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.
Master now teaches you a few methods to break away and forget. The first method is to cultivate. Cultivation allows one to forget and break away from the entanglements of afflictions. What Master is saying are real-life problems, ones that need to be resolved immediately. The second method is to respect-repent, that’s to pay respects to the Bodhisattvas and repent before them. This is a good method, “Guan Yin Bodhisattva, please forgive me, I’m wrong, please save me, I will not repeat it.” The third method is blessings. Blessings are simple. Master likes all sentient beings with karmic affinity and Master has the dharma-power to bless you all. Also, you can pray to Guan Yin Bodhisattva to give you blessings. The fourth method is wisdom. What Master refers to is the wisdom that arises from cultivation, which is the wisdom that arises after one attains concentration. You must cultivate to reduce your karmic obstructions, the lesser the karmic obstructions, the quicker your ability to break way is. When karmic obstructions manifest on your body, it’s very difficult for you to remove it. The fifth method is that when your cultivation has reached a certain level of karmic condition, then you can break free from unwholesome entanglements. When you want to break free from these karmic obstructions or want to break free from something you can’t let go, you must resonate with Guan Yin Bodhisattva. When you pray to the Bodhisattvas and Dharma protectors to help you, you must be pure-minded, there mustn’t be a shred of distracting thoughts or unwholesome thoughts.
To truly get in touch with the great Buddhas and great Bodhisattva are good. Many people ask whether dreaming about Guan Yin Bodhisattva is good, and my reply is that it is. A lot of people, when they visit Guan Yin Hall and see Master, they’re already jumping with joy at the entrance. When you truly get in touch with the Buddha-Dharma, you become happy. Next, Master will tell you that if you could get in touch with a real Buddha, a great Buddha, a great Bodhisattva or a great and virtuous monk, then your level of spirituality will rise quickly. Am I right? If an average person encounters a deity, and their level of spirituality is low, then when they seek it, it would transform into a Bodhisattva who they like and appear before them so that it can control them. If a person happens to encounter an evil spirit, it will occupy their body. You have found a good master so you must cherish (the karmic cause and conditions). Spirits can transform into the appearance of different Bodhisattvas to delude you. Because you don’t possess enough wisdom, you’ll believe what they say as you aren’t able to differentiate between the real and the false. Thus they lure you astray.
For example, there’s a problem with your health, because you are desperate, you’ll turn to any doctor you can find. When you can’t differentiate between real and fake, after you have been lured astray, then everything you do deviates, everything you learn deviates, the path you have entered becomes a deviated Way. Many people know that there are many Ways of which people can enter into it, they become lost or even become over-obsessed. If you happen to make a mistake when performing spiritual things, it can become very dangerous. You mustn’t be reckless, and arrogantly think that just because you are slightly knowledgeable, you can curiously look at other things, without a master (to guide you), it’s pitiful. Now that you are pure and a blank sheet of paper, Master has directly given you the best Buddhist practice (dharma-door) bestowed by Guan Yin Bodhisattva. Isn’t that great? To the people who have learnt other Buddhist practices before and have to correct their old ways to accept the new, it’s a difficult task.
If a person has learnt many things before and now you ask them to change, it’s tiring for them. Sometimes their mind isn’t able to switch over and hence, they have many questions in their mind regarding a subject matter. On the same subject matter, if you follow Master’s teachings, then you would think and act according to Master’s flow of thoughts, while the other person would certainly question and compare between what Master has taught and what they were previously taught. So, you see? That person is walking on more roads than one. If a person has learnt from three different places, then they will use all three different viewpoints to think about a problem, so they are at a fork in the road. They would think, “Western religions didn’t say this, Pure Land School didn’t say that and Zen School didn’t say this.” The more you have learnt, the more things you would think about.
Master illustrates this with an example, just like nowadays, there are too many government officials, too many different departments, there are over a hundred different seals, and after you have gone through all of them, you still can’t begin to work. Am I right? You keep spinning inside your thought process and wondering when you’re able to spin out of it. That’s why you mustn’t commit any deviated deeds nor learn deviated practices. It must be right. That’s why Master teaches you not to pursue supranormal powers. If you can’t see anything (supranormal) or hear anything (supranormal), it’s okay. “I have cultivated my mind up till today, and I can see Master, I can hear Master, if I can’t see or hear other things, what’s there to be embarrassed about? You are all Master’s disciples; you are all Dharma protectors, so others will treat you with respect. Don’t pursue (supranormal powers). As long as the mind can remain calm and peaceful, then it’s good. After your mind is calm and peaceful, you can transform it into dharma-bliss of which you can enjoy. To attain a calm and peaceful mind isn’t easy. No matter what you encounter, be indifferent and think liberally, then you can sleep better at night.
Cultivating one’s behaviour is mainly dependent on the cultivation of your mind. Cultivation of one’s behaviour is synonymous with cultivating one’s mind; you must cultivate yourself until you are peaceful, harmonious and possessing no greed nor attachments. Our reason for coming to the human realm is to taste suffering, what does it matter if you taste a bit of suffering? If you think this way, then your mind becomes harmonious and not clouded by your deep-rooted bad nature. If you don’t get greedy, then afflictions won’t arise. Attachments arise because you are stubborn and obsessed about doing something. Think about it, if you don’t do it, then what? When a person is going to die, and they say, “I can’t die,” but then they died, then what? When you die, you die. Don’t be attached to anything in the human realm, everything in the human realm is false. Why must you drill into it, unable to get yourself out? Why must you drill your head into a dead end so you can’t get yourself out?
Next, I will expound on dharma-bliss and liberation. Dharma-bliss is the result of encountering the Buddha-Dharma, and you are very joyous. Also, it is very joyous to be able to encounter the true dharma in the Saha world. What dharma-bliss refers to is the joy that emanates from your mind after you understand the principles. When you understand the principles, it means that your Buddha-nature has been brought forth and the bliss that is created from it is called dharma-bliss. Dharma bliss is also one of the best spiritual experiences in the human realm. If we use our inherent nature to sense and experience everything in this world, then we will be filled with dharma-bliss. In other words, if you use the mind of a Bodhisattva to treat anything we encounter, then you will receive all the experiences of a Bodhisattva. “Today, I’ve used a merciful mind to treat you well, so you’ll definitely treat me well.” Happy right? That’s dharma-bliss. That is to give and receive.
Liberation refers to the ability to be mentally liberated from afflictions within a certain degree or certain range in the human realm. We are not talking about great afflictions here, for example, a job loss, or a loss of a leg or the death of a loved one. Those who are truly liberated isn’t really liberated. Many people say, “I am clear now, I am liberated.” That’s nonsense, they have definitely said wrongly. Can you really liberate yourself? When you return home and see something you shouldn’t see, afflictions appear again. If you’re here at Guan Yin Hall, you could temporarily let go and attain temporary liberation as you listen to Master’s lecture, but when you return home and back in your environment, your afflictions will reappear. So tell me, how can you attain liberation? That’s why liberation refers to liberation within a certain degree or certain range.
Master asks you, is it a good thing to possess supranormal powers? It is a good thing to possess supranormal powers, but what you want to obtain is the true Buddha’s supranormal power. If not, then what’s the use of these supranormal powers? In reality, you are being possessed by a foreign spirit. Master has mentioned this before, 90% of all supranormal powers manifested are not true supranormal powers, but the cause of foreign spirits. What are your thoughts about these kinds of supranormal powers? In actual fact, if your cultivation is successful, you would be content. After you have cultivated, you can decide for yourself. Then when your afflictions and karmic obstructions are eliminated, you’ll naturally develop supranormal powers, ones that are close to what a Buddha possesses. It’s because Bodhisattvas have no karmic obstructions, no afflictions, and no hindrances. Liberate from karmic obstructions, liberate from afflictions, liberate from ignorance and cultivate with the right mindfulness. Only then, would you realise the six great supranormal powers. In reality, supranormal powers are but additional accomplishments to your cultivation. Don’t pursue supranormal powers. After you have cultivated with the right mindfulness, you will naturally possess it.
Master will now talk about these four states: loving-kindness, compassion, empathetic joy and equanimity. I can talk about this for days, months and years. Loving-kindness, compassion, empathetic joy and equanimity are known as the four boundless states in the Buddha-realm. To constantly think about the suffering of others in your mind is known as loving kindness. Compassion is to feel the suffering of others. To give others energy and develop joy when helping others is known as empathetic joy. Equanimity is to give away your time, material goods or even your life. When you see Master giving it all to read people’s Totem, propagate the dharma and spiritually awakening others, isn’t he putting his life at the forefront? Is Master giving his life away for others? Many people mention how Master looks older much quicker in recent years, don’t you call this ‘equanimity’ of the four boundless states? Isn’t Master forgoing money by not taking in advertisements nor go out to make money, and all of his time is used to save others, even his life? That’s what it means to attain the four boundless states. When you attain it, you can reach a very high level in heaven, that’s the realm of the Buddha. What’s the implication of the four boundless states? That’s to persevere with your cultivation.
Following, Master will discuss a bit about the wisdom of the human realm. Only by triumphing over your desires, can you be a free person. If you want to become a free person, you must triumph over your desires. If you are controlled by your desires, you’ll never be a free person. “Because I want this property so badly, I’m willing to get a mortgage and use all my time to work to earn money to repay it.” Do you think you can be free like this? You are bound by the desire to get a mortgage, think about it, can you still be free? Today, you are bound by a boyfriend. Whatever this boyfriend tells you to do, you follow his command. Do you still have the time and freedom? If you want to be a free person, you must remove your desires.
When the mind creates contaminants, the Way won’t be steady. When the mind has contaminants, the path you walk on won’t be right, and it won’t be steady and smooth. It’s because your mind has contaminants, all the thoughts you have and all the things you do will never be steady and smooth; thus you will trip over because of it. If your mind is pure, the Way will be steady and smooth and thus will be at ease. ‘Destiny is decided by oneself, the form of worldly blessings should be pursued within’. What you do defines your destiny, your worldly blessings don’t come from asking others to give, but to ask yourself. Whether you have worldly blessings or not, in reality, depends on whether you’re willing to ask yourself for it. This person is good, that person’s fate is bad, don’t you think that all of it depends on how that person acts? Even if that person’s fate is bad, if they decided to cultivate their mind, perform good deeds, learn to be compassionate, when they recite sutras, their fortune will change. It’s just that many people are stubborn (attached), “I don’t want to change.” Master frequently says this, “A person’s personality is the decider of their fate and fortune throughout their life.” Many people regularly say, “My personality is like this, that’s my fate.” In the past, there are many great generals who don’t die on the battlefield but die because of their personality. On the battlefield, they are very courageous, but because of something somebody said, they were unwilling to submit, so as a result, they got beaten to death.
What’s the highest level of spirituality? We frequently talk about the level of spirituality of others and classify them as high, low, undefiled, pure etc. Everybody has a level of spirituality, can somebody say what the highest level of spirituality is? The highest level of spirituality is the absence of the level of spirituality. Everybody must properly learn, these are all words of wisdom. Also, there is something Master must say to you, the quality of a Buddha encompasses the highest point of sensibility and rationality. Think about it, how can one become a Buddha? It’s because their rationality is very undefiled, they understand things very thoroughly, and their feelings are the most merciful, most compassionate and most touching. When they see others suffer, they feel more hurt than anybody else.
That’s why to become Buddha is to reach the highest point of both sensibility and rationality combined, they save others, not for the sake of themselves. They are also the ablest to rationally apply Mahayana Buddhism to spiritually awaken everybody who possesses a karmic affinity all over the round. They must be fundamentally selfless to be able to become a Buddha. In laymen terms, a selfish person, or a person who only thinks about themselves will never become a Buddha. “I’m like this, my family is like this, my nation is like this,” all of this won’t do. If one says how all of humanity is suffering, what can one do? That also won’t do. What is Buddha? One who possesses a mind that shows concern towards everybody and every sentient being of this world, even spirits. If one possesses this kind of frame of mind, then one can be said to be a Buddha. Ksitigarba Bodhisattva went to the hell realm to save unwholesome spirits, that’s what you call a high level of spirituality, that’s what you call a Buddha.
For you, you should first save yourself, save your family, save your friends and save your relatives. When Master says he will save the listeners of his radio programme, that’s not what you call a Buddha, nor if he says he will save a nation or the whole world, that’s still not considered a Buddha. Master is already going out of Australia to saves others, and although the number of sentient beings saved is not much, his actions are that of a Buddha. When you follow Master around the world, aren’t you saving others? On the programme, there’s a female listener who mentioned that she dreamt that her child fell into a very deep chasm and she was becoming very anxious, then suddenly Master appeared and carried the child back up. You understand? That’s what call an action of a Buddha, that’s Mahayana Buddhism. At the moment, there’s no point of mentioning where you’re willing to sacrifice a few your personal gains, for example, time, reputation, status, money or money. Would you be willing to make sacrifices like a Bodhisattva?
Master tells you, today, Master has come out, he has prepared everything, what about you? You must learn Buddhism; you must learn the true Buddhism, you must learn from the great fearless spirit of Buddha. While in this world, you want to have everything. In this world of emptiness where nothing is real, you want to have everything, aren’t you foolish to think that way? Even if you do, how many years do you have? Even if you won £1,000,000 from the lottery, how many years can you use it for? Can you take the money away when you pass on? That’s Buddhism; you must learn the concepts of it, you must learn from Buddha’s highest level of spirituality.
Master has become very emotional when it comes to spiritually awakening sentient beings; Master has already made the necessary mental preparations. In front of Guan Yin Bodhisattva, every time Master kowtows, he would make a vow to save all sentient beings all over the world who possess karmic affinity. He will do everything he can, although he may not accomplish this feat definitely, he will do his best to do it. Master wishes that you disciples could learn from Master, and put more effort into saving other people around the world.
Do you know? When Master persuades others to cultivate their mind, he’s already telling all listeners and all online friends to go out and spiritually awaken sentient beings. Master is beginning to act stricter with them and set higher standards. It’s not just about making yourself better. Once you’re better, you must propagate this Buddhist practice to others. Properly cultivate. How many people are there who are still lost in society? Don’t wait until when a disaster strikes before finally understanding. When Bodhisattvas save you, they look at whether your body emanates a light first. If it does, then they will save you. On Saturday night, there was a listener who had already mentioned this. He said that he had once seen that the clouds in the sky were in the form of a hand rescuing people. The brighter the light that emanates from your body, when a disaster happens, then the Bodhisattvas will rescue you from the disaster zone. I hope you can properly cultivate!