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.
The wonderful applications of the Buddha-nature are the methods, concepts and behaviour taught by the Bodhisattvas that can effectively spiritually awaken sentient beings. An example of a wonderful application is that Master makes use of modern-day technologies like radio broadcasts and the internet to propagate Buddhism so that more people are exposed to it and starts listening. People who encounter it then begin to learn about it. They then start to recite sutras and feel the beneficial effects of it.
Master tells you a story; there was once a son who was very unfilial towards his mother. When the mother sees her son, she quivers with fear. But this son is a Buddhist. One day, he prayed to the Bodhisattvas and wished they would bless him and show their presence. As a result, Guan Yin Bodhisattvas did show her presence. The Bodhisattva said, “Actually Guan Yin Bodhisattva is already in your house, she wears inverted slippers and inverted clothes. Just pray her there, and it’s alright.” Afterwards, he hurried back to his house and check. When he reached the main door, he shouted and bashed on the door so his mum would open the door. Upon hearing his screams, his mum was frightened and accidentally wore her clothes and slippers inverted and rushed to open the door. When the door opened, her son was stunned and understood the message. He knows it was Guan Yin Bodhisattva’s guidance. She wanted him to be filial towards his mother first before praying to the Bodhisattvas. At the moment, he lacks even the basic qualifications of praying to the Bodhisattvas in his condition. That’s why you must understand the underlying principles.
You must frequently be in tune with your inherent nature. Once you do, by wonderfully applying your Buddha-nature in your actions, then it’s meritorious. To integrate the Buddha-nature into one’s everyday lives, that is merit-virtues. Please take note, when you perform any benevolent deeds and integrate your Buddha-nature with it, then it becomes meritorious.
Another understanding of merit-virtues is the following thought process: We awaken and then see that our inherent nature is Buddha. Then we realise Buddha. We become mindful of Buddha, so we are always thinking about Buddha. You become Buddha, and everybody you see also become Buddhas. Manifest Buddha in your everyday lives using the actions and mind of a Buddha to perform deeds, and it will be meritorious. In a Dharma convention, if you are a volunteer worker, then all the benevolent deeds that you do are considered meritorious. For example, if there’s perseverance in your help towards others and you have forgotten about the ‘self’, then everybody who sees you sees a Bodhisattva, and you also see yourself as a Bodhisattva. At this moment your merit-virtues are boundless.
Explicit awakenment - you only have to say the words, “I’ve awakened”, then it means you have not awakened. It’s because people who have truly awakened will not proclaim that they’ve awakened. People who truly understand will not say that they understand. Explicit awakenment isn’t true awakenment; that’s because if you have awakened and understood all the principles and the truth of the universe, yet you don’t apply your knowledge, then you’re not awakened. You understand that this world is false and empty, so concerning the principles, you are awakened. But have you done anything in reaction to it? If by understanding all these principles, you understand that you should help more people get out of suffering, and do your best to tell others about your findings of the truth, then you are a Bodhisattva. If you understand, but you’re not willing to tell others about it nor spiritually awaken others, can you say that you understand? Can you call this awakenment? True awakenment is about applying and practising their knowledge in their everyday life, that’s known as ‘understanding the mind and seeing one’s nature’. Awakenment must be applied with equality. I recently told you to understand equality; now I’m telling you to apply it. If you think that the idea of Buddhism is not equitable, then you won’t apply it well. For example, somebody has money, but you don’t, then you feel that you two are not equal. When you possess a feeling of inequality, then you can’t effectively practise equality.
‘Be virtuous externally’ - which is to be courteous at all times. If you speak in a refined and cultured manner, this is considered virtuous. On the inside, we must be understanding, humble and equitable while on the outside, we must be courteous. When you combine your understanding of the principles with your actions, then it becomes meritorious. The Bodhisattvas teach that merit is when one establishes all dharma on one’s inherent nature. Our inherent nature is the foundation of all dharmas. Your every behaviour, actions and speech in the human realm are known as dharma. In other words, if you apply your inherent nature in every behaviour, action and speech, then you have merit. All dharma stems from the manifestation of the inherent nature. In other words, all Buddhist practices and actions like walking, sitting, lying down, thinking, all the good that you do are all manifestations of your inherent nature, but in the end, why do the manifestations become distorted and become unwholesome? It’s because it has been defiled after experiencing countless rebirths over a long period of time, and it was gradually defiled unconsciously. That’s why there are karmic obstacles.
Every object in this world are equally the manifestation of the Buddha-nature, and the consciousness of every object in this world is the Buddha-nature’s transformation. If you can perceive everything in this world as the Buddha-nature, then you have become Buddha. For example, when you sit down, you show gratitude towards heaven and earth for manifesting the chair there. You listen to Master’s class; you show gratitude towards Guan Yin Bodhisattva for manifesting Master here to guide you in your education and cultivation of the Buddha-Dharma. When you return home and unite with your family and be in harmony with one another, you show gratitude towards Guan Yin Bodhisattva for blessing you with such a great family. It’s where you perceive everything to be a manifestation of the Buddha-nature, and everything is bestowed by the Bodhisattvas. You must have gratitude. If you can perceive everything between heaven and earth to possess a Buddha-nature and are manifestations of the Buddha-nature, then you are a Buddha-Bodhisattva.