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.
Master mentioned this before; when the Chinese New Year period of the year of the Tiger is over, many problems will arise. Why so? That’s because the maturation rate of karmic consequences is quicker. Tiger totems are very fierce; that’s why those who are born in the year of the Tiger are very dominating, and so they would invite a lot of troubles. In adverse conditions, we must learn to forbear with it. One must properly cultivate. Time will continue to move, indifferent with whatever happens to you. When we arrive at a good year, everybody is happy; if everybody arrives at a bad year, then everybody will be unhappy. It’s the same principle as if everybody lives in an unfortunate area; then all the residents will be unfortunate.
You may ask, “What about those born in the same year, do they have the same fate?” Fundamentally, yes, but the influence is but a small fraction. When the Sichuan earthquake occurred, in this unfortunate event, hundreds of thousands died, but many people luckily survived. With the same principle, just let at others with different birth signs, those with unfavourable birth signs will experience more hardships than others. These are things that can’t be helped. Although medical science is advanced now, and children who are about to be born in less favourable birth signs could have their birth time manipulated by caesarean section, do you think you could change their overall destiny? In reality, even though they may be given birth via C-section, their life is still going to be hard. There remains an issue with the birth hour, interference by foreign spirits and past karma. Master is only using this as an example. You must properly cultivate.
A person’s outer appearance is important. Take a look at Master’s disciples. Those who cultivated themselves to be more kind-hearted generally look more pleasant. Those who didn’t cultivate well remains the same. Master expounds that cultivation of the mind influences the form, as the form changes according to one’s mind. It’s very simple. Evil people possess an evil form; good people possess a good form. But there are two circumstances that make this statement not absolute. One is that when the person was originally evil, but they have started to learn Buddhism and have begun to make reforms to themselves, their facial appearance has not completely improved. When you look at them, they still look aggressive, but they are getting better.
The second is when a good person starts to become evil, so their face has not completely changed. At that time, they still look charming, so they could use their good looks to cheat others. That’s why a person’s form is important. Those who understand the principles would go and learn face reading. Here’s an example, if a person gets very depressed for 3 hours every day, then in a year, how many hours were they in depression? When you look at them, and you will see a haggard face. If a person scolds at others every day, then they would look aggressive. One’s form changes in accordance with one’s mind. Those who possess a good conscience will look good and vice versa.
Many of you disciples would be able to discern forms after you’ve cultivated to a certain level. When a man or woman enters the rooms, look at their appearance and see if they look like a good person or not. Master didn’t teach you about it because he’s afraid that you would become discriminative when you go and help others. If you see somebody who looks bad, then you might not go and help them and lose the chance to save them. You mustn’t judge others by how they look; you must observe their inner nature.
The New Year period is over, so many things and troubles will start to emerge. You better look out for yourself. Things are getting quicker while the human mind is becoming increasingly unwholesome. Saving others must be done quickly, and also the effort you put in must be greater. You can’t act the same as before. If you want to improve, then you must let go of many things. If you can’t, then your rate of improvement will be slow. Then you’ll feel tired and become less diligent in cultivating your mind.
Here’s an example: if you want to be admitted to your desired university, then you must study hard and sleep less. Cultivation of the mind is the same. If you don’t put in the effort, how could you improve? Every year, Master puts all his energy into cultivation and saving others. He ceaselessly works and speaks. Many people are concerned with him and say things like, “Don’t save others anymore. Your body is bad, and you don’t eat your meals properly, how could you save others?” If a person cultivates sooner, then in their later years, they will be able to repay all their karmic debts, and so won’t suffer any diseases.
If you want to be well, and want your family to be well, then don’t just look at short-term gains. When monks and nuns left their family, they made a great vow. They all possessed a spirit of great fearlessness and sacrifice. They were willing to abandon their family and many other things. Why do so many people respect Master Chin Kung? He originally had a family, but now he has nothing. He’s just a monk. He donated and gave away the offering he received to others who are needier. Can you name one person who saves others without needing to give?
Those who don’t give are secular people. If you give, you will receive, you’re a Bodhisattva. But take note, your almsgiving must be done genuinely and sincerely. If not, then it’s no use. Master has always been somebody who goes to work early and leaves late. He did many association works, but what’s gained are just empty titles. Everything he received was fake. Now when he goes out and saves others, he feels greater happiness. When he’s doing his radio programme, he becomes excited. When he looks at good disciples, he’s also very happy. Every family experiences suffering. They can only suppress it. In the past, many young people in rural areas work during the day and do their homework at night. In the end, they managed to go to university. Although they had to go through a lot of hardship during those years, they managed to pull through and succeed. Many people risk their lives to get to the position they want. Everything in life is achieved from one’s effort. Who doesn’t have to put in the effort?
The Bodhisattvas said that the Human Realm is a realm of afflictions. From the day you were born and cried, your afflictions have begun and will continue until the day you pass away. Who could escape from their afflictions? You may have reasoned before that when your children have grown up; you will be this and that. When you go to work, you will be this. When you are married, you will be that. When you’ve finally settled, you will be this. So tell me, when will there be a day when you will settle? When everything’s finally ok, then a problem suddenly arises. When your child has grown slightly bigger, so you relax a little, next, he has to go to school.
When will you finally finish all your tasks? When you become an old lady and close to death, you still have to help take care of your grandchildren. Many old people came to Australia and had to face the contempt of their children and their spouses. In the end, they also had to take care of their children. Everyone is busy in their entire lifetime, and they face a lifetime of suffering. One day, you may have broken up with your boyfriend, then in another day, you have an argument at home, and in the next, you may be sued even though you have no money. Is there any day of rest? That is the world we are living in. Some people also told Master that they want to be reborn as a human in their next life. They said that they were poor for their whole life, and they want to be born in a wealthier family in the next life. That shows that they’re still unawakened.
Whether you are Master’s disciples or just a listener, Master’s requirements of you are quite strict. If none of you cultivates, it doesn’t matter, but don’t hinder or cause harm to Master’s meritorious deeds. It’s you who have lost your chance. A mature person must be sensible, reasonable. Arguments are not won by physical or verbal fights but with frankness. What kind of reason could you argue with? It’s useless, no matter how you sugarcoat it. A truly kind-hearted person would use frankness to understand other people’s reason, that’s the true principle.
To gain success in cultivation and your learning of Buddhism, one can’t do without patience. A person who’s patient will achieve success. Otherwise, you won’t. If you couldn’t persuade somebody today, you’ll try again tomorrow. If you fail again tomorrow, then you’ll try again on the following day. During the time of China’s war of liberation, many cities and areas surrendered themselves to avoid its citizens from being embroiled in the war. Also, many leaders and their subordinates went to negotiate with the other party. They didn’t want the civilians to be involved in the crossfire. So they were persistent until the other party no longer resisted, and was willing to liberate peacefully. That way, casualties would be minimised, and those government officials also avoided a calamity. It was their persistence and patience that led them to success. That’s why you must be patient. You must keep talking, keep explaining, and keep communicating. That’s very important.
The Bodhisattvas regularly mention the Six Paramitas. The most important Paramita is forbearance. Master expounds about it because many of disciples are not patient enough. Want of forbearance in small matters confounds great plans. When the Bodhisattvas expounded the Six Paramitas, they especially emphasised the importance of forbearance. The crux of one’s success or failure of one’s cultivation is one’s ability to forbear and be patient. But in reality, their definition of forbearance is not one where you have to think about being patient intentionally. It is one where once you’ve cultivated to a certain level, you don’t even feel that you have to be patient. If you still feel that you must be patient, that is an ‘attachment to forms’. If one doesn’t feel shame or hardship, why does one need to be patient? Those who can forbear will be diligent. Otherwise, they won’t.
Next, Master expounds that there are three kinds of forbearance. Since you are Master’s disciples, his requirements of you are very high, and he won’t allow your thoughts to have a single shred of distracting thoughts. Whether you can cultivate well or badly isn’t something that you can control. That’s because you’re not a doctor, you don’t know what kind of illness you have. Master is here to point out your shortcomings and your flaws, so you know what you must reform. Every day and every hour, he’s doing that, it’s not easy. He said before that as long as you want to learn Buddhism, he will care about you. Everybody has their own problems that are difficult to explain. Go with the flow. Could it be that none of you ever get angry and scold at others? Could it be that none of you had said spiteful words at others inside your mind? You must reform your habitual behaviour completely and see refuge in the Buddha-Dharma.
Take note, Buddhists are different from secular people; you must forbear. Otherwise, you can’t call yourself a Buddhist. If you just do whatever you want to do and lack patience, it means that your willpower is not firm, your Buddha-nature is weak, and you’ve cultivated badly as you can’t see things thoroughly. When others scold you, you’ve accepted everything they said and developed hatred. Master has taught you to learn to block the things you hear. If you didn’t hear the things that triggered you, isn’t that good? When you see the things you don’t want to see, hear the things you don’t want to hear, smell the things you don’t want to smell, and say the things you don’t want to say, don’t afflictions arise?
What is there to help us with our cultivation? That’s sutra recitation. Focus on the path you want to take and properly cultivate it until the Bodhisattvas bless you, develop your wisdom, make your career smooth-sailing and make you blessed. Cultivation of the mind is like sowing a seed. If you didn’t sow it right, you would receive an unwholesome karmic fruit. Why do you fail at growing watermelons? Go and find out the reason why others succeed at growing it. Why is it that other’s people gut is good while yours is bad? It’s because you ate things you shouldn’t do. Why do others hate you? It’s because you offended them.