V 3-27 Revert to One’s State of Simplicity and Return to One’s Abode; Transform Awareness to Wisdom
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.
Isn’t the Human Realm within the Dharma Realm? When your mind regularly fluctuates within the Dharma Realm, in other words, by being distracted, by thinking about things that shouldn’t be thought about, then it will create karma. Many people asked Master, “How is karma formed?” It’s because your mind regularly thinks about things that shouldn’t be thought, and so karma is formed.
For example, your child’s academic skills were not good enough to be admitted into your ideal school. But you insist that he must take the admission exam, and so your karma forms. Firstly, the karmic cause is that you keep comparing your child with others, and secondly, you beat him out of frustration. Thirdly, you don’t have enough money, so you do more jobs so that you earn enough for him to get a tutor. But in the end, he still didn’t pass the exam. So you beat him up and hurt him badly. Then as the child grows up, what awaits you is the karmic consequence, whereby your child will hate you for the rest of your life. Do you understand? Distracting thoughts form karma, and when karma is formed, wholesome and unwholesome karmic consequences are also created.
Then there will be a clear distinction between yin and yang. The self is yang, and others are yin. Everything in this world can be categorised as yin and yang. My money is yang, and your money is yin. When I use your money, I’m happy because I didn’t use any of mine. Success is yang, and failure is yin. But in reality, yang and yin are also complementary to each other, just like how there are men and women, the sun and the moon, and our left and right hands.
Birth and cessation also change continuously due to karma. When a child is born, they will grow up and then up to a certain age, they’ll pass away, and their life ceases. After it ceases, they are reincarnated and reborn as a child and live out their new life again. Life and death continue as a cycle. Do you understand? Master wants to expound these principles for you to learn. Why is there birth and cessation? Why is there karma? That’s why myriad phenomena are ceaselessly changing. What is it?
The myriad phenomenon is a term used to describe all the countless events tangible or non-tangible, and all of it is ever-changing. For example, you may be feeling great one day, then feel blue in the next day. Or you have a lot of money today and lose it all the next day. Think about it; many things follow a particular law, and that is change. Because karma exists, so there will be change. When you do wholesome deeds, it will create a wholesome consequence. And vice versa. Because everything is always changing and moving, and so it follows a pattern of formation, existence, disintegration and emptiness. All changes follow this pattern; it’s a natural regulation. Nothing can avoid it.
To attain Buddhahood is to revert to one’s state of simplicity and return to one’s true abode. It means to eliminate all distracting thoughts and return one’s nature to their inherent one. That is what Guan Yin Bodhisattva wants you to know. Simplicity is about you returning back to the place you originally belong, your true abode, and our true abode is up in heaven. Master will expound a bit about it.
Firstly, how should we analyse ‘simplicity’? In actual fact, this simplicity is determined by the number of karmic causes you sowed throughout your previous lifetime. If too many of them are unwholesome, there will be too many unwholesome disruptions, so how could you revert to simplicity? Secondly, how should we analyse ‘true abode’? Do you still think about it? Can you still find your original home? Even if you want to find it, you already don’t know the address, so you can’t return.
Thirdly, and this is the most important, you must conclude everything in the present and the previous lives to revert to one’s state of simplicity and return to one’s true abode. In others, all the karma that had been accumulated must be experienced and then ceased in the current lifetime. So how do you do so? Master’s current cultivational method is to help you gather up your past and repent. Then when you complement it with performing wholesome deeds, you’ll be able to find your original home. Think back at the path you walked up till the present and all the mistakes you made; you must discard it and look for a new path to return to one’s innocence.
Next, Master expounds about the transformation of awareness into wisdom. For example, in your awareness, you originally took a view of something negatively. But now, you’ve changed your view into a positive one. For example, something unpleasant happened between you and your children, and this was supposed to be a negative thing, and it made you very upset. But you’re a Buddhist now, you don’t get provoked easily, and you think about things in a more liberal view. So your awareness is changed, you feel that you owe them karmically, and this is something you can’t change so you will repay whenever. You’ll also recite sutras for them and have faith that they will change. With that mindset, you won’t get angry, and your mind opens up. So your awareness is transformed into wisdom.
Today, your child might be beside you, but he might leave you in a few days. You desperately cling on to them, not wanting them to leave. But then, you’ll only be holding up their prospects. Do you say that this is a kind of awareness? Your awareness is a mother wanting to keep her child by her side. If you can change it, and think instead, that your children should have their own place to be and their own future to strive for, then isn’t that a kind of wisdom?
No hindrance between form and emptiness, form is emptiness and emptiness is form. No hindrance between form and emptiness is to hover between the realm of heaven and earth. Can you see Bodhisattvas in the sky? You can’t, but do they exist? Yes. So form is emptiness. Everything we can see in the Human Realm has forms, but if a person you saw yesterday died a few days later, then the form becomes empty. When we die, then our physical existence becomes empty, but we may meet again in heaven, do we still exist? Yes, thus emptiness is form and form is emptiness.
When we pray to Guan Yin Bodhisattva, our prayers are empty and invisible. But when the Bodhisattva has answered our prayers, and our lives change for the better, then our prayers take form. The Bodhisattvas you pray to can’t be seen, but why was your prayer effective? Form is emptiness and emptiness is form. Master expounds to you about the ‘Eighty-Eight Buddhas Great Repentance’. Those who recite it knows that they feel anxious when reciting it. That’s because you have either one of two mindsets when reciting it. The first one is that you feel sorry, and the second one is you are currently experiencing a sense of self-punishment. Because you made a mistake, because you said the wrong thing, so you feel very regretful. Your mind feels tortured by your conscience. These are the two mindsets.
If you ruined somebody, wouldn’t your conscience feel guilty and you feel tortured about it? When you’re reciting the ‘Eighty-Eight Buddhas Great Repentance’, aren’t you thinking of the wrongdoings you committed in the past? When you’re begging so many Bodhisattvas to forgive you in the Heavenly courts, you must let go of ego. When you’re uttering the Holy Names of so many Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, do you think they’re ignorant of the wrongs you did? You must reflect on it and understand. That’s why when reciting the ‘Eighty-Eight Buddhas Great Repentance’, in reality, it shocks and cleanses your spirit. It’s because every time you’re shocked, your spirit becomes slightly purer. When you feel like you did something wrong or when you feel upset, doesn’t your mind become anxious?
When a person is reciting the ‘Eighty-Eight Buddhas Great Repentance’, it’s like waiting to be judged inside the court after you did a crime, so aren’t you afraid when you recite it? After reciting it three times, you might think that it’s not enough, and so you recite a few more times. That’s because you feel that your sins are heavy, do you understand? That’s why you must return to the right path. To find the right Dharma, the right path, and the right faith isn’t easy. Everybody talks as if they’re right, but who has truly found the ‘right’ right? Why are there people who, after viewing at Master’s blogs, said that they’ve become ecstatic and want to cultivate this Dharma door immediately?
It’s because they’ve found the place that they feel they truly belong. When you return to the right path, you must remain noble and not deviated. And you must correct all of your mistakes. A shortcoming that many people typically have is that they’re quick at learning unwholesome things but slow at learning wholesome things. Master expounds this as he treats you like a child when he teaches you, just like how a parent guides their child. It’s because it’s too easy for you to learn unwholesome things; people inherently have this deep-rooted bad habit. Just like how very young children like to trick each other, it comes very naturally when learning mischievous things. But when you teach them wholesome things, they tend to be very slow at it. That is a deep-rooted bad habit that most people possess. That’s why cultivating one’s mind is so difficult. Originally, everybody should learn to do good, but their mind and conscience are twisted, so that’s why they’re quick at learning bad things and slow at learning good things. Just like how a clock is no longer a good and accurate clock if the hand moves a second quicker or slower. Even if a person seems good on the outside, if their inherent nature isn’t good, then they’re not a good person. If the person’s a Buddhist, regardless of how much wisdom he knows, if he’s not on the right path, nor is he cultivating the right Dharma, then what he practises is considered deviated.
Master expounds about the quality of being hard working with no complaints. Many people say that they are hardworking and have no complaints all their life. Being hardworking is easy, you can take whatever jobs and tasks and do it, but to have zero complaints is difficult. Many people are filled with resentment these days. They don’t mind about the number of tasks they do, but if they hear even a single word that triggers them, they get provoked and become aggressive. So how many people are there who are truly hardworking with no complaints in their life? They speak nobly of themselves, but in fact, they’re filled with resentment.
You hear people say, “You are blessed.” Where do blessings come from? Blessings come from a charitable heart that’s willing to give. Those who don’t give will never be blessed. Master wishes every person who cultivates their mind and recites sutras can cultivate to a level where their country does not suffer from any grave calamities. And then pray for the peace of other nations. That’s what it means to save yourself then save others. If you don’t properly cultivate your mind now, that calamities are that far away from you.