Q: Dear Master Lu, is it okay to have a habit of keeping records in daily life? For example, tracking daily expenses, the number of fish released for life liberations, and the number of Little Houses recited, etc.
- It is best not to keep records, as the ancient Chinese saying goes, “The more records you keep, the poorer you get.”
- Records of life liberations should also not be kept. After you have released the fish, you can state the number to Guan Yin Bodhisattva by saying, “The Greatly Merciful and Greatly Compassionate Guan Yin Bodhisattva, I, <full name>, have released <number of or weight of> fish.” You should not think about it anymore once you have finished releasing the fish. It is best to practise acts of “formless generosity” (i.e. not attached to the good deeds you have done).
- You can temporarily record the number of Little Houses that you are reciting for a period of time. For example, if you are reciting 49 Little Houses for the first batch, you can record the numbers until you have finished this batch. Afterwards, you should tear and discard the record. It is best not to keep the record for an extended period of time.
- Once you write something down, it becomes evidence. Everything you write is linked to the underworld. Therefore, you should not keep a diary. Typing on a computer is also considered to be writing. However, once you have deleted the files from the computer or torn up the piece of paper, then the records do not exist anymore.
- You should never burn your diary. As soon as you burn your diary, the underworld will know the contents immediately.