V 10-25 Don’t contemplate Wholesome or Unwholesome Thoughts to find One’s True Inherent Nature 善恶俱不思
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.
When we don’t have wholesome and unwholesome thoughts, we awaken the Bodhi-body. Master had mentioned this before, don’t think about wholesomeness nor unwholesomeness. Many people said, “Master, I understand that we shouldn’t have unwholesome thoughts, but why can’t we also think of wholesome thoughts?” When he said that you shouldn’t think, what he meant is that your wholesome deeds should form into habitual behaviour. Don’t think of thoughts like, “Today, I’m going to help others.” Do you really have to think about it? Like how some of you volunteer workers when you take out a stool for others, and you see them greet you. Do you think, “I’m a Buddhist; I must place my hands together? When I see other fellow Buddhists, I must respect them?” Do you have to actively think that? Don’t have wholesome nor unwholesome thoughts, and you will act naturally. Don’t have unwholesome thoughts. As a morally upright person, one shouldn’t do these unwholesome acts; hence how could one think of it? Don’t. What about wholesome thoughts? You shouldn’t have those too. What is natural will develop in your mind naturally. That’s why when we don’t have wholesome and unwholesome thoughts, we awaken the Bodhi-body, and we become a Bodhisattva.
The awakened person knows their inherent nature, while the deluded person will be eternally trapped in the cycle of death and rebirth. After you have argued with your husband, you should realise what triggered his hot temper. And after you know the cause, you would be warier of it so that you avoid getting into another heated argument over it. That way, you won’t repeat the cycle again, isn’t that right? Many women forget about it after they quarrelled, so they quarrel again after a few days. “Oh, I’m so foolish; I complimented him again.” Did you know some men can’t be complimented? When you talk about some good things about them, they think that you’re being sarcastic about it and become antagonistic. Alright, take note, if you know what’s the cause of the argument, then you won’t repeat the cycle. Some women are like so, “Oh, husband, you are so great.” But the tonality shows signs of disrespect, so they lose their temper with you. Then you immediately regret it, “I must be out of my mind; why did I act like that again?” That is also a kind of cycle. A clear mind will encounter the true nature; the true nature is the same as the Thus Come One. Those who are clear-minded could see the Bodhisattva. Those who can see one’s inherent nature are the same as seeing the Thus Come One and the Buddha.
‘The mind originally has no concept of mind nor light nor darkness’. My mind originally isn’t the mind that it is now, nor does it exist. It has no light nor darkness. Just like how our mind contemplates that the five aggregates are empty, my mind is also empty. If we contemplate kindness and compassion, then our mind is greatly merciful and compassionate. If your mind contemplates evil, then your mind will manifest unwholesome thoughts and affinities. That’s why the mind is likened to floating clouds that cover up the sun. The sun is big, but sometimes the clouds could cover it up so that you aren’t exposed to it on the ground. One’s nature seems like it’s always unseen. What does that mean? Your inherent nature seems like it's always there, but you have no chance to see it. Where did your conscience go? How many people in society possess a good conscience? Many people have lost their kind-heartedness, that’s why there are fewer kind-hearted people. The light is always shining on you like the sun, but you don’t notice or pay attention to it. ‘There is no need to solve anything that comes from a non-mindful act.’ We originally don’t possess a mind. Not to say that you don’t have a mind. Instead, you didn’t harbour any concept of good or evil.
When we were born, did we know what is good or evil? A lab conducted a test privately before, where they taught a recently born child how to steal and told the boy that stealing was the right thing to do. Later on in the future, one day, that boy was caught stealing by the police. When the police asked him, “Why did you steal? Don’t you know that stealing is wrong?” The boy replied, “No, it is right. Because I don’t have that thing, I must take it from another person.” The boy’s concept of that act was that. He had lost his inherent nature. In reality, everybody is like that. When one’s mind sees wholesomeness, it becomes wholesome. When it sees unwholesomeness, it becomes unwholesome. ‘When one acquires their inherent nature, one can’t say that they have acquired it’. If you excavated your conscience and inherent nature and use it in your daily life, you can’t say that you’ve acquired it. You originally possess it, so how can you say that you’ve acquired it? It originally belonged to you, it was just hidden inside your house, and you couldn’t find it. Now, after you found it, you have become a kind-hearted person who does good deeds. Could you say that it is something you gained? That is your original conscience.
Buddhists mustn’t allow themselves to lose their true nature due to their desires. Desires will make you lose your true nature, and you wouldn’t be able to find the path back home. Master illustrates this with an example. Suppose that you are on your day off and you received your paycheck. Your child and wife are waiting for your money at home. As you return home with the paycheck in your pocket, your desires start to rise. You see a casino on the other side of the road, so you decide to go in and gamble a few rounds to see if you’re lucky. Then you see a few delicious snacks, so you buy a few. Then you see the bar, so you decide to buy yourself a couple of drinks. You have forgotten that your family are waiting for you at home. So you keep indulging yourself and spend your money until it’s gone. When you finally leave the bar, a breeze suddenly blows, and you come to your senses and recall your family. “How can I return home like this? I can’t go back.” Do you understand? Desires ruin you. Many people know how to control themselves and know that the little money they earn is used to sustain their families and livelihoods. So really, you mustn’t be reckless.
Master hopes that you understand that, as morally upright people, we mustn’t lose our true nature. We must understand the true meaning of the universe. The true meaning of the universe is that everything is to make you come to a realisation. So don’t let this world delude you. We will lose our Buddha's inherent nature if we are eternally bound in this endless cycle of death and rebirth in the Human Realm. Learning Buddhism is the same. If we keep being enthralled by the desires of the Human Realm, we can never return home (Heaven).