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.
All that is sagely ends with the Buddha. Previously Master had already mentioned that all rivers would eventually end up at sea. All that is sagely like Buddhists, wise men, sages, gods etc., will end up with the Buddha just like how rivers end up at sea. When they do, they have succeeded. Once, somebody asked Master, “How do you make an analogy with China’s Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism?” Master replied, “It’s like when you’re at a table with many fine dishes. Confucianism is like the starters; it is the appetiser and foundation. Taoism is all the dishes on the table. It is Confucianism when displayed at its finest. In comparison, Buddhism is all the dishes beyond the ones on the table.
Master wishes that everybody understands that the mind is the foundation of all wondrous Dharmas. Cultivating the mind is about keeping control of it and the source of all wondrous Dharmas. The mind is a vault of great wisdom. When you hear others criticising you as somebody who is heartless, it means you lack wisdom. If a person utilises their mind well and uses it earnestly, they will complete the task well. If you never put your mind to studying, then you will never succeed academically. If you don’t put your mind to learning Buddhism, then you will never practise it well.
You must know detachment-nirvana, which is the nirvana that’s not attached to forms. What is nirvana? It is the increase in the level of one’s spirituality. It’s to abandon oneself and enter into a different spiritual dimension. It is the nirvana that is generally talked about in tandem with solitary silence. When one is tranquil, selfless, and their mind is in a state of emptiness, then they have succeeded. Why is it called detachment-nirvana? It’s because even the thought of wanting to achieve nirvana is not there; one is not attached to the idea. So you have no feeling of cultivating nirvana. Every day, you just naturally meditate and recite sutras, and then at the end, you naturally ascend to heaven. Although it seems simple, one still needs to cultivate a certain level of spirituality to achieve that.
You have to understand, when you pass away and ascend to heaven where the Bodhisattvas’ are, you have already experienced over ten million calamities. Why do we measure it as over ten million calamities and not lifetimes? It’s because there are already a number of calamities that happen over a person’s lifetime, and that’s determined by the number of wrongdoings they did in their previous lifetime. If you encountered 54 calamities in your previous life, then you lived to the age of 70 and encountered 63 calamities, then ten million calamities refer to you undergoing through generations to where you are now today. You have already encountered so many calamities and have finally resolved it all; then, you’ll be able to ascend after you have cultivated. It’s that concept.
Everything stems from the mind. In other words, the ten million calamities and even the non-attached state of nirvana all stems from your mind. When Master teaches you, he feels as though he hasn’t taught you as well as he could. That’s because you still can’t understand it completely. Everything stems from the mind; the Bodhisattvas have already said it. Regardless of whether it’s nirvana, or everything you experience in the Human Realm, or all the calamities you overcome when you finally ascend to heaven, everything still revolves around your mind. Your mind must remain unmoving; if it moves, then you can’t ascend, do you understand? It’s hard to explain, so he says enough to make his point. Everything develops from your mind. Even when you immediately attain fruition in your cultivation and ascend, your mind must remain unmoved.
To illustrate it with an example, it’s like when you reach the Western Pure Lands, you don’t have the thought of reciting ‘Amitabha’. That’s because you’ve recited it for the whole of your life, so your mind naturally develops the form of ‘Amitabha’ as if it’s second nature. What appears naturally is many times stronger than what you intentionally recite. If the child feels cold at home, the mother would instinctively prepare clothes for him. If the child’s food is cold, then the mother would instinctively heat it up. These thoughts come naturally. If you have to consciously think about it, then you’re not a mother, do you understand? Master could only explain it this way; if you have to consciously think of cultivating, then you’re not a Buddha. It’s just an illusion. If you instinctively cultivate, then you are a real Buddha. To illustrate this with another example, if you want to scold somebody and you consciously restrain yourself from scolding, then you are practising Buddhism consciously. But if your mind doesn’t even develop these kinds of thoughts, then you are a truly kind-hearted person. Do you understand?
We are grateful to the people who treat us well. But when others hurt us, not only do you not feel grateful, you also develop resentment. Yes, it’s very normal. If you hurt me, why should I be grateful to you? Aren’t I crazy if I did? It’s already considered a favour if I don’t hate you, why should I feel grateful towards you? Alright, that’s where the spirit of Buddhism comes in. In the face of karma, all wholesome and unwholesome karmic affinities are created by oneself. Why did that person hurt you? It’s because you had hurt them, so why do you hate them for it? So first, you must get rid of your resentment. Secondly, because you’ve hurt them before, that’s why they are taking revenge. That’s a karmic consequence of your karmic affinities. They are using their body and their tongue to take revenge. You should thank them instead. That’s because once they have taken revenge, then it will cease. If this karmic retribution doesn’t happen, it might gradually evolve into a greater calamity after a more extended period. With your children, if they scold back after you have admonished them, then they might forget about what you did. But if your child keeps resenting you in their mind, then they might suddenly leave you after they are grown up. You might say, “I have raised my child until adulthood. Why would they leave me?” It’s because they have bottled up all their resentment towards you in their heart.
We cultivators must identify our own attachments and delusions. Master ask you, “What are attachments?” I’m obsessed; I must definitely have it my way. What do you mean by ‘definitely’? In this world, if you’re still around, then you can follow what you must definitely do. Otherwise, you can’t. Princess Diana felt that she must definitely marry Prince Charles, so she did. And in the end, she passed away at a young age. Maybe if she didn’t marry him, then she would still be alive and well. Isn’t that attachment? Why do people develop attachments? Nothing is definite. One should act according to their karmic conditions. Delusion follows attachments. That’s where the saying ‘refusing to come to one’s senses’ came about. When a person is deluded about their attachments, then they will never be brought to their senses.
You must know about yourself and identify whether you have the capability to achieve what you want to do. You must know that your world stems from you. If you didn’t sow any wholesome and unwholesome karmic seeds, how did they develop into wholesome and unwholesome fruits? Who can you go and blame? In the end, the only one to blame is yourself. It’s because you didn’t manage your actions well, and so it led to the consequences that you are experiencing today. Anybody who argues with you, hates you or loves you did so because of what you did. Who can you go and blame?
Everything in this world is illusionary and temporary; they are all fake. Everything is just a cycle of karmic causes and consequences. That’s why all the wholesome and unwholesome things you encountered in your life are just a continuation of all the wholesome and unwholesome things you did in your previous lives. Do you understand? Why do you enjoy many good things in this life? It’s because you did many good things in your previous life. Why do you suffer so many bad things in this life? It’s because you did many bad things in your previous life. So isn’t it just a continuation? So who can you blame? Why is your financial situation good, whereas the financial situation of your friend is bad? Why does she look beautiful while you look ugly? Why does he have this capability while you don’t? Why was he born without a limb while you were born with a complete and healthy body? That’s because your present life is a continuation of your previous life. Suppose we want to cultivate ourselves to become unhindered, to cultivate our mind so that it’s no longer obstructed, to liberate ourselves from the suffering of samsara. In that case, we must cherish our karmic affinities, our affinity with the Buddha, and other people. If we do that, we’ll no longer be entrapped within samsara, and we’ll no longer continue the present karmic affinities in the next life.