V 10-1 Make Good Use of Life; Be One with the Buddha 善用人生 与佛合一
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 inherent nature is originally pure and is never born nor ceased. In other words, your inherent nature is originally pure. Your conscience was never born, and it will never cease. That’s why the inherent nature is unmoving. A person’s conscience and inherent nature are kind-hearted. The reason why we say that it’s never born nor ceased is that it already naturally exists. It is a kind of natural reaction. But people nowadays, even though they might clearly know that a person is bad, as long as that person gives them some kind of benefit, would say that they’re a good person and lie. Or if a person is clearly good, but some people want to benefit from them, they would say that they’re bad. They have covered up their inherent nature.
That’s why the mind can develop countless Dharmas. If your mind can develop wholesome thoughts, then it will create wholesome Dharmas. If it develops unwholesome thoughts, then it will create unwholesome Dharmas. They are all created from your inherent nature. If you want to be a good person, you bear the responsibility and consequences of that decision. If you want to be a bad person and don’t properly cultivate, you bear the responsibility and consequences of that decision. Who can control you? Who can influence you to make that decision? If somebody tries to persuade you to murder somebody and commit arson, why don’t you do it? If somebody tries to persuade you to do charitable deeds, why don’t you do it? Everything wholesome and unwholesome is created from your mind. That’s why one mustn’t let their mind run amok. Recite sutras, make vows and perform life liberations. Then your mind will assimilate with wholesome and positive energies.
As long as we’re still alive, we must be one with the Buddha no matter what Dharma we are cultivating. In other words, your mind must always consist of thoughts like that of a Buddha. The Bodhisattvas had told us to be kind and not kill; how could we go and kill cockroaches? The Bodhisattvas told us to treat others well, so how could we treat others badly? The Bodhisattvas told us to be hard-working and diligent; how could we be lazy or sleep through the alarm? Always keep the Bodhisattvas within your mind, so they remain close to you. That’s how you be one with the Buddha.
If you are a sentient being with a karmic affinity with Buddhism, then it means that you were sufficient with wholesome roots in your previous lives. It means that you are already a very good person. You were a good person in the previous life and also the life before that. That’s what it means to be sufficient with wholesome roots. That’s why when your karmic affinity has matured; you decide to cultivate your mind in this life and practise Buddhism. And after you have made many vows, you will definitely liberate yourself from the constraints of life and death and be free from samsara. In reality, the principle is easy to understand. In other words, because you have already built a solid foundation in the past, so when you redo it again, you’ll succeed. For example, you were a print designer in the past, and you decide to be a print designer again. Because you’re already competent with the basics, you will quickly succeed. If you were a chef in the past, you could quickly succeed at cooking. If you cultivated your mind before in your previous lives and was a monk, then it’s easier for you to gain fruition in your cultivation in this life.
You must learn to be compassionate like Gautama Buddha. Do you know what you must do after you have learnt to be compassionate? You must learn how to teach and enlighten other sentient beings. You have to educate others, move others, and help others. If you can’t make others feel emotionally touched when you help them and make them resent you instead, then how can you practise Buddhism? Take a look at how many people got emotionally touched by Master? Master takes practical action to move others. Six years ago, at a Dharma convention, many old people came to attend. Their financial circumstances weren’t good, and their travel agency scammed them. Master subsidised all of them. Master didn’t say a word at the time, and those old people were moved by it. Master frequently thinks, what if these old women were his mother or his grandmother? They have finally encountered the Buddha-Dharma. Their financial circumstances aren’t good, yet they still travelled from thousands of miles away just to see Master. How could he let them return while depressed? You must empathise with others. Buddhism is about learning empathy.
A person’s destiny is, in fact, influenced by karma over their past three lives. You don’t need to complain about how bad your life is. All of it was already predetermined because that’s the result of your karma over the previous three lives. It isn’t like you have done many good deeds in this life, so why is your life so bad? Do you know what you did in your previous life? Your result is from three lifetimes’ worth of karma. If you see that other people are rich, you must understand that it’s because they donated a lot of money and did many good deeds in their previous life. Now, look at why you don’t have money. If you are unwilling to donate in this life, you will remain impoverished in your next life. Look at those who don’t have liver cancer. These people don’t consume alcohol, or maybe they drank a lot but had stopped it now. Many women in Australia smoke and drink alcohol while they’re pregnant, and as a result, their babies are deformed when they’re born. That’s because the mothers didn’t restrain themselves for the sake of children. They shouldn’t have continued to smoke and drink alcohol when they’re pregnant. It’s because we didn’t properly cultivate in the previous life that we suffer in this life. So in what form will we experience the karmic retribution? When those mothers gave birth to a deformed child, isn’t that a karmic retribution? Isn’t that something that they have no choice but to accept? They have to watch their deformed child every day who have health issues with their lungs and liver. Who’s fault is that?
In this life, if our situation isn’t good, we shouldn’t go and blame others. The cause of that is the karma we sowed over our previous three lives. That’s why you must resolve the karmic affinities that you developed in your previous lives. How do you do that? A person asked, “Master, the previous life is already over, and the karmic affinities of that life have ceased. How do I resolve it?” Master replied, “That’s right. But you owed that person karmically as you beat him. So in this life, you two have become married couples where he will beat you and scold you. So aren’t you repaying your karmic debts in the process? What’s there to say? Repay. There’s no other way. If you recite sutras while you’re repaying karmic debts, then it will accelerate the repaying process. It’s impossible not to repay because it’s karma. Nobody can change it.”
You must learn to repent, learn to give and make good use of your life. Do you what making good use of your life means? It means treating your physical body and soul properly. Don’t create negative karmic causes again. In the past life, as married couples, you and your spouse didn’t end well. So you got together as a married couple again in this life and continue to fight with each other. We must make good use of life. This life has given us a chance to repay our karmic debts, so we mustn’t continue doing unwholesome deeds so that we have to repay more karmic debts in the next life. That’s because we don’t want to return to the Human Realm again. “I don’t want to continue creating negative karma because I don’t want to be with my spouse in the next life. So I will forbear with all the ill-treatment I am experiencing because I won’t see you ever again in the next life after I’ve repaid all my karmic debts to you. So do what you want.” If you think like that, wouldn’t it eventually cease? If you are repaying karmic debts yet still treat them badly and continue to fight with them, then sorry, you will have to repay them again in the next life. The principle is that simple.
Repentance is the act of reviewing one’s actions and regretting past wrongs accompanied by a commitment to changing oneself for the better. “Bodhisattvas, I did many wrong things. I must not do it again.” What should you be giving? You should be properly giving away your love, your Buddhist mind and properly perform life liberations. To make good use of your life is to take care of your body. Your parents gave you your body, so you mustn’t ruin it.
You must understand that a word of kindness and a kindful thought is a cooperative condition. If you develop a kind thought, you will gain a cooperative condition, a karmic affinity that helps you. For example, if you thought about helping somebody, then your mind will develop a cooperative condition that attracts others to help you. That’s because your wholesome thoughts attract others to treat you with kindness too. A cooperative condition and a wholesome thought will fulfil our wholesome karmic affinities. Then you will gain a benefactor. People, who think of others in a more positive direction usually have more people willing to befriend them, right? If you have more friends, doesn’t it mean you have more benefactors? If you don’t have any friends, who would come to be your benefactor? In your family, there are three ‘benefactors’. One is you, the second is your spouse, and the third one is your child. If you are incredibly stingy with them or act selfishly with them, they aren’t going to help you.
Something happened before at the Oriental Radio Station. There was a young man who developed kidney stones and suffered from hematuria. Later on, he persevered in reciting sutras and doing meritorious deeds, and after a period, the kidney stones vanished. Even ultrasonography couldn't find it. The doctors said that he didn’t need to undergo an operation anymore. He was very happy at the time. Then he started to slack. Alright, some kidney stones started to develop again and blocked his urinary tract. The doctor then said he needed an operation and have a small pouch inserted in the side of his body. Isn’t that pitiful? So he immediately began reciting sutras and do meritorious deeds again. Then at his last medical check before the operation, the kidney stones vanished as if it’s magic. So he went to see Master feeling very emotional. So isn’t Guan Yin Bodhisattva efficacious? Yes. So after your prayers are heard, you must keep on reciting sutras and cultivating your mind. If you say that the Bodhisattva’s compassion was not the reason why these things have happened, could you find another reason? What’s there to explain about it? Is Guan Yin Citta good? It’s definitely real. Is it bad because other people say that it’s bad? Is there anybody or anything that doesn’t make others feel jealous about them? Is that possible? Even if you have siblings and were born and raised by the same parents, there would be times when you will be jealous of each other. If the older sister is doing well, would the younger sibling not get jealous? It’s something that can’t be helped. You must persevere with your Buddhist ideals and help others often. If you are successful, you should help others even more.