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 Master will talk about ‘appearance-body is ignorance’. ‘Appearance’ here refers to everything we see and touch in the human realm. It is the appearance of the different forms in this world. ‘Body’ here refers to our physical body. ‘Ignorance’ here refers to our bad habits stemmed from our ignorance. When you know nothing, this kind of emptiness is called ignorance. When Master is talking about your bad habits stemmed from ignorance, Master refers to the unwholesome habits that are left over from your primordial soul’s incomplete cultivation over the past thousands of years. It is not good to have.
All dharmas possess no self-nature. All Buddhist practices, all dharma are known as the Dharma-reality in this world. The Dharma-reality does not have a self-nature; it is empty. When a human is reborn into this realm, what can they truly possess? In this world, you have nothing, you’ve even lost your original, inherent nature. That’s because after you were born, your inherent nature has been completely contaminated due to the countless rebirths. That’s why in this life; you are no longer the original you; you’ve lost your original, inherent nature. Just like after you have grown up, you are no longer the kind-hearted self that you once was when you were still a child. Think about it, in this world, where can you find your inherent nature?
Your inherent nature will be lost, but the Buddha-seeds start working on arising conditions. ‘Endurance is also ultimate bliss’, in other words, if you can use your thoughts and conceptual perception to transform the world of endurance, it will become a world of ultimate bliss, Buddha-seeds are the seed of Buddha-Bodhisattvas. The Buddha-Bodhisattvas’ earliest seeds started from arising conditions; the earliest thing we learnt from Buddhism is our Buddha-nature. The Buddha-nature is the Buddha-seed, that is the primordial soul of the Buddha-Bodhisattvas; it started from when conditions arose. Confucius said, “human nature is inherently wholesome in the beginning”. What he refers to about the nature being inherently wholesome is the originally inherent nature, it’s benevolent, that is the Buddha-nature. But now the children we encounter, are not their original, inherent nature anymore. In this life, this child is called this name, but in their previous life, it’s another name. Think about it, after countless deaths and rebirths over an immeasurable period, here you are today. Can you say you are still the original you?
If a person is unable to control their joy, anger, sorrow and happiness, then they are incapable. If one has no control over their inherent nature, no control over their fate and fortune, then they are no different to animals. For example, if a person cannot control themselves, then when they encounter fortunate times, they become extremely happy. When they encounter unfortunate times, they feel extreme grief. That indicates that they have no control over their emotions; it is an expression of the saying, ‘all dharmas are devoid of a self-nature’.
Master frequently tells everybody to uphold the precepts. Why should we uphold precepts? It’s because precepts can block all the outflows of worldly blessings and merit-virtues earned by cultivating the mind. For example, today you did a good deed, but in the end, you said something that offended the person you helped. Then that means all the benevolent and meritorious deeds you performed today are flawed, and there are outflows. Master has once said that when you’ve just finished reciting sutras, your energy field is very good. But when you start talking to people, and carelessly talk frivolously, then you create outflows of merit-virtues gained from the recitation earlier.
Many people are still unable to let go of their grandchildren; they are worried about them every day; they work hard for them and get upset. They are already so old, yet they are still constantly concerned about their descendants. Instead, they should think about how much longer they can live for, and they should take responsibility for all the sins they’ve committed in the past, and repent properly, repay karmic debts, so they are free. How do you know what sins you have committed before? You can look at the karma you’re experiencing. If your health is very bad when you’re at old age, and aching all over, it means all the people you wronged and karmic creditors in your life are giving you trouble, giving you constant nightmares every night. If so, you should properly repent all the sins and unwholesome deeds you committed in the past.
Also, if your descendants are more capable than you, what’s the point of leaving your wealth to them? If your descendants are inferior to you, then leaving your wealth to them is for what purpose? If your descendants are unappreciative of you and frequently provoke you, make you get angry and upset, or gambles and get intoxicated and don’t have a proper job, then what’s the point of leaving your wealth to them? Instead, you should leave behind virtues; it’s better than everything. If parents are constantly fighting with one another, what do they leave to their child? If the child has good prospects, then they won’t care about your wealth. If the child is not good and inferior to you, then what’s the point of giving them your wealth? The greater the wealth you leave will create even more potential confrontations between child and child — for example, wills and probate litigation on inheritance. Only proper fathers and mothers know what they should leave to their child.
Every person will encounter tribulations and calamities. When it happens, it is the fruition of our everyday cultivation of the mind. Why did I say that? It’s because when there’s suffering, people would think of paying respects to Buddha and recite sutras. Only when somebody is suffering, do they become diligent. Only when somebody is poor, do they strive for the progress with determination. Only when somebody’s health is poor, do they want to train their body. Humans have this shortcoming; they always wait for something to occur and then think about what they should do about it. That’s why, regardless of whatever it is, you must make preparations. You must think about the consequences early on.