All posts by Padmasue

Taoist meditation: 道家的禪定

Taoist meditation: 道家的禪定

1. Quite place: Anywhere that is quite.

2. Sitting: You can sit in a chair, or meditation cushions. Anywhere, Including on the bed. Should well ventilated, not direct wind bellowing.

3. Clothing: Wear comfortable lose clothing, to avoid hindering energy flow.

4. Posture: You can double-cross leg, half cross-leg, or leisure position, most important is being comfortable, and so you can sit longer.

5. Cushioned higher in the back potion of the seat, the taller the higher for comfort, and helps keep the back straight, and helps energy traveling through Chakras.

6. Relaxed: Relax your body and keep the back straight not forced but naturally. Yet not too relaxed that you might easily fall sleepy.

7. Head: Hold you head straight, with chin slightly down. With tip of your tongue touching back of the upper front teeth.

8. Mind and Breathing: After sitting down, don’t close your eyes immediately, first, clear your mind, focus on relaxing your body, regulate your breathing, and then slowly close your eyes, not completely closed, best leaving a threat of light. Breathing in and out slowly; and evenly, as slow as possible.

At beginning, you can count from 1 to 5 while breathing in, hold your breath at the Dantian point (About four fingers with below your navel — Pubic region) same amount of time breathing out. If you can breathe to 10 without thoughts, you have achieved first step of calmness. Try to increase breathing time little longer as you practice, the goal is able to count to 30.

Note 1. Sleepiness; during meditation, if you feel sleepy or sluggish, that could be your posture needs adjusting, or you ate too much before meditation, or too soon after meal. Maybe you are too tired, if so, rest 30 minutes first. It is recommended that you wait 30 minute after a meal, or exercise. Also, avoid stimulating food such as onion, garlic, and hot spicy foods.

Note 2. Scattered mind; don’t watch scary movies, read exciting materials, or try to medi after an argument, these will cause irregular breathing, make it harder to calm the mind.

Note 3. Unusual experiences; during meditation, if you feel slight pain, heavy, cool, body swelling, feeling like aunts crawling, it is nature to have those experiences, don’t worry, just let it be.

Living in the moment 生活在當下

Living in the moment  生活在當下

The Buddha Taught; do not dwelled in the pass, do not rush to the unknown future, be at this moment, this is true essence of life.

Our existence is inseparable with time and space, it is endless continual coherence. So, to live our life truly is to experience each and every moment, if we spend 10 minutes dwelled on our past, we actually missed 10 minutes of current moment of life.

Life is like moving train, we look out the window, we see cities, farms, distant hills, rivers, people, animals… speedy passes by, we continue to see and experience different sceneries. What we experience will never be exactly the same if we take the train again and travel the same route, because time has changed.

Everything in the world are subject to change, Buddhism call it “Impermanence”, this is also one of the main reason of our sufferings, like old age, sickness, friends become adversaries, separation of love ones, also climate changes, all kinds of nature disasters.

So, you ask; what does it has to do between impermanence and living in the moment? You see, since everyone wish to live a happy life, and we cannot change past, there for we must control the present; here-and-now, by truly experiencing our life moment-to-moment. With the knowledge from the Buddha-Dharma, we would be able to transforming any negative situations to positive ones, from unhappy to happier situations. This is the benefit of Buddhism.

Since Buddhism emphasized Cause and Effect, makes easy to solve all problems, anything comes your way, here-and-now, moment-to-moment, good or not so good, can be placed in these two categories.

Example; someone stole something from you, and you have no way to retreat your property, you would naturally be upset about it. One way to transform your mood is refer to cause and effect formula; by analyzing it whether it is cause or effect.

To apply the situation as cause; the one stole some thing from you has caused a negative Karma for himself, therefore, you can practice your compassion, by praying for his future negative effect to be lightened.

Or to apply the situation as effect; the one stole something from you must be a creditor from your past life, you owed him something, due to karma-rip, now he has taking it bake, that is a good thing, you now no longer owe him anything.

You see, either way, you would come out as a happy camper. Apply this method on the here-and-now, moment-to-moment; life could easily be a joyful journey.

Om Mani Padme Hum!

Bardo 中陰

Bardo 中陰

Usually, Bardo referred to the transitional period between one life and the next, upon death, one’s spirit leaves t he body, travel through time and space. Without a body” of five Skandhas, one is in the dreamlike state of hallucinations. one did not realized he is dead, he is able to see his own lifeless body laying there, family members surrounding his body, crying or praying, one tries to communicate with family and friends, but unable to,  because without the functional physical aggregates of the month , voice etc. then one tries to reenter the body, it is also impossible, then one leaves to explore different spheres, feeling lonely and anxious, and then return to the body, to repeat the same attempts, and to no avail, one is lost and seeking wherever seemed comfortable for refuge, with great danger of taking a undesirable rebirth. This is for someone without a Dharma practice most likely to experience during Bardo state.

According to Tibetan tradition, after death and before one’s next birth, when one’s consciousness is not connected with a physical body, one experience a variety of phenomena. These usually follow a particular sequence of degeneration from the moment after death. The clearest experiences of reality of which, one is spiritually capable, example; if you did something great for others, you would experience great joy.  And then proceeding to terrifying hallucinations that arise from the impulses of one’s previous unskillful (Unwholesome)actions. These terrifying hallucinations are re flections of one’s previous actions. For example; if you kill someone before, at this time you’ll feel the pain of the person you harmed.

For the “prepared” and appropriately trained individuals, like a Buddhist practitioner,
the Bardo offers a state of great opportunity for rebirth. ( For those with pure spirit, follow the clear light when you leave the form body.) So, how can one “prepared” for the death? Most people don’t even want think about it, and some people think it’s inauspicious to talk about it, but the truth is that death will come, and no one is exception. Death is natural process from one life into the next. The Dalai Lama once said jokingly; ” …I am getting old, the good news is that I am getting a new body soon…”. So, death is not so scary, it’s scary because of “not knowing”. However, it is a good idea to be prepared, so we can at a peaceful state of mind with confident when the time of death arrives.

Death is the same for people of all people and religions.  Christians follow the Bible’s teachings, be a true Christian, live the daily life of a Christian, not just go to the Church every Sunday will do. The same with Buddhist, or any other tradition. Fundamentally, follow the five major precepts; no killing, no stilling, no lying, no sexual misconduct, and no intoxication of any substance, alcohols, drugs etc.  We can have better rebirth by generating good karma, which is doing all that is good, and avoid doing all that is bad.

Six bardos

In the Zhitro (Tibetan: Zhi-khro) teachings which subsume the Bardo Thodol and mention Karma Lingpa, terma, and Padmasambhava,  and list the Six Bardo: “The first bardo begins when we take birth and throughout the live. The second is the bardo of dreams. The third is the bardo of concentration or meditation. The fourth occurs at the moment of death. The fifth is known as the bardo of the luminosity of the true nature (mind only without a physical form). The sixth is called the bardo of transmigration or karmic becoming (rebirth).

 Vegetarian or Not 吃素或吃葷

Vegetarian or Not 吃素或吃葷

“Do you have to be vegetarian to be a Buddhist? “ This is a very common question.

First we need to go back and look at the history, during the Buddha’s time He and his disciples begged alms daily, to sustain their body for Dharma practice, they beg door to door, no matter the giver rich or poor, and beg no more than 7 homes, they accept any kind of food which lay-people offered, the goal was not to inconvenient people that make offerings. That means, they eat whatever people offered.

The vegetarian tradition begin after Buddhism transmitted to Southern Asia, the Theravada Buddhists, mostly in countries  like Thai, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Burma, they believe eating meat is indirectly killing.

Also, In China, during Emperor Wu of Liang dynasty (464-549 AD), Emperor Wu created universities and extending the Confucian civil service exams, demanding that sons of nobles study. He was well read himself and wrote poetry and patronized the arts. Although for governmental affairs he was Confucian in values, he embraced Buddhism as well. He himself was attracted to many Indian traditions. He banned the sacrifice of animals and was against execution. It was said that he received the Buddhist precepts during his reign, earning him the nickname The Bodhisattva Emperor. The Emperor is a vegetarian, he ordered all monks and Buddhist to fellow him, eat no meats, this was vegetarian of Chinese Buddhist begun.

The goal Buddha’s teachings was to liberate spiritual suffering, the Dharma practice is training of the mind, lead to understanding of true reality of phenomena, which pure essence, realization of all things lack inherent existence, one therefore able to detach so call “suffering “ ( which is lack inherent existence) thus one attains spiritual freedom.

In the Vinaya of the Buddhist Tripitaka (Buddhist scriptures), states that there must include all five conditions to constitute “Killing”; 1. Something must have life, 2. You know it has life, 3. You have intention to kill, 4. Put effort to kill, 5. Death actual occurred due to action/effort.

There is fine line in explanations, for example; vegetarians eat only veggies, but now a days, the farmers spray insecticide killed countless visible and invisible lives, which can be said “indirectly killing”.  Also, if a vegetarian Buddhist has not developed pure heart, what he / she eat will not help their Dharma path. We have seen many vegetarian monks developed mile nutrition,  it is important to always  take good care of our health.

I think it is best according individual person’s health condition and preferences.

My Guru allows his disciples to eat meet with conditions; 1. You did not kill the life in person; 2.you did not witness the killing; 3. The meat you received not specifically kills for you.

The Vajrayana practitioners do a “Bardo deliverance” before meal; first I form a Dharma-Boat Mudra (hand gesture), visualize the being (chicken, pork, fish etc.) in complete form, in the boat, visualize Buddhas great pure light shine upon the animals in the boat, then recite the “Deliverance Mantra”, then release the Mudra.

This is a prayer for the animals, thanking them for their sacrifice, delivering their spirit to higher realms. Also to remind ourselves that so much have sacrificed to sustain our body, therefore we must speedy achieve enlightenment, so we will be able to benefit all other beings.

The 32 Signs of a Buddha / Great Man 佛的32相

The 32 Signs of a Buddha / Great Man 佛的32相

The Buddha is traditionally regarded as having the Thirty-two Characteristics of a Great Man These thirty-two characteristics are also regarded as being present in kings as well.

The Digha Nikaya, in the “Discourse of the Marks” (Pali: Lakkhaṇa Sutta) enumerates and explains the 32 characteristics. These are also enumerated in the Brahmāyu Sutta of the Majjhima Nikāya

The 32 major characteristics are:

  1. Level feet
  2. Thousand-spoke wheel sign on feet
  3. Long, slender fingers
  4. Pliant hands and feet
  5. Toes and fingers finely webbed
  6. Full-sized heels
  7. Arched insteps
  8. Thighs like a royal stag
  9. Hands reaching below the knees
  10. Well-retracted male organ
  11. Height and stretch of arms equal
  12. Every hair-root dark colored
  13. Body hair graceful and curly
  14. Golden-hued body
  15. Ten-foot aura around him
  16. Soft, smooth skin
  17. Soles, palms, shoulders, and crown of head well-rounded
  18. Area below armpits well-filled
  19. Lion-shaped body
  20. Body erect and upright
  21. Full, round shoulders
  22. Forty teeth
  23. Teeth white, even, and close
  24. Four canine teeth pure white
  25. Jaw like a lion
  26. Saliva that improves the taste of all food
  27. Tongue long and broad
  28. Voice deep and resonant
  29. Eyes dark brown or deep blue
  30. Eyelashes like a royal bull
  31. White ūrṇā curl that emits light between eyebrows
  32. Fleshy protuberance on the crown of the head

 

Note: Physical characteristics of a person can also change according to internal / spiritual enlightenment stages. An example; when a person changes from evil person to a kind person, their facial and physical posture also changes.

Demeanor of a Buddhist 佛弟子的 風態

Demeanor of a Buddhist佛弟子的 風態

Often we hear people saying ………I am a Buddhist…. Then almost immediately followed with some unwholesome actions, this is very bad exhibition to proclaim oneself as a Buddhist; this kind of behavior will give the public the misunderstanding about Buddhism.

Being a Buddhist; there are some basic things we should remember at all times. That is including two basic aspects of awareness. One is internal practice, other is external demeanor.

The internal practice is, we need to truly study and practice Dharma constantly, for our own enlightenment; this must follow the Eight-Fold-Path diligently, put in true effort to develop inner wisdom and universal compassion, for shake of self and others, this is called Bodhicitta.

External demeanor is, as Buddhist Practitioners, we should set example for ordinary people. We need to remember to practice Dharma wherever and whenever at all times. Remember that there are people all around us, they would notice how we exhibit our demeanor, our actions, speech and thoughts; this is not saying that we should “Act like we are so nice”, but genuinely being kind heart, open heart, patient, and caring toward others.

Buddhist practice is ongoing 24/7 practice, not just during a meditation session, or during a retreat period, it not for fame, name, material gain, or any other benefit, but for self and others spiritual liberation.

I also noticed some people, after begin to learn the Buddhism, after a short period, they would tell people that, they are Buddhist, and they know all about what Buddhism is etc.This is very unfortunate, because with this kind of attitude, the more advanced learning would be impossible.

Example;  if a glass is fall, you won’t be able to fill any thing in it., we should always keep our “glass” clean and empty, that means; we should keep our mind pure and open, so we are ready and have the capacity to receive pure teachings. Buddha Dharma is vast as ocean, one simply not able to know it all in short time, therefore , we always be humble and say “I know very little”, even great accomplished masters like Karmapa upon a discourse of Dharma, they still say that “I know very little”.

The general society tend to pump themselves larger then what really is, but, the fact is that an elephant is difficult to fit in just any place, buddhist practice is reduce ourselves (ego) to the smallest possible; being humble, modest and true, then we would be able to fit in any place and time.

This is best demeanor of a Buddhist.Om Mani Padme Hum!

Higher realm of existence更高的存在境界

Higher realm of existence更高的存在境界 

When we talk about realms, we are referring to dimensions of the levels of spheres, in the form or formless realms.  While we are unable to see the other dimensions of existence, we can’t simply say it’s none exist. Scientists have proven there are multiple galaxy and planets out there. This information was announced by the Buddha over 2500 years ago, they only now discovered by the scientists.

So, what does this information has to do with our spiritual journey you might ask, the reason is to reinforce your faith in the Buddha and His teachings. Imagine we were living 2500 years ago when everything was very primitive, and  there’s no scientific study like today, and we hearing the Buddha talking about multiple universe and higher intelligent beings out there, we would probably scratching our heads too. Yet over 2500 years later, everything Buddha said proven to be true.

Upon Buddha’s Enlightenment, He told his followers, do not take his word blindly, but practice his teachings of the Path and find prove themselves.

In general, most people think the heaven is “above” there somewhere, or the hell is “below” there somewhere, also many Buddhists think that the …..Western Pure land is ten trillion miles to the West.

Wait a minute please! Although there in the Sutra did have such sentence, It is not meant such place out there exist physically, rather it meant spiritual realm. If we take it literally as there real places such as heaven or hell we can travel to, this perception would be mistaking, and it is a common misunderstanding of the Sutras.

Buddha’s words must taking in the spiritual sense, not by the surface of the words. Just like Jesus said …follow my “steps”, doesn’t mean walking behind him step by step, but to live by his teachings and examples.

Higher realm of existence can be attained by following the teachings of the Buddha, which can be attained here and now. The pure spirit and clear understanding of true reality will enable us to live a more joyful life.

We would be able to be in the world, and not of it, view all things as moment-to-moment experiences, while participate in all activities, yet not being attached to it.

Remember!? All things subject to constant changes, you do the best with everything, applying wisdom and compassion, all things will turn out the best possible. The results of your effort, whether great or not so great, or even very bad, remember you have done your best, and all are just experiences that pass with the changes of time and space (places).

Enlightened beings can be happy any time and any place, because it is the transcendent mind that is in control, the immoveable stability of calm abiding mind brings the joyful bliss.

Try to remember this, always enjoy this moment, and be detached of past and future worries, you will be in a higher realm of existence.

Samadhi 三眛定

Samadhi 三眛定

Samadhi meditation combines Samatha meditation and Vipassana meditation.(insight meditation)and Jana meditation.

Samatha meditation is a primary meditation aimed at calming the mind, by focused on certain object, not being distracted by any obstructions. Continue to practice until the mind is stable and not being influence by the surroundings. This is foundation of Vipassana meditation.

“Vipassana” means superior seeing, or clear insight. Vipassana meditation is the meditation, by practicing mindfulness of breathing, and awareness of all things, and investigation of all phenomena, contemplation of four Noble Truth, developing the clear seeing, pure mind, and wisdom to gain insight into the true nature of reality.

Jana meditation is combination of the Samatha and Vipassana meditation.

Buddhist practices leads to clear understanding, gain the insight of the “Four Noble Truth”, which can only be reached by practicing the Noble Eight Fold Path.

Key points of meditation are; explores the body and the mind as one / non-duality. Continue reminder on impermanence of all phenomena. Gain clear understanding of the Four Noble Truth.

Contemplation on impermanence; the ever-changing of all things, all kind of suffering for all sentient beings, being focused on spiritual liberation from cyclic existence, one gradually be able to “Put- it all down”, that is not being too attached to anything, objects and people. The practice will show every phenomenon as unstable, transient, disenchanting. The desire of freedom will take place.

Samadhi is combination of  practice of Samatha meditation and Vipassana meditation, it is stable mind which is immovable by the worldly phenomena, seeing all things as is, and not cling to anything.

A state of Samadhi is; you eat, sleep, walking, working no different than anyone else, but you are completely “Awake”, you clearly know what ever you are doing, and being attached to anything.

It is; you are experiencing everything yet you are simultaneously an observer of it, this is how your emotion would not be affected by any situations around you. This is how you can maintain peace of mind in any place and any time.

 

Not Self, Not other Than Self 非我非非我

Not Self, Not other Than Self 非我非非我

The goal of the Buddhist practice to recover our true-self, the “Self” we generally referred to is the form self, and most time we identify ourselves with our body, our name, or positions, and these are merely labels of identity.

The true self is formless consciousness; it exists deep within our mind and body, which never born or cease, which does not changes. The regular self changes the spheres of existence, either form or formless according to one’s Karma dictation, called rebirth.

Over 2500 years ago the Buddha was able to transform himself from ordinary being to become enlightened /awakened true-self. Upon Enlightenment, he advised his disciples to follow His Paths, to experience and prove for themselves.

Upon Enlightenment, the Buddha stated there are multiple universes existed, that we are and all thing composes of four basic elements, the air, water, earth and heat. So the four basic element are source of all things, take our body for example; if we have high temperature (fever), we get sick, we can’t live without water, we can’t live without air,  if all elements in our body not function properly, our body dies.

Therefore, I would like to remind everyone; that recovery of our ceaseless true-self is up most important task of our journey in life, any other activities are supportive of this journey.

Not self: this body we are so fortunate to possess, and everything we see, all seemed very real, but all are reflections of illusionary mind projected from our eighth consciousness. Like the reflections in the mirror, we actually see objects in the mirror, and move around too, but when you touch he mirror, it’s nothing, or when you stand in front of the mirror, you see yourself; your reflection is not another you.

So, our existence is the reflection form body, it is not our true self. Because our true self never dies, that’s why it’s important that we recover it as soon as possible within our life time.

Not other Than Self: While we recognized that the form self is mere an illusionary self, however we do have this form body that requiring food and care to live, and it is Inseparably interconnected with our true self, it’s like there are clouds covering the sun, we cannot see the sun is because the clouds, the sun is always present. Just like our true self, is always there, due to our delusions that we are unable to see and function with our true self.  Therefore, the form self and the true self are one, not two separated objects.

Once upon a time when the Dalai Lama was visiting New York, he and his Lamas stopped by a hot dog stand to buy some hot dogs, when the merchant asked Dalai Lama what he wants on it, he replied: one for all, and all for one”. That was the truth beyond the hot dog.

To recover our true self, we first need to recognized that fact of “Impermanence”, The day we were born, we are on the journey to death, each day we lived, are a day closer to death, everything including our name and everything we acquired during our life time will cease to exist when we leave this world, everything we claimed to be ours will become lost.

So the fact of reality is that we come and we will be gone, in a very short period, due to impermanent nature of reality, everything is subject to change of time and space, and there’s nothing we can do to stop it or change this law of nature.

The only thing we can “take” with us is our karma and Wisdom, they are imbedded in our eighth consciousnesses.

If we are to end cycle of rebirth and endless suffering, we must generated all good karma, and train our mind to develop superior wisdom. Wisdom will cut through delusion and recover our true self, thus break away from Samara /rebirth.

 

Facts of Life 人生的真相

                         Facts of Life 人生的真相

 

(These are verses I have read, and some of my own.  Just to share with you.)

The best and fastest way to attain true peace and wisdom is at the feet of an enlightened being.

People can tell when you are kind and with loving compassion, because it shows from inside.

Best way to make you feel happy is to make some others happy.

It’s not hard to find living beings with pure spirits; just look in the eyes of a new born baby or a poppy.

Be thankful for what you have, and be thankful for what you don’t have.

Don’t be overly concern about this moment, good or bad; because all will come to pass by seconds.

When I was complaining that I don’t have shoes, I saw someone without the feet.

I have come to a conclusion that; this is a 50 /50 world, if you have 50% people like you; you are a very good person.

Money doesn’t buy class, money doesn’t buy happiness. Most importantly, money can’t buy a mother’s love.

On the spiritual path, be thankful for those negativities that came upon you, people and events.  Because they give you the opportunity to practice  “Transforming negativities into the Path”.

To truly live your life is to focus on here and now, because pass has gone, and future not yet here.

I have heard this many times…. “I wish I could have told my Mom that I love her one more time before she passed away”.  ………….Don‘t let this happen to you!

The best place for me to learn is surrounding myself with people smarter and more knowledgeable then me.

If you dwell with hatred on someone, you are making bad investment with your valuable time and energy.

If you hurt someone, you are infect giving that individual the right to hurt you. That is “Cause and Effect”.

A Buddha is an enlightened person, to become a Buddha, one must have Bodhicitta mind, that is “Awakened mind”, Therefore, Buddhist practice is to awaken our mind, which means, living our daily life moment-to-moment with total awareness.

 

Om Mani Padme Hum!

Identifying the Source and the Phenomena 認清本體與外境

Identifying the Source and the Phenomena 認清本體與外境

As I was watching TV, a program showing a teenager committed suicide because some bullies told her that she was ugly. And this type of tragedy happened too often in the world, how unfortunate!

Due to Karma dictation on our rebirth, we are so fortunate to obtain a precious human body, and a powerful mind, we are granted with all the opportunity to attain happiness and joy, but why so many people living a life of misery?  It is because we are confuse with our true identity, we mistaking who we are, our minds are deluded, contaminated, and fill with illusion, most time we are lost between true self and external phenomena.

One example would be; you are the subject on earth, everything you can see, everything you get in contact, and everything or everyone related to you is the object. It’s … you are here, and they are out there. You are in total control of your own actions and consequences (cause and effect), this is law of nature. When you are confused about who the subject is, and who or whatever is the object, you don’t know where is your place / position.

Another example; If you are the host, and your guest telling you that you should place your furniture in some different ways, and you feel that you have to follow their wishes, not only they are confused with who is the host, you are also confused enough to listen to them, you should remember you are the host, you are staying in your own home, they are the guests, and they will soon be leaving. The host don’t change, but the guest will, this apply to everything.

Our true self is the unchanging host, all phenomena are our guests, the host entertains the guests, but we don’t go with them when they leave.

The true self never change, everything else change constantly, moment-to-moment changing, including our body and mind. Behold our true self is behold our spirit, let not our body and mind drift away from our spirit; this is how we take control of our own life.

Buddhist practice is to train our mind, develop great wisdom and compassion; mind is stable to the point immoveable. No matter what phenomena are out there, around us, upon us, our mind is not being disturbed.

I remembered I was watching TV after 911 attacks, there was a dog leading a blind man down the stairway, there were all kinds of commotion and confusion around them, but the dog appeared very calm and focused on his leading the man down the stairway, like there nothing happened, totally undisturbed. I was really impressed and thought to myself, I sure would like to know how they trained the service dog to have achieved such state of calmness.

The fact is that if they can train a dog to develop such superior calmness, certainly, we the humans can do it too. It is most important for us to develop calm abiding mind, this takes genuine effort and practice, which begin with true understanding of the Dharma (the Truth/Buddha’s Teachings).

So, it’s back to square one, first, we need have clear understanding of  the “Four Noble Truths”, and follow the Path, by simplify our life, let go of the following; not anger, no jealousy, hatred, nor greed, not for fame and name, do not blame and shame others.

If we are going put honey in a jar, we need to first empty out any dirt in it, clean the jar out, then we can put the honey in it, same thing, if we are serious about transforming our mind to a pure state, we must purify our mind first, then we will be ready for pure information, which will to lead us to transform our mind.

Most importantly, always practice mindfulness, be calm, don’t be disturbed emotionally by your surroundings, always in control of your own self, don’t let your spirit leave your body…always as “One”. This is “Turning the wheel of Dharma” in daily life.

Buddha within Self 佛在自心中

                 Buddha within Self  佛在自心中  

Teachings of Buddhism, regardless of any various tradition practice, all have the same goal; the wish to attain spiritual liberation, or Enlightenment.

While Pureland tradition practice recitation of Buddha’s names, or Vajrayana tradition practice recitation of Mantras, or Mahayana’s rituals, Zen practice focused on intense sitting meditation, and Tibetan Buddhism practice Guru yoga and /or principle deity yoga and rituals. All are great!

Nevertheless, the goal is to achieve Enlightenment. Enlightened one’s mind is every action, speech, and thoughts are the projection of one’s true self, non-duel, that is form is empty, empty is form, it is oneness. This quality is equanimity, or Middle way.

The word “Middle Way” often mistaking by many is that, with the notion that there is left and right, or top and bottom, right and wrong, good and bad, there always opposition exist, which is wrong view. It meant the mind is pure, non-judgmental, like a infant’s mind, infants have no evil thoughts, not capable of greed, hatred, jealousy etc. So “Middle Way means nonjudgmental, detachment, non- clinging. In this state of mind is a pure mind.

It is important to understand that, all poisons of the mind are greed, hatred, jealousy , doubts, pretentious. If our mind is contaminated with those negativities, there is no hope for enlightenment.

Buddhist practice is training our own mind, it is not doing something to impress others, each of us can only purify our own Karma, no one else can do it for us, just like if you are hungry, no one else can eat the food for you, or if you are sick, even though, you hated the bitter medicine, no one else can take for you and curing your ailments. Each of us have to practice our own mind training.

Training our own mind, begin with self awareness, of our every action, speech and thoughts, moment-by-moment, this practice has two essential benefits. First being awareness, we are likely to behave more wholesome, at least, we  won’t create negative karma.

Second, we are spiritually connected with our body, have you ever while having lunch, eating delicious meal, and you mind were thinking about someone said something that offended you earlier? or similar situations? Think about it, at that very  moment, your mind has left your body, you probably don’t even remember what your lunch tasted like, you have miss out the moment of enjoyment of lunch altogether. So, the practice is to constantly bringing our body and mind together as one, here-and-now, this is acting as true presence, The “True Self” is the Buddha nature.

Many people said to me, that’s too hard!  Well, that’s why it’s called “Practice”, Buddha nature is within, therefore, practice begin within, Buddha-nature is within ourselves, not something out there. If we only being true-self for even one minute, we are a Buddha for that one minute, if we extend that period to one hour, we are a Buddha for that one hour, and so on….If we are aware of our true self 24/7, we are very much like a Buddha.    ———-Warm Wishes!———

Journey to Infinity 恆常之道

Journey to Infinity 恆常之道

You are reading my writings, because like many others, seeking for something to fulfill your life, others may simply being curiosity about Buddhism, why? the answer is quiet obvious, there is something missing in life. The “something” you can’t really put your finger on it, and the thirst for answers.

In the past, the Buddhism from the East, to Westerners is somewhat mystic and difficult to understand, but during recent decades, with introductions of meditation, yoga, and English teachings of Buddhism, people are begin to entering into the stream in great numbers.

The reason that Buddhism being well accepted is because it is not a religion, Buddhism directly pointing to the truth of reality, cognizing with scientific and spirituality, one doesn’t have to be a Buddhist to practice Buddhism, it is not worshiping of a higher entity, it’s an education to understand the true nature of reality; the cause and effect, that creates the spiritual consequences of Karma, which generated from our body, speech and mind.

Simply put, good karma brings good rebirth in a more enjoyable conditions, negative karma lead to lower level form of rebirth, in a less desirable conditions. Therefore, purification of our body, speech and mind is the key.

Variouse level of karma lead us to various levels of enjoyable life, and life of sufferings, suffering vexation and agony in life. The Buddha called this as spiritual illness, He laid out the prescriptions of the Four Noble Truths and Eight fold Path. Properly followed and practice, one will be healed, life will become more joyful.

Often, someone will ask me…How well is my practice? What level am I on the Path? I tell you a simple way to get your own answer; Ask yourself; am I happier now than before practicing Buddhism? do I have more or less worries than before? do I get upset more or less than before? Do understand people and situations better now compared to before learning Buddhism?

If you are more calm and happier than before, you are making good progress, if you seemed to get upset and agitated more, you need to study the Dharma more; in detail explanations, and do extra meditations.

Remember, it has taking a long time for us to get to this point in life, we are talking about the Karma accumulated over many of our lifetimes, so to purifying will take some time too.

No need to be anxious about the practice, just practice mindfulness of your actions, speech, and thoughts, being consciously aware of all that above in a moment-by-moment, here-and -now, day-by-day.

Always think about impermanent of the nature of reality, when thing going well, you know it’s not permanent, when things going terrible, you know it’s mot permanent either. And there’s no absolute good or bad on everything and people, it all depends on where you stand, and how you view it.

Only with clear un-contaminated mind, can we see the true reality of nature, it is none judgmental, none differentiation, equanimity and peace . Only with this pure mind, can we have the capacity of universal love and compassion, to love even the unlovable, to forgive those who transgressed against us.

Om Mani Padme Hum!

Command Presence 當下的覺醒

Command Presence 當下的覺醒

Generally, our mind is scattered everywhere, like the speed of light, this tendency is due to lack of awareness of our “Self”, another words, the ” true self” has left us, and you are not even aware of.

For example; you are having conversation with someone, and during the conversation of an event or topic, they suddenly they started to talk something totally unrelated, leaving you scratching your head!?

Buddhism practice is to develop a stable mind, therefore, training the mind is the most important practice. The mind training practice actually is quite simple, we just have to practice to focus the mind, the tendency to have our mind leaving us is very high, like a wild horse, we have to train it, tame it, . So put a leash on your mind, don’t let it run off from you. Make this “wild horse” tame and controllable, this is taming your mind, only then, you mind can be focused, and being aware of you actions, body, speech and thoughts.

The Buddha said that every person have Buddha-Nature, every person have nature wisdom, everyone can, have the ability to attain enlightenment. But somehow, we can’t seem to find it-the True self / Buddha nature. The “Wiseman” is not, that because they are somehow smarter, they just have developed a very stable mind, the “wise” comes from clear seeing of the true nature of reality, seeing things as they really are, without delusion, and contamination. We are like that, wearing a pair of dirty glasses, we have good eyes just like the Wiseman, but with dirty glasses we see everything somewhat contaminated, not the real picture / reality, then we make decisions base on our false perception, which cause unsatisfactory results, therefore suffering arise.

Command Presence; is a practice a meditation practice, that no matter what you do, whether you are working on a project, say, building a barn, or washing dishes, you are totally aware of that “here and now, I am cutting a board” ( or washing dishes), This awareness should be in detail, step-by-step, like; I am squeezing the dish detergent bottle, the detergent dropped into the dish pan, your hand holding a dish clothes, your right hand is wiping the dish, then you r are rinsing the dish, place it on the rack etc. step-by-step. This awareness is your true self being with you. If you are washing dishes, and you mind is thinking something else; like oh! tomorrow, I am going to a birthday party, oh! what kind gift I am going to bring…wondering who else is coming…this way your consciousness has left your body, you are not really “Present”, you are somewhere else, away from your body.

Having your mind or consciousness and your body together is true presence, continue this practice will enable to “see” your true self, This is the Way.

The true self is not no other than yourself, you can’t find true self outside yourself, it is always here-and-now, this moment-to-moment of time and space, being totally aware of all things. This is called “Being awakened”.

A world of Power Struggle 權勢鬥爭的世界

A world of Power Struggle 權勢鬥爭的世界

This is true since beginning of time, and apply to all sentient beings, from tiny little creatures up to most intelligent human beings. The struggles to domination for powers, fortune, fame and name etc., and the animals; they fight for territories, food supplies, and mates. It is natural behaviors in the realm of earth.

Most recently, we have witness the political activities in the full swing in the United States, many people are stressed out for all the negativities flying in the air.

I remembered, once the Dalai Lama prayed; ” May I never become a politician in my future lives”. Maybe because, it seems traditionally, for one to win, one must push down the opponent anyway they can, thus the candidates will do their best to talk bad things about one another ( whether it be true or not) . This is obviously contradicts the Buddhist practice of seeing and speaking only good qualities of others.

As a civilian, we have the right and duty; to vote for the one you feel best suited for that position, then let the outcome take its course, be detached from emotional turmoil. Some people may be concerned of maybe facing economic crisis , stock up or down, there may be wars etc.

The Buddha’ s teaching on the Four Noble Truth, the first Truth is suffering, which include ” Change”, all things subject to change, moment-to-moment. Therefore, we must learn to fine-tune ourselves, and move with the waves of Changes in life. Just as when we get old, we have to adjust our activities according to our physical ability.

The old rules of thumb is that, in this modern society, we should always be prepared for change. Prepare what? like have some cash at hand for about three months of living expenses, have enough food supply for about three months or longer, have an emergency pack ready in case of nature disaster, like tornado or flood. Just do your best to prepare for “Rainy days”.

Although, the ancient old monks might have said that one should not accumulate wealth, and keep extra food etc. But we have to be realistic, we are living in a different time, we must adjust our life with wisdom, accordingly with time and space. We will have peace of mind and being able to enjoy life here and now.

Renunciation and Detachment 出離與放下

Renunciation and Detachment 出離與放下

The first step to “Entering The Stream” in Buddhism practice is come to realization of the impermanence of the reality, that all things are subject to change, that nothing remains the same forever, that everything was born, will die some day, everything that was constructed, will deteriorate, and love ones will separate from us or die one day. Therefore it’s important to developing the mind of Renunciation, not “giving up”, it is renouncing the endless craving of material objests and emotional entanglement, renouncing the mundane concerns “the Eight Winds”, those are Success, Failure, Fame, Slander, Praise, Ridicule, Joy, and Sorrow. Renouncing greed, hatred, and jealousy, causes for cyclic existence of rebirth and suffering.

You may say; why renounce success, fame and joy? It is not that you should give up striving for success, give up being famous, or giving up enjoyment in life, it meant not being overly attached to them, We should enjoy the good fortunes at the time to the fullest, but always keep in mind that, all things subject to change.

Our universe has it’s natural cycle, there’s day and night, there’s sunshine and rain, whenever there’s a winner, there will be a loser, parties will soon end, new born is the beginning of an end. it’s just the law of nature.

Understanding and realizing this fact,  like the Buddha said upon His Enlightenment “,…..how wonderful! how wonderful! everything is perfect as is”. Thus, there is nothing for us to be surprised about.

When we see a little child crying his heart out for a piece of candy, we know it is the beginning of human desires, and it is nature, when we hear someone jump from tenth floor after a terrible stock crash, we understand that the individual is lack knowledge of Dharma, that he was unable to let go of the misfortune of losing large sum of money, that life is always more valuable than money.

Money, in reality is something, paper (Currency) or pieces of metal ( gold, silver etc.) which we use in exchange for things we need or want. We do need some for survival in modern society, having too much, unless sharing it with the needy, it really mean nothing but a pile of “stuff”, you can’t take it with you when you leave this earth. We came empty handed, and we will go empty handed, everything in between is the “passage” of our life, they are ” Continual Experiences”, which including people, events, and possessions.

Therefore, our practice is to value all things, here-and-now, yet not be too attached, or clinging to it. This is the path to spiritual freedom. When we have plentiful of everything , we know it could change any time, when we think or feel like the whole world is coming to an end, life is just too much suffering, remember, it could change for the better any time, when we encounter people rude and showed disrespect to us, we know it is because they don’t know us well enough, and they don’t realize that they themselves are ignorant, So we dust it off our shoulder, forgive them and move on.

majority of people are smart and kind, and most time with good intentions, the truth is that people do make unintended mistakes, including ourselves, so we practice being kind hearted at all time as possible, always think positive, before jump into negative conclusion. This way, we can avoid, and alleviate a lot of unnecessary stress in life.

Om Mani Padme Hum!

Victorious of praising 讚語的勝益

Victorious of praising  讚語的勝益

Most people enjoy praise, recognition etc., therefore our practice should include offering others sincere praise and acknowledgement of their excellence . Praising makes others happy, also, make ourselves happy too, it’s a win-win act, and it’s free.

Praising to a child is very important, it reinforce to a child’s confidence in taking on and experiencing new things.

Praising is a good way for us to exercise seeing only other’s good qualities. Why? First, for our own benefit; if we only collect good things in our mind, we will naturally have pure mind and become happier. And recognize others excellence makes them happy too, and we will attract and the opportunity to help people to the wondrous Dharma practice, leading them onto the path of spiritual freedom.

If you wish to look for bad qualities, look for you own only. By applying self inquiry, look for our own down falls will help our own practice on purification of body, speech and mind.

Praising should be sincere and natural, not out of way to do it for the sake of praising. We praise at the proper time and space. We can begin without thinking about “Praising”, just practice looking for other people’s  good qualities, begin with your family and friends, one by one, look for their good qualities, then expend to other lager circles.

If you are in a church or a temple, look around for the one others considered “most unlovable” person, and go introduce yourself to that person, have a conversation, and try to look for their good qualities, you would be surprised that, that individual is not so “unlovable” after all, even more interesting, you might found out that this individual have something we can learn from, and that he or she has certain special talent that no one else was aware of. This was my experience, Try it yourself.

Spiritual Wisdom words 靈性的智語

Spiritual Wisdom words 靈性的智語

* When one desires to take in hand the empires and make it, I see him not succeed. Therefore the Holy man

abandons excess extravagance and indulgence.

* The extreme of the universe is quietness and emptiness.
* Men tend to forget the root, and chase the end. ( Man seek happiness the wrong way.)

* Thing in the universe however complicated, will resume the primary state.

* The perfect goodness is like water. Water is though weak and shapeless, can wash away dirt and scorched earth, and run smoothly all the way for thousands of miles. He does not contend, and none contend against him. This is virtue.

*Those persons of wisdom know how to make the best use of circumstances.

* The Truth is genuine and natural. Pure and uncontaminated.

* All phenomena originated from emptiness.

* If you want to abandon suffering and gain happiness, the way is to abandon greed, hatred, and ignorance.

* The practice is to liberate from vexation in the world, develop a tranquil , calm abiding heart,

to love and help everyone.

* In Buddhism, there’s no difference in caste and statues.

* When one acts proud and arrogant, you’ll know failure is awaits in the future.

* Always remember that everything that is borne will die, everything that is built will deteriorate and extinct.

* No expectations, no disappointments.

* There will be a day of separation; when there’s birth, there’s death, when there’s gathering, then there’s departing, this is the law of nature, the law of impermanence. which cannot be changed.

* Yesterday ended last night, appreciate and value each new day as last day of your life, make plains as you are going to live forever.

* None of us is perfect, but we are all precious, and perfectly imperfect.

* When someone gives you hard time, it is an opportunity to practice patience, forgiveness, a good time to show them how big your heart is.

* Defeat is not failure, it is an experience, each time you overcome a defeat, you become stronger.

* When you think the world has come to an end for you, remember; all thing are in constant change, moment-by-moment, it usually change for the better.

What is the Truth? 真理是什麼?

What is the Truth? 真理是什麼?

“Truth” in dictionary : real, real situation, actual state of affairs, natural science,. Which is not false.

In the spiritual sense, it is truth reality, uncontaminated, unchangeable, law of nature, pure essence, equality.

Once I was asked; What is right religion? my answer was quite simple, a religion coincide with “The Truth” is right religion.

Whoever teach The Truth is on the right path, it could be any religion, because there is only one truth.

Truth is universal equality, universal compassion, Truth cannot be changed, like the earth rotate around the sun. Truth is equanimity in every way, none judgmental, none discriminate, total inclusive of all things like the earth, the earth didn’t care who walks on it, it didn’t care if we dig a hole on it.

Truth is the law of nature, this statement coincide with the Buddha’s teaching ” Cause and Effect”, also Newton’s law; “Every action generates equal or negative reaction”.

The Buddha based on His personal experiences tough the “Four Noble Truths”, (Please refer to the previous posting on “Four Noble Truths”). Our life cycle of birth, sickness, aging and death, these are unchangeable truth.

Also , over 2500 years ago, the Buddha stated that there are multiple universe existed, which the scientist today discovered to be true. The Buddha also proclaimed that there more intelligent living being exist in other spheres of universe, and now we are seeing incidents of UFOs and ETs. Therefore, how can we not believe His words?

All His teachings are to help us recover our truth self, the true self is uncontaminated, pure spirit, our true nature is loving, none judgmental, none jealousy, none hatred, none greed, none discriminate, none attachments, none suffering. Our life should be all joy and true happiness.

So, why are we earth people are living so miserably? there are people live to kill, steal, and do all kinds harm to others. The Dalai Lama once said ” We are all going to die some day, why kill ?”, it’s so true, He is really a wise man.

Our daily practice is to train our mind to be pure minded, eliminate our greed, hatred, jealousy, and endless desires for pleasure and material stuff, these are called “Poisons” to our mind, poison to our consciousness, which cause our suffering. Being aware of our body (actions), speech, and mind (avoid bad intentions), we will be happier as we continue our spiritual path. Never give up the practice.

Can’t get, Can’t get rid of 得不到, 捨不去

Can’t get, Can’t get rid of 得不到, 捨不去

Lately I have counseling some people with family problems, marriage problems, children problems, relationships etc.

Buddhism emphasizes Cause and Effect, or Karma, all things happened due to karma creations, therefore, to understand the current conditions, we can trace back to previous causes.

Marriage for example, you fall in love with someone you think was perfect at the time, then after getting married, things seemed changed drastically to worse. First, we need to go back to our true seeing, that is our conscious sense of seeing, not with our physical eyes, when we see a person and like or dislike that person, our conscious minds-eye identifies the individual combined with previous karma-connections. When you fall in love, you had karma connection with the person, this karma connection maybe for a long time or short time, when that karma connection is exhausted, the relationship ends, this apply to good relationship and bad relationship.

A good relationship could be in your previous lives, you have done favors for one another, care for and was kind to one another, this time around, you are harmonious with each other.

A bad relationship could be that you might have done wrong to one another, and there are feelings of hatred or unjust against each other, that kind of feeling imbedded deep in the eighth Alaya consciousness, which carried over to next rebirth. So this time around, the two meet again, entangled life together and fight. Therefore, it’s important to practice forgiveness, tolerance, and do not hold grudge or hatred against anyone.

In the Buddha’s First discourse– the Four noble Truth, first truth is Suffering, which includes can’t get what you want, Can’t get rid of what you don’t want. these are conditions from previous causes. If you cannot get something which you want real bad, it means “not meant to be”, let go of it, you don’t need it!

If you stuck with something you don’t want, it’s your karma connection, deal with it best you can. the party might be your previous creditor, returning to collect your debt. or maybe someone you have done harm to in the previous life, and this time around he or she always think you owe them a living, or always hateful to you. In this case, treat him or her like your special guest, give them the best treatment you can, because if this is a creditor, you want be happily repay the debt, if this is someone you have done harm in the previous, you want to be very nice to them, and pay them with great kindness.

If you do all these, things will change for the better, because that is how the law of nature works. Believe me! I have seen many times, it worked for people I know, so I suggest you try it, if you have similar difficulties in life.

What is Success in Life 生命之勝道

What is Success in Life 生命之勝道

Generally, our society measure success base on wealth, fame and status. The fact that wealthy people are not always happy, celebrities often have more problem than ordinary folks, and people with high status usually constant stressed out.

Buddhist point of view, success is quite different, if you are free from stress, have good health, sufficient living condition, and are positive in all things, you are considered fairly success in life.

Many times, I witness a person that is facing death would make common…what have done with my life? now I am dying…all those great ambitions, and struggles, happy moments, angry moments, sad moments…….at this moment, death is near, all have little meaning! if I could start over, I would ……(live a life differently)

Those experiences ware truly the best teachings for me. When I encountered the Buddhism, it answered all my questions. Such as why do bad things happened to good people? why do some people always have good luck and do little to achieve great fortune? why do people married someone they hate? etc.

Buddhism emphasize cause and effect, and re-incarnations, karma and actions. If we generated good karma, we will have better rebirth, that is cause and effect. So the Buddha says to his disciples….”do all that is good, and avoid all that is bad’, “treat everyone equal, and be detached from the world phenomena”. Another words, living in the world, and not of it. or be an observer of the phenomena.

I often suggest to people came for advise that, live each day as last day of our life, make plains as if we are going to life forever. life our life in the moment-to-moment path, being awakened, aware of all our activities, thoughts, and our speech. Don’t do or say anything that we might regret, or cost a relationship. If we do that, we should have as many friends as we wish, and are comfortable with ourselves, and others around us.

Often, we stressed out, this emotional suffering could very well be from our endless desires, wanting more of everything, bigger house, nicer car, more and more money in the bank, higher position, better recognitions etc. all these desires cause us to work much harder, and often result in disappointments, thus we experiencing disturbing emotions and sufferings.

We cannot expect everyone to love us, it’s okay if they don’t, just be true and fair to ourselves and others. It is good idea to simplify our own life, don’t spent our hard earned money on stuff we don’t really need, so we don’t have to work as hard for it, eliminate unnecessary activities, so we don’t exhaust our energy for meaninglessly. The best person to take good care of you is yourself.

Take really good care of yourself, spend time with people you love, value each moment of your life, because we cannot trade-in our body, or re-live our life.

Live a simplified life, truly enjoy it moment-to-moment, here-and-now. Think about “Less is More “, you will realize that your life is quite successful.

let not our heart wrinkled 勿令心生皺紋

                                         let not our heart wrinkled 勿令心生皺紋

We get wrinkles from aging, the older we get, the more wrinkle we have, it’s just natural process. The fact is that our true self does not wrinkle, because it is beyond time, the things you see when you were as a child and the things you today, the eye consciousness of “seeing” does not change. The differences are you perceptions, the senses of eyes changed with your age, along with all our emotions, disturbing emotions cause stress, and invisible heart ache. The “heart wrinkles” is not our physical heart but in the spiritual sense, which will show through our physical appearances, results are wrinkles on our face and body.

I once read an article on a magazine ( can’t remember which, it maybe People Magazine, not sure) In the article, they showed photos of two 60 year old ladies, one is a ordinary lady, whom party a lot during her younger years, and worked hard all her life, she looked very old with a lot of wrinkle on her face. The other lady was a Buddhist nun, though was same age, she looked very young, she looked very peaceful and serene, hardly any wrinkle on her face. There were a huge difference between the two individuals.

So, how do our hearts get wrinkled? it is from our body, speech and mind, when we have hatred against someone, when we say or do something harmful against others, anything negative actions, thoughts, intentions, jealousy, anger, emotional disturbances, puts wrinkles in our heart, the kind of wrinkle that are permanent imprints in our spirits, it is called Karma, which dictates our future becoming (rebirth), no miracle drug or cream can wipe it off our heart or face. It is deeply imbedded in our 8th consciousness, which cause all our sufferings.

The practice of good hearted, generous heat, open heart, big heart is a great idea. We will be much happier and healthier. We need to treat ourselves really good, and take really good care of ourselves, the truth is that no one else can do it for us. Practice to let go of unimportant worries, don’t allow little stuff stress you out. There are endless unjustified events we experience in our daily life, like when you worked real hard to great a great result of a project, and someone else stepped in and take all the credit for it, or someone else stills your business deals, or your sibling take your portion of inheritance etc. let them have it! you will do fine without it, it’s not worth the stress and heart ache, life is too short.

As an old monk used to say; for anything I have, take all you want, carry it away all you can, drink my blood if you are so thirst, eat my flesh if you are so hungry, gnaw my bones if you so desire, and carry away what’s left. You can take anything that is mine (belong to me), but you can’t take me (the true self-true you).

remember! anything that you call “yours” is not you, “Yours” means things belong to you….your body, your hand, feet, head, (they are not you, and your car, your house, your reputation, your pride etc., all seemed so important, but if you carefully think about it, they are all forms of perceptions, they lack inherent existence, how can we afford to cling ourselves to such illusory things, that we even suffer for it?

Therefore, we need to life a life of joy, be detached of all negativities of ourselves, and of others attempted to place upon us, living our life in the illusory state is living in the dream world, we must waking up from that state of existence, life is really here-and-now, yesterday has ended, today is a new beginning, tomorrow has not yet come, so our life is really now, moment-to-moment is our true life, truly live a life is being truly aware of here-and-now.

Enjoy here-and-now, moment-by-moment to the fullest, and let not our heart wrinkled.

Identifying the Subject and the Object 認清本體與客塵

 Identifying the Subject and the Object 認清本體與客塵

As I was watching TV , a program showing a teenager committed suicide because some bully friends told her that she was ugly. And this type of tragedy happened many cases in many cities, how unfortunate!

Due to Karma dictation on rebirth, we are so fortunate to obtain a precious human body, and a powerful mind, we are granted with all happiness and joy, but why so many people living a life of misery? It is because we are confuse with our true identity, we mistaking why we are, our minds are deluded, contaminated, and fill with illusion, most time we are lost between true Object and Subject.

one direct description would be; you are the subject on earth, everything you can see, everything you get in contact, and everything or everyone related to you is the object. It’s … you are here, and they are out there. you are in total control of your own actions and consequences ( cause and effect), this is law of nature. when you are confused who is subject, and who or whatever is the object, you don’t know where is your place / position.

If you are the host, and your guest telling you that you should place your furniture in some different way, and you feel that you have to follow their wishes, not only they are confused who is the host, you are also confused enough to listen to them, you should remember you are the host, you are staying in your own home, they are the guests, and they are coming and going. The host don’t change, but the guest will, this apply to everything.

Our true self is the unchanging host, all phenomena are our guests, the host entertain the guests, but we don’t go with them when they leave. The true self never change, everything else change constantly, moment-to-moment changing, including our body and mind. Behold our true self is behold our spirit, let not our body and mind drift away from our spirit, this is how we take control of our own life.

Example; when we look at flowers, we are the subject, the flowers are the object, when we look at the flowers, the flowers does not look back at us, this shows that the subject and the object is not interchanged. Now we can see that every other sentient being is the subject on their own, when they establish their view on us (positive or negative) , we cannot exchange our view with theirs. Any persons point of view has to do with numerous life times of karma imprints, it is perfectly as they are (good or not good)!

Whatever comes to your way, it’s like a pie in front of you, you can eat it, or you can leave it untouched. If we learn to see thing clearly, identifying the subject and object, and remember you are your own boss, life would be much more simple and joyful.

Wisdom and Compassion 悲智雙修

Wisdom and Compassion 悲智雙修

The ultimate goal of practicing Buddhism is to develop superior wisdom and universal compassion, wisdom and compassion are like two wins of the bird, and they must be balanced. Wisdom without compassion can become very powerful and dangerous, compassion without wisdom can become a nice little fool, therefore we need to develop both.

Wisdom is developed through mind training. our mind is like wild horse, moving very rapidly and goes everywhere nonstop, our mind is also fragmentary, leaving little time of calmness, with this unstable state of mind, often we make mistakes in life, over and over, by misjudging things and make decisions base on those false information.

There are various steps to training the mind, we can first begin simplify our life by eliminate unnecessary things, material objects and spiritual clutters. This is making room for you space internally and externally. if your house is cluttered, you live in it, will subconsciously burdened the spirit, less is better, openness environment helps open up your heart, and make you happier. And by reducing you unnecessary activities, frees up your time and energy , this helps your ability to relax the mind and body. Following precepts is most important practice, it keeps your consciousness clear. (please refer to previous postings on precepts)

Daily placement meditation is highly recommended, find a quite place, sit for a while (the longer the better), clear your mind, and being aware of your surroundings and your mind’s activities, with this practice, extend this awareness throughout your daily life, in a here-and-now, moment-to-moment state mindset. Wisdom will arise when your mind is in a calm abiding state at all time, it becomes clear seeing of all things in the true sense.

To develop universal compassion, we must first be kind to ourselves, forgive ourselves of our own faults, make sincere repentances and vow not to commit those same mistakes again. we develop our own self respect with honesty, integrity, and sound ethics, treat all beings like we wish to be treated, people will love us. We must love ourselves first, so we will be able to love others. If this is hard, we can start with our family, friends, and our circle first, then extend this ability to a wider association, it will get easier with practice.

I know it’s difficult when others are not in the same path as we are, negativity situation occurs, let go of jealousy, envy, fame, name, praise and blame, there are all in the contaminations of the mind, simply be you as you are.

Remember every sentient being seeks happiness as we are, each have their point of view, it can be perfectly wrong, yet it is their view as if it is perfectly right, what do we do then? let go of it! You do need wisdom to protect yourself from any type of harm, you can get away from it or be detached. Love them as they are perfectly imperfect, just as we are.

In a group setting, do not “overly opinionated” , be inclusive and kind to the weak and individuals with lower capacity, we have the capacity to do so while most others don’t. And there is no need to be “I am right, you are wrong” attitude too strongly. all thing has its own course, the law of nature always take care itself, with or without you and me.

The most famous and powerful people in the history, no trace of it today. We actually, do not really own anything forever, when we are gone from this earth, everything we left behind will change hands, some others will use what used to be ours. So, it is wise to obtain what we need, and enjoy it while we can, not trying too hard to accumulate huge amount of stuff (material objects or money) that we don’t really need, which spare us spiritually and physically hardships.

Truly take good care of ourselves, no one else can do it for us, don’t forget to enjoy life each moment and each day, because that’s all we have, this is truly living a life.

Everything is perfect as Is 一切恰好

   Everything is perfect as Is

Upon Buddha’s Enlightenment, he says….”.How wonderful! how wonderful! everything is perfect as is!”

If we had heard that statement today, we probably wondering …what’s so wonderful about? my life is a mess! my job sucks! I am having so much stress etc. But if you carefully think about it, it is true about his realization.

For example; if we try to talk to a three year old child on an adult level, he would not be able to understand, if we planted water melon, we could not expect it to produce bananas. Everything has its source, every person has their level of capacity, each achieve exactly as their ability to perform. Therefore, everything is perfectly as they are.

With this understanding, we will be able to rationalize that all things in nature, the people, the earth, the animals, the wars on earth, weather etc. back to the source, the “cause and effect”, “because this, so the result is that”, this is the law if nature, and it never change.

I like the “Serenity Prayer; ” God grand me the courage to change things that I can, accept the things that I can’t, and have the wisdom to know the difference”. if we always being alert, and aware   and mindful of all things, and identifying whether it is acceptable? or is it possible to change within our own ability? and make decision base on the careful anylization, we should be able to make pretty sound decisions for ourselves.

In our life, it is good idea to be an observer of the world, and not emotionally of it. They said that the world is a stage, each of us must play a part of it. So it is a “Play”, don’t get overly attached to it. Because everything has its own course, if you play against its natural course, it can bring suffering, it’s like surfing, you want to ride the waves instead of against it.

Many times I see family fighting over estate fortunes before the owner even deceased, and when the owner of estate dies, the children really fight, until no one speak to each other in the family. How unfortunate? If you ever in a similar situation, within the family , work place, or in an organization, always remember to ask yourself this question; “is it worth it? are you overly attached? with money or position etc. Any strong attachment will surely being spiritual suffering.

Often wining equals losing, it’s hard to believe this concept, but it’s true, especially with marriage relationships.

Old monk always said; let go the best to others, let others enjoy all glorious, let others be the winners, accept all blame and defeat.

Well! this was very difficult for me to accept at the beginning. later I begin to practice and observe the outcomes, guess what? it’s true, by and being courtliness, humble, everybody likes you and respect you, you gain more friends, and get more accomplishment.

Often, those being praised became corrupted, the winners didn’t win that much anyway, and eventually lost to the bottom.

Remember! all things subject to constant change, life is really here and now, being mindful of moment-to-moment activities, events, and all things as reality, without the mind of attachment, and truly experience it, this is true living.

 

 

 

Eight Winds Immovable 八風吹不動

Eight Winds Immovable 八風吹不動

The Buddhist term ” Eight Winds” is an analogy describing how emotions being disturbed candle in the wind. Eight Winds referring to 1. Success 利, 2. failure 衰, 3. Slander 毀, 4. Glorification 譽, 5. Praise 稱, 6. Ridicule 譏, 7. Suffering 苦, 8. Joyful 樂.

  1. Success 利 : We all want to work hart and be successful. If we are fortunate enough to be successful in whatever we do, we should be thankful for the opportunities, and people who contributed to our success. Do not be proud and arrogant, have gratitude toward people who helped us, remember. all things subject to change. And take the opportunity to do some charitable actions, create some good karma for ourselves, it is the only thing that follow us when we leave this world.
  2. failure 衰 : Failure doesn’t represent who we are, all successful people have experienced failure, the just experienced it more times than average people. Most people quit after experience a few time of failure, often if they just need to give a little more try and a little more time.

Take me for example; like many senior citizens, leaning how to use computer was a challenge, learning to type Chinese on computer makes my hair turned green …. but I remembered; don’t give up. And here I am, writing something to share with you. Remember! my friends, don’t ever give up if you fail.

Slander 毀 : If you study and comprehend Dharma, you know slandering is nothing but useless words that pass through our ears, it should be the easiest thing to overcome. We don’t take trash! we dust it off our shoulder and move on with important things in life. Almost every great people in the history have faced all kind of slandering, Jesus, The Buddha, The Dalai Lama…..I think slandering makes one become stronger.

Fame譽: It is a sphere of appearances, it is a state of mind, by others and by ourselves, it is impermanent, it is lack inherent existence, it comes and go, it is dream like, it is illusory. Enjoy it, but don’t be obsess with it. All things subject to change.

Praise 稱: Glorification is a good thing, except don’t get carried away , be careful! avoid proud and arrogant. Remember the saying….my friend! my enemy! people will change., All things subject to change.

Ridicule 譏: To me it is best to handle it similar to the way with “Slander”, simply ignored it, useless words that pass through our ears. It is the best opportunity to practice tolerance, patience, and forgiving. ignorance people can make themselves look very bad, and not realize it, we really need to forgive them.

Suffering 苦: In the Buddhism, identified suffering in details; all sentient being experience inevitable suffering of Birth, Aging, sickness, death, encounter hostile people, and unwanted situations, separated from loved ones and from what we desire, suffering of anxiety, dissatisfaction, discontentment, suffering mentally and   physically, and all types of natural disasters etc.
Buddhism offers ultimate solutions to transform suffering to true happiness, this is why we are studying and practicing Buddhism.

Joyful 樂: All sentient being seek for happiness, but joyful moments are often rare and short, birthday parties, wedding, vacations etc. after the occasion is over, you feel like a good dream……Impermanent always in charge.
External happiness doesn’t last, true happiness is from within, which is spiritual enlightenment, the everlasting bliss, peace in the mind, recover the pure light of true self, is the eternal ceaseless joy.

Transforming Consciousness into Wisdom 轉識成智

    Transforming Consciousness into Wisdom 轉識成智

The Buddhist practice of meditation is the important method of training the mind, from scattered energy to a calm and stable, peaceful, undisturbed state of clear mind, from the idea of the luminous mind emerged the idea that the awakened mind is the pure, undefiled mind. It is this pure consciousness which lead to the attainment of Buddhahood

This intrinsically pure consciousness is a part of the eighth consciousness (Tathāgata’s /storehouse), some called it (The soul or the Spirit) which never die. When our physical form / body dies, the eighth consciousness leaves the body and continues. For people with untrained mind, this consciousness goes through reincarnation and take a rebirth of a new form / body, what kind of body depends on one’s previous karma. The Buddhist practitioner’s goal is to end the cycle of rebirth.

Within the eighth consciousness, there is the collections of Karma accumulated from our countless previous lives, including good karma and karma, also, there is the pure consciousness called ” tathāgatagarbha(如來藏 in Chinese) which the pure Buddha-nature, or Christians may call it “God within”.

Transforming Consciousness into Wisdom , first steps, requires diligent practice of awareness and mindfulness, carefully controlling, and training our body, speech and mind, from contaminated state to pure state, from disturbing emotions to stable, peaceful clear mind. Completely rid of all poisons of hatred, jealousy, greed, and attachment of endless desires of lust and material objects. Through understanding of the Buddha Dharma, and practice of detachment of all things, knowing that phenomena are but illusions, intrinsically lack inherent existence. One become more loving, compassionate, and forgiving (of self and others), life become more joyful and peaceful.

On the deeper level, you are clearly aware of your six senses consciousness; the senses consciousness of eye ,ear, nose, tongue, and body. Our senses consciousness correspond to the elements of the nature; (eye)visual consciousness of the Heat, (ear) auditory consciousness of the Space, (nose) olfactory consciousness of the Air, (tongue) gustatory consciousness of the Water, (body) tactual consciousness of the earth. The above six sense consciousness belong to sixth consciousness, it is where differentiate all things we encounter, then the seventh consciousness is where all negative karma generated…jealousy, hatred, greed, strong emotional attachments. this is where most practitioners stuck, being unable to transform those strong feelings, and carry directly into the eighth consciousness, causing future suffering.     (Note: Transforming our form body to Coincide with nature of the universe)

The Buddha taught that, in order to escape the dangers of the sense bases, one must be able to apprehend the sense bases without defilement, In “Abandoning the Fetters” . The Sutta Pitaka 經藏 (of Pali canon) identifies ten “fetters of becoming”: (1) belief in a self , (2)doubt or uncertainty, especially about the Dharma Teachings (3) attachment to rites and rituals (4) sensual desire (5) ill will (6)) lust for material existence, lust for material rebirth (7) lust for immaterial existence, lust for rebirth in a formless realm (8) conceit (9) restlessness (10)ignorance

the Buddha states that one abandons the fetters ” when one knows and sees all things as impermanent, the six sense organs, objects, sense-consciousness, contact and sensations. Similarly, in “Uprooting the Fetters” the Buddha states that one uproots the fetters “, when one knows and sees the illusory self as nonself…

To foster this type of penetrative knowing and seeing , wisdom is developed, and the resultant extinguishing flame of suffering.

Awakening Your True Self 自性的喚醒

Awakening Your True Self  自性的喚醒

The word “Buddha” means “Awakened”, awaking your true self is awaking your innate Buddha nature, it is the ultimate intend of the Buddha’s teachings. While there are thousand ways of buddhist practice, all are working toward the complete awaking of the true self, the Buddha nature exist within each of us, that is attaining Enlightenment.

How many times have you gone to the store to buy something, only to come out with some other things that you didn’t intend to buy? worse yet, you forget to buy the something you went to the store for in the first place. Or when you were driving to a certain place, you missed the turn, or passed your destination all together? All due to mindless.

The practice of awaking your true self, is mindful of each and every single activities of the body, speech and mind, that is what we do, what we say, and what our thoughts look like. We carefully observe every single detail of all our daily life’s activities, from the moment we wake up to the moment you get back in the bed , and before we go to sleep, the whole complete day is ongoing practice.

When you wake up in the morning, when you first open your eyes, before getting out of the bed, you are mindful of seeing whatever you eye’s make contact with, knowing what you see, this is seeing with your mind, not from your eye senses— the eye aggregate.

knowing your body still in the bed, mindful of you putting the blanket away, your feet touch the floor, mindful of walking toward bathroom, picking up the tooth brush etc. being mindful of every detail throughout the day.

When you are walking, you are aware and mindful of each step you take… right foot up and down..left foot left and down…touching the floor…This is mindful of your body.

Mindful of your interacting with people and things, when you are talking with people, you observe the mind process, being aware of each wards coming out from your mouth, you are talking from your mind, and not from you heart and through your physical aggregate—the mouth. This is mindful of your speech.

When you drink a cup of coffee, you are mindful that your hand reach to the cup, picking up the cup, feel the warmth in hand, drinking the coffee, mindful of the taste of coffee ….you observe every detail…This is mindful of taste.

Throughout the day, your mind never leave, never apart from your actions, your speech and thoughts, you are truly living in the “here-and-now”. This is true practice.

It’s not easy at first, because our human nature, the mind has tendency to wonder off, scattered and fragmentary, although there are slightest space of thoughtless in between, it is so short that we usually neglect it, that is due to our mindless.

With diligent practice, your mindfulness time between (contamination thoughts) will extend, your innate wisdom will be gradually developed, and the quality of your life will Simultaneously be enhanced.

You will notice that you have become happier and happier, because of your pure seeing, pure mindful of all things, you will have the ability to eliminate contaminated energies that come to your way, and capture all the pure positive energies into your mind, eventually, you would be able to be joyful anywhere and anytime. At this time your life will be transformed from suffering to true happiness. This is the power of Dharma.

Natural Equality 自性平等

Natural Equality 自性平等

After hurricane Katrina, the rescuers went out to look for people and animals to be saved, they found various breeds of dogs, cats, large and small, they put all these animals in the same vehicles, and all the strangers (animals) were hurtled together, lean on each other without any sign of discomfort or aggression toward one another.

Also I found a YouTube video, where there were three large different types of large animals like a tiger, a bear, and a lion, living together harmoniously.  An unlikely trio is spending their days together at a wildlife rescue facility in Georgia. In single enclosure, a lion, a Bengal tiger and an American black bear have an unbreakable friendship, they play together, chase each other and snuggle.

This example shows that all sentient beings’ original consciousness has the characteristic of equality. If animals of different species can live together, we the humans should be able to live harmoniously on this beautiful little planet earth we all call “home”.

The reason people in the world can’t get along is due to contaminations of the mind, of the environment, the ego of the “I”, the greed, hatred, endless craving for power, jealousy, fame, name, wealth, lust etc. These contaminated qualities are the spiritual deficiencies which cause all the miseries, sufferings for us humans.

Our natural consciousness has no differentiation of race, gender, origin, young or old, what one believes etc. No limit nor limitless of time and space, it is vast, and open, and filled with natural joy and universal love. We lost all that because we were contaminated since the day we were born. Therefore, Buddhism is the path to recovery of our true self, our pure, true happy, original self. Non-judgmental like a new born baby, no fears, no violent, only with pure and peaceful mind, and simple basic needs.

Buddhist usually say “Letting Go”, or “Putting it all down” is the “Here and Now” solution, of course, this takes proper understanding of the Dharma (Buddha’s Teachings) and practice. When we get used to the practice of “Putting it all down”, it becomes easier and easier, one day you suddenly notice that, things used to bother you and get up upset, is gone!

The practice works because all things change with time and space, sometimes we may think there’s no hope…but you remembered “Letting Go”, then in a short time, you realized everything wasn’t so bad after all, maybe even better than you expected.

Also, to be spiritual free is to simplify our life. Do we really need to take on all the activities in our daily life that make us running crazy? Physically and mentally all beat up. If we think about how short our life is, we can begin by calculate  on the average life of 80 years old; on average, we spend about 30% of time sleeping,  30% of time working / making a living, 10% of time driving/ traveling, 10% household up keeping and cleaning, 10% eating / preparing, 10% resting / enjoying (maybe arguing) . That added up to 100%. We do this day-in and day-out, then we grows old, then we die, not really a good picture…..

It’s so important to remember “Here-and-Now”, value our precious time and our fragile body, do not abuse our only body with harmful food and activities, since we cannot “trade-In” our body. Also take good care of anything that we cannot “trade-In”, like our parents, our love ones, value and enjoy the time we have with them, because all things subject to change.

 

Liberation without Religion 解脫不在於宗教

               Liberation without Religion 解脫不在於宗教

I know many people would probably strongly oppose even the name of this topic, and say “What…?”

Well, I have to tell the truth. Liberation is spiritual freedom, it has nothing to do with the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods.

liberation is getting free from suffering of cyclic existence, constraint or difficulties in life, ability to disentangle from meaningless activities, detachment of emotional disturbances, freeing spirit to a joyful realm, that is true happiness.

Buddhism is the path coincide with scientific, natural and spiritual.

Scientific; our body is composed of the four elements, earth, water, air, heat. Our body is the earth, all liquids in the body is water, we need air to breath, our body temperature is the heat. If any of the four elements off balance, we get sick. or if we get upset, our blood pressure goes up– like boiling water, our face tern red–heated temperature etc., makes us feeling sick. Meditation calms our mind and body, intern contribute to better health, coincide with medical Science.

Natural; because Buddhism emphasis “Cause and Effect”, it is the law of nature, it directly associates with our daily life, all our actions (of body, speech and mind / thoughts,) that generates “Karma”, which we cannot see, but it’s there waiting to dictate our future becoming or consequence ( it maybe good or bad).

Spiritual: by understanding how the law of nature works, we can apply the methods learned from Dharma, Anterograde (Same direction) the natural law, life will be more smooth, instead of surfing our life against waves. The Buddhism leads one to positive spiritual transformation, and develop superior wisdom and genuine compassion. It is the great wisdom enable one to rid the root of problems in life.

Therefore, anyone can attain liberation without religion, anyone can practice Buddhism, there’s no geographic limitations, Buddhism can be practiced by young or old, man or woman, black or white, beautiful or ugly, oriental, Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, or atheist.

That is why we have noticed there are more and more Westerners entering the stream of Buddhism.

Sharing a Quotation by Albert Einstein: The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion. it should be transcend personal God and avoid dogma and theology. Covering both the natural and spiritual, it should be based on religious sense arising from the experience of all things natural and spiritual as a meaningful unity. Buddhism answers this description…….if there is any religion that could cope with modern scientific needs, it would be Buddhism.

Nirvana 涅槃

Nirvana 涅槃

This a word often misunderstood as death by none Buddhist and also by Buddhist.  So, we will take a look at some of the interpretations of “nirvana”.

Buddhist tradition distinguishes between nirvana in this lifetime and nirvana after death. In “nirvana-in-this-lifetime” physical life continues, but with a state of mind that is free from negative mental disturbances, the mind is peaceful, happy, and non-reactive. With “nirvana-after-death”, paranirvana, the last remains of physical life vanish, and no further rebirth takes place.

In the Mahayana tradition, the highest goal is Buddhahood, in which there is no abiding in Nirvana, but a Buddha re-enters the world to work for the salvation of all sentient beings

The term nirvana describes a state of freedom from suffering and rebirth

The extinction of greed, the extinction of hatred, the extinction of delusion: this indeed is called Nirvana.

In the Theravada-tradition, nirvana is regarded as an uncompounded or unconditioned state of being which is “trans-mundane”, and which is beyond our normal dualistic conceptions

In one interpretation, the “luminous consciousness” is identical with Nirvana.

One who has eternal peace and bliss?

As you see, nirvana is not death; we can say it is deathless death. A person can be well alive in nirvana, because the spirit is in such a state of complete peace and bliss. And nirvana after a person is death; one is free from rebirth (back into Samsara / suffering of existence).

Therefore, nirvana can be achieved in one’s life time, not after death, when one has attained Enlightenment, one is in nirvana. The Buddha’s teachings clearly charted out the Path for his followers to learn and practice, it is the path of his own experience leading to his own enlightenment. The Buddha never ask his disciples to worship him as some sort of higher being, but to fellow his steps, and try and prove for themselves.

Enlightenment is recovery of true self, our very own divinity, the true spirit within us all along, never apart from each of us since birth, each of us has Buddha-Nature within, similar to Christian’s saying…there’s God within.

We don’t need to seek for enlightenment from “out-there”, we just need to “wake-up”. Wake up from what? You might ask; wake up from dream-like state of existence.

All things are mere manifestation of our own mind, our anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, endless desires etc. creates cloud-like delusional sufferings, we don’t realize we created our own sufferings, day in and day out, we don’t even realize that we are suffering, then one day, when our physical body can no longer function, everything seem suddenly come to an end, then we ask ourselves; where did time go? What have I done with my life?

True happiness is spiritual, not money, love, or other form of success in life; they offer temporary happiness, which subject to change of time and space.  Economy change, people change, nothing is permanent.

True happiness is here and now on the Buddhist Path, developing wisdom and compassion by purification of our body, speech and mind. Detachment of all poisons, (to the mind–greed, hatred, jealousy, proud…)

 

What is Dharma? 何為 法 ?

What is Dharma? 何為 ?

There is no single word translation for the word “Dharma” western languages. In Chinese “(Fua) has many meanings also. In Hinduism, Dharma signifies behaviors that are considered to be “rta” (similar to Chinese “Tao”), the order makes life and universe possible; including rights, responsibilities, virtues, right way of living, the path, one’s conducts, and the laws of government.

Philosophically, dharma also refer to “phenomena”, or the “path of righteousness”, and other areas as purification and moral transformation of human beings,

In Buddhism, Dharma means “cosmic law and order”, also applied to the teachings of the Buddha, as in our discussion here.

Dharma means the truth, nature, way of living, law of nature. that is why the Buddha after teaching dharma 49 years, proclaimed that he did not teach anything. Just like we wouldn’t say” I use water to water the flowers” or “I had lunch meal”. His teachings (Dharma) only meant “pointing the way to the truth”, like use the finger pointing to the moon, the finger is not the moon.

To understand Dharma, we need to understand the meaning beyond the words, not from the “face value”. For example; many buddhist and non-buddhist, mistakenly thought the word ” nirvana” as being “death” (it’s deathless death), or “emptiness” as “nothing, or void of anything” (it’s something of nothing). All takes deep contemplation.

Dharma encompasses wisdom and compassion. It is flexible with the nature’s impermanence of the reality. It is also in line with scientific, the nature of cause and effect. If you do this; the result is this, if you do that; the result is that; you ripe what you sow, this is the law of nature.

Homan nature has great qualities, the Buddha said that each of us have buddha-nature, which is pure and sound, loving and kind, with natural wisdom and compassion, and even possess natural powers. Well! what happened? we are in such shape? the world is filled with violence, it is not in our original human nature. It is due to contamination of the mind, with contaminated mind there’s delusion, like wearing dirty glasses, we can’t see clear what is out there, then we make decisions based on false perceptions, then we suffer from all the consequences of disturbing emotions, undesirable phenomena.

In the Dharma teaching of the Eight-fold-Path, they are to be applied rightly, Right View for example; if you don’t have right view, everything you do will be off track, the farther you go the farther you are off the Right Path.

This is true in religions, we have seen many people being very religious, going to churches, or temples every week for long time, yet their behaviors still showed heavy contaminated with greed, hatred, jealousy, endless desires for fame, name, praise and blame, and plenty of emotional disturbance, generating endless suffering in their life. This is due to lack understanding of the right view.

Dharma is also very practical, it emphasis “here and now”, being aware of moment-to-moment of life experiences, truly living a life. Only by being mindful of moment-to-moment of our daily activities, thoughts, and speech, can we detect any wrong doings, and correct immediately, this is the dharma practice, detachment of all negativities is the key.

Following this practice, we can one day develop calm abiding mind without even realize it, intern wisdom is developed, suffering will end at the time when wisdom is attained. Dharma has no religious denomination or boundaries, everyone can practice this path. So, never too late to learn and practice Dharma, the time to begin is now. Buddhism promote non-violent, world peace is possible with Buddha Dharma.

 

Tolerance 忍辱

Tolerance 忍辱

In the Bodhisattva practice–Six Paramita, there is a practice of “Tolerance”. Many people find it hard to actually practice, because it is difficult to “love the unlovable”.

A story in a Sutra….a Bodhisattva asked the Buddha…..Please describe what is an enlightened one like? The Buddha replied; A Buddha is someone facing thousands of people beating him with sticks, while enduring all the pain and ridicule, he never engender any thought of hatred, his mind remained calm and peaceful .

Another story is that, a village girl had a illegitimate child, when the family pressed for answers about who is the child’s father, she brought the baby to the Buddha and said,  this is your child; imagine accusing a monk doing such a thing? The Buddha silently accepted the false accusation, the punishment by the family and ridicule from the villagers. A few years went by, the young lady finally could no longer bare the guilt, so she told the truth. That is when people realized how great the Buddha was, and everybody begun to fellow Him, and practice His teachings.

Well, how close are we on practice of tolerance? It’s really not easy. To be able be tolerant, inclusive, forgiving, and compassionate, one must first comprehend “emptiness”.  Without understanding of emptiness, it’s impossible to achieve true tolerance.

We have discussed “emptiness” in the previous posted topics, emptiness is the truth that all things lack inherent existence; when someone talk bad thing about you, it is only the sound carried by the wind traveled thought your ears, and you happened to understand the language, intern stirred up your unguarded emotions, if your do not know that particular language, then you don’t understand what on earth they are saying, it would not bother you in any way. therefore, our mind should not be disturbed by words (wind/air).

If someone criticize us, or  accuse us about something, first, we do a self inquiry; if what they say is true? , we correct ourselves quickly, if it’s not true, that means they are committing bad karma from speech, we view it as an opportunity to practice detachment and tolerance, just like brush dust off your shoulders, and out your mind.

Argument is a tendency for many, but will not solve the problem, it will only fuel the tension between parties. It’s been said; if two people continued to fight for a long period of time, both parties are wrong, because it take two to tangle. I used to joke with friends; if you want have a fight with me, please go outside wait for me, if I don’t show up, go ahead start to fight without me. So, next time someone wants to argue with you, just tell the person, keep talking (arguing), I’ll be back later…….maybe not ! Argument is only exchange of sounds / voices, lack inherent existence, let the wind blow it away!

In any unpleasant situation, always go back thinking “emptiness”, life is only a passage, as we travel through, good or not so good, all are “experiences”, like in a moving train, we cannot cling to anything we see from the window, all experience will be gone with time and space, therefore, we conclude that all things, all experience are “emptiness”, be detached, this how to be spiritually free.

Where are you from? Where will you go? 何來?何去?

Where are you from? Where will you go? 何來?何去?

We all know the stages of our life….birth, childhood, schools, jobs / careers, marriage, children, growing old, sickness and death. How many people have ever thought about; where were you before you were born? where will you go after you are dead?

Every day, we start with getting up, brush our teeth, get dressed, go to work, then fight the traffic, go home and have dinner, etc. day in and day out, we make some ,spend it, we trade the time of our life to acquire some material objects, love, fame and name etc., and getting older along the way, then we die. this is the truth if you really think about it.

When we think about it, we begin to wonder where did “I” come from? where do “I” go when I die? and what is purpose of life?

According to the Buddha dharma, the “I” come from the eighth consciousness, it is the storage of Karma, (good and bad), which dictates one’s future becoming. within the eighth consciousness there’s Tathagata-mind which is the pure buddha nature, this mind never apart from the eighth consciousness, and it migrates with your rebirth.

Therefore, one never actually dies, only the form changes, form meaning the shape of the body. This also dictated by the Karma. for example; if a person has stilling Habits, this habit would be most compatible to what? a rat or similar, or if a person has a habit of hatred, this habit would be most compatible to what? a snake or similar. if a person is poor, but he / she always being compassionate and charitable, this habit would be most compatible to what? a wealthy and kind person. It is the habitual mind that dictates one’s future becoming of the form/body.

This is why the Buddha upon His enlightenment, feel the need to teach sentient being to practice Dharma, by following his Path, to purify our mind and spirit, so we will not fall into the lower realms of existence.

The ultimate goal is to break away from the cycle of existence; the wheel of rebirth. How? you ask, begin from here and now, moment-to-moment in our daily life, purify our body, speech and mind, neutralize our mind, view all thing with non judgmental mind. we see people doing good things, we praise, we see people doing bad things, we know what they are doing, be detached.

If we can give advice without making them angry, by all means do so, but best advice is giving by ask. Long time ago, I found out if you take upon yourself to give advice, most time people react in a negative way, most time they reacted with the attitude “Who do you think you are?”, so use wisdom.

If someone say something negative about you, first examine yourself if what they say is true, if it is, correct yourself immediately, if not true, be detached, you know they are creating negative Karma for themselves. Or do something harmful to you, if physically , get to safe place as fast as possible, if none physical, be detached. you know they are creating negative Karma for themselves.

To be spiritual free is to not live in the past, good or bad, not live in the future, that is living in the dream world, live in the “Here and Now”, yet not being attached to the phenomena. Because all things changes from moment to moment, joyful moments will end soon, so will suffering moments, if you ever think ….ooh! things are so bad, it’s like end of the world! just remember, it’s only momentary, it will change for better very soon, sometimes within only minutes.

All things are only passage of life, and in this human realm, there will always be good and bad, we only need to learn to neutralize it, bringing your mind to emptiness, this is the way to break from the cycle of rebirth, this is the Path of Dharma.

You are a Buddha 你就是佛

You are a Buddha 你就是佛

The Buddha nature is within each of us, therefore, when we say “become a Buddha”, it really meant “Recover our true self”. We need not look elsewhere, it is within each of us all along. The reason we cannot see our true self, is because our mind have been contaminated I for very long time; from past lives to current life time. Our mind is filled with delusion, which prevented us from seeing our true self. It’s like layering our mind with heavy clouds, the sun is always there, but we cannot see it through the clouds.

It’s like we are wearing dirty glasses, seeing all things in the wrong way, and based on those incorrect views, we make all kinds of mistakes, causing all our sufferings; we suffer from stress, worries, dissatisfaction, jealousy, hatred, desires, proud, doubts etc. which we don’t even realize. Thus, the source of suffering is our illusory mind.

To end suffering, we begin purify our body, speech and mind; do good things, speak good words, and good thoughts. The fact is that every one of us have some short comings, we all make some mistakes, no one is perfect. We can begin to forgive ourselves, and forgive others. By practice saying good words to others, try to over look their faults, every person have some good quality, everyone can be our teacher in some way. With this attitude, you will notice your life gradually become happier and happier, That is making others happy is making yourself happy, because the truth is that, we are inseparably interconnected.

When our mind is purified, we will begin to see all things in the true sense, happiness will naturally arise, we can breathe better, carrying oxygen throughout our body, we intern become healthier. Many types of illness come from stress, worrying, anger, hatred, and jealousy. these are invisible poisons to our health, I am sure you doctor would agree to this theory. This is physical benefits of practicing Buddha-Dharma.

Most importantly, Buddhism practice leads us to spiritually free, it is the main purpose of the Buddha’s teachings. You might say Buddha dharma is too hard to understand, well, “yes” and “No”. Yes, because the Buddha taught 49 years of Truth, there are truck loads of scriptures to study, one cannot read it all in a life time, but you only need to comprehend one path, you could achieve enlightenment. And “NO” (not hard) because your Buddha nature is within yourself, not out there somewhere that you have to travel around the world seeking for it, you simply “put it down” and there you “Are”.

Remember this little prayer:

When sitting, sit like a Buddha.

When eating, eat like a Buddha.

When talking, talk like a Buddha.

When walking, walk like a Buddha.

You are wise and compassionate like the Buddha.

You are a Buddha.

Brief introduction of Vajrayana Buddhism 密宗簡介

Brief introduction of Vajrayana Buddhism 密宗簡介

Vajrayana also known as Tantric Buddhism, Tantrayanan, Mantrayan, Esoteric Buddhism, Diamond Path or Thunderbolt Way. It is one of the three “Vehicles” or “Path” to enlightenment.

The distinction between Vajrayana and Sutrayana; the Sutrayana is the method of perfecting good qualities, where the Vajrayana is the method of direct path to achieve Buddhahood.

In the Sutrayana tradition, one can “Take refuge” through a teacher, and begin to practice to progress to higher levels. In the Vajrayana Buddhism, one must receive initiation (permission) to practice, this apply to each progression level of Tantras practice. One must accomplish certain level before advance into the next higher level. The Guru and disciple relationship is exmily close.

Foundation of Vajrayana is the same as Sutrayana; one must study the Buddhist “Tripitaka” (Precepts, Sutras, and Commentary) .

Three Outer Tantras: 外三乘

Kriyayoga: 事業部is action tantra, which emphasizes rituals; purification, Blessing, Harmony, subdue distractions. The goal of his practice is to create opportunity to introduce the Buddhism general public, by offering purification rituals, blessings for success, good health, harmony etc. all the mundane problems and wishes. Then, gradually lead them to understand the root of all problems comes from ignorance. By teaching them the Buddha dharma, one then solve their own problems.

Charyayoga: 實修Actual practice, purification of body, speech, and mind. and performance tantra, which emphasizes chanting of mantra and meditation.

Yogatantra: emphasizes the inner yoga meditation of method and wisdom, because based on knowledge and understanding of all aspects of the profound ultimate truth and the vast relative truth, one’s practice emphasizes contemplation that inseparably unites the two truth. (Form is emptiness, emptiness is form)

Important Note: Three Inner Tantras: 內三乘The highest yoga tantra outline here is for information only, practitioner must receive initiation, and under close instruction of a Guru/Master.

There are two stages of practice in the highest yoga; the generation stage and the completion stage.

1.Generation stage: 升起次第There are two stages;

the front generation: in is a type of yidam ( Principle deity) practice, by visualize the deity appear in the sky facing the practitioner. Using visualization, which yidam transform into a light beam, then entering practitioner’s crown chakra, in a split second the practitioner and the yidam becomes one.

Self generation: Begin with ” Nine-fold breathing”, advance into “Chi” cultivation. Prana氣, Bindo脈, subtle drops 明點.

Anuttarayoga: 圓滿次第 highest yoga tantra, which further divided into “mother”, “father” and ” non-dual.

2.Mahayoya 瑪哈瑜嘎 : “mother” (母續) 大圓滿相應次第

3.Anuyoga 阿努瑜嘎 : “father” (父續) 無上圓滿相應次第

4.Atiyoga: 阿底瑜嘎 : Non-dual 無比圓滿次.

The Heart Sutra 心經

                           The Heart Sutra 心經

(The Heart Sutra is condensed from diamond Sutra, the diamond Sutra is condensed from a huge volume of the Prajna-paramita-hrdaya-Sutra) This is the Perfect Wisdom sutra, a sutra which all Buddhist practioners memorized and chant every day. I strongly suggest you do it too.It’s not so hard, if you read it five time each day for a month, you will be able to remember it.

Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva,

when practicing the profound Prajna-paramita,

perceived that the five skandhas are empty,

and thereby became free from all suffering.

O Sariputra,

form is none other than emptiness;

emptiness is none different than form.

Form is emptiness; emptiness is form.

The same is true with perception, conception, volition, and consciousness.

O Sariputra,

All dharmas are characterized by dependence upon causation.

They are neither created nor do they perish,

neither defiled nor immaculate,

neither increasing nor decreasing.

Therefore in emptiness there is no form,

no perception, no conception, no volition, no consciousness;

no eye, eye, nose, tongue, body, or mind;

no form, sound, smell, taste. touch, or object of mind;

no realm of th eyes…

up to no realm of consciousness;

No ignorance, nor its extinction…

up to no old-age and death, nor their extinction.

There is no suffering, no cause of suffering,

no extinction, no path,

no wisdom and also no attainment.

Because there is no object to be obtained.

The bodhisattvas, through practicing Prajna-paramita,

have no obstacles in mind.

Having no obstacles, they overcome fear,

liberating themselves forever from delusions,

ultimately realizing Nirvana.

All Buddhas of the past, present, and future,

relying on Prajna-paramita,

attain Anuttara-samyaksambodhi.

Therefore one should know that

Prajna-paramita is the great supernatural mantra,

(the great) bright mantra,

(the great) unsurpassed mantra,

and (the great) unequalled mantra,

the destroyer of all suffering, The truth.

A mantra of Prajna-paramita should therefore be proclaimed.

This is the mantra: Gate Gate Para-gate Parasama-gate Bodhi Svaha!

Divinity represents the Middle Way 中道法性

                   Divinity represents the Middle Way 中道法性

The methods of the Buddha’s discourse is according the his audience at the time of his teachings. Based on the level of individual or group’s capacity, to teach the contains which they might comprehend.

The intend of all teachings are to point to the same direction; which is to lead one to attain enlightenment.

Divinity is the pure mind, free from all disturbing emotions, non-attachment, non-thought state.

Our mind is fragmentary, we constantly have thoughts , and there are only a small split second of thoughtless time span in between. That is why Buddhist practitioners meditate to train the mind, to bring the busy thinking mind to a more stable state, to reduce the time span of fluttery thoughts to thoughtless, extending the time pan of thoughtless mind to the maximum, in other words, being thoughtless all the time. This thoughtless time span is the Middle Way.

That does not mean that we don’t think at all, like a rock or vegetable, it meant we bring the mind to a stable and pure state. Only with pure mind can we see the true reality, like the mirror reflecting all things. The mirror dose not judge what object it reflect, or differentiate what it reflect.

Like the sun, it shines on everywhere, like the earth, it accepts all things, or like the US dollars, it serves the purpose of exchange for goods and services, no matter who and anyone who use it. It is non-judgmental, it is equality.

The Middle Way is not what the mundane way of thinking, like left, right and the middle, top and bottom, and there’s the middle, it’s like a clean mirror.

To achieve this state of mind takes serious meditation of jhana, by transcending our mind through the five skandhas, purifying the six the consciousness, and seventh consciousness (the disturbing emotions based), directly altering the eighth consciousness to become pure.

An example of a storage; if we take out all the junk in the storage, and replace it with useable items in a organized order, we would be much more productive. By purifying our mind, simultaneously wisdom will be developed. Only with wisdom can we salve all mundane problems, mentally and spiritually .

Middle Way 中觀簡說

Middle Way 中觀簡說

The Middle Way is the term that Siddhartha Gautama used to describe the character of the path he discovered that leads to his enlightenment. It is the true-seeing of empty nature of reality, without an object or subject, non judgmental, non discrimination, non attachment, no good or bad, long or short, high or low etc. As described in the “Heart Sutra”

A state of transcending the five Skandhas, also sixth and seventh consciousness, it is beyond the four “Arupajhana”. Arupajhana differs as their object is determined by the level of the jhana: infinite space, infinite consciousness, infinite nothingness, neither perception nor non-perception.

Equanimity: is another term that attempts to describe the nature of Absolute Reality, also referred to as the only Reality. By the term “real”, is being pointed to be that which is unchanging in all circumstances and independent of space and time. The physical world and mental world hence do not qualify as being “real”, because they subject to change.

The idea of equanimity refers to being in pure awareness. Being in pure awareness requires dissolution of mind. The term mind is also known as Ego or identity. When there is no distraction or attachment to thoughts, there is equanimity. That ‘Equanimity’ does not refer to a state of mind; rather it describes our real nature.

When one attained the equanimity, all things are non-differentiation, non-good or bad, non-high or low, near or far, young or old, male or female, past, present or future. It is beyond time and space, in the sphere of emptiness with pure consciousness.

When we are aware of our true nature, the individual ego does not operate anymore, hence the outcome is equanimity. When one is fully aware, one does not become attached to the world, rather one acts as a “witness” or “seer” of the world. The world is apparent and unfolds in front of our awareness.

Sentient beings, due to lack of clarity, we identify with the body and the mind, and become finite and limited. The only unchanging reality is pure awareness.

The Buddha said; everyone can eventually achieve equanimity through spiritual practice leading to self-realization / Enlightenment.

The Buddha never ask his followers to worship him, but to have faith in Him, practice his Path, and prove it by ourselves.

By “look within” our very own true nature (Buddha nature), it is always there, one with each of us, not to search for enlightenment elsewhere. It is “I am” or “I am that”, here and now.

 

 

Five Skandhas and Eight Consciousness五蘊及八識

Five Skandhas五蘊 and Eight Consciousness 八識

Five Skandhas 五蘊

  1. Rupa: 色 Form or Matter Aggregate: Form 地 Fluid 水Heat 火Moving 風Space 空 Perception 見

Consciousness識.

  1. Vedana: 受Sensation/ feeling ( 6 sense organs: eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, mind in contact with the 6 sense

objects: form, sound, smell. taste, bodily impression, mental objects.)

  1. Samjna: 想 Perception/ discrimination ( recognition the mental function of shape, color, length, pain, pleasure etc.)
  2. Samskara: 行 Mental Function (i.e. flashback, will, intention, or mental accounts for craving.)
  3. Vijnana: 識 Consciousness ( Cognitive, discrimination) Provides memory for seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, bodily sensation, and mental consciousness, Manas consciousness, and Alaya consciousness.

Form ——————–Eyes sense

Sound ——————Ears sense

Smell ——————-Nose sense

Taste ——————-Tongue sense

Touch ——————Body   sense

Mind ——————Mind consciousness

The above five aggregates and the mind like the camera, which reflected objects to the mind consciousness, they send all information as “raw material” to the six consciousness to process; by identifying what they are.

For example; when you see a red rose, your eyes sees the shape of a rose, your eyes did not know what it is. your eye-senses send the information to the sixth consciousness ( “Mano-consciousness”).

The sixth consciousness identify it as a red rose (not yellow, white etc.). Then the sixth consciousness sends this information to the seventh consciousness .

There’s Seventh consciousness; it’s called Manas (末那識). It is the “Delude awareness, This seventh consciousness posited on the basis of straightforward cognition, combined with inferential cognition. it is a “mind consciousness”, this is where self grasping, attitude, jealousy, hatred, love, and disturbing emotions all posit. Our Dharma practice of training the mind is to focus on taming the disturbing emotions, and bring the mind to a stable and calm abiding, so life would be more peaceful and enjoyable.

There’s Eighth consciousness; it is called Alaya ( 阿賴耶識) . It is All-encompassing foundation consciousness, it functions the reflexive awareness and storage of memory. Posited on the basis of inferential cognition. In plain explanation; it’s like a storage for all good deeds and bad deeds / good karma or bad karma one generated in the previous and present life times, and all the habits (familiarities) which become like a seed for future becoming, it dictates one ‘s favorable or unfavorable rebirth.

Within the Eighth consciousness, there also is the Amora consciousness (阿摩羅識), it is the pure divine consciousness, it is what is referred to as Buddha-nature .

That is why Buddha said we are all capable to be enlightened, because we all naturally have Buddha-seed or Buddha-nature within. If we purify all the delusions, impurities in our eighth consciousness, leaving only the pure Buddha-nature, we would be free from rebirth in the lower six realms of Samsara.

Seven Wisdom Wealth 七聖財

 

Seven Wisdom Wealth 七聖財 ( 報恩經 )

You would have noticed, that many of the Dharma teachings are overlapped. As you know; Buddha taught 49 years, to people at different times and places, and his teachings are according to different levels of capacities of the people present at that time.

On the Buddhist path, it’s important that we accumulate these “Wealth”, without them, it’s impossible for us to achieve enlightenment, these are qualities we need to develop and practice.

In general, people accumulate wealth for survival, for living a better life, for security of their future, for their children and other different reasons. Which is a good thing, except, there’s a problem, we cannot take anything with us when it’s time to leave this world, no matter how much wealth you have, how much you love someone, your accomplishment, your status, your favorite collectables and so forth. You cannot take anything! except Karma (good and bad) which we generated during our life time.

However! we can take our wisdom, it remained within our 8th. consciousness (Alaya), therefore, we want to nurture good things we can take with us into next life. The Seven Wisdom-Wealth are;

  1. Faith: faith in the three jewels; Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, don’t be a drop-out.
  2. Precepts: following strict precepts to create good cause and effect, for better rebirth.
  3. Clear Conscience: Anything we do, good or bad, creates an imprint in our deep consciousness, if we do a bad deed, even though no one knows, but deep inside we know, don’t try to cheat ourselves, because this becomes a cancer in the mind, eventually it will hurt us.
  4. Generosity: This is giving with passion, and without attachment, a mind of emptiness of who give, who received and what was given.
  5. Diligence: Develop genuine interest and effort in study and practice (apply) in daily life, being focused on the path to enlightenment.
  6. Tolerance: All Buddhas and Bodhisattvas praise those with great tolerance. This can only be arrived by understanding of emptiness, realization of all things ultimately lack inherent existence.
  7. Wisdom: Stability of the mind, no trace of disturbing emotions, this is achieved through following precepts and accomplishment in higher levels of meditation.

Lineage Transmission of Buddha Mind 佛的心印傳承

          Lineage Transmission of Buddha Mind 佛的心印傳承

                           Chan (Zen) Patriarchs 禪宗傳承

 

The Transmission of the Light gives 28 patriarchs in India transmission, and to 6th. Patriarch in China.

From Buddha Shakyamuni to :

1.Mahakashyapa摩訶迦葉

2 Ananda 阿難陀

3.Sanavasa商那和修

4.Upagupta優婆掬多

5.Dhartaka提多迦

  1. Miccaka彌遮迦
  2. Vasumitra 婆須密
  3. Buddhanandi 浮陀難提
  4. Buddhamitra 浮陀密多

10.Parsva   婆栗濕婆

11.Punyayasas富夜耶奢

  1. Anabodhi阿那菩提
  2. Kapimala 迦毘摩羅
  3. Nagarjuna龍樹
  4. Aryadeva迦那提婆
  5. Rahulata 羅睺羅多
  6. Sanghanandi僧伽難提

18.Sanghayasas 僧伽舍多

  1. Kumarata   僧伽舍多
  2. Sayata   闍夜多
  3. Vasubandhu 世親
  4. Manorhita 摩拏羅
  5. Haklenayasas 鶴勒夜那夜者
  6. Simhabodhi 師子菩提
  7. Vasiasita 婆舍斯多
  8. Punyamitra 不如密多
  9. Prajnatara 般若多羅
  10. Bodhi Dharma 菩提達磨 (The last Patriarch in India, whom traveled to China to spread pure

Dharma and to seek for a Lineage disciple)

In China:

  1. Bodhidharma 達摩 (ca. 440 – ca. 528)
  2. Huike 慧可 (487 ? –593)
  3. Sengcan        僧燦 (d. 606)
  4. Daoxin 道信 ( 580 –651)
  5. Hongren 弘忍 ( 601 –674)
  6. Huineng 慧能 ( 638 –713)

Bodhidharma had instructed Huike that after 6th. Patriarch , there’s no need to continue passing down the lineage Bowl and Robe. The Chan practice will be flourished in China, and there would be many people practicing Chan, but only few will be able to truly comprehend, and attain Chan-Realization.

Zen (Chinese Tran禪 )

                                       Zen (Chinese Chan )

The word “Zen” (Chinese Chan) means Buddha-mind, was transmitted from the Buddha to his disciple first patriarch Mahakashyapa, down to 28th patriarch Bodhidharma, then transmitted from Bodhidharma to China. It is transmitted heart-to heart, or the “Seal” of Buddha-mind, directly point to the pure mind. This transmission is beyond religion, words or languages, form and formless, beyond time and space.

Dhyana or Jhana, modern interpretation as “meditation”. This practice has traced back to ancient India ascetics practices of the Jains and Upanishads. The new interpretation was first found in the tripitaka and not in any pre-Buddhist text.

The stratification of particular Samadhi experiences into the four Arupajhana. infinite space. infinite consciousness, infinite nothingness , neither perception nor non-perception, and referred to as the four “formless states” (of the mind ) which lead to state of perfect equanimity and awareness.

The Buddha Shakyamuni left his palace, set out to seek a solution for spiritual enlightenment, he had learned from two teachers; Arada Kalama and Uddaka Ramaputta. These practices of Jhana were paired to mindfulness and insight. According to legend, he learned two kinds of meditation, did not lead him to enlightenment. He then underwent harsh ascetic practices with which he eventually realized that asceticism was not leading to enlightenment either, through the middle-way, he became disillusioned and gained insight into the Four Noble Truths, and found solutions to cessation of suffering, his experience must have been of such a nature that it could bear the interpretation” achieving immortality”, attained complete enlightenment.

Here we need to understand that, harsh ascetic practices was not the way to achieve enlightenment, it is the Middle-way that lead Siddhartha Gautama to attain enlightenment.

the state of “neither perception nor non-perception”.彌勒菩薩中觀論The Middle Way is the term that Siddhartha Gautama used to describe the character of the path he discovered that leads to liberation. It is a state without an object of awareness, that is not devoid of awareness, or a state of  “cessation of perception”.

In the “Platform of the Six Patriarch” (Chinese: 六祖壇經)

The famous story of the Six Patriarch; Hui-Neng was born into the Lu family in 638 A.D. in Xin-zhou (present-day Xin-xing County) in Guang-Dong province. His father died when he was young and his family was poor. As a consequence, Hui-Neng had no opportunity to learn to read or write and is said to have remained illiterate his entire life.

The first chapter of the Platform Sutra ( Collection of teachings of the six patriarch Hui-Neng ) tells the well-known story of the Dharma-transmission from Hong-Ren to Hui-Neng. Hong-Ren asked his students to…

… write me a stanza (gatha) He who understands what the Essence of Mind is will be given the robe (the insignia of the Patriarchate) and the Dharma (the ultimate teaching of the Chan school), and I shall make him the Sixth Patriarch.

Only Shen-Xiu wrote a poem, anonymously on the wall in the middle of the night. It stated:

身是菩提樹, The body is a Bodhi tree, 心如明鏡臺。 The mind a standing mirror bright. 時時勤拂拭, At all times polish it diligently, 勿使惹塵埃。 And let no dust alight.

(Note: On the path of constant practice – stages to enlightenment )

After having read this poem aloud to him, Hui-neng asked an officer to write another gatha on the wall for him, next to Shen-Xiu’s, which stated:

 

菩提本無樹, Bodhi is originally without any tree; 明鏡亦非臺。 The bright mirror is also not a stand. 本來無一物, Originally there is not a single thing — 何處惹塵埃。 Where could any dust be attracted?

(Note: Achieved insight into the absolute nature of reality, which is more advance than Shen-Xiu’s understanding )

At the beginning of the Song Dynasty (宋朝), practice with the kōan method became popular.     A koan, literally “public case”, is a story or dialogue, describing an interaction between a Zen master and a student. Koans emphasize the non-conceptional insight that the Buddhist teachings are pointing to. Koans can be used to provoke the “great doubt”, and test a student’s progress in Chan realization (禪的証悟) .

Koan inquiry may be practiced during sitting meditation , walking meditation , and throughout all the activities of daily life. The Zen student’s mastery of a given kōan is presented to the teacher in a private interview While there is no unique answer to a kōan, practitioners are expected to demonstrate their understanding of the koan and of Zen through their responses. The teacher may approve or disapprove of the answer and guide the student in the right direction.

So, Zen is non-conceptional insight, direct insight of true reality, the mind is pure, it is non- contaminated, the mind is neutral, non-attachment of all phenomena, non-judgmental, view all thing with true spirit, as is “suchness”, not good or bad, not inside nor outside, not right nor wrong (due to cause and effect). This is true meaning of the middle way. This state of mind is exhibited in the Heart Sutra (of the Prajna Paramitas Sutra.) Form is emptiness, emptiness is form, it is non-dual. Therefore, true self is no other than the self, here and now.

Recovering of true self, is completely abandoning greed, hatred, endless desires, jealousy, doubts. Attained through comprehension of the Buddha-Dharma, and insight meditation.

Which Tradition to fellow? 應修何法?

Which Tradition to fellow? 應修何法?

Someone asked; which tradition is the best and quickest way to achieve enlightenment?

There are Theravada, Hinayana, Mahayana, Vajrayana, Pureland, and Zen and more…. among the modern Buddhist teachings, it is understandable that, many people are unsure of which tradition is best for them.

Think this way, if we are going to New York, some people may go by airplane, some may take train, some may take a bus, and some may want to drive there, it all depends on individuals preferences, but with planning and taking actions, everyone can arrive New York.

The same is true with Buddhism, individuals can take a path best suited them, this often has to do with individual’s Karma connections. There’s only one Truth, and all paths lead to the same Truth, also everyone can and have the capability to achieve enlightenment.

Provided you fellow a pure Dharma teachings, the differences is depend on one’s capacity and diligence.

Reasons for those with little accomplishments; If one has high capacity, but put in little effort in study and practice the Dharma, such person will take many eons to achieve enlightenment.

If one’s capacity is at a low level, low IQ, even though he / she tried very hard, still unable to comprehend the true meaning of Dharma, such person will take many eons to achieve enlightenment.

You can visit different schools of Buddhism, find one that you feel most connected with, do some home work by observing the people around and the teacher first. A large Buddhist center usually have ordained monks or nuns preside as teacher (s), smaller organizations might have a lay-person leading the group, most important is whether they teach pure Dharma.

If you visited a place where teaching are hard for you to understand, don’t be discouraged, always ask for help, there are always people at various level of knowledge who are willing to help.

Don’t become cling to the person who teach you something, because as your understanding of Dharma grows, you will have new teachers appears on your path. Remember! always respect your teachers, and absolutely pay great respect to you Guru /Teacher, and make offerings.

Pure Dharma teachings, can help you with the correct methods to develop your insight and higher wisdom, with wisdom you will be able to solve problems in daily life, Dharma is the key to freedom.

Also, in Buddhist temples or centers, there are no donation baskets passing around, but they all accept Dana (offering), usually a large or small box or a cabinet setting at a corner somewhere, feel free to ask.

Customarily, we make Dana (offering-however small or large amount etc. $1.00 to $1000000…) to the temple and the renounciates (monk and nuns). Because temples need funds to operate and spread Dharma, and monks and nuns devoted their life to study and teaching of Dharma, with lay people’s support, thus Buddha dharma continued for past 2500 years, and down to us.

Emptiness 空性簡說

                                                 Emptiness 空性簡說

Self-cherishing is due to the mind set of “I”, which is an illusionary “I”, the false self is like hallucination, like the reflection of yourself in the mirror, it is not the real self. The Buddha Shakyamuni, His intention was teaching us how to recover our true self, which is non-contaminated , pure-spirit self, which has always been with each of us, not inside, nor outside, it is formless, it is pure and divine, which transcend time and space , and with complete wisdom and compassion. That is why Buddha states that every sentient beings are capable of achieving full Enlightenment.

There for, the illusionary “I” is lack inherent existent.

Emptiness is translated from Sanskrit “Sunyata” , emptiness (Sunyata) is a realized achievement.

Sunyata translated into English as emptiness, voidness, openness, spaciousness, or vacuity, is a Buddhist concept which has multiple meanings depending on its doctrinal context. In the “old-text Buddhism” Theravada Buddhism, “Sunnata” often refers to the not-self nature of the five aggregates of experience and the six sense spheres. Sunnata is also often used to refer to a meditative state or experience.

After the Buddha, emptiness was further developed by Nagarjuna and the Madhyamaka school, an early Mahayana school. Emptiness (“positively” interpreted) is also an important element of the Buddha nature literature, which played a formative role in the evolution of subsequent Mahayana doctrine and practice

According to Thanissaro Bhikku:

Emptiness as a quality of dharmas, in the early canons, means simply that one cannot identify them as one’s own self or having anything pertaining to one’s own self…Emptiness as a mental state, in the early canons, means a mode of perception in which one neither adds anything to nor takes anything away from what is present, noting simply, “There is this.” This mode is achieved through a process of intense concentration, coupled with the insight that notes more and more subtle levels of the presence and absence of disturbance.

The four “Arupa-jhana”

While rupajhanas differ considering their characteristics, arupa-jhanas differ as their object is determined by the level of the jhana:

  • fifth jhāna: infinite space 空無邊處
  • sixth jhāna: infinite consciousness 識無邊處
  • seventh jhāna: infinite nothingness 無所有處
  • eighth jhāna: neither perception nor non-perception 非想非非想處

This has to be understood. In the fourth rupajhana, there is already Upekkha, equanimity and Ekkagata, concentration, but the mind is still focused on a “material” object, as any color.

  • In the fifth jhana, the meditator discovers that there is no object, but only an infinite space, which is empty. This perception motivates the interest of claiming arupajhanas.
  • In the sixth jhana, it becomes obvious that space has no existence. There is only infinite consciousness.
  • In the seventh jhana appears the feeling that there is no consciousness, but nothingness.
  • The eighth jhana consists in the most discrete possible state of mind, which justifies the using of “neither perception nor non-perception”.

These “explanations” do not refer to any intellectual, philosophical comprehension, which disappear since the second jhana. They attempt to figure mental process. The Arupa-jhana are part of the kammatthanas, and are referred to as the four “formless states”(of the mind )

Note: Meditation in jhana state of mind, is a practice to realize that the body or self is lack inherent existence, all phenomena appears to be real is subject to change of time and space, ultimately return to nothingness, thus, life is here-and-now, not yesterday, not tomorrow, not present either, because present is also become past moment-by-moment. And everything we have.. love, wealth, name and fame etc. will cease to be when we leave this world, we can take nothing at all. Therefore, meditation is training of the mind, lead to true understanding of reality, thus enable us to truly enjoy life.

This doesn’t mean we should give up love, wealth, working, or any enjoyment. It just meant we should not be too attached to anything. If we imagine riding the in train, looking out the window as the train moving, we see all the sceneries past by; cities, country sights, rivers, mountains, houses, animals etc. we do not cling to what we saw in the moving train. Our life is like in the moving train, it is continual moment-to-moment experiences, grip and enjoy each precious of moments we have, and make the best of it, and be detached.

The Three Kayas 佛的三身

                                                The Three Kayas 佛的三身

The doctrine says that a Buddha has three kāyas or bodies:

  1. The Dharmakāya or Truth body which embodies the very principle of enlightenment and knows no limits or boundaries;
  2. The Sambhogakāya or body of mutual enjoyment which is a body of bliss or clear light manifestation;
  3. The Nirmāṇakāya or created body which manifests in time and space.

The Three Bodies of the Buddha from Mahayana and Pure Land Buddhist thought can be broken down like so:

The Dharmakāya is the embodiment of the truth itself, and it is commonly seen as transcending the forms of physical and spiritual bodies. Dharmakaya is the unmanifested, “inconceivable”, absence is the aspect of a

” Dhammakaya” meditations involve the realization, when the mind reaches its purest state, of an unconditioned “Dhamma Body” (dhammakaya) in the form of a luminous, radiant and clear Buddha figure free of all defilements and situated within the body of the meditator. Nirvana is the true Self, and this is also the Dharmakaya. Buddha. Vairocana Buddha is often depicted as the Dharmakaya 法身

The Sambhogakaya is the reward/enjoyment body, whereby a bodhisattva completes his vows and becomes a Buddha. Amitabha, Vajrasattva , Avalokitesvara, and Manjushri are examples of Buddhas with the Sambhogakaya body. The Sambhogakaya is a “subtle body of limitless form. A Buddha can appear in an “enjoyment-body” to teach bodhisattvas through visionary experiences.

A seed not planted in the soil, without proper conditions of water, air, and sunlight, it will never grow and produce fruit, therefore, without origination is without cessation, this aspect of unceasingness is the Sambhogakaya.報身

The Nirmaṇakāya is a physical/manifest body of a Buddha. An example would be Gautama Buddha‘s body.

All things by nature are lack inherent existence, empty in nature. Yet, we do experience happiness, suffering , all kind of emotional disturbances. All kinds of feelings and perceptions are like reflections in a mirror, lack inherent existence. This reflection-like appearance of phenomena is the Nirmanakaya.應身

As with earlier Buddhist thought, all three forms of the Buddha teach the same Dharma, but take on different forms to expound the truth.

The Buddha taught Dharma for forty nine years, it is no other than to help recover our true self, enlightenment is not Discover something thing new, it is Recover of our own true self. The reason we are so mistaking our image, our body, our names as ourselves, is because we are deluded with our negative karma through countless past lives.

Purification of our body, speech and mind training is the path, is the formula to recover our true self. We live our daily life in a state of semi awake (semi dream state), enlightenment is awakening of our true self.

Awakened mind is Bodhichitta mind, Bodhichitta mind sees reality in two ways, Relative Reality and absolute Reality.

Relative Reality is, for example; when someone hit you with a stick, you feel pain, when you go long time without food, you feel hungry, when you get sick, you see a doctor, you are aware that with a human body, you take care of this body the way human do. If someone talk badly about, wrongfully accused you for something , you are able to incorporate all negativities onto the Buddhist path, transcend those events as opportunity for practice. These takes time and understanding of Dharma, and lots practice. Therefore, we should be thankful for these opportunities.

Absolute Reality is; for example; when we are hit by a stick, we feel pain, if we analyze, what the pain look like? who’s pain is it? it is the body, the illusory body, which we call ours, which is composed of five aggregates, which belong to emptiness. therefore, the pain is of emptiness. This absence is the unborn Dharmakaya.法身

Those Buddhas and Bodhisattvas manifest themselves in their specific pure lands. These worlds are created for the benefits of others. In those lands it is easy to hear and practice the Dharma. (Note: Pure Land is no other than here and now, it’s in a multi dimension sphere which we are unable to see with our ordinary eyes)

There are numerous Sambhogakaya realms almost as numerous as deities in Tibetan Buddhism. These Sambhogakaya-realms are known as Buddha-fields or Pure Lands. A person can be reborn in such a pure land by ” devout prayer , diligent recitation of “Namo Amitabha Buddha”, achieving huge stock of ‘merit’ of a Land’s presiding Buddha. (This practice is a way to complete purification of the mind, without any trace of contamination or attachment)

One manifestation of the Sambhogakaya in Tibetan Buddhism is the rainbow body. This is where an advanced practitioner is walled up in a cave or sewn inside a small yurt-like tent shortly before death. For a period of a week or so after death, the practitioners’ body transforms into a Sambhogakaya light body, leaving behind only hair and nails.

If we look at a radio, listen to the music, we say the radio plays music, but, if we take the radio apart, we fund there is the casing, some wires, some parts and a speaker, we cannot say that the casing is the radio, nor the wires or parts is the radio, nor the speaker is the radio, they are parts, pieces of metal or plastic. The music is not inside or outside the radio, nothing to be found. Our mind is like that, not inside or outside of our body, it cannot be found anywhere, the mind is by nature empty, nevertheless, all phenomena appeared from the mind’s projection, everything appeared to be real, it is beyond origination and cessation, this inseparable union of the three kayas is called the Svabhavikakaya. 化身

Understanding the four Kayas is exmily important, this helps us to see that all thing with illusion are originally pure. Like the sky filled with clouds, we cannot see the sun, we cannot say there is no sun, when the clouds are moved, we can see the blue sky and the sun.

Enlightenment is recovery of our true self. when we remove our delusions, we see our true nature,

Two truths 性相不二

                                         Two  truths   性相不二

                                 ( Non-duality of form and emptiness 空色一如 )                                      

The Buddha’s teaching of the Dharma is based on two truths: a truth of worldly convention and ultimate truth.

Those who do not understand the distinction drawn between these two truths do not understand the Buddha’s profound truth. Without a foundation in the conventional truth the significance of the ultimate cannot be taught. Without understanding the significance of the ultimate, liberation is not achieved.

The Prajnaparamita Sutras and Madhyamaka emphasized the non-duality of form and emptiness: ” form is emptiness, emptiness is form …” as the Heart Sutra 心經 says. The idea that the ultimate reality is present in the daily world of relative reality.

How the absolute is present in the relative world?

Insight into the empty nature or not-“thing”-ness of everything; the recognition of the Absolute within “the midst of the variety of different situations in action; you see everything before your eyes as your own original true clean face, just as if you were looking at your face in the mirror”. That is, unlike the insight of the first rank, which can be easily disturbed, the second rank has greater constancy in the face of distractions. However, seeing the absolute within the relative does not extend to one’s behavior towards others.

Without explanation and clear-mind listening, it is very hard for one to comprehend these sayings;

All things exist: affirmation of being, negation of nonbeing

All things do not exist: affirmation of nonbeing, negation of being

All things both exist and do not exist: both affirmation and negation

All things neither exist nor do not exist: neither affirmation nor negation

In the “Hear Sutra……emptiness is form, form is emptiness , none time nor timelessness….

All are pointed directly to the pure Buddha nature, which means our true Buddha nature is pure, uncontaminated, and beyond time and space.

For example; If someone asked you to point yourself, you would most likely point to your chest or your head as your “self”, but if you think about it, your chest is not you, and your head is not you, not any part of your body is you, they are “things” or “Parts” belong to you, you are the owner of such and such……Nothing “Yours” is real you.

If you say “I love “, Love is a real feeling, but you are not able to put it in your palm and show it, this is like the Buddha nature, it’s there, but you can’t see it physically. Think about when you were 10 years old, 20 years old, or 30 years old and so on…..your body change with time, but your thoughts, your mind, your feelings etc ….all are not associate with age/time and space. Your true self has never apart from your body; that is the Buddha nature and your form (body) are one, true self is no other than the (from) self. The emptiness of Buddha-nature manifest the form via Karma and Conditions, and the form projects your Buddha-nature combined with previous karma.

*** Hope this is helpful for you to understand the Two Truth.

Vajrasattva 100 syllable 百字明咒

Vajrasattva 100 syllable 百字明咒

The Tibetan Mahayana, and Vajrayana practice, we are encouraged to Chant the “Vajrasattva hundred syllable” is a great way to purify one’s negative energy / karma. Recommended chant 21 times every day as repentance for any unwholesome deeds you might have done.

(Verses)

Om Vajrasattva,

Samayam anupalaya ,

Vajrasattva, teno patishta ,

Ardho me bhava ,

Sutokayo me bhava,

Supokayo   me bhava ,

Anurakto   me bhava ,

Sarva siddhi me prayaccha ,

Sarva karma   succha me ,

Chitam shreyam kuru ,

Hung!

Ha Ha Ha Ha Ho !

Bhagavan,

Sarva Tathagatha ,

Vajra Mahasamayasattva ,

Ah, Hung, P’ehe !

( Literally Translated )

O Vajrasattva,

Guard and protect my commitments,

O Vajrasattva, help me be strong,

Be my constant support,

May I ever be pleasing to you,

May you ever be happy with me,

Hold me in your affectionate regard,

Help me attain all sublime accomplishments,

Help to me act virtuously always,

And to purify my mind,

Hum! (invocation to and delight in, the five Buddha Family, Symbolizes; care, compassion, joy and equanimity ).

O Lord,

Vajra of all Tathagathas,

Great Embodhiment of commitment,

(So might it be, So might it endure, So might it remain.)

What is Right Religion? 何為正教

        What is Right Religion?  何為正教

Everybody believes their religion is the best. Many religious leaders would say ” My religion is the only right religion”, well, you can’t really blame them for saying that, because that is how they really see and feel. However, it is extremely important to analyze with your own wisdom.

At my temple, regularly, there are various groups of students and other visitors. One day a group of students with their professor came to visit, asking a lot of questions; one of the question was “What is Right Religion?”. A very good question.

In another occasion, I was invited to attend a multi-faith conference, at the end of conference, the sponsoring organization posted an interesting question to each of us… Among you religious representatives, “who has the right-religion?” while all the other religious representatives go in details elaborated why their religion was the only right one, my answerer was quite simple, only one sentence…”He who holds the truth has the right- religion”. No one rebutted !

Religion is for happiness, not suffering, therefore, we can safely say, a religion that promotes love and compassion, a religion that promotes harmony and universal peace, a religion that teaches people to honor their country, parents, and all living beings, a religion that teaches non-violent, a religion that teaches people how to achieve spiritual freedom in daily life. What brings happiness and peace in one’s life and in the lives of others, these are the right religions.

So, what are you going to believe? if you make the wrong choice, you would know it! why?

Wrong religion can be extremely dangerous, because you would feel unhappy, each day you encounter problems you are unable to find solution for it, you’ll find yourself feeling trapped to that religious organization, that is due to your lack of wisdom. (get out as quickly and as safely as possible)

Learning the Buddha’s wisdom and compassion, one will be kind and develop universal love, and have the ability to solve all problems, because, if you follow the Dharma teachings and practice properly, any problem you thought was problems, is infect no problem at all.

Equalizing and Exchange self and other自他對換

Equalizing and Exchange self and other自他對換

(About the practice of bodhicitta with tong-len (taking and giving) for a meaningful, happy and beneficial life.)

Begin with training ourselves to cherish others as much as we cherish ourselves, we practice to be concerned about other’s happiness and suffering as much as our own.

We give gifts to please and bring joy to our family and friends, because we treasure their love, and who they are, remember we feel really good when we see their joyful smiles and appreciation when they received your gift ? This is a practice of cherishing others, it actually beneficial for our own being as well.

Our practice is to expand this cherishing-others to a broader circle of beings. This doesn’t mean that we should buy strangers gifts, it meant we practice to wish all sentient beings have happiness, and no suffering, with our kindness and compassion. The truth is “Giving Is Receiving”.

When we empower others, at the same time we empower ourselves. We make effort to be caring, kindness, compassion to those in despair, help them with whatever we are able to help, either material things, or spiritual comfort and encouragement, to ease their suffering. The fact is that, by doing so, it brings ourselves to a joyful state of mind.

Contrarily, if you punch someone, at the same time, you are giving the other person the right to punch you back. This is the Law of Nature.

The practice of purification of Body, Speech and Mind, we need to apply all that in the practice of Exchange self and Others. For example; we don’t talk behind someone’s back, because we wouldn’t like others to talk behind our back. We don’t harm other’s in anyway, because we wouldn’t want others to harm us, so always “put ourselves in other’s shoes ” first, before we jump into same short of negative conclusion or action.

All these are fairly elementary for most people, but it is important foundation practice for our Bodhisattva- Path.