Buddhism in Plain Terms

The 2nd and 5th Buddhism Precepts: Abstain From Stealing & Intoxicants

< Buddhism in Plain Terms < 白话佛法共修分享    

Time : Saturday 2pm-4.00pm
Platform : ZOOM Cloud Meeting
Topic of Discussion : The 2nd and 5th Buddhism Precepts: Abstain From Stealing & Intoxicants


On 26 June 2021, Guan Yin Citta, Singapore, held an online English sharing session that focused on the two Buddhist Precepts of abstaining from Stealing and Intoxicants.

In an insightful first part, a wide scope of Stealing was covered. Unbeknown to many, the acts of peeping, eavesdropping, sneaking food, etc. are also considered acts of stealing.

The facilitator talked at length about the karmic retributions of Stealing: A life of poverty and disdain with bouts of misfortune. The worst would be for those who make illicit gains in the name of Buddha.

Other than the Three Golden Buddhist Practices, the participants were advised to contemplate impurity – wealth amassed through greed is never pure – and practise generosity to quell their greed.

In the second part of session, the last precept – abstaining from Intoxicants – was expounded. Not only are intoxicants harmful to our health, they also rob our clarity of mind.

The participants were also told about the importance to abstain from addiction to smoking, drugs, gambling, etc.

To overcome the demon of addiction, the participants were advised to:
• Persevere to break the habit;
• Practise moderation besides acting appropriately and rationally; and
• Stand on their own feet to become awaken spiritually and observe the precepts.

In an inspiring closing video, Master Lu said, “We must keep reminding ourselves that we must be strong and diligent – we are the master of our own destiny. We must learn from Vajra Bodhisattva (金刚萨埵菩萨), whose mind embodies Bodhi, and whose resolve is as strong as diamond”.

The upcoming session – scheduled on 3 July – we will explore the third Buddhist Precept of Abstaining from Sensuous Misconduct. Join us to find out about how getting to know your desires can weaken their grips on you.


? Let us now look at some comments from participants:

I was exposed to a wide range of “stealing” I wasn’t aware of!

The testimony sharing today was impressive! The power of the Three Golden Buddhist Practices can indeed help anyone overcome any addiction!


?Join us in our next session 

Please contact Loh SX (96978356) / Woan Yi SX (82182248) for more information


 ⏰ Date and time:
Saturday 3 July 2021 (2.00pm – 4.00pm)


Please click here to download the Summary Slides shared during the Group Study:

 Summary Slides_Abstain From Stealing & Intoxicants




Part 1 ─ Abstain from Stealing

1.What is considered Stealing?
2.What are the karmic retributions of Stealing?
3.How do we root out the seeds of Stealing?

Part 2 ─ Abstain from Intoxicants

4.Why should Intoxicants be avoided?
5.What would be the Sixth Precept?
6.How do we overcome the demon of addiction?


< When Thoughts Arise, So Does Karma > 

Buddhism in Plain Terms | Episode 1

Key Messages:

1. Merits and virtues are in our every thought. How does your merit come about? The moment you have the thought of helping someone, you have accumulated merits.“I need to help him, I need to save him, I need to assist him”. These are merits. When you actually do it, you have accumulated virtues.
2. Karma is like the shadow that never leaves us. You reap what you sow. If you sow the seeds of wholesomeness, you’ll reap the fruits of wholesomeness. If you sow the seeds of purity, you’ll reap the fruit of purity.
3. When you do things only for others, not for yourself, the Way of Discipline (戒道) already takes root in your mind. 


< Part 1 – Abstain from Stealing : What is Not Yours is Not Yours! 


Master Jun Hong Lu’s Discourse
(Question 422) | 23 October 2020

Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva (地藏王菩萨): Suffering, sickness and vexations of sentient beings are the consequence of causes and conditions planted in their past and present lives (因缘果报). If a person’s soul constantly experiences punishment or imprisonment in hell, though their life has not come to an end, they are already the object of torment at the spiritual level (精神上受苦). 

These are the dreadful karmic retributions (诸恶的果报) that stem from sentient beings’ greed that led them into violating the Five Buddhist Precepts (因贪欲犯五戒) of abstaining from killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying and consuming intoxicants.

It is only through repenting one’s past evil deeds, believing and practising the dharma besides strictly adhering to the precepts, one can avoid having to pay a hefty price in hell (才不会堕入地狱的果报).

A Disciple from Malaysia, 12 October 2020 


Master Jun Hong Lu’s Daily Buddhism In Plain Terms
15 June 2021 (An Excerpt)

In Buddhism practice, observing the precepts is of the utmost importance. This explains why the Lord Buddha told his disciples, “Treat the precepts as your teacher” (以戒为师) before He entered into Nirvana.

By observing the precepts, you avoid committing mistakes. Only those, who can observe the precepts, will be accomplished in their spiritual cultivation.

If you apply the precepts in your daily life, your family will be safe and well. If you can do so at work, your career will be smooth sailing. Observing the precepts allows one to break free from greed (因为守戒的人,会戒贪心).

There is one word that is hardly pleasing to the ear: Steal. You may wonder, it is impossible for grown-ups to commit stealing. The truth is, there is a high chance for those who do not observe the precepts to commit stealing in all respects.

For example, they may steal glances at some pornographic materials on the internet; despite their doctor’s advice, they steal bites of food they are not supposed to consume and end up being ill.

Let me tell you a true story about this particular person, who had grown accustomed to having sumptuous dinner. One day, he fell ill and got himself admitted to a hospital and found out that his blood sugar level was abnormally and stubbornly high.

During his hospital stay, he was prohibited from consuming sizable meals. Needless to say, hefelt hungry daily and had had a hard time curbing his longing for a hearty meal.

Unable to hold back any longer, one night, he sneaked out of the hospital and made his way to a restaurant to relish a sumptuous meal. Upon his return to his hospital bed, his blood sugar level shot up through the roof, and by the next day, he was pronounced dead. Isn’t this an act of stealing? 

Humans commit stealing in many aspects, including, peeping, eavesdropping and sneaking food which bring a lot of troubles to themselves. 

From pilfering something minor, one may eventually have the audacity to even snatch another person from his or her family
(从一个小小的偷,偷到后来连人都敢偷). They are the ‘spouse poachers’ who are responsible for family conflicts to arise leading to the man killing the woman or the woman suing the man. These are some of the potential dire consequences for not observing the precepts.

For Buddhist practitioners, you are not supposed to bring back the fruits that you bring to the temple as offerings at your whims and fancies.

This is because they are considered offerings to the Bodhisattvas and taking them without the approval of the monastic of the temple, is considered an act of stealing. This is just like you stealthily bring home a gift that you have given to a person – isn’t this stealing?

As Buddhist practitioners, you must be just and honourable in your speech (学佛人要说光明正大的语言) .

If you speak ill of others behind their back, you commit the act of stealthy speech. If you eavesdrop of things that others are reluctant to tell you, you commit the act of stealthy listening.  

Figure out for yourself whether you have these negative tendencies. They are considered a violation of the precepts which comes with retributive effects from which you will engender a substantial amount of karmic obstacles for yourself.

On the other hand, those undisciplined workers who report to work late and leave early, don’t you think their behaviour is as good as stealing? They are ‘stealing’ the factory’s time and they will end up being fired. Hence, it is said, those who fail to observe discipline will suffer from present life karmic retributions. 





Definition (Oxford Dictionary):
to take something from a person, shop, etc. without permission and without intending to return it or pay for it. 



Master Jun Hong Lu’s Discourse (An Excerpt)
Buddhism In Plain Terms (Radio Program) | Volume 1 Chapter 15

Master Jun Hong Lu:

The second precept is abstaining from stealing, which includes seizing things by force (强掳豪夺). This is because everything in this world involves a transfer of sovereignty under its terms (主权转移的). Hence, making an untrue claim to gain benefit (无功而取) is considered an act of stealing. This includes demanding monetary reward when you have not performed any kind deeds nor done anything in helping others. Such an action is considered stealing. 

Copyright infringement (盗版) and claiming credit for things that you did not do (不是你做的,你却把它占为己有) is another example of stealing. There are many middlemen who collect handling fees from their customers but fail to deliver what they promise. This is also considered stealing. 

Sometimes, we think, it is good for us to have an appetite for things in life, not knowing that it is only when we benefit others, we are truly benefitting ourselves (利人才能利己). If everyone only thinks of his self-interests (只为利己) and bears no regards for the interests of others, this selfish behaviour does not differ much from an act of stealing


Wenda20161125  05:01 (Master Jun Hong Lu’s call-in radio program)

Caller: The parents of a fellow Buddhist practitioner are in poor health. With the savings passbook that the parents entrusted to him, he will withdraw and send money to his parents regularly. Whenever he withdraws money for his parents, he will withdraw an extra amount to perform life liberation and print the sutra booklets  (经书) for his parents.

His parents, who are not Buddhists, are not aware that he has been using their money to perform the meritorious acts for them. Is it appropriate for him to do so?

Master Jun Hong Lu: It is fine as long as his parents have no objection. He should inform his parents, unless they disapprove of him to learn Buddhism. It is fundamentally inappropriate to take his parents’ money without their knowledge as the money belongs to them. By doing so, he is considered to have violated the precept of refraining from stealing.

If his parents are unaware, even if he uses the money to perform life liberation, it will still be regarded as an act of theft. As long as a person is not aware that you are using his money to perform life liberation, it is considered as an act of theft. It is disallowed as the third party has no clue about who is the rightful owner of the money.

Even if his parents have no objection for him to use the money to perform life liberation, he will still have to say the prayer to Guan Yin Bodhisattva,

“I have taken <how much money> from my parents to perform life liberation on their behalf today”.

If he does not say the prayer and remains silent, he will be guilty of theft. This is serious and will lead to karmic consequences subsequently. The best solution is to tell his parents, “Mum and dad, when I withdraw money for you, I will use a portion of it to perform life liberation, which is meant to help support and extend your longevity. Are you agreeable?”

If they disagree, you may say your prayer to Guan Yin Bodhisattva privately. However, you are not allowed to misappropriate even a penny for your own use. Understand?

Caller: Yes, I do.

Master Jun Hong Lu:  For example, after withdrawing $100, you spend $50 on life liberation and keep the balance for your own use. This is considered a serious act of stealing. 


Master Jun Hong Lu’s Buddhism In Plain Terms (Radio Program) | Volume 1 Chapter 54

There are guidelines to follow when making offerings to Bodhisattvas:

One must never consume the fruits that have been set aside for offering. When offering some apples to Bodhisattvas, you may think of consuming one of them to quench your thirst. You must not do it at all costs because in doing so, you would have committed theft. Do you think it is alright for you to eat the food that you have given to someone as gifts?

It is prohibitive to take anything from the temple or the Guan Yin Hall without permission. If you do it, the act of theft has been established. This explains why I am here to talk about theBuddhist precepts of which abstaining from stealing is an equally important precept.

You may have a great relationship with your spouse, but the moment you quietly take some cash from your husband’s wallet, without his knowledge, to purchase something, the act of stealing is constituted. This is because you take things without the rightful owner’s consent. It is important to observe this precept. 


Master Jun Hong Lu’s Discourse
(Question 305) | 24 April 2019 (An Excerpt)


Dharma Protectors said, “We, by the decree of Guan Di Bodhisattva and Tai Sui Bodhisattva – General Xie Tai – summoned the spirit of the Heavenly Child (童子) to Heaven. We, the Dharma Protectors, would like to forewarn all Buddhist practitioners of Guan Yin Citta Dharma Door not to do anything evil, regardless of how trivial it may be (莫以恶小而为之).” 

“Many people are not earnest and serious in their spiritual cultivation. Besides not strictly adhering to Buddhist teachings, they do not put the dharma into practice. They also let their guard down when handling the financial affairs related to the dharma. Irrespective of how virtuous you are (莫道汝功德大与小), the accumulated karmic ramifications arising from your illicit gains
敛财罪孽) are not something that any of you is capable of shouldering.”

“To those who dare to illicitly acquire wealth under the name of the Buddhas or make slanderous statements about Buddhism, do not blame that the laws and decrees are ruthless (莫怪律法无情). We, the Dharma Protectors, will grant all Buddhist practitioners up to three chances to repent and reform this year.”    

“Where it involved illicit gains – be it intentional or unintentional – repent as soon as possible, besides performing more life liberation and meritorious deeds in order to eradicate your karmic obstacles. We will report your respective progress in accordance with your situations to Guan Yin Bodhisattva, Guan Di Bodhisattva and Tai Sui Bodhisattva.”

Deepest gratitude to Guan Yin Bodhisattva. Deepest gratitude to Master Jun Hong Lu.

A Disciple from Malaysia, 4 April 2019 


Answer: The Bodhisattvas have guided that there are up to three chances of repentance. To those who have amassed wealth illicitly, you must quickly and sincerely repent to Bodhisattva. Once such misdeed is committed, Heaven and the Underworld will know about it.There is no way that one can get off scot-free. Even for cases where the gains are meagre, you must still come clean before Bodhisattva.

Not only that, you must perform life liberation in accordance with the amount of gains you have pocketed. Otherwise, it will be way too late by the time when you are diagnosed with cancer. The money you have cheated out of others must be repaid one way or another. Bear in mind, seeds that you plant will eventually germinate. 


Wenda20170505 15:52 (Master Jun Hong Lu’s call-in radio program)

Caller: Is it right to say that, at the Guan Yin Hall, if a Buddhist friend borrowed some money and did not make a repayment, he is considered to have made an illicit gain?

Master Jun Hong Lu: This is not a good trait. Borrowing money without repaying is considered making illicit gains
(借钱没还就是敛财). The fact that you have failed to return the money has altered the fundamental nature of the arrangement.

It started off as being a loan ─ this is when you return what is borrowed. In the event that you fail to pay up what is loaned to you, it is considered robbery, theft by swindle or stealing. 



Wenda20160306A 45:20 (Master Jun Hong Lu’s call-in radio program)

Caller: Am I right to say that negative karma is created if one cheats in examination? 

Master Jun Hong Lu: That’s correct. Do you know what type of negative karma this is? It’s considered stealing.

Caller: Am I right to say that stealing happens if someone takes something that is not rightfully his?

Master Jun Hong Lu: That’s right! After all, it is not rightfully yours and hence, you are deemed to have committed an act of stealing.  


Master Jun Hong Lu’s World Buddhist Fellowship Meeting
Sydney, Australia | 26 January 2019

Master Jun Hong Lu:

Once, there was a boy and in his very first attempted theft, he got away with a needle. Thinking that it was just an insignificant loot, his mother brushed it aside and failed to reprimand the boy.

This motivated him to continue with his ‘quest’, perpetuating him to commit more thefts into his adulthood. Eventually, he was sentenced to death for robbing a bank.

At the execution ground, right in front of his mother, he broke down in tears and said, “If only you had sternly punished me on my very first theft attempt, this day would not have befallen me.”

This applies to Buddhist practitioners like us, we must take each Buddhist precept to heart and strictly adhere to it. As your Master, I will sternly reprimand you as and when you violate the precepts so that you are awakened to the fact that these are not small matters but have a great bearing on your spiritual practice.

As the saying goes, “One tiny ant nest may spell disaster to a dike that spans thousands of miles (千里之堤,毁于蚁穴).”This idiom essentially means overlooking a seemingly inconsequential shortcoming could have far-reaching consequences, as it evolves and develops into a huge karmic obstacle. 



The Lord Buddha:

Poor are the ones who were greedy and committed theft in their previous lives;

Rich are the ones who practised generosity in their previous lives. 

— Master Jun Hong Lu’s Public Talk, New York, USA | 11 October 2018



Master Jun Hong Lu’s Buddhism In Plain Terms
Episode 84 (An Excerpt)

Master Jun Hong Lu:

An act of theft is established when one takes something without the owner’s consent. Do you know the karmic retribution of this immoral act? Your entire life will be marred by poverty and disdain; without a shred of hope of extricating yourself from it. (贫贱,一生贫贱之报,一生穷,想发点财都发不了)

Take a look at your schoolmate, those days when he was still a child, he already showed an inclination to steal others’ possessions, for example a pencil. Won’t you consider this object minor? They may go for a piece of eraser another day or peek at others’ school bags the next and steal a ruler.

People like this are bound to face a lot of challenges in their adult life, and their effort to strike it rich in life will always be impeded – the price to pay for their past misdeeds. 


Master Jun Hong Lu’s Buddhism In Plain Terms (Audio)
Episode 8 (An Excerpt)

Master Jun Hong Lu: 

Practise frugality, loyalty and never take what is not yours (不偷盗而义利节用). If you refrain from taking what is not yours, doesn’t this make you a righteous person; one who is free from self-interest? Don’t you think you are also someone who is temperate in your habits?

An act of theft is established when one takes what is not given – doing so, he brings calamity upon himself. Misfortune will befall those who falsely claim possession of something (不与取而取,祸也)and lack a sense of righteousness (不依正义).

Here’s another common phrase: “Not practising the concept of justice and benefit” (不行义利). This depicts those who are disloyal, a trait that will work against their pursuit of happiness.



< How Do We Root Out the Seeds of Stealing? >  



Wenda20170820A   49:43 (Master Jun Hong Lu’s call-in radio program)

Caller: Master, I would like to seek repentance. I used to work in a hotel before I started practising Buddhism. Our main responsibilities included environmental monitoring and safeguarding the spare keys of the hotel. Whenever I was rostered to be on night duty, I would access the hotel’s kitchen with the spare keys to steal some food to eat. I would consume food like beef, lobsters, chicken and many other non-vegetarian foods. Besides stealing food to eat, I would also pack some food back home for my parents.

Now that I have started practisingBuddhism, I realised how foolish I was back then. Apart from committing the act of stealing, I had also invariably committed the act of killing and consumption of live seafood. I had created lots of bad karma, and made lots of mistakes in the past. I am deeply sorry for what I did, for being so lacking in my cultivation and for being selfish. I would like to seek Master and Guan Yin Bodhisattva’s forgiveness.

Master Jun Hong Lu: Under such circumstances, once you have repented, your karmic retributions would be lessened. This is the reason why it is so important to repent. Let me tell you, while you were repenting, I could see that your karmic retributions had lessened. Therefore, I was laughing earlier, understand? In fact, to be more precise, what you did was taking without permission. As Buddhist practitioners, we should not take what’s not rightfully ours.

In reality, such an act is prevalent everywhere. With an elevated state of mind, you are now able to discern that it is wrong to do so. Therefore, after a person has repented, he will acquire a higher state of mind.

Caller: Yes, now that I have started cultivating, I realised that I was really foolish in the past. I was ignorant, and kept making mistakes and creating negative karma for myself. After practising Buddhism, I realised that life is akin to treading on thin ice (如履薄冰), as we have to be extremely careful with everything we do.

Master Jun Hong Lu: That’s correct. 


Buddhism in Plain Terms Volume 12 Chapter 60 (An Excerpt)

Master Jun Hong Lu: 

First and foremost, to quell greed, you must practise contemplation of impurity (不净观)as well as generosity (布施). What is contemplation of impurity? “Contemplation of Impurity” is an important method in the zen tradition (禅定). Through contemplating the impurity of all things in this world, we are able to eradicate our tendency to cling onto our desires.

What’s there in this world that’s worthy of us clinging onto? After all, greed for riches begets misfortune. The mishaps that happened to so many people nowadays are due to their greed for money. So many people have toiled throughout their entire lives, but ultimately fell victim to wealth and lust, didn’t they?

In your daily dealing with matters and people, you must practise “contemplation of impurity”. This means, you need to understand that wealth amassed through greed is never pure and you should never take what’s not yours.

The traditional Chinese culture has a saying, “A noble person only makes his wealth through ethical means” (君子爱财,取之有道). Take only what is rightfully yours as ‘one is partial to those from whom presents have been accepted’ (拿人家的手短,吃人家的嘴软).

Due to covetousness, many girls are forced into adulterous exchanges with men and render themselves worthless. They can absolutely lead a good life by being self-sufficient, why should they be covetous of the money of men? 

From today onward, you must view money as something that is capable of tarnishing your soul and causing you to degenerate (堕落). Perceive it as something impure that you should not desire, let alone pursue. This is how you put your greed in check.

A person who is free from greed is one who always practises generosity.

Think about it: Would a person who is always eager to give away his personal belongings to others, harbour any greed in his heart? Would someone, who is always out there helping others and demonstrating all-out generosity, be greedy? When you go, “I want this, I want that, too” – this is the typical mentality of a person who is greedy for fame, riches and the material things in this world.

You should practise contemplation of impurity and generosity as these are ways to help you restrain your greed successfully. 



< Part 2 – Abstain from Intoxicants >



Definition (Oxford Dictionary): a substance such as alcohol that produces false feelings of pleasure and a lack of control.




Buddhism in Plain Terms Vol.1 Chapter 1 (An Excerpt)

Why are the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas against drinking alcohol? Because drinking alcohol inflicts a great deal of harm on people as itrobs their clarity of mind and makes them feel demoralised.

Many government departments put up this notice: Drink-driving is an offence. This demonstrates that the Buddha’s teachings are, indeed, the Right Dharma (正法). This also explains why Buddhism is comprehensible and has taken root in many people’s hearts. Only things that accord with propriety (正的东西) are able to receive the endorsements and adoration of all people.

One must break through the confusion to become enlightened (破迷开悟). What’s confusion in this instance? It refers to the obsessions with fame, gain, alcohol, lust, wealth, anger, greed, hatred and ignorance.  


Wenda20141026B 10:21 (Master Jun Hong Lu’s call-in radio program)

Caller: How do you do, Master? Today, while printing the Dharma booklets for Guan Yin CittaDharma Door, I prayed to Guan Yin Bodhisattva to help me get through the phone line of the Oriental radio station. Amazingly, I managed to get through the line. Master, may I ask after making a vow to practise vegetarianism, are Buddhist practitioners allowed to consume a little red wine on special occasions, like family gatherings during festive holidays?

Master Jun Hong Lu: What do you think?

Caller: I would think it is not allowed. However, the Buddhist practitioner is rather insistent. I hope Master Lu can enlighten us.

Master Jun Hong Lu: This is simple. Vegetarians are not allowed to consume alcoholic drinks

Caller: Not even a little?

Master Jun Hong Lu: No.

Caller: In that case, should the Buddhist practitioner recite the Eighty-Eight Buddhas Great Repentance (LIFO)?

Master Jun Hong Lu: Yes, he must recite LIFO.

Caller: How many times should he recite?

Master Jun Hong Lu: 17 times, and he should also vow not to drink again.


Master Jun Hong Lu’s World Buddhist Fellowship Meeting
Auckland, New Zealand | 8 November 2019 (An Excerpt)

Many people are fond of drinking. As a matter of fact, one tends to misbehave when he is completely intoxicated (大醉易失德). Occasional drinking may be pleasurable, however, when it gets excessive, it is detrimental to one’s health.

Not only does it have harmful effects on the liver and kidney, it also easily leads to reckless behaviour. When you drink excessively, you will be loose in your speech, and end up offending others easily with inappropriate words that shouldn’t be uttered in the first place. This highlights the peril of drinking.

Furthermore, one is inclined to get carried away and behave abnormally when he overdrinks.

Therefore, avoid overdrinking because the effect of alcohol will make you lose control of yourself, luring you into the pitfall of committing untoward behaviour. This calls for the importance of limiting one’s alcohol consumption.

When you reach middle age, the responsibility of the entire family falls on your shoulders, and thus health is the most important. Can you imagine what will happen to your family members if you die? What will happen to your children, your wife, your parents, etc.? Therefore, in Buddhism practice, self-cultivation (修身养性) is your ultimate path to longevity


Wenda20180720 25:34 (Master Jun Hong Lu’s call-in radio program)

Caller: Master, there are people who still smoke despite having made the vow to become a full vegetarian. Is smoking not allowed in our practice of vegetarianism? Kindly advise us, Master.

Master Jun Hong Lu: That’s for sure. It’s better not to smoke if you have vowed to be a full vegetarian, although it is not explicitly stipulated as a precept in Buddhism. The reason being, smoking was non-existent during the Buddha’s time.

Caller: Yes, that’s right. 

Master Jun Hong Lu: Otherwise, the Buddha would have laid down the ‘Six Precepts’, which would have included abstaining from smoking, right?

Caller: Yes.

Master Jun Hong Lu: There was also no such thing as abstinence from drugs during that period of time, unlike today where people are taking drugs. Do you think the Buddha would allow you to take drugs if He was still alive today? 

Caller: No.

Master Jun Hong Lu: So that’s what it means by positive energy. Don’t you agree that smokers have bad breath? There are even some who smoke despite being a vegetarian and a Buddhist practitioner. Don’t you know that it really stinks?

Caller: I understand now.



Buddhism Your Questions Answered (FAQ) (An Excerpt)

Q&A 163. How to overcome drug addiction


Buddhism Your Questions Answered (FAQ) (An Excerpt)

Q&A 50. Helping compulsive gamblers return to the right path



< How Do We Overcome The Demon Of Addiction? > 


Wenda20170303   01:18:37 (An Excerpt)
(Master Jun Hong Lu’s call-in radio program)

Caller: Mobile phones and computers have now become a necessity for many people. Some even develop mobile phone addiction and suffer from insomnia due to the excessive use of mobile phones at night. Master, can we say that there is an invisible force behind mobile phones and the internet, that manipulates our mind?

Master Jun Hong Lu: The moment you are obsessed with anything in this world, demons will occupy your body. Conversely, there will be no room for demon possession if you practisemoderation and act appropriately and rationally. For example, people used to say that drinking small amounts of red wine can promote blood circulation. However, once you over consume it, the demon of alcohol addiction will appear. 



Buddhism in Plain Terms Vol. 12 Chapter 60 (An Excerpt)

Master Jun Hong Lu: Many people have the intention to quit smoking, yet they would say, “Just let me finish this last cigarette first before I quit smoking”. Do you think they would succeed in doing so? Those who are determined will go all out to quit smoking. The same goes for quitting drinking.

Does it make sense for someone to say, “I will give up drinking once I have finished this carton of alcohol”?

These people simply lack self-confidence. When one has decided to quit drinking or smoking, he should be resolved to do so right away. This is what observance of the precepts is all about.  


Master Jun Hong Lu’s World Buddhist Fellowship Meeting
Paris, France | 5 September 2019 (An Excerpt)

Master Jun Hong Lu: 

Third, do not excessively covet personal gains. Greed is like a dry well in the desert, capable of absorbing all rainwater, but will never produce a single drop of water for the convenience of others.

Therefore, Buddhist practitioners should bear in mind that, “I should neither indulge in intoxicants, lust, wealth and anger, nor should I engage myself in casual love affair”. (酒色财气我不取,风花雪月我不沾边)

Be free of all desires, worries and attachments, maintain a contented mind, and let nature take its course. Only then can we achieve the true purpose of learning Buddhism and recover our original state of the Buddha nature (返本归源).


Master Jun Hong Lu’s Discourse (An Excerpt)
Sydney Guan Yin Hall | 26 February 2020

Master Jun Hong Lu:

You have to stand on your own feet to become awaken spiritually and observe the precepts (自度自戒). Only when you do so, you are worthy of both your spiritual and physical lives (你才对得起自己的慧命和生命). 

For example, if the doctor tells you that you are diagnosed with lung cancer, would you quit smoking? Some people have liver problems, but are they determined enough to quit drinking? How can one be worthy of one’s physical body, conscience and inherent nature if he is not even observing the precepts?

If you are someone with a family, you will be letting your children and spouse down. As Buddhist practitioners, you are abusing your Yin-Yang and the Five Elements (你还对不起自己的阴阳五行). The balance of the Yin-Yang and the Five Elements is to help regulate your well-being. However, if the balance is wilfully disrupted, your body will fail to achieve a state of wellness that it is supposed to. As a result, your empirical body (假合之身) is bound to suffer a lot of trials and tribulations in this human realm. 




1. What is considered Stealing?
• Taking something (e.g.: from the temple or Guan Yin Hall) without permission & without intending to return/pay for it
• Seizing of things by force (强掳豪夺)
• Making an untrue claim to gain benefit (无功而取)
• Copyright infringement & claiming credit for things that we did not do
• Thinking of self-interests and bearing no regards for the interests of others
• Other examples: making illicit gains (敛财), borrowing money without repaying, cheating in examination, peeping, eavesdropping, sneaking food, etc.
2.What are the karmic retributions of Stealing?
• Our entire life will be marred by poverty and disdain; without a shred of hope of extricating ourselves from it.
• Misfortune will befall those who take what is not given.

3.How do we root out the seeds of Stealing?
• Recitation and Repentance
• Life Liberation – perform life liberation in accordance with the amount of gains pocketed
• Contemplation of Impurity (不净观) & Practice of Generosity (布施) – to restrain our greed
4.Why should Intoxicants be avoided?
• Intoxicants rob our clarity of mind and make us feel demoralised.
• Overconsumption of intoxicants is detrimental to health and easily leads to reckless behaviour.
5.How do we overcome the demon of addiction?
• Perseverance is key
• Practise moderation & act appropriately and rationally
• Stand on our own feet to become awaken spiritually and observe the precepts (自度自戒) – so that we are worthy of our spiritual & physical lives, and not abusing our Yin-Yang and the Five Elements (阴阳五行).


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Even if we manage to garner sympathy from others for our misdeeds, we need to understand, we are solely responsible for picking up the pieces whenever we have erred.

We must keep reminding ourselves that we must be strong and diligent – we are the master of our own destiny. 

We must learn from Vajra Bodhisattva (金刚萨埵菩萨), whose mind embodies Bodhi, and whose resolve is as strong as diamond (心如菩提,志如金刚).

— Master Jun Hong Lu’s Public Talk, Auckland, New Zealand – 9 November 2019

< Buddhism in Plain Terms < 白话佛法共修分享