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.
Now Master will talk about ‘formlessness’. In the Buddha Dharma, formlessness encompasses ten kinds of forms:
1. Physical-form – It’s the physical appearance of everything in the human realm.
2. Sound-form – When you listen to any sound, it will create an image in your mind. For example, when you call somebody else over the phone and hear their voice, you know whether they are male or female.
3. Smell-form – When you smell something, it will create an image within your mind. For example, when you smell the fragrance of flowers, flowers will appear in your mind.
4. Taste -form – When you put something in your mouth, your tongue will be able to sense the taste, and it will create an image within your mind. For example, when you eat chocolate with your eyes closed, you would immediately have the image of chocolates in your mind.
5. Touch-form – For example, when a blind person touches something, that sensory information would relay back to his brain, and it will create an image in their mind so they can tell what they are touching. If they touch a person, the image of a person will appear. If they touch an object, the image of that object will appear. They are touch-forms.
6. Birth-form – That’s the appearance of you when you were born.
7. Residential-form – The form of the place one is living in and other information such as appearance, location, facing direction etc.
8. Decay-form – This is a term used with we talk about objects going through the state of decay and then emptiness.
9. Masculine-form – This term is used to describe somebody who looks masculine. Whereas, sometimes, we see men who look and thinks in a feminine way.
10.Feminine-form - This term is used to describe somebody who looks feminine. Whereas, sometimes, we see women who look and thinks in a masculine way.
To be formless is to be devoid of forms. In other words, it’s formlessness that underlies all forms that are found in the human realm. All forms are false in the human realm; many people say, “Life is like a dream.” Life is formless. When everything ends, it’s likened to being woken up from a dream. Is there a form? You can’t see it anymore; everything is false. Once you wake up from your dream, you are returned to your original life. If you suffered or was happy before your dream, you will continue to suffer or be happy after you’re awake. You haven’t obtained anything from your dream, that’s the formlessness of the human realm. All forms in the human realm have a beginning and an end. When it ends, it’s the same as not existing in the first place, that’s formlessness. On the surface, it seems like it has a form, but when it ends, it’s formless. If you can control your perception and see the true formless nature of the things you encounter, and understand the beginning and end of it, then you can be considered as somebody who has awakened. Life is like a dream; the period between our birth up till our death is just like a dream. When the dream ends, we become formless. There’s also a saying that ‘life is like a game’. Any game will begin and end, when it ends, does it still have a form? It’s that simple. For example, when you perform almsgiving, if you don’t say what you did, then that is considered formless almsgiving. If you said it, then that’s almsgiving with form.
Awakenment of life, as long we are still alive, we must awaken our life. So how do we awaken our life? The answer is to be formless; you have to treat everything you see as if it doesn’t exist, regard things as being less important. “Anything would do. I can give anything away.” Then you are closer to awakenment. Master gives you a word of advice. You must regularly think that everything will naturally come and go. Whatever you encounter whether it’s disasters, hardships, good times or happy times, etc., if it comes, it comes. It all comes naturally, but when it leaves, it will also naturally leave. That’s formlessness.
There’s a friend of mine whose relationship with his wife isn’t good. I said to his wife, “Your husband goes up on stage every day to perform. You are one of the audience, and you just coldly watch his performance. Any performance will finish when the time comes, so why do you jump on to the stage and perform with him? Why can’t you wait for it to be over? But instead, you perceive all the false things on stage as something real, and also fight and argue with him. In the end, you and he will both become foolish. He is false; you are also false, can you obtain anything real? You used a false object to cover up a real object. That’s why when what is false is perceived as real, what’s real is perceived as false.
The awakenment of life. On the surface, it sounds like we can awaken by ourselves. If somebody said to me, “Master, I have awakened”, that statement is false. People who have truly awakened will not say those words. If they do, then they haven’t awakened. That’s because the phenomena of somebody who has attained awakenment in their life, can’t be recognised as being completely awakened. The phenomena of life and the phenomena of the world has never changed because it was already like so. An awakened life is inherently empty. Once you truly understand emptiness, you might even say, “Oh, everything that I’ve researched, all of it is empty.” There’s no need to research; it’s originally empty anyway, but it shows you acknowledge it. If you feel that you’ve awakened, then you haven’t truly awakened. The reality of the human realm is a dream or a game; it is all empty; everything is illusionary. When you pass away, none of it exists anymore, Awakenment itself is just a motive force to increase one’s level of spirituality. At the time of Shakyamuni Buddha when he was sitting under the Bodhi tree, he became enlightened to a principle. Shakyamuni’s enlightenment is not the same as the awakenment of us mortals. His enlightenment is at the level of Buddha and Bodhisattvas; what he enlightened to is the inherent nature. While the awakenment that we experience in the human realm is just superficial principles. For example: “I discovered why that person treated me badly; it’s because I was talking about him behind his back.”
The Buddha-Dharma is profound, but things that are profound can still be explained in a simple way. Just like how Master is teaching you about the profound wisdom of the Buddha-Dharma, but Master uses the most simple and easily accessible way to teach you how to cultivate and guide you. Like physics and mathematics, once you have studied up to a certain level, everything is condensed and explained using mathematical equations and formulas. There’s no need to re-study the theories and principles that past teachers made to complicate matters.
‘A fool’s mind is kept in their mouth, while a sage’s mind is kept within’. A foolish person likes to speak their mind, while a wise person keeps what’s in their mind to themselves, and will not carelessly say it.
If you buy too many unnecessary items and spending wastefully, then gradually you’ll become unable to buy what you need. Master will elaborate this. If you spend most of your time reading books that have no educational value, then you won’t be able to read books that are truly beneficial to you. If you read prohibited books, then how would you have the attention to read books on orthodox dharma? If you listened to many superstitious things, then how would you be able to take in the true wisdom of the Buddha-Dharma?
Regarding ourselves and the misfortune we encounter in our daily lives, the longer we hang on to it, the more we think about it, the greater the hurt inflicted upon us. You’ve taken the things that you shouldn’t think about, all the unfortunate things, and hung on to it in your mind. It will only bring you more pain.
When a person has awakened a bit, they must read more literature that can guide their awakenment like reading more of Master’s teachings to disciples. After you have awakened and read the Buddhist scriptures of the Bodhisattvas and Buddhist literature, then you won’t become lost. Then you will be awakened to a greater degree. It’s also known as ‘responsive-awakening’. Master ’s motives are to rescue the sentient beings, and the Buddha-Dharma imparted is also what sentient-beings accept. It consists of few words, but the meaning is clear. As long as you follow the methods taught in Master’s Buddhist practice and properly cultivate, you will certainly change your outlook on life. You should read more of Master’s past literature. Every sentence could induce your awakening. After you have awakened, every other Buddhist teachings that you read can further develop your awakenment, and everything you see in this world will become more beautiful.