V 3-3 Usage of Right Intentions in Visualisation 用正思维谈“观想”
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 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.
Many people ask Master, “What is visualisation?” Visualisation is about imagining and looking at the same time. As everybody knows, visualisation requires us to see something visually and to use our brain to think. Visualisation is regularly looking and regularly thinking. Think about what? It’s not about thinking of yourself, nor how you’ll become rich, nor how you’ll improve your everyday lives, but to think about Guan Yin Bodhisattva. Regularly see and think, it’s very important to cultivate the ability to visualise. What does that imply? It’s to cultivate an unconscious behaviour of thinking about Guan Yin Bodhisattvas whenever something occurs; this is a kind of ability. Master can think about Guan Yin Bodhisattva, and She will immediately appear before me. This requires cultivating and training. Master hopes that you can regularly visualise.
In fact, under the blessings of Guan Yin Bodhisattva, Master’s power has become very great. Many people, when they encounter ghosts who try to catch them in their dreams, when they cry, “Master, save me,” they would immediately wake up. There are many cases like this in the radio programme, Master doesn’t need you to visualise him, but you should visualise yourself. What does that imply? It’s to visualise one’s dharma-body. Do you know what your dharma-body is? The dharma-body is the body of a Bodhisattva. Everybody possesses a dharma-body. It is very important. Look in the mirror and see, is that you? Is that me? Am I like this? Then look in the mirror again and think, “I am a Bodhisattva.” Afterwards, you don’t need to look in the mirror anymore. You can use your mind’s eye to see your own dharma-body, “I’m a Bodhisattva.” After a certain period, you’ll see many Dharma protectors besides you.
Today, Master will teach you a method. Zen concentration is like this. You must think, “The Bodhisattva who I believe in and the Bodhisattva I see before me is real.” Focus your attention at the portrait of Guan Yin Bodhisattva, can you see that there’s a light emitting from the edges? Including the big image of the mountain behind, can you see it? The great circle of light above the mountain, although your physical eyes can’t see, you must use your mind’s eye to imagine that you can see it. Master teaches you this method. Do you see? Can you see the circle of light move? “Yes.” Then that means you saw the Bodhisattva.
That is faith. “I must have faith in you so that my prayers are granted.” You must imagine, that the Bodhisattva’s halo can move. “I believe it, Bodhisattvas are real,” then imagine that the Bodhisattva is above your head. You must take note, for us mortals, don’t imagine the Bodhisattva to enter directly into your body. Bodhisattvas wouldn’t come otherwise because your body is filthy. You understand? If a person is very pure, then they can imagine the Bodhisattva to enter into their body. But, with your mind that’s defiled by greed, hatred and delusion, and have many distracting thoughts, you must never imagine the image of the Bodhisattva to imprint into your body completely. You can only imagine the Bodhisattva to be above your head.
You may have regularly heard of ‘descent upon one’s head’ (known as black magic). In metaphysics, it’s called that way because the spellcaster cast something to descend on your head and that is troublesome. But if you can visualise the Bodhisattva to be above your head, it becomes realised and can resist the black magic. Do you understand? Take note, when somebody wants to put something on your head, in fact, this is already troublesome. If you can cultivate a Bodhisattva and visualise it above your head, that becomes something real, so it’s able to resist black magic and diminish it.
Only when there’s a Buddha above your head, would tribulations unable to get near you. You must think that way; then tribulations will not descend on us, you understand? It’s because when you encounter tribulations, you become plagued with misfortune. That’s why you must imagine that it leaves you. “Because I am pure, tribulations won’t get close to me.” You understand? You must imagine that you’re a Bodhisattva. Although you have imagined the Bodhisattva to be above your head, you must also imagine that you’re a Bodhisattva, Plus also imagine that you are surrounded by many Bodhisattvas and Dharma protectors. That is best done during the day, not at night time. Also, you can do this in Guan Yin Hall, in other places, Master advises not to. In any temples or Buddhist convents, if you can feel the presence of Bodhisattvas there, you can do it. The problem is if there are no Bodhisattvas there, then it’s troublesome. Or sometimes when you’re paying respects to a certain being (cause), it would bring a certain consequence.
You must constantly be aware of your dharma form. Master will roughly expound this. You can begin looking at your kind-hearted form in the mirror, then gradually shift your focus towards your face, then imagine Guan Yin Bodhisattva to be above your head, and focus on it. Then shift your visualisation from your face do your dharma-body, visualise it as looking very dignified. Then your face will look dignified. Even while laughing, it still looks dignified. When a person looks strict, that’s their dharma-form. When a person is crazy and laughs uncontrollably, then that person is no longer who they originally were. When a person manifests a dharma-form, they won’t laugh, they appear dignified. Look at the Bodhisattva; their eyes are thirty percent opened and seventy percent closed. They permanently look mercifully at the world like this because this world is very pitiful.
Just now I taught you how to look at your dharma-form, so what is our ultimate goal? It’s to be completely immune to all poisons. We are surrounded by many poisons. (The poison here refers to sources of the three poisons: greed, hatred and delusion) Master will use an analogy, in our everyday lives, typically when somebody wants to cheat you, they would first make you happy. They’ll make jokes to make you feel happy; then they’ll treat you to meals and send you gifts so that you lose vigilance. Then they could cheat you. Typically the process is like that. They will make jokes to entertain you, make you happy, and then they will use their methods to speak with you. If you manifest your dharma-form, for example, when they say this and that, do you think you can be lured? That requires to be maintained, in the human realm this is called dignity. The dharma-form is your dharma-body.
Next, let’s discuss deeper into it. If one doesn’t wish to be cheated, first, one’s appearance must be dignified; then others won’t dare to cheat you. If one appears to be erratic and foolish, then others will target you. Swindlers know how to see whether you are somebody who is easy to cheat or not. That’s why a dharma-form is very important, you understand? If a person’s dharma-form isn’t dignified, then it gives others a sense that they are an easy target to swindle. If a woman doesn’t regularly laugh and looks dignified, then others won’t approach them with an intent to cheat. You understand?
If you begin to visualise, then you’ll start to imagine many different things, including your appearance. You must visualise that there’s a Bodhisattva above your head, keep focusing your thoughts about it, and things will start to appear. When a person sees Guan Yin Bodhisattva, many people will be joyous about it, “Oh I saw Guan Yin Bodhisattva.” Am I right? Right now, many listeners recite sutras, and they regularly say that when they shut their eyes, they can see the Bodhisattvas. Then, what if these Bodhisattvas are not Guan Yin Bodhisattva? Or maybe it’s an illusion created by our inner demons? How do we differentiate it? If a certain image appeared before your eyes and it’s not a real Bodhisattva, you might hear a voice that tells you, “I am Guan Yin Bodhisattva. I’m telling you to do this so you must follow.” Would you believe it? There are two methods to differentiate it.
The first method is to depend on your Master. What does Master do? In reality, Master’s dharma-name is very important. You can call Master’s dharma-name. It’s because Master has a Heart Mantra (a mantra that is unique to calling for the blessings of Master’s dharma-form). Let’s call it Heart Mantra for now. But Master has pondered whether or not to share Master’s Heart Mantra with you and decided it’s better not to disclose it publicly. It’s because Master is still in the human realm. If Master shared his Heart mantra with you, good people would use it, but conversely, bad people can target Master. You can call Master if you have officially become a disciple, and you say, Master, then the heaven and the underworld will immediately know that you’re a disciple of Master. If you haven’t and you say, “Master,” then the name Master becomes a kind of honorific. You can conduct a test; what Master says here is important. If you see Guan Yin Bodhisattva and you want to know whether it’s real or fake, then proclaim Master’s name. See if the image has disappeared or not. If this Guan Yin Bodhisattva has disappeared, then it’s fake. If this Guan Yin Bodhisattva still hasn’t left, then it’s real. It’s because the Buddhist practice that you’re learning from Master belongs to Guan Yin Bodhisattva, that’s why Guan Yin Bodhisattva won’t disappear of course. That’s why Master teaches you this method, you understand?
The second method is to use the right intentions. Right intentions are right wisdom. You must use wisdom to analyse what it’s saying to you. Here’s an example, a listener called Michelle heard a voice talking to her, “I’m xxx.” Also, many listeners have mentioned that Guan Yin Bodhisattva is communicating with them. What then, did Guan Yin Bodhisattva tell you? A person told Master that Guan Yin Bodhisattva told him to play downstairs, there were many people there, so it’s fun. May I ask whether you’ve used wisdom to analyse what was said? When you hear something like that, do you think Guan Yin Bodhisattva would say it? If you’re foolish, and you were controlled, you would jump down as usual. That is why many people who cultivate their mind become deviated as a result, that’s the principle. It’s because they don’t know what’s the true Buddha-Dharma and what’s a false Buddha-Dharma. That is what Master refers to as superstition, not right faith. In reality, one really mustn’t be superstitious when it comes to the Buddha-Dharma. One must possess the right faith in the Buddha-Dharma, it can truly educate and help people.
Venerable Master Chin Kung promotes Buddhism as education, and that has justifications. Take note, anything good will also have an educational aspect to it. If something wants to help improve your well-being, doesn’t it have to educate you? If something wants to treat the pain inside your soul, doesn’t it have to educate you? A child made a mistake, and they couldn’t think clearly, when Master wants to guide their soul back to its original innocence, doesn’t Master have to educate them? Many people said, “Master, you’re even better than psychiatrists.” Whenever a person wants to commit suicide or if they developed cancer and are in the midst of hopelessness, when they first encounter Master they are under a lot of pain, but when they talk with Master for 30 minutes to an hour, when they leave they come out bright and cheerful. It’s because everybody possesses special energy within them, and this energy is a Bodhisattva’s primordial soul. Master can activate their primordial soul so that they can start counteracting against their physical or mental illness, get rid of all contaminants and unwholesome thoughts, and forget about it. If you can do this, then you’re a Bodhisattva.
刚才讲了用智慧去辨别这个形象的真伪。如果他叫你去折磨自己的肉身，不合理的就不要去做。麦考当时那个灵性就跟她说，你不要站起来，她就一直蹲着，捂着肚子痛。她当时在师父的办公室里讲了一句话，师父一听这句话，就知道不是麦考讲的。师父就用意念跟那灵性讲，“你不要再弄她了。你离开她吧，原谅她做错了。我会叫她好好念经超度你的。” 麦考嘴巴里马上就说，“台长，他说没那么简单。他永远不会离开我。” 麦考的朋友当时也在边上。师父叫你们好好相信这些事情。
Just now Master mentioned using one’s wisdom to differentiate the truth and false of an image. If it tells you to torture your physical body and do anything unreasonable, then don’t do it. When Michelle heard the spirit told her not to stand up, she remained in a squatting position, clutching her abdomen in pain. Master then used his intent to communicate with the spirit, “Don’t mess with her anymore. Could you please leave her and forgive her mistake? I will tell her to properly recite sutras to help you ascend.” Michelle then immediately said, “Master, the spirit said it’s not so simple, it will never leave me.” A friend of Michelle was beside her when it happened. Master tells you to believe this properly.
Next, what I’ll like to say is, if this image tells you to do something that is virtuous, then do it. That’s because Buddha-Bodhisattvas won’t tell you to do this that shouldn’t be done. If it tells you to commit bad deeds, then that’s definitely not a Bodhisattva. One must use wisdom to resist these things; it’s very important. Also, you must visualise that you are accordant with the Bodhisattvas. What’s a good method to do so? In reality, when you’re visualising, you should be supporting it with mantras. In other words, it’s to recite sutras. When you’re reciting sutras, your mind must be thinking like a Bodhisattva, that’s called mantra support. When you’re like a Bodhisattva, and you’re also reciting sutras, then your mind will definitely calm down, and you can concentrate. After your mind has entered into a meditative state, you’ll be devoid of thoughts, and your mind will be empty. Master asks you, in this ‘meditative’ state, are there any ‘thoughts’? After you concentrate, does your mind have any thoughts? When a person is empty, in reality, it’s a kind of false-emptiness. Once you’ve cultivated your mind so that it’s completely empty, although there are no thoughts on the surface, but in reality, there still is.
After the mind has attained concentration, the thoughts that arise are completely different to the thoughts that arise when the mind is not concentrating. Here’s an analogy, mothers typically know what their child wants to do, then is there a need for her to communicate with her child? The mother may certainly know what their child wants to do, but their child may not know what their mother is thinking, am I right? The best method for us is to not think about it, but the problem is after you’re not thinking about it, are you still thinking? No, you’re not, but are there involuntary thoughts? Yes, there are. Many people halt their conscious thinking, but then involuntary thoughts arise naturally. For example, many people meditate and want peace, and they want to think about nothing. But they only just sat down, they don’t want to think so they keep repeating in their mind, “Don’t think anymore, I must be empty.” But thoughts are repeatedly arising.