awakened have used every method
available to enlighten people. Therefore you should know that no matter how external
circumstances may change, you must recognize the truth and practice Dao sincerely.
183. Practicing Dao aims to make one lead a
commonplace, normal and regular life and nothing more. The Zen Master Jigong said:
"Treating everything neutrally can help one transcend the transmigration of birth and
death." Thus, we can create wonder within the commonplace, and eternity within the
184. As a practitioner of Dao, you should
understand the truth clearly. The truth is similar to a blueprint: If you can see it
clearly, the way that leads to the truth will become straight and you can practice Dao
185. In your Dao practice, no matter what
circumstances you may encounter, anything that helps you elevate your mind and nature,
whether fortune or adversity, is good. Favorable circumstances are not always good for
you, and adversity is not always bad. Therefore, you should not gripe to Heaven and
grumble to people, and should be willing to accept Heaven's arrangements.
186. Practicing Dao is not intended just to give
you a faith, but to make you realize that there is a Buddha in you, that Heaven is in your
heart, and to realize the truth of the cycle of birth and rebirth. It is not about
187. As you practice Dao, you must not rely on
things or people, for people are false. Be independent and self-reliant. Awaken also to
your inner primal awareness--to your true self--for only by self-awakening to the truth
can you attain enlightenment.
188. Practitioners of Dao lacking a clear
concept of Dao will gripe to Heaven and grumble to people. They equivocate about this or
that when they run into the difficulty or fall ill. If they didn't practice Dao
cultivation, would they be free from setbacks and difficulty? Only understanding the truth
clearly can free one from worldly cares and transcend the cycle of birth and rebirth.
189. As practitioners of Dao, when you get along
with each other, you should help, and guide and encourage one another. When your karma
surfaces, it is sinful to attempt to influence the practice of others.
190. Any place is a good place to practice Dao,
so if you can keep free expectation, your mind will be free and easy. Thus, when your mind
deviates from mundane circumstances and you let anxieties go, you can free yourself from
191. The value of practicing Dao is to enlighten
your true heart, to throw yourself into cultivation and to progress via actual
efforts--not simply by studying the scriptures.
192. Never act willfully or callously in your
personal cultivation or affairs. Always act in line with Buddhist canons.
193. While you practice Dao, if you dare not to
face your weakest, most inflexible areas, attempting to resolve and work beyond them, your
efforts will be in vain.
194. As a practitioner of Dao you must have a
sound personality, as when you perfect the Dao of mankind you can connect to the Dao of
Heaven--the Dao of mankind is a ladder that leads to Heaven. Thus, if you do not perfect
the Dao of Mankind, you will be unable to return to the Pure Land. You might fail to
perfect the Dao of mankind because you have a deficit of the eight virtues. Even when you
have failed to perfect the five virtues--benevolence, justice, propriety, wisdom and
faith--you will also be prevented from enlightenment.
195. When you practice Dao, you should enlighten
yourself by steadying your mind when distracted by agitation, such are times that test
196. Practicing Dao is to make your mind become
as pure as a newborn baby, not to become craftier.
197. Preaching the sutras is not related to Dao
cultivation, for it is similar to academic learning and not actual cultivation. The aims
of Dao cultivation are understanding the Dao, embracing the Dao and abiding by the Dao.
198. When practitioners of the Dao are not freed
from worldly attachment, it is like cooking sand, hoping to turn it into rice. Only Dao
practice free from worldly attachment is 'steaming rice from rice.'
199. Without a sound personality and a correct
concept of the Dao, then how could you practice the Dao?
200. One with a strong ego will not care for
others, but only think from his own standpoint, persist in his own opinions, and act
willfully. This kind of person cannot be called a practitioner of Dao.
201. Man knows perfectly well that practicing
Dao and repentance are good for him, but he still cannot resist the temptation of the
power of karma. He yields to his feeling, making him captive.
202. From the unknowable beginning, all bad
karma were caused by the Three Poisons and generated from physical action, verbal action
and mental action. Therefore, you should start to cultivate yourself by means of
eliminating fanciful thoughts, being cautious in all words you speak and acting properly.
203. When you are still alive, you do not
fortify your mind well, but care only for building a mausoleum for the dead people. What
does such a thing mean to you? The four elements are empty, so you cannot absurdly regard
them as real. Thus, you should stop your fanciful thoughts so you can soon be free from
worldly cares and practice Dao easily.
204. The Pure Land will not come to earth unless
people can purify their hearts first. When people can keep tranquillity in their hearts,
then the Kingdom of Buddha will appear on earth. Thus, everyone should take action from
understanding the truth.
205. Life is like a process of studying to earn
credits, so every practitioner of Dao should bear in mind that he has to put effort forth
to cultivate himself in order to return to the Pure Land.
206. Discard the desires of possession
forthwith, so that the three types of calamities (water, fire, and wind) and the eight
types of disasters (water, fire, swords, weapons, droughts, floods, famines, and hunger)
will not come to you.
207. A Bodhisattva has the power of merits and
virtues, so he can reflect upon his true self. But people only have the power of karma, so
they are always controlled by karma. Therefore one who can reflect upon his thought makes
his path straight.
208. Buddha Nature is our original appearance.
We possess it originally and not to obtain it by means of Dao cultivation.
209. If you have lost your great compassion for
all creatures, as the Lord in Heaven has, how can you ever become one with Heaven?
210. If you can reduce inflexible opinions, your
heart can become brighter. Thus, you know clearly in your heart if you are really free
from worldly cares.
211. When you put effort forth to cultivate
yourself day and night, you must reach the state of never deviating from your true heart
or true self. You cannot slacken for even an instant in your efforts, for if you lack a
sincere heart all your efforts will prove fruitless.
212. If you can always maintain peace of mind in
responding to all you encounter, you are truly free from worldly cares. Otherwise, you
just shirk your duties and persist in the false essence of emptiness.
213. If you keep tranquillity in your heart and
put your true self at ease, you have already been to the Pure Land. Thus, you should
absolutely believe and obey the teachings of the saints of the five religions in the
world, identify these teachings from the scriptures, and eliminate all distance between
your heart and the scriptures.
214. Reflecting your mind inward turns your
consciousness of karma into wisdom.
215. All the disciples of the five great
religions are really practicing Dao, while we just talk about Dao but do not put it into
practice. This will get us nowhere.
216. If you can free yourself from worldly cares
more often, you are making progress in Dao cultivation. Thus, as a practitioner of Dao,
you are the only measure of your own progress.
217. When the common people follow immediate
causal circumstances, they follow the power of karma and become controlled by the power of
karma. But a practitioner of Dao remains rooted on the inside, and only follows external
situations on the surface.
218. It is very difficult to restore yourself to
the essence of nothingness if you constantly pursue fame, for only an easy mind can help
us practice Dao easily.
219. First escape the tug of the whirlpool (your
human heart) and then cultivate yourself immediately so that you can become a free and
220. When your heart does not undulate, it is
called stillness. Thus, only when you understand the Dao can you cultivate yourself. And
only when you understand the truth can you practice Dao sincerely.
221. If you have no ambitions toward acquisition
in your everyday life, your heart will not abide in anything. For men come into this world
with nothing but abide at possessing, so practicing Dao becomes very difficult.
222. Every day, learn and recite some words of
wisdom from an awakened person on how to attain enlightenment. This will encourage you to
practice Dao deeply.
223. Only when with sincere practice and a
certain level of attainment can one become one with the heavenly heart and gain protection
and sustenance from Heaven. As the Doctrine of the Mean states: "Heaven develops each
thing according to its preparation. Thus, Heaven nourishes the growing sprout, and throws
down the leaning tree."
224. If you accept education of Dao, your
concepts will undergo transformation. When your concepts are changed, your fate will
follow. For changing your concepts is akin to changing your fate.
225. If you can dominate your thoughts, you also
can control impermanence.
226. All dharmas originate in nothingness.
Nothingness is the answer, nirvana, and the other side of worldly illusion. Anyone who
desires to understand the realm of emptiness must undergo a difficult and arduous process.
After profound practice, they can reach the true realm of emptiness.
227. One's success is 30% created by Heaven,
with the remaining 70% based on individual effort. Therefore, nobody can attain
enlightenment without making concerted efforts. One must overcome the power of karma
before attaining enlightenment.
228. Other people sit in meditation and reflect
upon their true selves, but if you fail to retrieve your heart and always think about
matters while sitting in meditation, you are committing a serious error. You must rest
your mind, and the Heavenly Portal is the place to rest your mind. Thus, if you can
concentrate your mind here, you will not dissipate your energy again. If you cannot
concentrate your mind here, it is your problem.
229. The physical body is an extension of one's
thought. If you can control your thought, you can control the constraints of your physical
230. Sway not with the ebb and flow of causal
circumstances, and you shall be at ease.
231. Those driven by the human heart to strive
for fame, authority and status, but why do so few strive to enlighten the true self?
232. If your heart is not influenced by physical
pleasures, you are the Buddha himself. On the other hand, if you cannot be your own master
and your heart is influenced by external circumstances, you will act improperly and
233. You should take advantage of the capacity
to dominate your thought while you are still alive. For once you pass away, you cannot
control your thought any more. You will be controlled by the power of karma and fall into
the cycle of the four types of birth and the six migrations.
234. Being on intimate terms with Heaven is
truly sexy, for it is truly eternal. On the other hand, being on intimate terms with a
wife or a husband is fallaciously sexy, for such relations are merely transient as the
physical body will perish someday. Thus, we must always embrace Heaven.
235. So-called "Zen meditation" means
never allowing one's thoughts to deviate from the true self during any activity, be it
moving, standing, sitting still or sleeping. Thus, when the Kingdom of Buddha appears on
earth one day, everyone will find pleasure in the stability of meditation.
236. You should control your thoughts and
reflect your attentions inward at all times so the devil will have no chance to step in
your heart and the essence of Dao in your body.
237. People are always putting value judgments
on things and constantly making distinctions, yet they never evaluate how they stand in
the "great matter of birth and death."
238. Siting in meditation is not an end in
itself, but intended to restore the purity of the soul, keeping it clean from even a
single particle of the dust of the mundane world.
239. Change your mind before you change the
circumstances and transcend your mind before you transcend the circumstances. When your
mind abides in nothing, all circumstances will vanish as well. Thus, where there are no
circumstances the mind is free, when there is no focus by the mind there are no
240. An awakened person holds everything in the
moment, but the common people look with expectation to the future.
241. You should possess wisdom, benevolence and
courage so that you can stir and change the power of karma for yourself and others.
242. It is crucial to keep an easy and quiet
mind. What benefit is it to you if you own everything but bury your soul?
243. You must possess the Dao, virtues, truth,
awe-inspiring righteousness, wisdom, benevolence, courage, and foresight, and also
vigilance in peaceful times.
244. Everything with form in this world is an
illusion, so do not cling to any of it. Cling to it, and you will be unable to understand
the truth clearly. The multiple worlds we see are merely foam in the sea, and do not exist
in this world. They exist because of your judgmental thought, and they will disappear at
once when you eradicate judgmental thought. You feel suffering when you possess things and
you experience real suffering from false substance. Thus, Buddha Sakyamuni said: "All
products are impermanent and all phenomena are empty and selfless." The Platform
Sutra also admonishes, said: "Everything with form is unreal."
245. Life is the assemblage of all sufferings.
People come into this world by reason of greed, hatred, and ignorance, so life is
originally a dream--a dream of a dream. How can you say it is real? As the Zen Master
Yongjia stated: "There are clearly six hells in the dream, but when you awaken
(attain enlightenment), you realize that the multifarious world does not really exist at
246. Each Buddha comes into this world to guide
people toward thoroughly resolving the problem of life and death. Since people want to
return to nothingness, they must return to the gate of stillness from the gate of birth
and death. In other words, people should retrieve their mind from the point initiated by
the Enlightened Master in order to finally resolve the problem of life and death.
247. What profit is it to a man if he gains the
whole world and loses the kingdom of heaven?
248. If you do not attain enlightenment, it is
not worth falling into the cycle of the transmigration of the soul, for there you will
249. If you keep tranquillity in your heart now,
you plant the seed for becoming a Buddha in the future. If you cannot keep tranquillity in
your heart, you are planting the seed of falling into the transmigration of the soul.
250. We all share one Heaven and one true nature
as kindred souls, so why do we differentiate among one another?
251. We all share the character of God,
unqualified love for all beings. But mankind's inability to steady the enlightened mind
threatens us with the final catastrophe.
252. Nirvana is unattainable without stability
through meditation. Without the wisdom of enlightenment, you cannot save yourself and
253. Unmitigated desire is the greatest sin.
254. With firm, immediate faith in the Dao,
sincere cultivation, and thorough realization, achievement of the Dao will be real.
However, if these conditions cannot be met, achievement will be false.
255. Carrying out instant justice means subduing
fanciful thoughts immediately. Once you settle your body and mind, the karma that has
accumulated for 60,000 years can be wiped clean.
256. If you fail to settle your heart well in
this present life, the transmigration of the soul will continue in future lives.
Transmigration of the soul transpires when the body, mind, and the Five Aggregates (form,
feeling, discrimination, compositional factors and consciousness) are not emptied. These
can obscure the brightness of one's true nature.
257. Residue of the mind is formed when you do
not reflect upon your true self. Thus, if you can "Guard against the products of the
mind before they are stirred," as taught in the Great Learning, both the residue of
the mind and harmful karma will be eliminated, and your true self will become bright.
258. As soon as you desire to possess something
you invite instant suffering.
259. He who desires to attain enlightenment must
fulfill three conditions:
(1) a sincere heart;
(2) forward advancement;
260. Dao can be applied to anything. When you do
everything according to your true nature, you act according to the dictate of conscience.
261. To correct your temper is to change karma.
To change karma is to rewrite your fate.
262. If you fail to attain enlightenment now,
the Pure Land will never be revealed.
263. Your present mental state is a home to
return to in the future (the frame of mind you set now decides which realm you will enter
in the future).
264. Never is a Buddha detained or obstructed in
the void, but people are constantly obstructed and reside in the realm of dharma. But when
the four elements are eliminated, is not the embodiment of truth revealed? As the Zen
Master Yongjia stated: "The unreal body is the embodiment of truth."
265. The essence of Dao is God Himself, and all
Buddhas are the magical workings of Dao and the manifestation of God.
266. An awakened person awakes to his original
enlightened Buddha-nature; a lost person loses himself in illusion because of a
267. Buddha exists forever, and no matter how
time and space change, He never changes Himself. Thus, there is not a past Buddha, a
present Buddha or a future Buddha because Buddha has no past, present, or the future.
Buddha is one who can always keep an enlightened mind and never be lost, but people are
always inclined to make forced distinctions. Life is transient, so it makes them feel they
have a past, present and future, when in fact if you keep an easy mind, you are a Buddha
yourself (a present Buddha).
268. Know the Dao, be fond of the Dao, take joy
in the Dao, and be fascinated by the Dao. As a practitioner of Dao, you should love Heaven
like a lover and keep Him in your heart at all times. Confucius said: "I have never
seen one who loves virtue as much as he loves sex."
269. If you quell both inner fanciful thoughts
and external human sentiments, then the hindrance of karma that has accumulated for the
last epoch of 60,000 years will be wiped clean.
270. You should comprehend and understand the
Dao yourself, and become a salesman of truth.
271. One whose true self is set free and fills
up the six directions (east, west, south, north, up, and down) is God. One whose true self
retreats to a secret place is a small god. (In fact, God cannot be divided into great or
small incarnations; only the effects differ.)
272. If you cannot identify with the Dao
perfectly, you will remain trapped in the transmigration of the soul.
273. When you attain perfect brightness of self,
you will understand everything clearly.
274. When the power of karma comes to you, you
should stay calm and should not gripe to Heaven and grumble to people but repent and look
inward at your true self more often.
275. When you practice Dao, new tests await you
at each level of achievement (including the words you speak).
276. All the temptations created by the devil
are turning points on the path of progress, not causes of degeneration.
277. If you desire to be saved and escape from
calamity, you must keep tranquillity in your heart at all times and realize the truth
278. Dao is attained completely on one's own. It
is precious because one can practice the Dao at any time.
279. The illusion of mind becomes one's
consciousness, so everything on earth is merely transient. Thus, as long as you reflect
your mind inward and concentrate it on the Heavenly Portal, you can return to the origin
and restore your true self.
280. Man was once one with God, but went awry
with one errant thought. Thus, our duty is to restore our brightness so that we can
connect with the way to heaven and return to God to receive eternal life.
281. Lead the power of the Dao to yourself, lest
you become a graveyard for karma.
282. Loving God is an omen of enlightenment, for
He reveals Himself in our hearts.
283. If you do not abide in the cycle of birth,
death, and rebirth, you free yourself from worldly cares and reside in the Pure Land.
284. The meaning of center is to steady one's
thought before it arises. This is what is meant in the Great Learning, that "the
superior man must be watchful over himself when he is alone."
285. You should love God first, then others.
286. It is better to erect a lighthouse than
place thousands of candles by the sea.
287. Mercy is the entire cause attaining
enlightenment, so make the vow to "seek the Buddha's way from above, and deliver all
beings below." Only in such a way can you attain enlightenment and complete perfect
288. Mindfulness in everyday living means
steadying your thoughts at all moments.
289. Death is not horrible, but merely the
dispersal of the Four Elements (water=blood, fire=heat, wind=breath, and the earth=flesh).
Yet the true inner self will never change. If the persistence in your heart does not
change, you will continue to abide in the cycle of life and death and endure the same
suffering as in this present life.
290. The Three Realms are caused by the mind;
all dharmas are caused by consciousness. Therefore, as all of the Six Migrations are
products of the mind, you must break through it all.
291. Before attaining enlightenment, you should
possess strong self-determination and a level of understanding the truth, and must not be
subject to external matters.
292. Promotion of the teachings of the true
heart and dharma is not a trend, but true practice, enabling us to become one with the
293. The point initiated by the Enlightened
Master can help us attain enlightenment and supreme wisdom.
294. Each moment of live is a blessing from God.
295. If you hold the "center" at all
times, you will not get angry, and can maintain equanimity and a peaceful disposition so
your qi (vital energy) will flow smoothly. As the mind is the master of the body and true
nature is the mother of the mind, as long as you can regulate your mind and nature well,
health and peace will be yours naturally.
296. All Buddhas and awakened people bring the
truth of the cosmos to all beings, helping people restore their original nature.
Therefore, always keep tranquillity in your heart so that you can feel and respond to the
truth. If you give rise to human sentiment or the three poisons, your connections to the
truth shall be severed at once.
297. You should enhance the level of your mind
and nature at all times as you practice Dao. When you enhance the level of your mind and
nature, you align yourself with the Buddhas, but if you lower the level of your mind and
nature, you entwine yourself with the four types of birth and the six migrations.
298. When the mind is not the mind and Buddha is
not the Buddha; where lies the mind-less mind and the Buddha-less Buddha, therefore lies
the true Buddha.
299. Those who let their true selves fall into
the cycle of four types of birth and the six migrations are similar to beggars. Those who
make their true selves free from worldly worries are similar to a master of the temple.
300. As long as you become one with the essence
of true self, you will be able to understand the truth of the cosmos.
301. Treating others cruelly is the same as
treating yourself cruelly. The same is true for treating others kindly.
302. The root of transmigration is firm
consciousness and obstinacy. Confucius said: "There were four things the master
eschewed: imposing his will, arbitrariness, stubbornness and egotism."
303. He who does not amend his greed, hatred,
and ignorance is like an animal.
304. Each awakened person is the embodiment of
305. People have nothing at birth, and while
they accumulate so many things they still lack gratitude and know not to be satisfied with
what they have. When you encounter difficulties, possessing things cannot resolve your
problems; rather, only "nothingness" can bring about a thorough solution.
306. Man is the greatest miracle of the cosmos
(for he can eat, move, cry, and laugh). So instead of expecting a miracle, just restore
calmness of mind and everything will be fine.
307. The power of wisdom and mercy are the most
efficient instruments of resolution. As the power of wisdom can transform the power of
karma, if you lack the power of wisdom you will always be controlled by the power of
308. If you cannot concentrate your mind on the
Heavenly Portal, you lack virtue. Thus, if you cannot keep an easy mind in everyday
living, you cannot be free after death.
309. Sexual desire does not exist in the
physical body. It exits only in the turbid, confused mind, giving rise to the seven
emotions and six desires. Thus, hold firmly to the "center" and keep a pure mind
and peace of mind in response to whatever you encounter and everything will be all right.
310. Anyone who can understand and preach the
reality of truth to people is himself a Buddha, saint and immortal. For only an awakened
person can shoulder a Buddha's duties.
311. No matter how great or many the systems we
found, all are useless unless we cast away our human nature.
312. God resides in you. If you deny God, you
deny yourself as well.
313. When you lose your conscience, God leaves
you. Thus, the catastrophe of the great wind shall descend upon the living to clear away
human sentiment and the temporal world.
314. At all times and places, bear in mind that
you are the Buddha himself, and never forget to constantly look inward into your true
315. If you cease awakening your conscience,
even God cannot help you. If you close the door of your mind, God will be unable to enter
316. It is no use to worship Buddha or to chant
Buddha's name when you make mistakes, for the most important thing is to solve problems at
the root. Thus, you should not just keep repenting or kowtowing, but rather make up your
mind to correct your errors at once and never commit them again. As the Platform Sutra
states: "By amending our mistakes, we gain wisdom. By defending our faults, we betray
an unsound mind."
317. If you cannot adhere your mind closely to
the Heavenly Portal, you will be unable to realize how precious the true teachings of the
truth are. For this is the way to quell wild fancy.
318. As even magic power is no match for the
inner power of karma, you must use the power of your tranquility and wisdom to eliminate
319. Lack of wisdom invites many worldly cares
and the burden of heavy karma. Thus, refine your true self, open yourself and uphold the
320. As people persist in many things and pay
excessive attention to causal conditions, as long as they can adhere their minds to the
Heavenly Portal frequently and expand their inner virtues, their true selves will brighten
and attachment to the mundane will diminish.
321. If one's six roots have a strong affinity
for the mundane, the heart will be empty and will continue in its attachment to external
matters, losing all grounding in the true self.
322. No matter how serious your sins, as long as
you awaken, repent, and make amends you sow the seeds for becoming a Buddha and can attain
enlightenment. As the Platform Sutra states: "A foolish passing thought makes one an
ordinary man, while an enlightened second thought makes one a Buddha."
323. If you can worship all Buddhas, respect
people, and awaken yourself and others, you are a Bodhisattva and a Buddha.
324. Uphold your true self and empty your mind,
and the power of karma will not affect you.
325. Practitioners of the Dao are unable to
light their heart lamps because of: 1) incomplete understanding of the truth; 2) failure
to adhere the mind to the Heavenly Portal; 3) excessive expectations toward this world; 4)
deeply ingrained habits of making distinctions between people and persisting in personal
326. People have a very strong consciousness of
the ego, so they cannot stop from falling into the transmigration of the soul. Today they
are unable to stop fanciful thoughts because they do not know the Dharma, so the point
initiated by the Enlightened Master helps us know where to rest our mind and how to stop
falling back into the transmigration of the soul. Thus, failure to fix the mind on the
point initiated by the Enlightened Master keeps the heart lamp from being lighted.
327. People fall into the transmigration of the
soul because they give rise to an ignorant idea, abandoning their consciences and joining
materialism. Confucius said: "Set your aspirations on the Dao, hold to virtue."
Thus, as a practitioner of Dao, set your sights on how to attain the Dao, not on how you
are going to make a material living, and devote your energies to understanding the great
Dao. No matter how bitter or happy you may be, as long as you draw breath you must
cultivate yourself. As Mencius stated: " Not seeing duality between short life and
long life, cultivate yourself by awaiting it. This is the way to set up your
destiny." For the ancient saints and sages shared the same ambition.
328. If you cannot attain enlightenment in this
present life, you will still fall back into the transmigration of the soul even if you
have a long physical life.
329. Loss of conscience results from an
unenlightened self. Thus, you must not deceive yourself and others, for deceiving others
is equal to deceiving Heaven, and will make you fall into the transmigration of the soul.
330. A "human heart" means excessive
self-consciousness, which dominates us, preventing our hearts from having a secure anchor.
Consequently, we rely on and become attached to external matters.
331. Returning to the Pure Land requires freedom
from worldly cares and keeping tranquillity in your heart.
332. Only love can absolve all sins. (For love
is full of mercy.)
333. Think not about what will happen after
death, but rather what you can do for others during your lifetime.
334. He who has the wisdom of nirvana is the
richest person in this world.
335. Deep practice means repeating the same
action over and over until perfection is achieved.
336. Sins are connected to karma; likewise,
karma is rooted in the mind. If the mind is empty, sin will wither away with nowhere to
337. Our minds, which originate in nothingness,
are the products of circumstances. When circumstances do not exist, the mind is perfectly
338. What is meant by saying "One must hold
the heart to the point initiated by the Enlightened Master at all times?" It means
that whether walking, standing, sitting or sleeping, you should keep your mind neither
static nor in motion throughout the day. Keep tranquillity in your heart in response to
whatever you encounter, and abide in nothing and hold the center whether you are in motion
or sitting still.
339. Possess wisdom, benevolence and courage at
all times, and neither abandon people nor enter nirvana. When you are free of worries (the
Lesser Vehicle) and use your enlightened true self (the Greater Vehicle) to bear people's
burden, you are a saint and a Buddha.
340. Do not dwell on external matters. When you
reflect upon your true self and come to attain enlightenment, then you can preach what you
have learned and awaken others. Thus, the common element shared between you and others is
341. If you give rise to thoughts of greed,
hatred, ignorance, arrogance, and doubt, then you are the devil himself. For jealousy,
resentment, haughtiness, and suspicion all plant the roots of hell, and can prevent you
from transcending birth and death.
342. God works in mysterious ways. We need not
ask 'why?', rather we should obey God's commands.
343. You were once a Buddha, but how did you
become a weak, ignorant human being? How could you change so quickly? The Zen Master
Jigong never changes himself. Buddha never withdraws from the truth, for he possesses
wisdom, benevolence and courage.
344. Do not compare with others, neither feel
inferior or superior to others. You should have confidence in yourself and practice Dao in
a commonplace, normal, and regular fashion, as well as taking a frank, practical, honest,
and faithful attitude toward practice, and you will be able to attain enlightenment.
345. While death is the final destination of
life, it also means the awakening of the soul. Thus, you need not fear death.
Nevertheless, you should fear not attaining enlightenment before dying. Be realistic about
death. After all, "Since the dawn of time, who has escaped death? The best we can do
is leave a good example for posterity."
346. People often give rise to fanciful
thoughts, yet never shut them completely off.
347. Do not allow yourself to be governed,
controlled or dominated by wild fancy. You must enlighten yourself in order to be help to
Master. Otherwise, you cannot even steady your mind and become a burden to Master.
348. Do not always recall the past or long for
the future. You should keep restful mind at all times and be free from worldly cares. The
moment you find release, you enter the Pure Land.
349. Confucius said: "Everybody says 'I
know,' but they are driven forward, becoming ensnared in traps and falling into pits
without knowing how to avoid them." These traps are greed, hatred, ignorance, desire
and the Seven Emotions and Six Carnal Desires. Therefore, never believe that intelligence
is absolute intelligence. Sometimes mistakes come from being too smart, so be careful in
350. When you sit down in meditation, you should
empty your mind completely, making it completely clear and spotless, letting all worries
go and concentrating your attention. For becoming a Buddha does not depend on thinking. As
Confucius taught, "To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is
351. He who desires to attain enlightenment must
have mercy on others to convert and deliver them, accumulating merits and establishing
virtues, and making efforts to practice the Dao profoundly and sincerely in accordance
with the point initiated by the Enlightened Master. As the Doctrine of Mean states,
"If you are sincere you will be enlightened."
352. It is not God or Master who does not love
you. It is your heart that is out of sequence with God and Master. That is why you have
yet to show any response to your practice of Dao.
353. You should reconsider and give up an idea
rapidly when you give rise to an evil thought. Otherwise, you will invite evil spirits.
When your mind is quiet, the gates of Heaven will open for you; but when you give rise to
fanciful thoughts, the gates of hell will open. Thus, a good thought creates Heaven and an
evil thought creates hell.
354. It is not necessary to confess your sins in
a temple; confess to God almighty who resides within you at all times.
355. Karma will be wiped clean once you have
attained enlightenment. For when the light shines, it can drive away the darkness. As the
Platform Sutra states: "Even as the light of a lamp can penetrate a thousand years of
darkness, a spark of Wisdom can do away with ignorance that has lasted for ages."
356. Since you have given up many ambitions of
seeking achievement in this world in order to enlighten your true self, if you do not
attain enlightenment won't you let yourself down? Will you not let down the souls of nine
generations of ancestors and seven generations of descendents before and after you, and
disappoint the blessings of God and Master?
357. Keep gratitude in your heart, and you will
not withdraw from Dao cultivation.
358. Pity he who fails to cultivate himself in
this life, as you will need others to chant scriptures for you after you pass away. Thus,
the most valuable thing for us is that Master guides us on how to attain enlightenment.
Attaining enlightenment depends on one's own efforts, not depends on others, so everyone
must get there alone.
359. Distinguishing between good and bad natural
essence of being is like grading tea: One taste and you know whether it has a nice bouquet
or too harsh, and it is difficult to change the taste. Thus, Dao cultivation depends on
one's natural capacity and the virtuous deeds of one's ancestors.
360. Only he who can reach the realm of
emptiness, nothingness, solitude and stillness by practicing Dao, and has attained
enlightenment to the glory of God is qualified to transmit the Dao. Only such a
practitioner may go on to guide the way to enlightenment for others.
361. The entire cosmos is God Himself. The
planets are His cells, and human beings are the germs in his cells. When the germs are
ill, they need treatment or even an operation if conditions warrant. Thus, God has set the
date for an operation now so that the sick germs can be cut away and health restored.
362. You will not be spared from catastrophe
because of who you are, even if you are the founder of a temple, Lao Qianren, Qianren, a
messenger of Heaven, an instructor in the Dao, an ashram manager, or someone with a large
temple. Everything not aligned with the truth, including human beings, affairs and all
things will be destroyed. Thus, cultivate yourself perfectly, keep a quiet mind, and light
you heart lamp, and you will be able to escape the coming catastrophe.
363. Power to commune with the gods is just a
manifestation of one's consciousness. If the three minds of the past, present, and future
still exist, how can one attain enlightenment?
364. Master often sighs with frustration,
wondering, 'Why do my disciples like to distinguish between forms and not look into the
truth? If they continue in this way, they will only degenerate.
365. The devil uses all sorts of guises and
methods to make us part from God, so if you give rise to fanciful thoughts you will become
trapped in the realm of yin-yang and in the five fundamental elements (water, wood, fire,
earth, and metal). But as long as you can keep tranquillity in your heart, you will be
able to escape from the Three Realms.
366. If you give rise to wild fancy, you are
reserving a space for the devil.
367. Where there are no enlightened minds, no
arena of Dao exists.
368. If you can free yourself from worldly
attachments as soon as possible, you can attain enlightenment.
369. People like to fawn on others, but why do
they not try to curry favor with God? Because when they fawn on others, the reward they
receive is human sensibilities; but when they try to curry favor with God, they receive
the reward of God's merciful love.
370. Ignorance is the most serious of the Three
Poisons (greed, hatred, and ignorance). If you are guilty of greed or hatred, your
awareness can lead you to correct these faults, but with ignorance you may remain in the
dark and persist in your own views unconsciously. Thus, you need the enlightenment of
great mercy and wisdom (the Enlightened Master) to help you turn ignorance into wisdom.
371. To lead a vital, true and free life, for
true happiness comes from elevating your soul.
372. If you do not put forth efforts to
cultivate yourself during daily meditation, you will be unable to respond appropriately to
whatever you encounter. So unless you nourish yourself properly with wisdom you are
nothing but a waste.
373. People must be awakened with truth and
374. Above the mind is true nature; below the
mind is thought. Thus, your unbending will determines whether you abide in your true self.
375. Heritage is the continuity of karma.
376. Man is formed by the power of karma, so if
you want to change one person, you should undertake to change him from within. Thus, you
should cultivate yourself from your mind so that you will be able to attain enlightenment.
377. You should enlighten your true self on your
own, and if you can overcome your passions you must enlighten your true self. As the
Analects of Confucius states: " To completely overcome selfishness and keep to
propriety is righteousness." The Great Learning also states: "The cultivation of
the person depends on the rectifying of the mind."
378. We are not afraid of getting lost for a
short time, but lose ourselves forever. Thus, the ancient sages said: "We are not
afraid that we may give rise to wild fancy, only that we awaken too late."
379. Do not give rise to thoughts of greed,
hatred, ignorance, arrogance, or doubt, or you play right into the devil's hands. For the
devil doubts everything except himself, so he is afraid people will realize they are
Buddhas and feel happy when they lose themselves.
380. What are all sentient beings? They are
those who have not expanded their inner spiritual light, so they are unenlightened
Buddhas. What is the meaning of Buddhas? They are those who have expanded their inner
spiritual light, so they are enlightened beings.
381. Do not be pleased with yourself when you
gain something or be disappointed when you lose something. When you do not care about
anything, you will be contented with whatever comes.
382. He who saves your soul from the sea of
suffering and points out your shortcomings is your benefactor.
383. Whether your thoughts cling to or remain
free from worldly attachment keep you from the sea of suffering or plummet you into the
transmigration of the soul. As the Diamond Sutra states: "When you have rejected all
forms, you are a Buddha. When you persist in all forms, you are a man."
384. Man cannot be free from worldly cares
because he cannot attune himself to the vibrations of the cosmos.
385. If you can thoroughly free yourself from
worldly cares, fanciful thoughts will disappear.
386. In God's eyes, everything on this earth is
worthless, because He is everything. Thus, he who can serve the truth is the most
honorable man to God. As the Bible states, "You are the temple of God."
387. A quiet mind makes all things safe and
peaceful, and an unquiet mind makes all things unsafe and turbulent. Security and
well-being are nothingness and peace, so peace of mind brings one to realization of the
truth, but an unquiet mind makes one lose the truth.
388. You are unable to attain enlightenment
today because you do not serve God with all your heart and do not practice Dao sincerely.
389. The virtues of modesty, accommodation and
mercy must be revealed immediately. If you cultivate them only gradually, you have slacked
off in your efforts.
390. Always maintain correct knowledge and
views, and cultivate yourself as the correct dharma so that you can attain sainthood. Do
not practice Dao by making your own path.
391. If you deny God, you betray God. The body
is just form, but we are unable to see through causal conditions, so the impending
Catastrophe of the Great Wind will aim to eliminate all who deny God. Therefore, only when
you have lighted your heart lamp and revealed your conscience will you be able to escape
the catastrophe. Otherwise, you will be cast away by God.
392. People must enlighten themselves through
their own efforts, not through the Buddha. So unless you want to change, nobody can help
393. Each thought comes from your mind, but
where is your mind? If you do not realize the origin of your mind, how will practice Dao
blindly and recklessly. As the Platform Sutra states: "Without knowing the mind,
there is no use learning dharma. On the other hand, he who knows the mind and sees
intuitively his own nature is a superior man, a 'teacher of gods and man, and a
Buddha." The Enlightened Master is the one who can point out your mind to you.
394. You should love and be fond of yourself,
and respect and value God. When you rely on birthless God with all your heart, you can
turn bad luck into good fortune and attain security. Thus, reflect your mind inward at all
times and reconcile with God to lead a peaceful and happy life.
395. As long as you allow human sentiment and
the seven emotions and the six carnal desires to arise even the slightest bit, you will be
unable to reside in the coming Kingdom of Buddha and will be excluded from the great of
amassment of souls.
396. Man's capacity for self-restraint is weak,
so you must rely on God and no others.
397. In one's lifetime, it is one's duty to
achieve perfect cultivation and freedom from worldly attachment, thereby attaining perfect
398. Concept is the outline for action, and the
guide of advancement. Therefore, you must have a correct concept of Dao cultivation to
avoid mistakes, for "An error committed in the moment could cause an entire life of
399. Never compare yourself to others, for such
things as wealth, status, and longevity are predetermined by destiny. Everyone must
undergo such a process, so if you meet and greet every difficulty calmly, your life will
400. Even though you may manifest karma, never
stray from your original intention to practice Dao.
401. People are forgetful, so they often fail to
accomplish their ideals and aspirations, and become regretful and upset.
402. It is very difficult for a man who seeks
fame and notoriety eagerly to restore himself to the essence of nothingness.
403. Since we have received the Dao--the only
way to transcend birth and death today--only when we understand the truth clearly and
cultivate ourselves sincerely can crack the lifecycle of birth, aging, illness and death.
404. One who cannot submit meekly lacks Dao and
high moral virtues.
405. The value of Dao is to help one reach the
highest state--restoration to the essence of the void--but people lower themselves to
possess mundane things.
406. Do not regard karma as your mission. The
only sure way to eliminate the power of karma is to practice Dao sincerely.
407. Understand the meaning of life and worship
not idols. For when you cling to forms, you will lose the Dao. Thus, never keep idols in
your heart, or you will attain nothing.
408. Indiscriminate love means transforming
individual love into great love for everyone, because we are all God's children and
possess our own Buddha nature.
409. The saints achieve greatness because they
are capable of what common people cannot do and achieve what common people cannot achieve.
The saints achieve everything through inaction, while the common people force things with
410. There is no extreme suffering or happiness
in this world, so our world is the best place for us to practice Dao.
411. God, unable to bear the destruction of good
and bad alike upon the approach of the Kingdom of Buddha, visits upon us both the Great
Dao and the Final Catastrophe of the Third Epoch, giving people the chance to change. If
you do not want to change and continue in your common ways, you will be eliminated through
412. Happiness in your lifetime is merely
finding joy amidst hardship. Therefore it is as transient as a flash of lightening. But
the happiness of keeping tranquillity in your heart obtained from practicing Dao is
413. He who is not humble is unable to see his
original appearance clearly. As the Platform Sutra states: "To be humble in one's
heart is a merit and to behave courteously is a virtue."
414. Happy is he who is satisfied with all he
has, has a composed mind, asks for nothing, does not judge, and refrains from conflicts
415. God treats everyone fairly. He has made you
neither very good nor very bad, so you should be content with your lot.
416. It is our duty to treat others kindly, but
it is also normal for others to treat us poorly.
417. When people come into this world, they have
already forgotten their missions and duties, and have lost their capacity for
self-determination. Consequently, God who is in them cannot bring His vast wisdom into
full play. In fact, matters of birth and rebirth are controlled by people themselves.
Since people come from the Void, they should return "home" with nothing.
418. Accept the truth completely, and understand
God, as only the awakened-not the unenlightened-can save people.
419. When you hold steadily to your true nature,
the golden thread will exist forever.
420. All sufferings in this world aim to
eliminate our material nature so that we can cultivate ourselves sincerely and return to
421. It is difficult to change the concept of
ego and stubbornness in this present life, and the power of karma that has accumulated for
60,000 years is even more difficult to change. Thus, you should always keep a bright heart
so that you will not attract karma. As time passes by, your consciousness of karma and
karma's negative power will be eliminated.
422. Jesus said, "Do not worry about
tomorrow." This teaching shows us the way to freedom from worldly worries.
423. We are in a critical time now, where true
and false are clearly divided and the Buddha and the devil are putting together their
teams. Thus, our Enlightened Mother admonished us, saying: "Those who abide in true
nature can transcend birth and death, while those who cling to human nature will fall into
hell." True nature means the truth of one's true self. It is extremely selfless and
does not pass judgment. Human nature means worldly attachment, selfishness and prejudice,
and a judgmental and wavering mind.
424. Keep tranquillity in your heart, and your
heart lamp will be lighted, and you will be able to escape catastrophe in the clouds. The
Celestial Sage of the Southern Paradise said: "Those with good virtue and high
standing can reside in the clouds, while those with poor virtue are pitiful beyond
425. Faith is built upon the degree to which one
grasps the truth to practice sincere cultivation.
426. Those who do not preach the teachings and
practice Dao in accordance with the mind and nature are heathens.
427. Keeping an unruffled mind means being
steady in one's true self and being unaffected by external matters no matter where one
goes. Thus, turn in to yourself and refrain from commenting about things. Follow the
inclinations of your own heart, but never overstep the boundaries of right.
428. An unenlightened thought leads to ignorance
and makes one subject to the powers of the Eight Winds (praise, ridicule, slander, honor,
benefit, decadence, suffering and happiness).
429. Confucianism teaches, "Wherever a
superior man goes, he never feels upset." Buddhism teaches, "Keep an easy and
happy mood wherever you are." This world is a "world of endurance," so you
must be able to endure everything and to be content with your lot.
430. Those with wisdom can change their fates,
and those who do not have wisdom will be controlled by the power of karma. Thus, it is
true the wisdom is the mother of all Buddhas.
431. All kinds of calamities, both natural and
man-made, the three types of calamities, and the eight types of disasters constantly
plague the earth. Therefore, do not let external matters affect your peace of your mind,
and do not let your human heart affect your ease with your true self.
432. Terminate causal conditions amidst all
causal conditions, and end the encumbrance of karma in the presence of all your suffering.
433. Suffering provides endless opportunities
for maturation and growth.
434. Follow your feelings and end up in hell;
follow the Enlightened Master and go to heaven.
435. Kites fly straight up into the sky against
the wind. Similarly, people make their greatest breakthroughs in times of adversity.
436. The deeper the darkness, the more precious
is the brightness revealed to be.
437. There are lonely souls but no lonely
angels, for "virtue is never alone; it is sure to have neighbors."
438. Living an ascetic life is not sufficient to
attain the Dao; only awakening to the true self is enough.
439. People are unable to maintain a
commonplace, normal and regular life, so their lives are disturbed by constant conflicts.
440. Possess a strong self-consciousness, and do
not accept the refuse others leave for you.
441. The "iceberg" of bad karma
accumulated over 60,000 years cannot be melted in a day. It needs constant light and heat.
442. To persist in your views causes suffering.
Thus, if you do not understand the doctrine of the mean, then whatever things you will
become polarized, for deficiency.
443. The Final Catastrophe of the Third Epoch is
like a year-end household cleaning. Everything will seem new once it comes to pass.
444. When one's thought deviates from the true
heart and the tranquil mind, giving rise to a judgmental mind, only fanciful thoughts
445. Never allow yourself to fall into the
hell-like abyss of suffering from trivial matters. Retire when you have ridden the crest
446. Losing hold of the One is similar to
descending on a slide (rapid descent). Returning to the One is like climbing stairs
447. Without a ruler, how can you draw squares?
Without fixing a point, then how can you draw a circle? Dao practice is the same way: If
you do not understand your mind, how can you enlighten yourself!
448. Find the center point first before you draw
a circle, and cultivate your heart first when you practice Dao.
449. Do not give your human heart space to
maneuver; do not give the devil any space to occupy your heart.
450. Abandon status, fame, worldly attachments
and an inflexible mind, and let us practice Dao together.
451. Transcend tradition, not follow or get
caught up in tradition.
452. If you can give rise to fewer fanciful
thoughts today than yesterday, you are making progress in Dao cultivation. As the Great
Learning states: "If you can purify your mind constantly day after day, your mind
will become pure."
453. You need not experience actual incidents in
order to become awakened, for the cost is too high that way. Instead, you can learn from
others. As Confucius states, "When you see a good person, think of becoming like him.
When you see someone not so good, reflect on your own weak points!"
454. One does not have a strong ability of
self-awakening by reason of karma or strong persistence. Thus, the absolute solution to
this problem is to practice Dao in accordance with the point initiated by the Enlightened
455. Now is not the time for wise ones to speak.
Hurry up and cultivate yourself, lest you kick yourself one day when it is too late to
456. At all times, be mindful of your words and
deeds, and measure any actions which deviate from the truth against the teachings of the
saints of the world's five great religions.
457. If you do not have the capacity for
self-awakening and self-examination, then even God cannot help you, because God only helps
those who help themselves.
458. Each passing thought is a moral or mental
burden. Thus, you should not bear burdens for others, because only a fool carries the
crosses of other people.
459. The only purpose for man to enter into this
world is to enlighten his true heart and to see his true self and become a Buddha. Thus,
if you can live in peace and enjoy your work, reconcile yourself to your situation, and
make a living in accordance with your situation, you will free from worldly cares.
460. Understanding the truth is your duty, so
you should not show off your comprehension of the truth to others and give rise to
judgmental thoughts (saying how high a level you have reached . If you do so, everything
will become empty in the end, and you will gain nothing nor accomplish anything.
461. The purpose of understanding the truth is
to serve people, not to debase them.
462. Bring out your conscience, for the kingdom
of heaven is your conscience. The Kingdom of Buddha is made up from your conscience. Bring
out your innocent, untainted heart, for God will spare those with a conscience. If you
violate your conscience, you clearly do not wish to return to the Pure Land, but if you
reveal your conscience you will be saved.
463. In this generation, the rich man is the
poorest man but the poor man is the richest man. For the rich man is like a convict who
contends for hegemony in jail, but is not even aware that he has already been shackled.
464. Western people emphasize the law first,
reason next, and sentiment last. But Chinese people emphasize sentiment first, reason
second, and the law last, so nothing works smoothly.
465. In external circumstance, go with the
situation. But in your inner heart, make true efforts to practice Dao.
466. Never give rise to a judgmental mind and
gripe to Heaven and grumble to people when confronted with hardship.
467. At this time, we seek to attain the greater
body (the body of truth) by means of the lesser body (the physical body), and attain the
greater cosmos (the void) by means of the lesser cosmos (the self), thereby attaining the
everlasting life of wisdom.
468. He who desires to attain the Dao must cease
having worldly cares first, for putting a stop to worldly cares can give you peace of mind
469. People think of all kinds of things, but
never think of the point initiated by the Enlightened Master.
470. In times of chaos, should steady your mind
and do not let outside circumstances disturb your peace lest calamity visit upon you.
471. Suffering from hardship can eliminate your
karma, while the enjoyment of ease and comfort can eliminate your good fortune.
472. When you cannot change external
circumstances, then change, cultivate and enlighten yourself.
473. Weak self-consciousness is the result of
heavy karma, attachment, and a clouded heart. Thus, maintain self-awareness, constantly
remind and urge yourself, and open your mind so that the truth of God can enter your
474. Rely on yourself to eliminate the power of
karma, for the Buddhas can only aid the most desperate, giving temporary help. But the
power of karma can be generated at any time, so you must use your wisdom at all times to
475. The less attached you are to mundane
things, the more tranquil your mind will be. The more attached you are to mundane things,
the more confused your mind will be.
476. Maintain an awakened mind at all times,
even though you live in this mundane world, and adhere your mind to the Heavenly Portal,
observing the self at all times.
477. Nirvana (extraordinary wisdom) is eternal
478. He who lives by an awakened mind is a true
human being; he who lives by his consciousness is a false person.
479. The true person's meditation entails
concentrating your mind to the Heavenly Portal, not sitting there quietly and thinking
480.Do not simply idle away your time; always
keep your mind on the matter of birth and rebirth.
481. One's fate has already been fixed, like a
computer program, and only practicing the Dao can re-write the program to create a life of
happiness, truth, goodness and beauty.
482. Push aside the dark clouds (the hindrance
of karma) in your heart with your utmost efforts so that you can be a true practitioner of
Dao in the Great Period of White Yang and a good disciple of the Master. This way, you
will not waste Master's efforts and the great pains he has taken to come into this world
to convert people with compassion.
483. Do not hold transcendent concepts, yet
behave like a common person.
484. Illnesses are more often than not rooted in
thought, for an evil thought comes from one's consciousness and one's consciousness is
accumulated over many life cycles. Thus, in order to radically reform, one must set about
solving problems from the consciousness; otherwise, it is merely a waste of effort to go
around seeking help from Buddhas and gods while you do nothing about your consciousness.
485. One commits a lot of sins and mistakes
because of insufficient effort to develop the point initiated by the Enlightened Master.
486. Unless you help the Three Buddhas further
the cause of the Dao and do things to benefit this world and human hearts, you have wasted
your life here on earth.
487. Keep a healthy body to preserve your mental
and spiritual fitness. Take good care of yourself in daily life and do not blame the demon
spirits that come upon you to make you feel unwell. For the body and mind affect one
other, and the physical affects the mental and vice versa. (In this sense, an unsound body
is like a poorly built or dilapidated house susceptible to destruction by a typhoon.)
488. The Platform Sutra says: "Make each
thought peaceful and free from worldly cares." This tells us to develop a mind that
does not abide in anything.
489. Bring out your conscience and inner power
so that you can attain enlightenment soon, and so that Master can justify his work here to
God in Heaven.
490. Make a habit of looking through the
teachings of our Master often. Incorporate them into your cultivation and introspection on
your nature, and you will derive great benefit throughout your life.
491. The power of karma affects people like a
dream that works in the subconscious and makes one commit sins unknowingly. Without the
capacity of self-examination and self-awakening, one will continue to commit sins again
and again for many life cycles. What a pity!
492. Sincere, thorough cultivation is far more
effective than scholarly investigation of concepts.
493. Where worries arise, worries can also be
eliminated. So do your utmost to free yourself from worldly cares.
494. All the trials and tribulations are
intended to make us return to the "true void." For when you return to the
"true void," there are no longer any trials.
495. One must have moral nature to receive the
Great Dao. As Confucius said: "If you do not perfect your virtue, the perfect Dao
cannot be actualized." Therefore, everyone must cultivate inner virtue, thereby
solidifying true nature once and for all.
496. Once a man gives rise to wild fancy, he
will find it hard to return to non-thinking. Therefore, he should direct his energies and
efforts toward breaking through such a quandary, to eliminate fancy, restore true nature,
and enable return to the void. Remember that fanciful thoughts are unreal, and originally
497. Self-examination is the prerequisite for
498. Do not limit yourself to your
consciousness. Open your heart, make constant progress, concentrate your attention on Dao
cultivation, and you will be able to attain enlightenment.
499. The more you relinquish, the more you
progress. That is why Dao cultivation is not comparable from one practitioner to another.
500. Give rise to fanciful thoughts and you will
have to pay dearly and exert great effort to offset the damage they cause. However,
compensation can never be perfect, and is rather like mending clothes. The damage can last
an entire lifetime and beyond, so never let your guard down against fanciful thoughts, and
concentrate with all your powers on progressing in your cultivation.
501. Everything will pass, so everyone should
put forth even greater effort to practice Dao and attain enlightenment in order to carry
out the mission of enlightening others. Otherwise, all you do is point people in the right
direction, because all is for naught if you do not cultivate yourself.
502. People are watching us, so cultivate
yourself sincerely and speak and act carefully as you practice the Dao. As Confucius said:
"The Superior Man is diligent in his work and careful in speech. He avails himself to
people of the Dao and thereby corrects himself."
503. Those who do not get in touch with the
essence of their true selves must feel very lonely. The point initiated by the Enlightened
Master can help us get in touch with God. Therefore you must do your utmost to get in
touch with God. (This is the main point of practicing Dao.)
504. Do not believe that you cannot cultivate
yourself perfectly. Aim at your goal and keep progressing forward. When you know where to
rest your mind, you will be able to steady your mind. When you can steady your mind and
reach a state of meditative stabilization, wild fancy will be eliminated immediately.
505. Dao cultivation is an issue of realization,
so it depends entirely on whether one takes the great matter of birth and rebirth
seriously. Just as in ancient times, the Patriarch Mahakasypa not only moved the Buddha
with his diligent cultivation, he also attained the Dao.
506. When you practice Dao, you cannot always
rely on the Master or senior practitioners of Dao to help and guide you. Instead, rely on
yourself and put forth deep effort to practice the Dao.
507. Look within yourself at all times. Observe
whether you possess the "five great characteristics of the saints" and hold
yourself to these standards, for such a person is an elite contributor in Utopia. The five
great characteristics of the saints are: exceptional wisdom; generosity and tenderness;
firm will, courage and stamina; a tranquil mind and upright demeanor, and close
observation to unity and coherence in writing. Thus, if your mind waivers, you orient
yourself toward results, you cannot accept exhortation, you cannot keep your heart still
in the face of agitation, and you outwardly reveal your happiness, anger, sadness and joy,
you commit the greatest taboos for a practitioner of Dao. If you cannot please those close
to you, and attract those distant to you, you are a sinful person.
508. When you make others changes themselves,
change yourself first. IT is better to cultivate yourself than envy others.
509. Sometimes the inner consciousness of karma
will resist and repel the truth. Thus, we should try our best to reflect our mind inward
so that the consciousness of karma will be eliminated and the truth will penetrate our
510. Now is the time for Confucianism to conduct
the amassing of souls, so practice the teachings of three religions in concert. Follow the
teachings of propriety in Confucianism, heed the admonitions of Buddhism, and use the
practices of Daoism. Confucianism teaches us to treat people gently and gracefully;
Buddhism asks us to keep firm the Three Returns and the Five Disciplines; Dao practice
involves embracing the one and holding to the origin. When the Seven Emotions and the Six
Carnal Desires emerge, concentrate your mind on the Heavenly Portal. If you can keep your
mind peaceful and empty, you will be able to realize the mystery of the Great Dao.
511. The Six Roots have power over this world,
but not in the Pure Land--just as national currency is only useful in one country but not
another. Thus, do not persist in the Six Roots, or you will endure suffering and
512. Take up the correct Dharma and cultivate
yourself according to the true mind. Follow the Dharma, not people, for people change
while the Dharma is eternal. Follow meaning, not expression, and act in accordance with
the justice of truth, morality, and conscience.
513. We enter this world and become caught in
the cycle of birth and rebirth when we fail the test of the Three Poisons. Greed will
sully you and stain your heart; hatred will make your eyes bulge wide and engender anger;
ignorance will obscure your wisdom and cause reckless behavior.
514. Confucius admonished us to eliminate four
things from ourselves: imposing our will, arbitrariness, stubbornness and egotism. Put
these precepts into practice thoroughly, and sainthood shall be yours.
515. Devote yourself to serving Heaven, and you
will transcend death to receive eternal life. Thus, the only thing to fear is insufficient
cultivation, realization, and awakening. The Patriarch Jin Gong said: "If one does
not return to the origin to seek the true self, the great pains taken to practice Dao are
all thrown to the wind." Ponder this wisdom deeply.
516. If the sutras are too esoteric to
understand, as a practitioner of Dao, just remember to hold to the Three Conventions and
be plain, ordinary, and commonplace. As a person, follow the Four Constants: be sure to
cultivate yourself sincerely, practice Dao thoroughly, conduct yourself things honestly,
and behave dependably. (Brilliance comes from within everyday deportment; magnanimity can
be wrought from realistic practice.)
517. Firmly embrace the Three Conventions and
Four Constants: 1. Eliminate the splendid past with a plain mind, for leading a plain life
can help you transcend birth and death. 2. Take an everyday attitude toward all things, as
a serene mind is the Dao itself. 3. Take a commonplace approach to all things, and you can
raise yourself from out of the ordinary.
518. The Jigong Zen Master cultivated himself in
such an unassuming way that nobody knew he was a practitioner of the Dao. Sitting
cross-legged, and stroking his beard, he took mercy on all people and delivered them in
519. A great person is an ordinary person who
does extraordinary things by transcending the limitations of ordinary people.
520. The merciful admonishments of the Master on
the true meaning of the Three Conventions:
A. Make your mind as still as water and restore
a common life from splendor. Do not look for a luxurious life, rather be content with what
you have now. Desire not to own grand or fancy things; try to reduce indulgence in
material things to a minimum.
B. Ask for nothing and expect no rewards. Never
fix your sights on some eventual result; conduct yourself according to your situation,
because being free from worldly cares is most important.
C. I am a very ordinary person, yet I do things
out of the ordinary. God is in my heart, and the Buddha and all sentient beings are one
with me, so I always look inward to my bright true self.
521. A mind free from vacillation is a peaceful
mind, and a mind without disturbance is a quiet mind. Thus, as long as you apply this pure
and clear mind to deliver people, you will be able to attain the supreme Dao.
522. The more ordinary something is, the more
real it becomes. Attaining Dao means awakening oneself and others. Everything is achieved
with an everyday mind.
Look at nothing in defiance of ritual, listen to
nothing in defiance of ritual, speak nothing in defiance of ritual, and never to stir hand
or foot in defiance of ritual.