V 11-28 Transform Ignorance; Nurse One’s Body and Mind back to Health 转换无明 调养身心
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.
Cultivators will inevitably encounter many predicaments and setbacks. For Buddhists, peace is a blessing, but sometimes, they will still face many issues. If so, what should they do? Cultivators should learn from the principles of the Bodhisattvas and regularly practise them so that they can react and adapt quickly and naturally. If unwholesome events happen, one must go with the flow. And when it disappears, don’t be particularly happy about it. Everything comes and go naturally. Since you’re a cultivator, the things you typically learn are the Buddha-Dharma and its principles. Why can’t you control yourself when you encounter something that might harm your interests? Many people can talk the talk, but they can’t walk the walk. When they encounter something unpleasant, they immediately lose their temper. For example, many wives recite sutras and act well at home, but when their husband make a few sarcastic comments about them, they immediately forget that they want to be a Bodhisattva and start to scold back at them. Doesn’t that indicate that they haven’t result used the Buddha’s wisdom to guide them in their daily life? One must use the Buddha’s thoughts to react, so all the mind thinks about are thoughts of the Buddha. What are Buddha’s thoughts? ‘Forbearance’, ‘diligence’, ‘contentment’, ‘peace is a blessing’, ‘one must use wisdom’ etc. These are Buddha’s thoughts, and one should use them to react.
If a Buddhist practises Buddhism when they’re in the right Buddhist environment while acting like before whenever they encounter any afflictions, then it means that they haven’t cultivated well enough. When people recite sutras, they close their palms and look the part. But when they return home, and their children are causing problems, they put away their prayer beads and start acting aggressively and scold them. So they immediately manifest the form of an average person rather than a Bodhisattva. It means that their cultivation is still lacking, and they still haven’t cultivated the real essential part, which is their inner mind.
There was once a young man who was well versed in metaphysics and traditional Chinese culture and could speak very fluently about it. He went to a venerable monk’s house to ask for advice. There, he spoke a lot, and then the venerable monk grabbed a wooden baton and hit him right in the head. Immediately the young man sprung up and shouted, “What did you hit me for!” The venerable monk replied, “Didn’t you speak a lot about the Buddha-Dharma? Didn’t you say that you understood a lot of Buddhist principles? Didn’t you say that you can forbear? And your mind is as clear as the sun and the moon and broad as the mountains and the sea? Why did you lose your temper after I hit you once? It means that your cultivation is still weak, and you still haven’t cultivated your basics.” Many people say that they’ve practised Buddhism for many years, but when they encounter unpleasant things, they can’t control themselves. When they encounter relationship issues, they push Buddha aside. Or when they encounter afflictions, they forget everything about the Bodhisattvas. It means that their cultivation still hasn’t reached the required level yet.
If your cultivation is lacking, then your propagation of the Buddha-Dharma is just empty words. For example, if someone’s foot were stepped on accidentally by somebody, then secular people would shout, “Oi, you stepped on my foot!” and immediately scold the person. What would Buddhists do? Buddhists would gently massage their foot and would think that they should be more careful next time so that they wouldn’t be stepped on. That’s the difference between somebody who cultivates and doesn’t cultivate. Where do one’s good manners come from? It comes from cultivation, not competition. All the things we are learning today is to help us secular people transform our attitude. All the Buddhist principles and the Buddha-Dharma you are learning from Master is about transforming your attitude. If a person possesses a bad attitude, then they would immediately get furious. That’s why one’s attitude must be good so that they could get rid of their fury.
One must eliminate their karmic obstructions. What usually brings it about? And why do we have so many karmic obstructions? It comes from your attitude. People who possess a bad attitude accumulates karmic obstructions easily as they often direct their hatred towards others. In the Human Realm, when our body or soul is hurt, we would typically act impulsively and generate karmic obstructions as a result. Often, the time when we commit unwholesome deeds is when our soul or body is hurt. For example, if someone got hurt from a relationship, they would seek revenge and generate karmic obstructions. If somebody got injured by an intentional attack, they would seek revenge and generate karmic obstructions. In reality, when everything is over, and we recall that time when we were hurt, it won’t seem as serious as what we thought it was at the time. Most importantly, the passing of time has eased the pain we experienced on our mind or body at the time. That’s why many people felt very painful at the time, but as time progresses, they have forgotten about it, or it doesn’t hurt as much anymore. Since we were hurt, why must we go and hurt others? It’s because non-Buddhists are secular people, and they all have rage. Buddhists can control their rage, while typical secular people will think of hurting others when they’re hurt, and they sow unwholesome karmic seeds for themselves. When somebody scolds you, and you feel hurt, you would definitely scold back at them. If you didn’t scold, then you wouldn’t have created negative karma, and you wouldn’t have to bear with the potential karmic retribution.
One must cultivate as instructed by the Buddha-Dharma, and gradually transform one’s afflictions and rage. Think about it, who doesn’t have afflictions? Who doesn’t have rage? One should learn how to control it. The Buddha wants us to remain peaceful and calm; that’s why Buddha said, “Silence, silence, silence.” It is to tell us to calm down. Only amid silence could we develop the coolness of wisdom. That’s why a person’s mood and personality must be meek, temperate and soothing so they could adjust their inner fire. When this fire starts to bloom, you have to adjust it so that you can cook a great dish. If there’s not enough heat, then the dish won’t be cooked properly, but if there’s too much hear, then the dish would be spoiled. A great chef knows how to adjust the flame so that the heat is just right. A great cultivator knows how to use their wisdom to keep their mind calm. The mind must stay cool and soothing. Cultivators shouldn’t be too extreme. Otherwise, when they are hurt, they would have thoughts like, “I must have my revenge, I must do it.” Don’t allow yourself to be too afflicted, and don’t let yourself feel as though you’re burning with rage.
Master teaches you a method. Many people have rage, and it is very normal. But when you can feel your rage burning inside you. Then it’s not normal. When you have rage, but you don’t feel it, then it means it hasn’t manifested yet. When it does, you will feel it. “I really hate that person. When I see him, I become furious.” These unwholesome thoughts echo within your consciousness, and then your rage festers inside you.
One mustn’t let their rage accumulate and suppressed inside their mind. If a person is aware that they have a lot of rage bottled up in them, then it shows that they’re already in a critical state, and they must get rid of it quickly. Rage is completely bad. True cultivators of Buddhism wondrously use the wisdom of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas to calm their irritable mind. Many people would intentionally think of something else suddenly when they’re about to lose their temper. For example, they would think that the other person treated them well in the past, so they stop. That’s how they adjust their mind. The ability to adjust one’s own personality and temper are very important. Buddhists mustn’t be irritable, and they shouldn’t be too hasty or rash. One must deal with all their afflictions in the most suitable way. The suitable way is one that’s not extreme. No matter what happens, don’t be extreme. That way, you won’t feel that you’ve been hurt by the incident.
If you act very stubbornly and attached in your dealings with things, then you will definitely regret it. At the same time, your afflictions will increase. If you dealy with something appropriately, you would emanate a Dharma joy. Where does this Dharma joy come from? It comes from resolving a problem. After you used your wisdom to resolve something, don’t you feel happy? If you resolved something without using your wisdom, won’t you feel very afflicted and upset? Dharma joy comes from you dealing with your problems and feeling a sense of peace afterwards. That is what we regularly expound with the phrase ‘afflictions are Bodhi’. Because there are afflictions so your Bodhi develops. Because there are problems, that’s why you come up with ways to resolve them.