More Dharma Explained

 

Dharma

What is the Dharma? All dharmas are not apart from the minds of living beings. It is only because of the minds of living beings that all dharmas exist. If all minds did not exist, of what use would all dharmas be? Therefore, if you feel the three strikes, thatís good, and if you donít feel them, thatís also good. If you feel something, there is no need to publicize it, for if you do, people will think I hired you to advertise for me. If you feel nothing, it is because your karmic obstacles are too heavy, and even the Buddhaís power cannot aid you. You should feel great shame and remorse. If you have no response, donít say that this is all false. You cannot distinguish between the true and the false for the true also contains some falseness, and the false also contains some truth. Everything is made from the mind. If your mind is not true, then even the true becomes false. If your mind is true, then even if it is false, you will have a great response.

Ven. Master Hua speaking at the Tapei County Stadium,
Banqiao,Taiwan, Jan. 11, 93

 

Everything

All the myriad phenomena in this world are speaking Dharma. Each person is speaking Dharma, every incident is speaking Dharma, and every object is speaking Dharma. All things speak Dharma. When we understand that all things speak Dharma, we should know what to do. As itís said:

When the mind is calm,
demons are subdued and every day is happy.Ceremony at City of Ten Thousand Buddhas for opening the Buddha Hall

When idle thoughts do not arise,
every place is peaceful.

Europe 90-Pg 73
 

Mind Dharmas

What are form-dharmas and mind-dharmas? Form-dharmas are perceptible, while mind-dharmas are not. To make the distinction even clearer, everything that has perceptible characteristics and is conditioned is said to possess form. Since mind-dharmas are not perceptible objects, they can only be recognized as kinds of awareness. The fact that an awareness lacks any perceptible characteristics indicates that is a mind-dharma, while what has perceptible characteristics but lack awareness is called a form-dharma. Form-dharmas make up the first of the five skandas, while feeling, cognition, formation, and consciousness, the remaining four skandas, are all mind-dharmas, since they lack perceptible characteristics.

Heart Sutra Ė pg 21

 

Thoughts and Rebirth

 I'll present another topic to you. This turning for a long time refers to what you have created through your continual thought processes. If you produce a defiled thought, then when that thought matures, you may become an animal, a hungry ghost or a hell dweller. However, if you become just a little bit good, you can be born as a human being or an asura, or perhaps get born in the heavens. These different paths of rebirth all come about from thoughts. The revolving wheel is created by your thoughts alone. We undergo the retribution of being born in the six paths because of the karma which our thoughts created. It's not that we receive the retribution immediately. But say if in the distant past you had false thoughts about the heavens, then you were born in the heavens. If you had false thoughts about asuras, then you became an asura. If you had false thoughts about human beings, then you became a human being. Or if you had false thoughts of animals, you became an animal. Having hungry ghostsí thoughts, you became a hungry ghost. Having hellish thoughts, you fell into the hells. If you mainly did offensive things and created evil karma, then you fell into the three evil paths. If you did good things which gained merit and virtue, you were born in the three good paths. This is speaking in very general terms. If one were to speak of it in detail one couldn't finish explaining it until the end of time. So the world is the creation of false thinking of living beings. If people didn't have false thinking, the whole world would be empty.

Trove 1-Essay: Zero

Ven. Master Hsuan Hua at the rocky mountains in California

 

 

Good Deeds
In a genuine place, whether the good deeds you do are great or small, you will still obtain some merit and virtue. However, if you practise good deeds at a temple full of fighting, greed, seeking, selfishness, self-benefiting, and lying, it is all in vain, like a tree that blooms but bears not fruit.

Taiwan 93 pg 43

Transmigration

Transmigrating in birth and death is the O. The so-called transmigration in the six paths is just revolving within the O. Before this circle is broken, living beings are born and die, die and are born again, revolving in the O for countless great kalpas. This is called eternally revolving in birth and death. Donít you think this word "eternally" is horrifying? It is! You keep turning "round and round" in transmigration. Why do you revolve eternally? Because your thoughts are produced and extinguished one after another. When you give rise to one defiled thought, you become an animal, or a hungry ghost, or fall into the hells. If you incline toward purity, you may be born a human or an asura, or ascend to the heavens. All this transmigration is caused by your mind. Because our mind has created the corresponding karma, we receive the retribution of transmigration. Such karma does not start when we receive the retribution. In reality, you had lots of false thoughts in the past. With false thoughts about the heavens, you are born in the heavens. With false thoughts about asuras, you are born an asura. With false thoughts of being human, you are born a human. With false thoughts of animals, you are born an animal. With false thoughts of hungry ghosts, you are born a hungry ghost. With false thoughts of hells, you fall into the hells. If you always create offenses, you fall into the three evil paths. If you always establish wholesome merit and virtue, you ascend to the three good paths. This is just a general explanation. If I were to explain this in detail, I wouldnít be able to finish to the end of time. In short, this world is created from living beingsí false thoughts. If no one had any false thoughts, then this world would be empty. (Mem.V2.pg153)

 

Sickness

Most of you wouldnít know about this, but behind every sickness are resentful ghosts coming to demand your life, to collect a debt, or to seek revenge. These are the reasons people get sick.

Europe 90-Pg 239

 

Emptiness

"Crossed Beyond" in the Heart Sutra indicates deliverance from suffering and the attainment of happiness; it means liberation. "Why then doesnít the Sutra simply say Ďliberatedí, instead of CROSSED BEYOND ALL SUFFERING AND DIFFICULTY?" you ask. Even if you illuminate the five skandhas and see that are all empty as Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara did, you still must cultivate. Only then can you cross beyond all suffering and difficulty. To illuminate emptiness and see it is merely to know emptiness; you must still practise. Although you have quickly awakened to the principle, there is still the gradual work of cultivation. If you know about emptiness but donít cultivate, then emptiness is of no use.

Heart Sutra Pg 28

Ven. Master in Manchuria

 

 

Fighting

Contention involves victory and defeat;
it is contrary to the Way.
When the mind of the four marks arises,
how can you obtain samadhi?

As soon as you start contending, you are going against the Way. As soon as you content, you have the mark of self. With the mark of self, there is the mark of others as well. Once you have the mark of others, the mark of living beings arises, and with that comes the mark of a life span. And when the mind of the four marks arises, how can you achieve proper concentration?

Europe 90-Pg 79

 

Seeking

If you seek something, then you have afflictions. If you werenít seeking something, then what afflictions would you have? All of you think it over. You should pay particular attention to this point. If you were not seeking anything, then what afflictions would you have? Afflictions just come from your seeking something. When you donít get what you seek, you become afflicted. When you donít get what you want, you suffer, and after youíve been suffering for awhile, then you cry. After having cried, then you start to get angry.

Trove 1 Pg 118

  

Your Resolve

If you are studying Buddhism with such a magnanimous spirit and resolve, the Buddha will surely protect and support you. If you do not have this kind of spirit Ė if you recite the Buddhaís name and bow to the Buddha, yet constantly lose your temper, then you will not be able to obtain any benefit from Buddhism.

Taiwan 93 - Pg.31

 

Basic

If any one among you can act according to these Six Great Principles, you will obtain limitless blessings and virtue. If you do not embrace these Six Great Principles, then no matter what lofty and esoteric principles I speak about, it is just "forsaking what is near to seek afar, renouncing the roots to chase after the branch tips."

If you wish to go far away,
you have to start from what is near.

If you wish to climb up high,
you have to start from what is low.

If you start by meeting the basic requirements, then you can certainly aspire to become a Buddha. If you havenít met them, then you must work hard, and not let this opportunity pass you by.

Taiwan 93 Ė Pg 41

 

True Happiness

True happiness is not worldly happiness. Rather, it is a happiness that is always present in your mind, which need not look for outside. If you seek outside, you wonít find the ultimate happiness. If you want the ultimate happiness, you must have considerable cultivation, considerable learning, and considerable attainment. Only then will there be peace and joy in your own nature, which is the real happiness. If you seek for happiness outside, you may attain it, but it will only last for a moment. If you fail to attain it, you will be full of afflictions. If you are insatiably greedy, you worry about getting things, and then you worry about losing them. None of this is true happiness. True happiness comes from not seeking anything. When you reach the state of seeking nothing, you have no worries. Seeking nothing, you have true happiness, and your nature is stable and tranquil.

Taiwan 93, Pg 55

 

True Wisdom

True wisdom cannot be found in these external things. True joy comes from being carefree and happy. We all have this within us, and we need not search outside for it. But people always seek outside themselves, and end up cheating, flattering, and fighting one another in order to obtain an artificial happiness.

Taiwan 93 Pg 55

 

All Buddhas Are Equal

All the Buddhas of the past, present and future, throughout the ten directions are of the same Dharma-body. You can recite any Buddhaís name and be reborn in the Land of Ultimate Bliss. All the Buddhas are equal. There is no such thing as a true Buddha, a living Buddha or a dead Buddha.

Taiwan 93 Pg 77

  

Fighting

Fighting involves the thought of victory and defeat.
And goes in opposition to the Way.
When the four marks arise in the mind,
How can we obtain samadhi?
Taiwan 93 Pg 97
 

Response

If you have a sincere mind, then without needing to seek anything you will obtain a response in the Way. Your mind has to be truly sincere. If you seek things, then Iím afraid you will not obtain them. The things you seek will be like "reflections of flowers in a mirror or of the moon in water" - you can see them but you canít grasp them. If you have thoughts, thatís just false thinking. Without thoughts, you will have a response.

Taiwan 93 Pg 107

 

Mind Your Own Business

To "watch over yourself" means to do your own job well and pay no attention to whether others are right or wrong. Do not criticize anyone. If he is bad, if he is wrong, that is his fault and his offense. Once you speak about his faults, you become partly responsible for his offense. Although you do it out of compassion, I think you will take a big loss. From morning to night, you wash othersí clothes, but never notice how dirty your own clothes are. This point is basic to being a human being, and we should recognize it. It should not be that you arrive in confusion and leave in confusion. At birth, you are wrapped in the blanket of confusion, and at death you go to the coffin of confusion. Failing to understand, you die. All of you think about this; you are just working for others, but you are not at all clear about your own affairs.

Taiwan 93 Pg 135

 

Accord

The Dharma does not arise by itself; it is produced in accord with situations.
The way is not practised in vain; it responds to conditions.

Taiwan 93 Pg 137

Transcend

If you can see through the things you encounter,
you transcend the world.
If you are confused by the things you encounter,
you sink into confusion.

Europe 90 Pg 73

 

Tests

Everything is a test
to see what you will do.
Mistaking whatís before your face,
youíll have to start anew.

Truly recognize your own faults.
Donít talk about the faults of others.
Otherís faults are just my own.
Being of the same substance is called great compassion.

Europe-90-Pg 75

 

Sagehood

Being able to practise is not as good as achieving realization. Once you have realized the fruition of sagehood, you are much better off than someone who merely talks about food and counts othersí treasures. And so thereís a verse:

All day long you count othersí treasures,
without half a cent to call your own.
Not cultivating the Dharma
is making the same kind of mistake.

Europe 90-Pg 131

 

Parting is Sweet Sorrow

When the time comes to part, we cannot relinquish our emotional ties. Not being able to relinquish them, we cannot be free. That inability to be free is what hinders us.

Europe 90-Pg 149

 

Freedom

Some people are born fated to be poor, but because they do good deeds, they later become rich. Getting rich is not our final aim, but most people think that a person who strikes it rich must be happy. Why isnít getting rich our final goal? Our final goal is to gain true understanding; then we will not have lived our lives in vain. If you lack understanding, you canít control your own birth and are born in a muddle. Nor can you control your death; you also die in a muddle. No matter how much wealth, honor, and status you have, itís of no use. But if you understand, you have freedom over birth and death. If you want to live, you can live to be eight hundred years old. If you want to die, you can die at any time without any problems. That is freedom over birth and death. Obtaining freedom over birth and death is the most important matter. From ancient times until now, people have overlooked this matter in their pursuit of wealth and status. They have lived as if drunk and died in a dream, being muddled all their lives.

Europe 90-Pg 245

Only Five

If you can refrain from killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying, and taking intoxicants, then no matter what you say, your words will be efficacious. You donít have to recite any mantra or bow to any Buddha. If you can uphold these five precepts, then whatever you say will be efficacious.

Europe90-Pg 247


Right in Front

In cultivation, do not seek things that are high and far away, and fail to recognize that the Way is right in front of you. If you seek the Way far away, you are renouncing what is close at hand. If, in your own daily life, you can be aware of everything you do, if you can understand all your habits and faults, and get rid of all your defilements, just that is the Buddhadharma. And so there is a saying:

Everything is easy to deal with,
but a bad temper is hard to change.

If you can really never get angry,
you have a priceless jewel.

If you can also not blame others,
then everything will turn out well.

If you are never troubled by afflictions,
how can offenses find you?

If youíre always looking at othersí faults,
your own suffering hasnít ended yet.

Europe90-Pg 271

 

Cultivate Blessings 

To cultivate blessings, be helpful and beneficial toward others. To cultivate wisdom, study and investigate the Sutras. A thorough investigation of the Sutras will nurture your wisdom; and by constantly benefiting other people, your blessings and virtue will naturally increase.

Trove 2 Pg 35

 

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