V 10-22 The Three Powers of practising Buddhism 学佛三力

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.

观音名号,人人皆知,当劝一切人念。也就是说,要懂得有这个学佛的果实出来,若能修净业者,你要劝所有的人都念,念什么?心的意念要干净,念干净的佛,修一切干净的心佛,明白了吗?念佛之外,皆念观音,念你自己的心啊,才为发心人,如果你今天还没有发心说,我要成菩萨,我要做好人,皆劝专念,就是你一定专心地更加好好地念。然念观音,然后你自己心念合一,再念观音,你求生西方亦可如愿耳,就是说你求到西方极乐世界去,你也能成功。

‘Everybody should know of Guan Yin Bodhisattva’s Holy Name, so one should foster other people’s thoughts’. In other words, one must understand how one can receive the karmic fruits of learning and practising Buddhism. If you can cultivate the karma of purity, you should foster other people’s thoughts. Thoughts of what? One’s thoughts and intentions must be pure, and one should think of the pure Buddhas and cultivate their inner Buddha of purity. Do you understand? Apart from thinking about the Buddhas, one should also think of Guan Yin Bodhisattva and introspect. Then you would become a person of resolve. If you’re not resolved and haven’t vowed to become a Bodhisattva and a good person, you should concentrate more on your recitation. Then think of Guan Yin Bodhisattva. Let your mind and recitations become one, then think of Guan Yin Bodhisattva. That way, your prayers to transcend to the Western Pure Lands will be fulfilled.


师父告诉大家,念佛的人要自己注意用耳朵来谛听,就是很干净地来听菩萨讲法,不要有漏空的感觉。什么叫漏空?精神不集中,就会有漏,漏尽即空,师父问你们,你讲一句话自己听到的,和自己都不知道讲了什么话,你想是一个概念吗?是不是不一样啊?一个人讲话的时候知道自己在讲什么,和一个人讲话的时候不知道自己在讲什么,那是不一样的。所以,不能有漏空的感觉,因为你只要没有漏空,用耳朵好好地听听自己念的经,久而久之,你的身心合一,所以念经念到后来,你的心、你的嘴巴和你所想的东西全部合在一起了。所以人家说,你这个小和尚念经有口无心,嘴巴里天天说学佛,可是做出来的事情根本不像菩萨。

Master tells you, people who recite the Buddha’s Holy Name and Buddhist scriptures should focus on what they are reciting with their ears. That is the pure way of listening to the Bodhisattvas propagate the Dharma through the scriptures. You mustn’t have the feeling of missing something out. People whose minds are unfocused will develop this feeling. They will create outflows, and it becomes an empty exercise. Master asks you, when you say something that you know you said, and when you say something that you don’t remember, do you think it’s the same? Of course not. That’s why you mustn’t develop a feeling of missing something out. If you can use your mind and ears to listen to your recitations attentively, then after a long period, your mind and body will harmonise as one. Then in the later stages, your mind, mouth and thoughts will be the same. When people say that you are like a little monk who recites Buddhist scriptures with their mouth but has no heart (sincerity) in it, it means that although you talk about Buddhism every day, your actions are unlike that of a Bodhisattva.


用耳朵谛听很重要,因为念佛人功德无量,我们经常念经的人会有功德的,有功德的人你再好好听听那些念佛的声音,均是有利无弊,只有利益,你们等会去观音堂念一遍经文,好好地念,念的时候听听自己的声音,那种感觉你不会觉得时间长的,否则很多人念经念到后来觉得时间怎么这么长啊?因为你没有听啊。师父问你们,你们刚才很多人用心地听师父讲了将近一个小时了,你们没有觉得时间特别长吧?因为你们用心在听。如果你们今天念经的时候,也是用这种方法来听自己的声音,你就不会觉得时间很长了,用功地听课时间很快就过去了,专注不会觉得时间长,不专注做什么事情都会觉得时间太长了,只想到要下班,会觉得烦啊,越来越烦,所以很多成功的人都是拼命努力地专注某一件事情,他会觉得时光过得很快。

It’s very important to use your ears and listen to your recitations because people who recite scriptures accumulate boundless merit-virtues. When people who have merit-virtues can properly listen to the sound of recitations, they will only benefit from it. When you visit the Guan Yin Temple to recite one full scripture, and you do it properly and listen to your voice attentively, you won’t feel like a long time has passed. Why do some people think that time passes slowly when they’re reciting scriptures? It’s because they didn’t listen. Master asks you, when you were listening to his lecture attentively, did you think that time was long? No, because you paid attention. If you use this method to listen to your own voice when reciting sutras, you won’t think that time is long. Those who focus won’t think time is long. Those who don’t focus will think that time is long. They are only thinking of when they could leave, becoming increasingly frustrated. That’s why many people who succeed only do so because they work hard and focus on one thing, so they think that time passes quickly.


一个人要相信法力不可思议,法力就是能够让你相信菩萨的存在,你一求马上就灵了,就是法力的显现。例如你的钥匙找不到,你急着要上班,马上念经求菩萨,心想菩萨一定会帮你找到的,念完经文后,果然找到了,感谢菩萨法力不可思议,大事小事菩萨都帮你。要相信佛力不可思议,你们想到菩萨的脸,不可思议的力量就来了,看看观世音菩萨的脸,你还怕什么?看看观世音菩萨的脸,你在这个人间还有什么想不通的事情呢?想想看,你有什么事情过不来了,观世音菩萨就在我们的心中,就在我们的身边,我们有什么可怕的,菩萨都会帮助我们解决掉,这就是师父为什么能够克服很多困难、坚持度人这个理念,师父看见观世音菩萨就增加了无穷无尽的力量,因为师父相信观世音菩萨真实不虚,师父相信观世音菩萨一定会救我们,一定会帮助我们克服人间一切的苦难,让我们离苦得乐。菩萨给的这个快乐是从心中产生的快乐,而不是今天多吃一点、多玩一点这种快乐。

One must believe that the powers of the Dharma are incredible. It is what makes you believe in the existence of the Bodhisattvas, so your prayers are fulfilled. That is its manifestation. For example, when you can’t find your keys and you’re in a hurry to get to work. You immediately recite sutras to pray to the Bodhisattva and think that they will definitely help you find it, and then you find the keys after reciting. You then respond to the Bodhisattvas with gratitude for their blessing and know they will help you no matter how major or minor your prayer is. You must believe that their powers are incredible. When you visualise the Bodhisattvas’ faces, their incredible power manifests. When you look at Guan Yin Bodhisattva, are you still afraid? When you look at Guan Yin Bodhisattva, do you still have thoughts that you can’t clear up? Think, what things are there that you can’t overcome? Guan Yin Bodhisattva resides within our minds. She’s by our side, so what is there to be afraid of? The Bodhisattvas will help us resolve our problems. That is why Master overcame all of his hardships and persevered with his ideals of spiritually saving others. When Master sees Guan Yin Bodhisattva, his energy increases because he believes in Guan Yin Bodhisattva. He believes that She will definitely save us, help us overcome all of our problems, and help us escape from suffering and attain happiness. The happiness that the Bodhisattvas give us is inner bliss, not the temporary happiness that we get from eating and playing.


自性功德力也是不可思议的。什么叫自性功德力呢?就是要相信啊,今天生病了,我相信菩萨一定会救我的,我相信自己是个好人,我绝对不会做错事情的,观世音菩萨你在天上,你看到了,自性才会产生功德,我相信我今天做了这么多的善事,一定会越来越好的,我相信,功德就出来了。很多人连自己都不相信,对谁都不相信,你怎么样能够有功德啊?师父告诉你们,要有信愿行之力,才能发现法力、佛力和自性功德力。过去学佛的人,法师他们不会直接告诉你们这些的,他们只是问你:有没有相信,有没有愿力,有没有行为?你自己想一想会产生什么力量,然后你们自己去开悟。佛学院经常有考试问答:哪三力会让你发现另外的三种力量不可思议?你就会填写,一是法力不可思议,二是佛力不可思议,三是自性功德力不可思议,你成功了,你们现在跟在佛学院一样,就是学这些佛理啊。你们以为心灵法门很简单,跑出去度人的时候,跟人家说念念小房子,念念这个经文、那个经文,还没有讲几句,人家随便给你讲讲佛法的东西,你就傻眼了。什么都讲不出来,你还能度人吗?师父告诉你们,要靠信愿行之力,你才能发现这三个力量。

The powers of self-natured merit-virtues are also incredible. What is it? It is the power of faith. For example, you believe that the Bodhisattvas will save you when you're ill. Or you believe that you’re a good person and haven’t done any unwholesome deeds. And you believe that Guan Yin Bodhisattva knows it. Then your self-nature develops merit-virtues. “I believe that I did many wholesome deeds, so I will definitely get better.” When you believe, then your merit-virtues develop. Many people don’t believe in themselves or others, so how could they accumulate merit-virtues? Master tells you, one must possess the powers of faith, vow and action to discover the powers of the Dharma, Buddha and self-natured merit-virtues. In the past, Buddhist practitioners and venerable monks won’t directly tell you this. They would only ask, “Do you have faith? Do you have determination? Have you taken action?” They would make you think about what kind of powers may develop and then let you set off to awaken yourself. The exams at Buddhist schools would regularly have the question ‘which three powers will let you discover another three incredible powers?’ Then you must answer it and then elaborate on the three incredible powers of the Dharma, Buddha and self-natured merit-virtues. Then you succeed. What you are learning now are the same teachings and principles as other Buddhist schools. Do you think that Guan Yin Citta Dharma Door is simple? And all you do is tell others to recite Little Houses and Buddhist scriptures when you propagate Buddhism? If you are bewildered when others casually ask you about the deeper topics, then how could you awaken them spiritually? Master tells you, you must rely on the powers of faith, determination and actions to discover these three powers.


修行之要是修心,在于对治自己的烦恼习气。很多人问:“什么叫对治?”就是对抗、对付自己的习气,因为修行人的烦恼少一分,功夫就进一分。师父告诉你,很多人习惯把自己的脚翘起来,到了另外一个地方,就习惯把自己的一只脚搁在另一只脚上,这个也是有瘾的。今天你们坐在下面,如果这个人翘惯了自己的脚,你叫他一个小时不要那样做,他就会觉得难受,所以,你只要克制了,你就是对治了自己的烦恼。要有修行愈力,什么意思呢?你要修一种我今天能够克制这些毛病的力量,增加克制习气的力量,如果你能够克制,你就在心中拥有了一个佛道,我今天克制了这个毛病,我就拥有了一个道,然后有道才会成为一个理,所以叫道理。你找到了这个门,你才能进门,你今天门都进不了,你没有道理可以讲。

The essential part of cultivation is cultivating the mind to treat one’s afflictions and deeply-rooted unwholesome habitual behaviour. Many people ask, “How does one treat it?” It’s to resist and fight against one’s habitual behaviour. When cultivators can lessen their afflictions by one part, they are improving themselves by one part. Master tells you, many people habitually rest their leg on top of their other leg when they sit. When you are at Master’s lecture, if you see somebody resting their leg on top of their other leg, and you tell them not to do it for one hour, they will feel uncomfortable. That’s why if you have self-control, then you are treating your afflictions. You must possess an inner drive in your cultivation. What does that mean? You must cultivate a type of energy or drive that enables you to control your shortcomings and unwholesome habitual behaviour. If you could control it, then it means the Way of the Buddha resides within you. If you can control your shortcomings, then you possess a Way. When you have a Way, you will gain the logic behind it, and that is why with both, it’s called reason. You must find the door in order to enter it. If you can’t enter the door, then your reasoning is invalid.


人在学佛当中,开始学佛的时候很清楚,觉得自己很对、很开心、很法喜,学习一段时间后,觉得不对了,开始怀疑了,然后必须有师父不断地给予指导,他才能最后找回自己的本性。就像我们小时候从来不会犯罪一样,我们小时候心情是这么的好、这么的开心、这么的善良,为什么长大了,懂的道理越来越多,书读得越来越多,为什么会自杀?为什么会偷东西?难道是小时候偷的吗?为什么会骂人?恨人家?嫉妒人家?这都是因为自己慢慢地迷失了方向啊,所以,学佛叫一清二混三不见。一清,刚学的时候非常清楚,慢慢地觉得自己学到了一点东西,就开始混了,觉得没有什么了不起的,最后连菩萨都找不到了,这就产生出一年修心,佛在眼前,两年修心,佛在天边,三年修心,仗着佛卖钱,所以学佛人必须要有师父、老师,一个人没有师父,没有老师,就像一匹脱缰的野马,就像师父过去讲鸟一样,拼命地飞会累死、不好好地飞,会掉下来摔死的。

In the process of practising Buddhism, you are clear in the beginning, and you feel that what you’re doing is right. You were filled with Dharma bliss. But then, after a period, you think there’s something amiss, and you begin to doubt. At this stage, you must have a teacher to constantly give you guidance for you to discover your inherent nature in the end. Just like how when we were little, we had never committed any crimes. When we were little, we were happy and kind. Why is it when we’re older and become more educated that we think of committing suicide? Or go out to steal? Scold others? Harbour grudge towards others? Be jealous of others? It’s because we slowly become lost. That’s why when people first practise Buddhism, they seem very dedicated and clear. Then slowly, after gaining some deeper knowledge, they become conceited. Then lastly, they lose sight of the Bodhisattvas. That’s why there’s a saying that the Buddha is right in front of them in the first year of cultivation. Then in the second year, the Buddha is far away in the sky. Then in the third year, they make money in the name of the Buddha. That’s why Buddhists must have a teacher or master to guide them. Otherwise, they will roam recklessly like wild horses. In the past, Master used the analogy of birds to describe this. If the bird keeps flying, it will eventually tire out and fall from the sky.


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