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.
You constantly recite the ‘Heart Sutra’, but you still lose your temper when encountering any issues. If you know how to recite sutras to resolve it, Master would immediately suggest you recite the ‘Heart Sutra’ to adjust your mind. Let’s say that you are outraged after a heated argument with your spouse. If you understand that although this rage has developed, it will cease, then why are you throwing such a large temper? If you know you won’t argue tomorrow, why are you angry today? If you don’t let your rage grow, where does it come from? People are like that. That’s why you must understand, when you are oppressed, you must think, “This is a birth and cessation.” Then the affliction will pass. “I mustn’t get angry. I mustn’t throw a fit and smash things. Otherwise, I would have to rebuy it again.”
If you understand birth and cessation, then you are wise. When you understand form is emptiness, you also understand that there’s no feeling, perception, mental formation, or consciousness. If all forms are empty, then what is there to think about? What is there to feel? What mental formation is derived from it? What consciousness is developed from it? That’s why there’s no feeling, perception, mental formation and consciousness. Master really likes to talk about the ‘Heart Sutra’. He regularly advises others that if there’s something they can’t think through, they should recite the ‘Heart Sutra’ more often. If you understand the meanings behind the ‘Heart Sutra’ and recite it, it would help clear your thoughts. Many people recite the ‘Heart Sutra’ while still feeling rage burning inside them. That’s because they still can’t let go.
When you understand that the meaning behind ‘no feeling, perception, mental formation and consciousness’ is that there is nothing, and everything is empty, it also proves that the Human Realm is impermanent and has no real self. Where are you now? Before you were born into this world, where were you? After you pass away, where would you be? Everything in the Human Realm never lasts long, so for something that doesn’t last long, why do you still fight for it? That’s why everything is impermanent. What you have today may disappear tomorrow. Life is like that. That’s why you must understand the truth behind life. People face many hardships. Think back about the times of hardships you experienced; do you still remember it all? This world is filled with suffering, emptiness and impermanence, and that is the real truth. That’s why Gautama Buddha taught us to observe the birth and cessation of the five aggregates.
What follows are Master’s thoughts. We must purify our mind to make the five aggregates empty and experience impermanence, suffering, emptiness and non-self. Then one’s level of spirituality will reach the fourth rank of Arhathood, and that level already transcends samsara. Many people asked Master, “Master, I want to transcend samsara.” The first sagely realm outside of samsara is the Arhat path. So how does one attain Arhathood? If you could see through and understand this world’s impermanence, suffering, emptiness and non-self, then you would reach the first of the four Sagely Realms. It isn’t just about clarifying your mind, but it’s about thinking genuinely, “Impermanence. I won’t fight nor compete with others. Even if I win what I desire, I will lose it eventually. There’s only suffering.” And then put your thoughts into actions. If there is still a reader who thinks, “I’m very happy in this world,” it indicates that they haven’t experienced the truth behind suffering. So they won’t reach the four Sagely Realms. That’s because they still have the feeling of happiness. In reality, the Human Realm is filled with suffering. In the past, Master has taught about the eight kinds of suffering. Four of them are birth, old age, illness and death. Nobody can escape from it. Another is suffering from being apart from loved ones, the suffering of being together with despised ones, the suffering of not getting what one wants, and the five aggregates' suffering. That’s why you must purify yourself.
The act of contemplation is a wise action. That’s because when you contemplate your conscious and subconscious thoughts, you'll develop wisdom. That’s why a person who strives to succeed would constantly think about whether they did right or wrong. That is contemplation. Master has many disciples, and they regularly contemplate whether they did something right or wrong. Although they can’t contemplate about their eighth consciousness, at the very least, they are contemplating well as they would reflect on their actions and have thoughts like, “If Master sees me, would he blame them or form an opinion about me?” In reality, they already took the first step in the right direction. In the future, they should think of thoughts like, “If the Bodhisattvas see me, would they criticise me or say what I did was wrong?” That is step-by-step progress.
Wisdom creates ‘purity’, that’s because wise people possess pure minds. Also, wisdom develops ‘concentration’. After you concentrate, your mind would stop all wandering thoughts. Many people say, “Don’t overthink it; it would make things more painful. You should forget about it.” “I can’t forget about it.” Why is that? It’s because they can’t stay pure-minded as they still have hatred. During Gautama Buddha’s time, many cultivators cultivated this method and attained Arhathood. That is the ‘Emptying of the Five Aggregates Dharma door’. Many of the countless Dharma Doors can’t be found in the encyclopedia; there are still many that haven’t appeared yet. They appear and disappear according to the current times and era.
Master shall teach you about another Dharma door, and it comes from the ‘Heart Sutra’. If you could thoroughly comprehend the Human Realm’s impermanence, suffering, emptiness and non-self, then your mind would become peaceful and pure. It would develop concentration, and then your mind would stop. That’s why it expounds that ‘If the mind has no hindrances, then there are no hindrances’, then you will attain Arhathood. In the past, there were people who transcended samsara and attained Arhathood from their cultivation just solely from comprehending the ‘Heart Sutra’ completely.
You should have all heard of the word ‘nirvana’, but many people still don’t know how to write it (in Chinese). Nirvana consists of two letters. The first letter ‘涅’ have three drops of water on the left, the sun at the top and the earth at the bottom. It signifies the rising of the sun until it sets below the earth and everything is empty. What about the letter ‘槃’? It refers to a person’s whole life. What nirvana represents is the highest level of spirituality in Buddhism. People who understand know that nirvana means complete cessation. People who don’t understand call it death. From Buddhism’s perspective, it means the elevation of one’s spirit and spirituality.
Many people think that nirvana equals death. In reality, it is complete stillness. The complete comes from completing all your wisdom and meritorious virtues. In other words, when somebody is about to pass away, they have already arranged everything, and their mind is clear with everything. They had become non-pursuing early on. And after being enlightened, they haven’t committed any unethical deeds. Their meritorious deeds are complete, and in the end, they enter into a stage of complete stillness. The stillness in this context means that they have stopped all kinds of delusion. So after one has completed their wisdom and meritorious virtues, they gradually stop all of their delusions and karma developed in the Human Realm. They are at peace, and they understand everything.
When many couples first start to argue, they quarrel ferociously at first. But afterwards, the wife would gradually think, “Oh, I understand now, I won’t argue anymore. It turns that you have an extramarital affair; that’s why you intentionally argue with me when you’re home.” It’s that concept of thorough understanding. “I now understand that we can die any moment. Life is impermanent, and there’s a lot of suffering. At the end of it all, there’s only emptiness.” When you think like that, you would no longer seek wealth and fame in the Human Realm. You will peacefully and modestly live through the rest of your life. You would act courteously and enjoy life. Alright, you’ve attained the stage of complete cessation; you no longer create karma. What is the karma of delusion? It’s karma created from your delusion. Although complete stillness also requires cessation, the mortal body will eventually die, rot and become nothingness.
Regarding cessation, what does it actually cease? We just discussed how the karma of delusion develops because of ignorance. That’s why cessation is to cease one’s physical body’s acts of ignorance. What’s ceased is one’s retribution-body and one’s physical body. Your physical body is here to endure hardships while your real Dharma-body continues to live on and exist. Master once said that one’s spirit is like a driver. When the car breaks down, the driver will drive a new car. When the body dies, you will reincarnate back to a human body. You will start as a new baby, but the spirit is still you. That’s why the spirit never dies. Nirvana comprises the interchanging process of life and death. The end is a new beginning, and when there’s a beginning, there will be an end. That’s why the Buddhist scriptures expound that there is no life nor death to a person’s life. It is everlasting.