About Spiritual CultivationBuddhism Your Questions Answered (171 FAQ)

Q&A 86. Propagating several Dharma Doors at the same time

Q: I am now practising Master Jun Hong Lu’s Guan Yin Citta Dharma Door.  I perform daily recitations, recite Little Houses, and have experienced many positive results.
My question is: Can I continue to practise multiple Dharma Doors (methods) at the same time? Or can I post Master Lu’s teachings on my blog, along with teachings from other Dharma Doors?  Would this be considered appropriate?

A:

  • It is said that there are 84,000 Dharma Doors and we can practise any of them. Master Lu often advises that when we practise Buddhism, we should learn according to the Dharma. This means you need to understand the Dharma Door you choose, and find out which one can solve your problems. This is similar to finding a suitable doctor for your ailment.
  • When you begin to practise a certain Dharma Door and propagate it, you will receive a lot of merits and virtues from this Dharma Door. At the same time, they will help you to eliminate acts of misconduct and karmic obstacles.
  • If you are practising or propagating a different Dharma Door at the same time, this in fact causes an outflow of your merits and virtues. As an analogy, suppose you own a store, and it has been generating good profits. The accumulation of merits and virtues can be likened to the accumulation of profits. Now, while you operate this store, you decide to open another one. Everything is fine if the new store generates profits. But if it makes no money, then you will have to transfer some profits from the original store to support the new one.
  • Therefore, if you practise or promote two Dharma Doors at the same time, outflows tend to occur. You have already gained merits and virtues from practising the original method, but you choose to promote another one. If this method is not suitable for you, your energy field, spiritual power and your practice of the original method will be affected.
  • Following multiple Dharma Doors is similar to learning many things at the same time. You will not be able to master any of them because you are spreading yourself too thin. Therefore, you should focus on just one Dharma Door. If you have already found a suitable Dharma Door, it is best to stick with it rather than to seek another.
    Generally speaking, a successful practitioner is one who dedicates themselves to only one Dharma Door. Similarly, an athlete specializing in high jump will always be better at high jump than swimming, whereas a good swimmer would not be as good at high jump. The key to becoming an expert, a professional, or a specialist, is to “focus”. The same principle applies to learning Buddhism. To become an all-round gold medallist, one must apply tremendous effort, yet the success rate tends to be very low.
  • If you have not yet decided which Dharma Door to follow, it is fine to find out more about different Dharma Doors. However, if you have already decided to follow a particular Dharma Door, then it is best not to read about or propagate information from other Dharma Doors. For example, if you have already decided to major in finance at university, it is better to focus your studies on finance and not get side-tracked by too many non-finance courses. Otherwise, you may not be able to graduate with any major in the end.
  • We, as humans, have a limited capacity of wisdom. Hence, the more Dharma Doors we practise, the more confusion there will be. For example, when you are critically ill, a lack of clarity and focus may lead you to consult a new doctor every time you hear of one recommended for your illness. Following the directions of several doctors at once will likely frustrate your overall recovery or cause unnecessary complications. This could ultimately cause you to lose valuable time, which could end up costing you your life. Your chances of recovery would increase if you diligently follow one suitable form of treatment for your condition. Therefore, it is extremely important to choose one Dharma Door that suits you.
< About Spiritual Cultivation