V 10-15 Self Confidence depends on Right Thoughts 自信靠着正念
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.
You must recognise that you should frequently show your power of vows and determination. “I must do it this well.” Have determination and confidence. You must understand the Buddha-Dharma and then put it into practice. There are many mentally ill people in this world; do you know what their unique trait is? If they firmly believe their opinion is right, they will never change it. That’s why we must be good at changing our opinions. You should learn how to change your opinions be in accordance with the times, environment and other people. If you don’t change with the times, as time passes, maybe you were right at the time, but after an extended period, you are wrong.
When we were still little, we didn’t easily change our opinion on what we thought was right. We would frequently say things like, “If somebody treats me well, I’ll treat well for a lifetime. If somebody treats me badly, I’ll make them regret it.” This idea of ‘making them regret it’ must be changed. Otherwise, you’ll be obsessed with finding a reason to argue and not let it go. We call this ‘going into a blind alley’ and can’t get out of it. Why? Why? What ‘whys’ are there in the Human Realm? Think about all the whys you experienced when you were young, now where has it gone? No matter what, if you tried to communicate with a mentally ill person, they would not change their opinion. That is attachment.
If sentient beings keep persisting with their opinions, then others will no longer believe them after a long period. If every one of you keeps persisting with your opinions, you will create karmic obstructions after a period of attachment. Master occasionally asked his disciples, “Why wasn’t this task finished?” “Oh, it’s because the factory happened to be closed during this period.” “Why haven’t you done this yet?” They replied that it was because of this or because of that and gave various excuses. If they never try to resolve their shortcomings, others will no longer believe them after a long period and will treat them as incompetent people with many excuses. Take note, don’t be fixated on your views. Because if you do, and suppose that you’re wrong, you won’t be able to control the direction that things go.
As long as you think that this path is right, if you deviate, you have already deviated even though you think that you’re on the right path. For example, you discover that he’s different to you, then you immediately go mad. Many women like their place to be immaculate. They might have mysophobia. When their husband returns home tired and relaxes on the couch, the wife might feel that they’ve been working so hard all day to make everything clean and then their husband comes and makes a mess. All of a sudden, it has departed from their idea of cleanliness. They then suddenly lose control and get mad. That is why Master tells everybody not to harbour attachment.
If you are somebody who could think clearly, you would think, “Even though I had been working all day and my husband has made a mess, I could just reclean and tidy it up again. Why should I get mad?” Because you are attached to cleanliness and are conscientious, you can’t make any mistakes. Alright, when you make a mistake, you get mad. That’s because you won’t allow yourself to be criticised. When you do, you feel embarrassed. Alright, when they point out something about you, you become mad. You jump out and starts arguing back. Isn’t that a sign of mental illness? In fact, what has that got to do with you? Can’t your things be moved? Can’t you change your thoughts? Can’t you get rid of your attachments? Who are you? Could the judge impose their will when they are putting somebody on trial? The final judgment is not made by the judge alone but by a collegial panel in the courtroom. Everybody makes a decision. The judge is there to announce the result. In other words, one can’t allow an individual’s will to prevail.
If you can’t control yourself regularly, you will develop distracting and delusional thoughts and gradually go crazy. That’s why when somebody goes mad; others would say that they’ve gone crazy again. He feels that he’s lost face. What face do you have? Master regularly criticises you. The reason is so that you take it off and be normal again. When you take off the fake mask, you wear in the Human Realm, and your true nature will come out. Who are you? What’s so great about you? Do others not know about the indecent things you do? If every one of you shows others all the indecent things you did in the past, could you still argue back? When you get rid of your appearances, you will see the true thing that resides within.
A senior psychiatrist once said that mentally-ill people often hurt themselves and others due to their imaginary thoughts and auditory hallucinations. Just like how when a person is at their workplace and sees people whispering in each other's ears and suddenly imagine that they’re gossiping about them. So they become distressed about it, and after a while, they hear a few words that might be related to them, and suddenly they get mad and throw a fit in the office. Aren’t they crazy? Aren’t they using their auditory hallucinations and imagination to torture themselves? Some people told Master about this and that, and Master refuses to listen. Why? How many people could they represent?
Could they represent the attitude and opinion of all the Buddhists in this world? Who do they think they are? Master refuses to listen to gossip and refuses to see. Who are you? When your mind is occupied with Buddhist thoughts, evil can’t pervade it, and you won’t speak about others. But because you are of the same kind of people who likes to talk about others behind their back, so when you see others do it, the first thing you think about is that they’re hurting you. When a child has never badmouthed others behind their back, would they have any idea or feel anything when they see others having idle talk? They won’t.
You shouldn’t hurt yourself. The doctors say that mentally ill people must rely on drugs to control it. But Master tells you that drugs could only control it temporarily, but people only lose control because they can’t control themselves anymore. That’s why they cry, get upset, and cannot think clearly. They can’t control their brain. The doctors have already mentioned that there are a lot of side effects to taking these drugs, and they can only control the mental illness for a short period. That’s why Buddhists should rely on Prajna wisdom taught and use it for anything they experience and encounter. Don’t listen to what others say because any one of them could potentially hurt you. If you get upset regardless of whether others say something good or bad, you might as well not listen to it. When others come to you and say that person is this and that, you might feel unpleasant about what they say. When others say how that person is good and how their living conditions are very well, you might feel upset due to jealousy. If so, why listen to the gossip?
Many auditory hallucinations come from what you hear. The attachments that many mentally ill develop come from what they hear. That’s why the only solution to treating mental illness is to let go and only let go. Master wants to help you treat it. Other than letting go, the only way is to let go, and you must let go. If you look at many people's faces in modern society, most of them look depressed. All of you have depression. If you can’t think your way out of it, you will constantly pull a long face. Today, you have encountered the Buddha-Dhamra. You are already among the very blessed people in this world, so why pull the long face? Why are you depressed and unable to think clearly? What do you want to achieve?
Master tells you, if the mind is filled with the right thoughts, then the Human Realm is a compassionate and pure place. A selfless person who’s willing and constantly goes out and help others will be greeted and liked by everybody. Aren’t they living in a positive world? If a small minor thing could irritate and provoke you, you must be aware that you mustn’t get angry. When others say that you look skinny, you think to yourself, “Well, money can’t make one thin in their old age.” When others say that you look chubby, “Well, that’s a sign that I’m blessed. What’s bad about it? Is there anybody blessed that doesn’t look like they have enough to eat? Being chubby is a sign of being blessed.” If you keep viewing things positively, you’ll be happy, and your mind is akin to the Pure Land. Is that right?
All phenomena aren’t separate from one’s self-nature. Everything that happens to you isn’t separate from your inherent nature. Unhappy events can be transformed. Master tells you, there was once a person who did many wholesome deeds whose child passed away. Many people commented that it was unjust. “He did do many good deeds. God is blind.” After his disabled child died, he had another child. This time, it was a smart and sensible child. In reality, his disabled child was there to claim karmic debts. It was because the father did so many good deeds that he repaid his karmic debts earlier.