V 3-4 Break Away from Karmic Forces; Conscious Thoughts after Concentration is Attained 割舍业力 定后思维
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.
Next, Master will discuss post-concentration conscious thoughts and pre-concentration conscious thoughts. Pre-concentration conscious thoughts are thoughts when we have yet to become calm, for example, something occurred and caused a person to become anxious and upset, and caused them to associate with many ideas. When these thoughts flash out in our mind, they would definitely not be considered mature, and thus most certainly create an unwholesome consequence. After concentration is attained, you’ll understand everything, and see things correctly and able to see through and look beyond the nature of it, then let go. The innate nature of it is different to pre-concentration conscious thoughts. At this moment, when one analyses the problem, the thoughts that arise are classified as post-concentration conscious thoughts. The thoughts that arise are directly dependent on the wisdom one possesses. The greater your wisdom, the greater your thoughts. Here’s an analogy, if you’re a horse, your thoughts lack wisdom. You only know that when somebody blows a whistle, then you know your master is there. No matter where he is, you’ll charge towards him even if it’s to death. That’s because a horse has no wisdom.
Whereas humans possess wisdom. Conscious thoughts are dependent on one’s wisdom to form. This form is our intentions, the voice of our mind. You say, who doesn’t scold at others or talk about others in their mind? When somebody is scolding at you, your mind will definitely have something to say. When you really hate somebody, since there’s somebody next to you, you don’t express it out. When your husband bullies you, your mind will be scolding back at him. There’s nothing to fear; it’s because you possess wisdom, you use post-concentration conscious thought to perceive life, that’s why you have nothing to fear. You can act accordingly without hindrances to anything. ‘No hindrances to anything’, in other words, is that you have removed all the stumbling blocks that obstruct you. Once you’ve removed all obstructions, then you can attain concentration. The thoughts that arise are called ‘right mindfulness’. While thoughts that arise when one is unable to attain concentration are called distracting thoughts.
See everything in this world to be empty, look beyond the true nature of it and understand the principles, then you can concentrate, and your mind will enter into a state of real-like forms. What are real-like forms? The real form is the world that is real and concrete; when you add ‘like’ to it, then this real form is not true. ‘Likened to’ means that this world looks like it’s real and concrete, but in reality, is this world real and concrete? Definitely not, because this world is empty.
You must grasp the real dharma-realm’s true nature. The dharma-realm is real; the world is false, the real form is also false. Master has said this before, if you can grasp the dharma-realm, if you can say that the dharma-realm is empty, it means that your cultivation has reached a certain level. But to truly cultivate to a realm that transcends above the three realms, then even the dharma is empty. For example, Master now has a dharma-body, Master then positions his dharma body to stand at a location, then do you see Master? You do. Then, Master’s really there, yet his dharma-body is also there. Is what you see a fake? Is it actually the dharma-body? In the human realm, it can be said that this level of understanding is already very good. But to transcend beyond the three realms, you must perceive that even this body is fake, nothing exists. That’s why the Buddha-Dharma is the true dharma to understand the true form of the universe and all phenomena. If you can grasp its true nature, and you persevere on not abandoning your ideals, and just persevere in your cultivation of the mind, you’ll be able to liberate yourself from any problems that you encounter.
Here’s an analogy, before you know Master, you were fearful of everything in the world, you were constantly scared that something will occur at home, and you don’t know what will happen tomorrow. Then today, you know Master, you know this Buddhist practice, then you’re happy now, are you still scared now? Now, no matter what happens, the first thing that comes to your mind is to look for Master, as Master will help you solve the problem. When Master uses this analogy, he’s not saying that we must look for Master, but once we understand the true nature of this world. Once you know, then there’s nothing to be afraid of. It’s because you have grasped the true Buddhist practice, as long as you persevere, doesn’t it mean that all problems can be resolved? As long as you persevere and seek Guan Yin Bodhisattva, doesn’t it mean all problems can be resolved? That’s why perseverance of one’s ideal is very important. Then when you encounter any problems, you’ll be able to liberate yourself from it. There’s no fear, and thus one feels free.
Following on, Master discusses with you the level of spirituality that’s free of hindrances. All sentient beings and all worldly phenomena possess hindrances and obstacles. For example, your health is bad, or something that suddenly becomes broken, whatever endeavour you want to do, there will be obstacles. Then, now you have transformed into a state that’s free of hindrances, in other words, there are no obstacles to whatever you want to do, in laymen terms, that’s to be smooth-sailing. When you are smooth-sailing and free of obstacles, then you are learning Mahayana Buddhism. Theravada Buddhism is about spiritually awakening oneself, Mahayana Buddhism is about spiritually awakening sentient beings. Here’s an example, today Master helped this person and that person, he does his best to help all his friends, and these friends have different positions in society, some are doctors, some are solicitors, some are government officials. What do you think? Would he be free of obstructions in whatever he wants to do? He saved so many people, so many people will want to help him, so what do you think? Would he encounter any obstacles to what he wants to do? That’s Mahayana Buddhism, the more sentient beings you save and spiritually awaken, the greater the merit-virtues you’ll receive, and the greater your worldly blessings and whatever you want to accomplish will be free of obstacles.
Master tells you, you must take note, if you have wisdom, then you can attain the state of no hindrance. There’s also a state of inaction, in other words, you have nothing to accomplish, there’s nothing you want to do. The state of inaction is also another level of spiritually, what is it? It’s called ‘open-disentanglement’. What does it mean? It means when you encounter a problem or something; you are disentangled from it. When this happens, what other problems do you have? If you can regularly disentangle yourself from any problems, then you are free of hindrances, you possess wisdom, and gradual your entire soul will transform. After the transformation, you will reach the late-stage of a very superficial level of spirituality, it’s called ‘reason-awakening’, where you’re awakened due to an understanding of the reason about something. That’s only considered a partial-awakening, not complete awakening. It’s more difficult to attain complete awakenment of something. From another point of view, when we understand something from a theoretical point of view, so we’re able to awaken to a principle, but we still have yet to put it to practice, that’s why there’s the cultivation of the mind and cultivation of the behaviour.
Next, Master will explain the supranormal powers of the human realm. Doesn’t supranormal powers exist in the human realm? Master has supranormal powers as you all know. Then, what about you? In reality, everybody possesses supranormal powers. If you can know what others think, that’s a supranormal power. If you can know what your child wants to eat, that’s a supranormal power. If you know when Master is speaking, and you know that there’s somebody who isn’t listening, and whether or not somebody will stand up, that’s also a supranormal power. Supranormal powers are also known as the Way of liberation. What is liberation? It’s to be able to attain liberation regardless whether you encounter an unwholesome or wholesome karmic affinity. When good things come, and wholesome karmic affinities appear, you can liberate yourself from it. When bad things come, and unwholesome karmic affinities appear, you can liberate yourself from it. In reality, when wholesome karmic affinities appear, that’s not a good thing. That’s because after wholesome karmic affinities appear, what follows it are unwholesome karmic affinities. For example, when you’re in love and going out to dates, that can be regarded as a wholesome karmic affinity, both pledge one’s eternal love to each other, and they’re very happy. After they get married, gradually it will change into an unwholesome karmic affinity, both of them start to fight each other, argue at each other etc. One must be able to liberate from both wholesome and unwholesome karmic affinities; then you can say that you have truly liberated.
Supranormal powers are the abilities to break away. Master’s supranormal powers and the supranormal powers that Master is explaining to you right now are different. Your supranormal powers, in other words, are your abilities, your vigour and your comprehension, the things you can do to make whatever endeavour you do in the human realm become more smooth-sailing. The supranormal power that Master refers to is this. Are you able to break away your afflictions? When affliction appears, then your arms and legs start shaking uncontrollably, you don’t know how to respond, and you want to cry. Master had once told a listener this, “Do you want to understand the truth of this world? Your tears are there to make you understand the truth of this world. It’s because every time you cry, in reality, it’s either because you were either swindled or fooled or suffering or upset. Then you realise how defiled this world is, how helpless this world is, how this world ties us up and lead us to follow, this is all so you could gradually understand the true nature of the Saha world."
What Master tells you is this principle. To liberate yourself, you must break away from your afflictions; you must break away from the entanglement of karmic forces. The entanglement of karmic forces is troublesome, you clearly don’t want something, but you must have it. You clearly don’t want to watch something, but you must watch it. The person who you clearly love must separate from you. The money that should be clearly in your hands has not been received. Do you know? There are many stories, like a story about the lottery, one person bought two lottery tickets. One of the tickets was gifted to a next-door neighbour, unexpectedly, after the lottery numbers were published, the two families became enemies. It’s because after the neighbour won some prize money, they wouldn’t share a single cent with him. From then onwards, he has lost his smile. If you were him, if you bought a lottery ticket and gifted it to somebody, and they won £1 million, even you would be unhappy for half a month. Even a well-cultivated person would constantly talk about this incident for at least a week. You would tell it to whoever you see to vent it out and express your feelings and talk about the afflictions in your mind. This is also a kind of affliction.
The people nowadays, when they have something they feel unhappy about, they want to share it so that others feel the same. That is called the power of influence. “Today, I’m unhappy, so I want to talk to this person and that person so that everybody feels unhappy as well.” Do you see how selfish people nowadays have become? What Master tells you is the Buddha-Dharma of the human realm. Please take note, no matter what happens, don’t get entangled with your karmic forces, you must liberate yourself from it. What are karmic forces? When calamities appear, in reality, it’s your karmic obstacles that have appeared. Now you’ve become clever; you can recite sutras, you can cultivate your mind, you can liberate yourself partial from the afflictions in the human realm. But the problem is that you must still break away from it. When you are still reciting sutras, you are still thinking about the suffering of it. When you want to break free from something, you must do so completely, then when you accompany it with reciting sutras to repay karmic debts, you’ll be successful. The problem is that while you’re reciting sutras, your mind is still unable to break free from it.