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 girls put on light makeup, then they look pretty. If their makeup was heavy, how would that look? When anything is in excess, then it loses its beauty. That’s why when you eat, you must always think that you should eat slightly less and you are full. When you drink a small bowl of soup, it tastes very delicious. If you drink a very large bowl of soup instead, would you still think that it still taste good? That’s why in Chinese tea culture, people drink tea in very small sips. People could discern the quality of your character and your style by looking at how you drink your tea. There is a trick to it. When they see you slowly savouring the tea making process, they can see that you are a steady person. If you are discussing business with somebody, they would be observing how you drink your tea to discern your character.
Chinese tea culture and food culture are the same. When you bring the teacup over to your lips to sip, and your hands aren’t shakey, then it means that you aren’t nervous. Then if you patiently filter out the tea leaves, and slowly give the tea a blow to cool it down and then proceed to sip it slowly, it shows that you are confident. If you could remain steady, then it means you have a great chance of success when doing something. Just take a look at how people drink nowadays. They take the cup of tea and directly drink it unknowingly whilst it’s still hot, and they get burned and have to spit it out immediately. What kind of things could they accomplish? Chinese culture and Buddhist zen philosophy teach a kind of artistic conception and ideal. Those who frequently think that they have enough and they don’t need more are worldly-wise individuals.
Our lifestyle should be minimalistic. That way, it’s easier to become awakened. How should we understand this logic? How is it easier to awaken if you live in a simple way? It’s because then you would regularly recall the suffering you experienced in the past and contrast it with the happiness in current times. “I’ve got a room to live in, that’s enough. I live in a very simple and minimalistic place, so when I go outside, I’m very happy and excited to see new things.” If you live in a luxurious place, then you won’t be satisfied with what you see outside. That’s why if you live in a simple place, then you would develop a sense of gratitude towards society. Also, because you are experiencing hardships and your house is very minimalistic, you would also develop a kind of sympathy for others. You would also think about how many people are still homeless, is that right? That’s why don’t be too extravagant with yourself. Otherwise, you won’t have compassion.
Lastly, let’s talk about the subject of travel. The four basic necessities of life, which are clothing, food, housing and travel. Travel isn’t just about how you are moving from place to place, but it also means whether you are walking on a noble path. What is the noble path in the Human Realm? It’s to not go after petty gains. Observe those who regularly go after petty gains from others, don’t they deviate much easier? Master regularly tells you not to think about how you can save a few pennies here and there. He teaches you not to become greedy. If you constantly act like that, you will gradually become more narrow-minded. The attitude of some old people isn’t good. For $2.50 Australian dollars, you ride a boat, train and public buses. So when they spend $2.50, they want to try to do as many things as they could, and they go out and try to do five or six different things. With this kind of attitude, would their health be any good? When you go out to do something, you should do it whenever it’s the right time to do it. Once you’ve spent the $2.50, you’ve spent the $2.50, and that’s that. Why must you force yourself to go out and do five or six different things for the sake of spending the $2.50 and torture yourself? Won’t you be very tired?
People should know not to be greedy for petty gains. If something should be yours, and you have it, then it’s a karmic affinity. If something shouldn’t be yours and you have a lot of it, then it will become an unwholesome affinity. If somebody treats you well today, it’s a wholesome affinity. If somebody doesn’t want to be in a love relationship with you, and you want to force yourself into it, then it may develop into an unwholesome affinity. That’s why you should cultivate a habit of not wanting to buy anything. Don’t think about it, and regularly think to yourself that you have enough. Why are you going into the shop? Do you not have clothes to wear? Do you have no bed to sleep on? Do you have nothing to eat? What are you doing in the shop to look for? Aren’t you wasting your time? Buddhists should regularly think to themselves that they already have everything they need and don’t need to buy anything. When a child says, “I have enough,” then it means they are content. This kind of children will grow up happily. It’s when they’re discontent that they suffer mentally. People who are content won’t become greedy for other things. Isn’t it true that those who aren’t greedy are usually the people who are content? Isn’t there a saying that happiness lies in contentment?
Observe some of the venerable monks. They observe the precepts that Master asked them to and have set strict high standards for themselves. They never go and shop around and buy goods, because they feel that they already have enough. Master once saw a venerable monk who visited him, and he took out a few letters that some of his fellow practitioners asked him to bring. All of his possessions were kept in his one cloth bag. Even Master feels upset when he saw that. The bag contained a small bag of tissues, a small flashlight, a few letters, and a plastic container that contains some change and little money. They also carry a small bottle of medicinal ointment, so when somewhere aches on their body, they rub a bit of it into the area. That’s all of their belongings. Compared to them, we already have too much. Master feels upset when he sees them. That is ascetic cultivation.
You must learn to be content. If you don’t, it will become very hard for you to live on. When you feel content, you will feel blessed and happy. When somebody feels blessed, then they would develop gratitude towards the world, society, the people around him, and they would be thankful to be in this world. Then they will continue to experience Dharma bliss when they’re cultivating their mind and behaviour.
师父要你们在心中对钱财没有欲望，对物质没有欲 望，经常在心中说“我不需要，我够了”，你才能在心中制止自己的欲望，有效地约束自己。“钱够用吗？” “够了。”“物质还要不要？”“不要了。”你的心中没有欲望，你就能够克制自己。很多母亲说：“孩子只要对我笑一笑，我就满足了。”妈妈的这个欲望越小，她越不心痛啊。很多父母想：“我从小把他养大，他现在怎么这样不理睬我啊？他就这么寄点东西回来，也不回家看我？”这样想了后父母心里就很痛。很多母亲欲望很小，逢年过节孩子从很遥远的地方给自己寄点保健品，自己就很感动了。这就是为什么要克制欲望。
Master wants you to harbour no desire for wealth and possessions in your mind, and that you would constantly think that you already have enough and don’t need any more. Only by having these thoughts would your mind be able to control your desires and restrain yourself effectively. “Do you have enough money?” “Yes.” “Do you still want this?” “I’ve got enough, thanks.” When your mind has no desires, then you can control yourself. Many mothers say that as long as their child smiles when they’re with them, then they’re satisfied. The fewer desires the mother has, the less mental pain they would go through. Many parents have thoughts like, “I’ve raised him for so long, why is he neglecting me? He only sent a few things to us, but he doesn’t come and visit us.” When they think that way, then they’ll be in mental pain. While some parents have few desires. When their child sends over some health supplements from far away, they already feel touched. Now, do you know why you should control your desires?
When somebody has desires, then their desires control them. That’s why you must learn to minimise your desires to that you can control it instead. Do you still have the things that you have taken out of your desire? When you were little, you wanted and got many toys. Do you still have it? Like your previously new school bag, new clothes, new pencil cases. At school, you liked to compare what you have with your schoolmates. You were self-centred and thought that you were better than everybody. Then if you became an honourary student, then you could proudly puff up your chest for at least a month or two. In reality, all of this is a kind of greed. When you got it, then it’s gone after a while. That’s why the fewer desires you have, the fewer afflictions you have.