V 2-4: You must Determine to Refrain from ‘4 things’ when Practising Buddhism【修佛中要坚持‘四不’】
Updated: Aug 29, 2019
Disclaimer: My translations are not official nor endorsed by 2OR, so please just treat it as a ‘fan-based’ translation based on my personal understanding of his teachings. The Buddha-Dharma is profound. No matter how you convey it, it won’t be completely perfect. Because the Buddha-Dharma is an experience, it’s an awakening 【佛法深奥无比，怎么写，都不会是究竟圆满。佛法是一种悟】. I am not an enlightened being like Master Lu, but I will treat his teachings with my utmost respect and do my best to convey and translate it to the best of my (limited) abilities for my friends and people who can’t read Chinese. Please enjoy and I hope it serves as a good filler until the official English version comes out.
I will talk about the four things you must refrain from doing:
1) Becoming overjoyed. You mustn’t become arrogant because you feel like you have accumulated a lot of merits and as a result, you look down on others.
2）不惧，就是不要惧怕，不要乱想，有平等心，就不会惧怕。比如你有钱，你有名，你有利，那是你的功德所为，我因为有人人平等心，当有平等心的时候，你就不会惧怕任何事情，为什么很多人会怕 ？是因为自尊心在作怪，要知道人活在世上自尊心是菩萨让你有的，这个自尊是你从心里发出来的，就是提醒你在人间，要先要自己尊重自己，自尊心要建立在平等的基础上，如果有了分别心，就没有自尊心了。比如当感觉自己很穷，感觉人家比我有钱时，你自尊心就会来了。解决方法之一是 要把他看成没有钱的，看成和自己都是一样的，如果把自己贬低了，就没有自尊心了。
2) Becoming fearful and have a lot of distracting thoughts. You must treat others equally; then you won’t be fearful. For example, you have money, fame and wealth, because that’s the result of your merits. If you’re able to treat everybody equally, you won’t be afraid of anything. Why do people feel fearful? It’s because their self-respect is playing tricks on them. You must understand that self-respect is something that your Buddha-nature emanates, as it’s something that develops from within. It’s to remind you that you must show yourself respect (as respecting yourself is to respect the Buddha-nature within you), and this self-respect must be founded on equality. If you are discriminatory, then you would lose self-respect. For example, if you’re poor and you feel others are richer than you, then your self-respect or self-esteem, becomes low. One of the methods to resolve this is to transform that other person to become someone who have no money in your mind, and take the view that the both of you are equal. This way, you won’t experience low self-respect.
3) Becoming obsessed. That is to be completely obsessed with a certain thought and think that what you are doing is absolutely right. For example, perhaps you set yourself an extremely high goal and try to achieve it when it’s actually something impossible for you to do in your current circumstances. That is an obsession. Another example, you went into a casino because you’re obsessed with the thought that you will definitely win. Why is there obsession? It’s because they are completely overwhelmed by their own way of thinking. They think that it must be absolutely correct, so their mind is locked into it. This is an irrational person and one who doesn’t have wisdom.
4) Becoming ‘non-empty’ 【不空】 in the state of mind. If we don’t learn to empty our minds, then we will fall into the illusional trap of this empty world. If you can empty your mind, then you won’t fall into this delusion and see the world as it truly is. Only when somebody has cultivated to a certain level, would their state of mind enter into, what’s considered as a high level of spirituality.
Master has previously mentioned that there are six kinds of supernatural powers that we have the potential to awaken. The power to see through anything and see the supernatural【天眼通】, the power to know about the person’s state of mind by listening to their voice and able to hear the supernatural【天耳通】, the power to understand and sense what others are thinking using the power of the mind【他心通】, the power to see the karma of our previous lifetimes with our mind 【宿命通】, the power to intentionally separate your mind/ spirit from the body and immediately teleport to anywhere you want to go 【神足通】and the power to remove all contaminants of the mind completely 【漏尽通】. You must understand that supernatural powers are awakened by one’s own comprehension of the universe and life. To comprehend is to acknowledge its existence, and comprehend its Buddha-principles and Buddha-nature, and this is called ‘realization’. When a person has attained true realization, they will possess supernatural powers. When you have yet to attain true realization and chases after the want to possess a supernatural power, that is the wrong frame of mind to have. It’s okay to receive a supernatural power from supernatural arts, karmic consequences and mantra recitation. But supernatural arts originate from the Underworld of the lower realms 【地府】. When the foreign spirit possesses the body, they’ll have many supernatural abilities.
I would just like to clarify that the foreign spirits from performing supernatural arts are not the same as the foreign spirits that resides within people in Master Lu’s Totem reading. The foreign spirits that occupy people in normal circumstances are karmic creditors (who are defined as the people you owe karmically when they were still alive in this lifetime or previous lifetimes). While foreign spirits from performing supernatural arts are summoned actively by performing a form of ritual, not necessarily due to a previous karmic affinity, although you can argue that this is also a form of karma.
Supernatural arts can be used to help people or to harm them, it depends on what kind of supernatural art is performed (and what state of mind was used to perform it). Another is karmic consequences. Karmic consequences may not necessarily be negative, like in the form of karmic obstructions, because it can be a positive karmic consequence from past good deeds. A reason why you’re able to awaken a supernatural power in this present life is because of the kind of cultivation you did in the previous lifetime. Karmic consequences and reciting mantras can awaken your dormant supernatural powers. Within the subject of supernatural powers, there are many complicated classifications, and there are many different kinds of it.
神通本身是一种中性的力量，神通是不能依赖的，为什么叫中性？ 因为神通不能彻底解决问题，是中性的，是不可完全依靠的，所以菩萨让我们不要去依靠神通，追求神通，让我们修的是真正的，能修出悟性来，而一味追求这些神通没有什么好处，也没有什么用。师父有神通是为了让人家相信后，通过念经修行、修心来改变自己的命运，师父是在救度有缘众生，如果所有的人都真正的觉悟了，而这个神通对我来说还有什么用？如果每个人都能像师父一样开悟，念经修心，你们说还要神通有何用？神通的目的是救人，但是也救不了人，所以叫中性。世界上任何事物都是中性的，比如钱能让你幸福，也能让你痛苦（给你带来灾难）。刀能让你痛苦，也能让你幸福，杀人的刀是让人痛苦的，而手术刀是让人幸福的（帮你解除病痛）。任何事情在发生的时候，有好也有坏。比如当一个人昏倒的时候，就预示着身体不好了，从此以后就会注意自己的身体了，如果没有这次的昏倒，怎么会引起注意自己的身体呢？ 这就是中性，用现代话讲叫唯物辩证法。唯物就是我所看到的这个物体，唯它试问，能看的见的东西是唯物的，而看不见的东西想象出来的就叫唯心，唯物辩证法就是从事物的正反两个方面看问题，就是把事物看成两面性，所以看事物一定要看他的两面性。佛法之妙，就是让你在人生中悟人生，从人生中醒悟，达到开悟，所以佛法是万事万物之灵魂也是人的真正本源。
The nature of supernatural power itself is neutral and thus, can’t be relied on. Why is its nature neutral? It’s because supernatural powers can’t resolve a problem completely and perfectly. That’s why the Bodhisattvas warn us not to rely on supernatural powers and chase after it because they are of no use to us. Instead, they encourage us to cultivate a comprehension of the Buddha-Dharma. Master has gained this ‘Totem Reading’ supernatural power to make others believe in the existence of the supernatural, so they would then be able to change their destiny by reciting mantras, practising Buddhism and cultivating their mind. Master is using this method to rescue sentient beings far and wide and who shares a karmic affinity with me. If everybody in this world has already reached enlightenment, what use is there for my ‘Totem Reading’ supernatural power? If you were already awakened like me, and already reciting mantras and cultivating your mind, what’s the use for you to possess supernatural powers? The aim of supernatural powers is to save others, but it can’t truly save them. That’s why its nature is considered neutral. Everything in this world is neutral-natured. For example, money can make you happy or make you suffer (as it can bring disasters). Knives can hurt you or bring you happiness. For example, in the hands of a thief, it can hurt others. While the knives used by surgeons in hospitals can bring you happiness by helping you recover by surgically removing the source of your physical suffering. Anything that happens in life has a good side and a bad side. For example, when somebody faints, it’s usually a sign that they are physically weak. That’s why from then on, they will pay more attention to their health. If the person hasn’t fainted before, then what could make them pay attention to their health? This is the nature of neutrality, or in other words, to see everything with the philosophy of dialectical materialism. It is to analyse and view a material subject, of what we can physically see, and establish the truth through reasoned arguments taken from different points of view within our mind. We must see ‘both sides of the coin’. The beauty of the Buddha-Dharma is that it teaches us how to comprehend life as we live it, and from our life experiences, we start to awaken and start the process of realisation. That’s why the origin and source of all things can be found in the Buddha-Dharma.
What kind of state of mind should we possess when using supernatural powers? What is Master’s state of mind when I use my supernatural power? This is very important. When you use a positive and healthy state of mind to use supernatural powers, you’re acting like a Bodhisattva. If you use a negative and unhealthy state of mind to use supernatural powers, then you’re acting like a demon. For example, some people know how to hypnotise others. If the person is a good hypnotist, then they can help others to relax, forget about the past and help their mind become tranquil. If this ability was used by an evil person, then they would take advantage of this ability to commit crimes. Supernatural powers will have different effects based on who wields it, as it serves the person who possesses it. Just like if money is in the hands of a benevolent person, it can be used to do good like giving away to charities, help the homeless and sick etc. If money is in the hands of a bad person, they might use it to hire a murderer or gambled away etc; then money becomes a tool of evil. But in reality, there is no good or evil with money; its nature is neutral.