Disclaimer: The translations are not official nor endorsed by 2OR, so please just treat it as a ‘fan-based’ translation. 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】. Please enjoy, and I hope it serves as a good filler until the official English version comes out.
Humans have two natural instincts—food and sex. In other words, the desire for food and sex is part of human nature. Appetite and lust are aspects that our inherent nature becomes tainted with when we transmigrate into the human realm. How do we resist temptations from our appetite and lust? This can only be accomplished through remaining steadfast. “To achieve dispassion in the midst of desire is like a lotus blooming amidst a fire”. In other words, similar to a lotus blooming in the fire of a Buddhist lamp, it is very difficult to overcome our desires in an environment rampant of such temptations. It is a feat and the reason why many practitioners fail in their adherence to the Five Precepts. It is why lay practitioners need to expend much more energy in their cultivation as they are susceptible to external influences which lead to the development of stray thoughts. On the other hand, monastics cultivating at a monastery, have a serene environment free of external influences that prevent them from being lost in wild and fanciful thoughts. Thus, it is not easy to cultivate as a lay practitioner due to the restraint that must be displayed. Master would like to warn you: to maintain steadfastness; you have to uphold the precepts. Additionally, upholding the precepts should go hand in hand with a supplement known as ‘compassionate tolerance’. Should a person wish to rid themselves of their bad habits, they must possess this virtue of compassionate tolerance. That is, to be able to exercise restraint with compassion and mercy. For example, if you can sympathise and feel pity for someone that you extremely dislike, you would have displayed compassionate tolerance as the hatred in your heart would have been substituted with compassion and mercy.
Opinions are like nails. The more you hammer them, the deeper they tunnel in. If I express an opinion against someone, I may remain nonchalantly indifferent as it was not my intention to hurt this person's feelings. However, the other party may have taken this opinion to heart. Hence, they do not develop opinions regarding others. It is a misconception that one should always speak their mind. It’s because we are humans and not deities. These kinds of ‘opinions’ would certainly become a cause of hatred in others.
It is a grievous mistake for a Buddhist practitioner to differentiate between good and evil excessively as it will give rise to great hatred. If someone regards themselves as somebody who loathes evil as if it were one’s enemy, hatred already exists in their heart. Hence, as Buddhists, we should not draw a distinct line between good and evil as everything in the human realm is but an illusion; everything is created from the karmic cause and effect. If you are treated unfairly by others, it’s because you had treated others unfairly in the previous life. Even if you see the evil in someone and thus wish to speak out against injustice on behalf of the opposite party, these feelings of hatred would plant a negative karmic cause in your mind, thus increasing the propensity for hatred in your mind. You should understand that this is all due to the karmic causes sowed during your past lives which can only be changed through cultivation. After all, good and evil in the human realm is a continuation of predestined karma.
There is no such thing as ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ in the human realm, only the law of causality prevails. Master will now impart a method on practising self-restraint passed down by a senior monk: if somebody slanders me, I must forbear them; if somebody bullies me, I must let them; if somebody humiliates me, I must avoid them; if somebody belittles me, I must let them be; if somebody looks down on me, I must be respectful towards them.
If you wish to perform good deeds today, these positive thoughts, ideas and aspirations that emanate from the mind are very valuable assets. This is because when positive thoughts emanate from the mind, a seed of kindness will be planted in your eighth consciousness. It is an asset, a seemingly inconspicuous yet incredibly important source of strength and energy.
It’s useless if a person only has outer freedom but not inner freedom. This freedom refers to being unrestrained and at ease. Here’s an example of outer freedom when external conditions are favourable: Your boss is not around at work, so there’s nobody present to supervise you. Hence you can do as you please and take breaks whenever you feel like it. This is known as environmental freedom. However, sometimes in the office, you may start to feel pitiful. When there’s nothing to do, you may start to become melancholic and start to have distracting thoughts. “How is my family doing? My mother has contracted a serious illness.” “How will my boss treat me upon his return? Will he know about what I did today?” You may feel that you are leading a meaningless life amongst other thoughts, and such internal pain and ignorance would lead to a lack of inner freedom and wisdom. As a result, your latent evils and selfishness will manifest one after another. This then causes fear and paranoia, leading to your abilities for independent thought and emotions being incapacitated. True freedom can only be achieved through the unity of outer and inner freedom. Outer freedom alone will never be able to conceal the lack of inner freedom.
Self-realisation and ignorance are a concept of non-duality. Ignorance and our Buddha-nature are one; both are stemmed from the mind, which is inherently the mind of a Buddha but with the additional of ignorance. They can’t be separated from each other as they are established on the same principles. Our physical body is a form, while its true form is ignorance. It refers that our physical body is why we’re ignorant, not knowing anything and not understanding anything. In reality, it is also our Buddha-nature. The defilement of your inherent nature is likened to a mirror that has been tainted with dust and dirt; it is also like the waves that arise from the water. Ignorance is the true nature, in other words, ignorance and your true nature are inseparable, they are integral to your inherent nature although your ignorance has covered up your inherent nature, both your true and inherent nature form an integral whole. For example, take the sun as your inherent nature metaphorically, bright and dazzling. If a dark cloud drifts over to shroud the sun, does that mean the sun ceases to be bright? Is the sun still considered pure? The dark clouds represent temporary defilements; like the unhealthy habits and mannerisms, you acquired in the human realm. Once the dark clouds drift — just like the sky clears after the rain, the sunlight is splendid again, and your inherent kind-hearted nature emerges.