V 10-20 Use the Power of Concentration to manage the ‘Six Thieves’ 用定力管住“六贼”
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 learn to accept whatever the world sends in your way, but you must filter out the dross and the fakes and select what’s essential and true. You must get rid of all the things that can’t truly help you. Master hopes that you won’t walk down the wrong path. We must learn about the basic things that are positive. You must believe that you must possess both wisdom and the power of concentration to live a normal life. In other words, the most fundamental thing to be a morally upright person is to be able to settle down their mind to concentrate and have some wisdom. It might seem like Master is being strict, but in fact, it’s not strict at all. The thing about it, when somebody slanders you, for example, when your husband returns home and says, “Where have you been?” You clearly haven’t gone anywhere, and you feel that you’ve been wronged, so you get agitated and lose your temper. Doesn’t that indicate that you don’t have the power of concentration? You’ve messed up your normal state of wellbeing.
No matter what you are doing, if you don’t use your head, then you’re not using wisdom; you’ve lost it. Then how could you remain in a normal state of wellbeing in your daily life? If you can understand your husband, then you have wisdom. If your husband can understand you, then he has wisdom. When you’re interacting with your child, you can effectively educate and assist them if you can understand them. If you’re just treating them unreasonably, like scolding and verbally attacking them or putting all the blame on them, then you won’t have a normal life. You will constantly be quarrelling at home. That is why one must have both wisdom and the power of concentration to live a peaceful life and won’t do things that they will regret later.
In Taiwan, there was a young boy who was thoughtless. His father put a 1000 TWD bill on the table. The boy took and played with it, then hid it somewhere. When the father returned home and didn’t find the 1000 TWD bill, he searched around the house and couldn’t find it. Afterwards, he found it in a pocket of the boy’s clothes. The boy wanted to give an excuse, but the father got so angry and slapped the boy’s face with a lot of strength. As a result, it ruptured the boy’s eardrums, and he became deaf, and it became a lifelong regret of the father. Why did the situation escalate to this degree? It’s because the father couldn’t settle down his mind. That’s why no matter what happens, one must first settle down their mind and don’t be rash.
What is wisdom? Once upon a time, a very wealthy man visited a wise man and wanted to buy some knowledge. The wise man taught him a piece of wisdom but didn’t accept any money. “Before you do something, count forward from one to ten, and then count backwards from ten to one.” The wealthy man was astonished at how simple wisdom was. When he returned home, he saw two pairs of shoes on the floor. He wondered why his wife would have two pairs of shoes. Then when he silently went closer to his bedroom, he saw that somebody was sleeping next to his wife. He grabbed a knife and wanted to rush in. But then he thought about the piece of wisdom he heard, and he started to move forward ten steps, and then he moved backwards ten steps. The noise he made woke up and startled his wife. His wife said, “Who is it?” The husband said it was him and asked her who was in bed with her. His wife said that it was his sister. Because he was away for a few days, his sister decided to visit her to keep her company. Steady leads to wisdom. That is wisdom. That’s why one must remain steady to avoid any tragic events from happening.
If a person throws a hit whenever they encounter something or immediately make a decision after encountering something, this person would easily end up doing something they’ll regret. That’s why, if you don’t want to have regrets, and want to go about with your daily life steadily, then you must strive for a minimalistic lifestyle. Don’t pursue or desire other things. If you don’t have the power of concentration, you won’t even possess the most basic steady lifestyle. You will all encounter problems. Many people said, “I’ve already let my husband do whatever he wants, and I never argue with him, but he’s still abusing me.” If you can use your power of concentration and wisdom, then you won’t have these thoughts. You desire peace, but your negative karma won’t allow you to have peace. But as long as you have the power of concentration, when he scolds or badmouths you, you will remain steady. Ignore his outbursts, and you’ll find peace. If he wants to treat you badly, use some wisdom, make a joke, use your wit to think how to ease the situation. Then your family will remain in harmony. Don’t think that just because you eat relatively less than him or treat him well that you’ll find peace. If you want peace, it mustn’t lack the power of concentration and wisdom.
All the things that Master has taught up till now are the power of concentration and wisdom. If you want to learn better, then you must let the seeds of wisdom and zen grow in your mind. Recall the changes in your mood and emotions before you arrive at the Guan Yin Temple. You had to get on a busy train with other people, or you had to look around in search of a parking space for your car. You had to go through some frustration. But when you’re at the Guan Yin Temple, Master wants to train your zen-concentration and wants you to empty your mind and only think of the Bodhisattvas. Master wants you to forget about everything that just happened and also what happened in the past. Then you won’t feel afflicted. If you could immediately settle yourself down, then you’re cultivating your mind. If you could sit for an hour with unmoving suchness, aren’t you in a state of zen-concentration? If you could empty your thoughts, isn’t that an indication of wisdom? Because you don’t think anymore, you’re like a car that has completely turned off its engine. Then one is truly resting.
If your mind is still spinning while you’re sitting still, then it’s just like a car that has temporarily parked at the side of the road. It’s not going anywhere, but its engine is still on. This kind of car will quickly deteriorate. Many people are busy during day time and then dream when they’re asleep. Their mind hasn’t stopped at all. That’s why their hair quickly turns white and grey. Master has seen many wealthy people with white hair. Or otherwise, they look much older than people of their age. That is because their engine is constantly kept on. Zen-concentration is about settling yourself down. If you are calm, would you argue with others? If you are calm, would you fight with others? People who are settled and calm won’t bring harm to others. That’s why Master wants you all to calm your mind first and settle down. Then you’ll develop wisdom. Master wants your seed of wisdom to grow as big as possible.
Every one of us must eliminate ‘the six thieves’ that reside within us. The first thief is our eyes. Don’t recklessly look with your eyes; you must control this thief, and your mind will settle and won’t be swayed. Many men and women succumb to this thief when they browse indecent websites. It is troublesome, as their minds swoon to it. Why do many women like to buy things? It’s because it looks beautiful behind the glass cabinet. If they didn’t see it, their mind wouldn’t be swayed by it. It’s because they saw it that they become swayed by it. Sometimes, when Master took his followers out to propagate the Dharma and arrived at the airport, some people liked to look around while others remained indifferent to it because they didn’t look around. Why are the shop displays decorated in such a way that it looks beautiful? It’s to attract you, hook you in and cause your mind to sway. Then, you would take action and spend money. That’s why you must remain in a state of unmovable suchness. First, control your eyes. They are thieves. Doesn’t infatuation, spending money, hatred all come from what you see? If you don’t see many people, then aren’t you controlling your eyes?
The second thief is your ears. It regularly likes to eavesdrop and listen to unwholesome things. When you hear somebody badmouth another person, you feel a sense of satisfaction. When you hear somebody criticising somebody and complaining about their faults, you also feel a sense of satisfaction. The ears also like to listen to indecent jokes and lewd sounds. It also likes to listen to praises which could cause you to become deluded.
The third thief is the nose. The nose likes to smell good things. When it smells something foul or fragrant, it begins to show bias. Think about it, if your mother lies paralysed in bed and you have to change her diapers, would you think that it smells foul? When you change your baby’s diapers, would you think that it smells foul? You won’t. But if you were changing a stranger’s diapers, then you would think that it smells foul. That indicates that your mind is already discriminatory.
The tongue is the fourth thief. This thief is incredibly bad. A good person will immediately be perceived as evil when they are the target of slander and defamation. Think about it, how much has it harmed you already since you were young? A person doesn’t want to be morally upright and decides to badmouth others behind their back is because of their tongue. That’s why, take note, the tongue is also a thief. Boasting and lying are also acts of this thief.
Next, the body is also a thief. For example, it’s used to steal, isn’t that right? Or when one dates in secret, they touch each other secretly, isn’t that right? And how about the many unwholesome things the hands, legs and body could do?
And finally, the last thief who likes to hide and remains intangible. That is the thief of intention and thoughts. When one thinks of something that shouldn’t be thought or develops an intention that shouldn’t be developed, then it could potentially create countless karmic obstacles. This thief is the most powerful. Your brain could think of someone and think of countless things you want to do to that person. For example, you could think of what you can steal from their house. Or you could think that you could go up to them and beat them up because you hate them. Everything is possible within the space of your imagination. Greed, hatred, delusion, arrogance and doubt all comes from your thoughts. In this condition, your distracting thoughts could lead you astray and guide you to walk on the wrong path. In the Human realm, you will become an unwholesome person, leading you to imprisonment. In the Underworld, it will lead you to the other extreme, that is hell.
Originally, some people viewed problems in a morally upright manner. But because they received some benefits from other people, their thought process underwent a change. Then they began to speak things that were contrary to their will and other ill-talk. That will create outflows to your original wholesome karmic seeds. In other words, originally, you were very kind-hearted, but you gradually became more morally corrupt. That’s why the six thieves will ruin you. When people are harmed, they regularly blame others instead of themselves. They keep saying how others are bad and how they hurt them. Think about it. Don’t blame others. It was your six thieves that have caused you to lose your Buddha-nature and treasure.