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Chapter Seven: Guidelines for Dao Cultivation

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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 bones."

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 suddenly.

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 sour.

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 your life-wisdom.

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 another.

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 consequence.

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 our heart.

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 honestly.

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 awareness.

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 tasks dependably.

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 change others.

089. If those who practice Dao can cherish gratitude and repentance at all times, they will attain great achievement in Dao cultivation.

090. Practicing Dao aims to make one subdue fanciful thoughts and attain enlightenment. Let the perfect and bright true self shine in the heart.

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 yourself.

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 quality?

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 cultivation.

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 secondary.

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 Dao cultivation.

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 the Dao.

130. An unenlightened thought is called ignorance. Thus, you should always awaken to each thought you engender while you practice Dao.

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 of tranquility.

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 minds.

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 sincerely.

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 prison.

177. Dao cultivation should reveal the true self directly.

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 ephemeral.

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 easily.

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 recruiting followers.

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 this world.

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 your wisdom.

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 joyful person.

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 body.

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 disorderly.

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 circumstances.

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 all."

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 always remain.

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 others.

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;

        (3) vows.

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 prejudicial mind.

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 clearly.

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 wisdom.

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 truth.

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 God.

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 karma.

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 self.

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 your mind.

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 karma.

319. Lack of wisdom invites many worldly cares and the burden of heavy karma. Thus, refine your true self, open yourself and uphold the center.

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 views.

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 cling.

337. Our minds, which originate in nothingness, are the products of circumstances. When circumstances do not exist, the mind is perfectly empty.

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 "awakening."

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 your actions.

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 dangerous."

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 wisdom.

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 you.

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 enlightenment.

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 sorrows."

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 be cultivated.

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 intentional action.

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 selection.

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 eternal.

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 with others.

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 innocence.

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 words."

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 arise.

445. Never allow yourself to fall into the hell-like abyss of suffering from trivial matters. Retire when you have ridden the crest of success.

446. Losing hold of the One is similar to descending on a slide (rapid descent). Returning to the One is like climbing stairs (toilsome).

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 Master.

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 repent.

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 and tranquility.

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 heart.

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 eliminate it.

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 wealth.

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 about things.

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 without roots.

497. Self-examination is the prerequisite for progress.

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 hearts.

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 affliction.

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 all situations.

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.