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.
Today, I will discuss about ‘cultivators’. Every one of us is cultivating, then if cultivators have practised everything completely, what does it imply? Are you disciples qualified or not? If a person is a cultivator, their state of mind must be beyond a certain level of spirituality. Firstly, when they encounter any kinds of suffering or hardships in the human realm, they must have the ability to endure it. Their level of spirituality must gradually increase. Also, for cultivators, after they have cultivated for a certain period, they should act in accordance with karmic conditions, they must not feel like they are suffering. It’s because when they feel like they are suffering, it means that they haven’t truly liberated themselves from suffering. Only when the level of spirituality of their cultivation has ascended beyond a certain point, then they could be called a cultivator.
As a cultivator, they must first be able to cease afflictions. If you are cultivating yet you are surrounded by afflictions; then you are not a true cultivator. To a cultivator, even if afflictions do arise, they should use their wisdom to subdue it within their mind immediately. Then they could regard themselves as cultivators. Just before, why did I use the words ‘even if afflictions do arise’? That’s because everybody possesses the seven emotions and six desires, so until it has been purified, it’s inevitable that afflictions will arise. When afflictions and mental obstructions appear, you must immediately subdue it. Let Master tell you when we are cultivating; a demon will arise from our mind. The Buddha-Dharma refer this demon as an affliction-demon. The more afflictions you have, the greater the demonic obstructions. You must get rid of it.
How do we get rid of the affliction-demon? First, you must remind yourself that you’re a cultivator, you’re different to normal people. You mustn’t feel suffering, and even if you do, you must subdue it. Then you must gradually condition your mind to no longer feel the suffering. When the affliction-demon approaches, the best method to use is to act in accordance with external conditions and act in accordance with your level of spirituality. When unfavourable conditions appear, the mind must maintain equanimity. No matter what disaster you have encountered, calm down your mind first.
The mind must not have any fluctuations; this is known as ‘Zen meditation’ in the Buddha-Dharma. Zen meditation in the practice of Buddhism requires a rather high level of spirituality. If you can't concentrate, everything in the human realm can make you feel afflicted. I hope that you can also learn a bit of Zen meditation in your practice of Buddhism. Zen meditation can calm a fluctuating and distracting mind. It is not possible to get to the bottom of anything in the human realm; that’s why we must learn from the spirit of Zen and its level of spirituality. Regardless of whether it’s favourable or unfavourable external conditions, we must act in accordance with it. We must possess a calm mind, where there are no fluctuations within. Likened to the river water making waves as it goes but when it enters into the ocean, there’s not a single wave. A person who has Zen concentration possess a mind as broad as the ocean and can tolerate all turbulent waves that it encounters and not create spindrifts. To practise Zen meditation, one must be able to secure themselves mentally; then they can attain higher concentration.
‘Mind-energy-free-operation’. The energy field that one’s mind produces must be allowed to operate and set in motion freely; you mustn’t stop it. For example, when somebody is very unhappy and angry, if you stop them from losing temper and not to feel sorry, etc., what follows is that they will get sick. Instead, you should let them let it all out, let them say what they want to say, let them expend their energy. Afterwards, they will be fine. If you stop them from expending their energy, then what happens next is troublesome, and they become susceptible to major illnesses like cancer or liver-related diseases. The energy emanated by the mind should be left to operate freely and set in motion, pay attention to where this energy goes so you’re aware in which areas you would need to dedicate more cultivation in. People who have truly reached beyond a level of spirituality wouldn’t even need to do this, that’s because no energy field is produced from their mind, so there’s nothing set in motion. Also, it’s not like when you encounter unwholesome conditions, you can cease cultivational activity, or when you encounter wholesome conditions, you do the same. This mentality is incorrect. Regardless of whether you encounter wholesome or unwholesome conditions, you should still diligently cultivate.
‘Eternal Clear-realisation state’. Everything is clear, after realisation, we must first reduce our attachments because if one remains attached, one will never be reasonable. People who are reasonable won’t be attached. The eternal clear-realisation state is to be eternally clear, eternally be in a state of realisation so they can allow the Buddha to constantly reside in their mind, so their Buddha-nature is constantly manifested. If a person is ignorant and not awakened, they will never be in a state of eternal realisation and unable to retain their Buddha-nature. In layman terms, it’s to see something thoroughly with your mind’s eye. Once you do, you won’t be selfish; you regard fame and fortune as less important, then you understand, you realise, then the eternal mind can be firmly established. That’s the eternal state.
Take note; everything naturally comes and goes. Everything that exists in the chiliocosm, whether good or bad, naturally comes and goes. It appears from a state of emptiness and returns to a state of emptiness. If you can often think that way, then your mind won’t create waves, and you’ll understand that everything that happens and everything that you encounter is simply a natural phenomenon. When you understand that the hardships and karma you experience now is because you didn’t cultivate in the past life, then would you still be attached? If your mind is free of attachments, then your intellect and wisdom will be in an eternal state in the human realm. You must distance yourself from an acquisitive mindset. Think about it: what can we truly obtain? If you can’t obtain the object that you’re excessively interested about, then what you get in return is suffering and afflictions. Also, if you seek for something that clearly doesn’t belong to you, yet you want to obtain it, then it would also bring a lot of suffering in return. I hope that cultivators can remove their acquisitiveness as it would only attract suffering. Anything that you forcefully obtain doesn’t truly belong to you, while what naturally comes to you is what rightfully belongs to you.
Whenever thought is produced, you must immediately remove it within a split second. Don’t let it linger inside your mind, because if it lingers, it will attract calamities. When any intention or any thought arises, the Buddha-Dharma instructs that we must immediately remove it. However, most of you would keep that thought inside your head and think about it back and forth. When a selfish thought, or greedy thought or any other unwholesome thought arises to follow through with the original thought, then it becomes troublesome. For example, you heard a good friend of yours won some money from a gambling trip. Then you thought to yourself, “To be honest, I also have a bit of luck.” When this thought appears, immediately remove it. “I mustn’t think this way, nor should I even do it. I absolutely mustn’t do it.” You must remove it immediately. Likened to glueing two components together, when you’ve just glued it, you can still take it apart easily. But after a few minutes, it won’t come off as easily.
When an unwholesome thought arises, then it will plant an unwholesome karmic seed into the 8th consciousness. The Bodhisattvas teach us to remove these seeds from coming into being, and that’s by immediately ceasing any unwholesome intentions, thoughts that arise within a split second. If you can do so, then you are a sage. If the thoughts are allowed to linger, then it would lay the groundwork for potential karmic consequences to occur in your mind, that’s why we mustn’t allow it to linger.
Master tells you, although many disciples are cultivating, their mind still hasn’t transcended the mundane way of cultivation. To be able to transcend means that you’ve awakened. When you cultivate after awakening, your experiences and what you cultivate compared to those who still haven’t been liberated from their afflictions, are completely different. One person, who cultivates with afflictions versus another person who cultivates and is free from afflictions, do you think that their result would be the same? One is a truly empty container, and their mind is pure, while the other contains many distracting thoughts and delusional thoughts non-stop. For example, when reciting mantras, one person does it while working while another person just sits quietly in front of their Buddhist altar and recites in peace, do you think that the effect of their recitation is the same? When your mind tries to cultivate when it’s constantly bombarded by afflictions, of course, it will be an uphill battle.