Buddhism in Plain Terms


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

In celebrating the Buddha’s life and His teachings tomorrow, 17 March 2024 (Shakyamuni Buddha’s Renunciation Day), let us all ask ourselves…

🤔 Do we really have Buddha-nature? 

🤔 Do we have the potential for awakening within that can be uncovered? 

🤔 How can an ordinary person become a Buddha? 

Buddha-nature points to the aspects of ordinary people that are in some way already the same as a Buddha. It is a seed or potentiality that is completely present but obscured by our delusions and hence, it is something that can be developed. 

Master Lu once asked His disciples, “In this era between “the passing of Shakyamuni Buddha and the rise of Maitreya Buddha, who will become the Buddha? The answer is your mind. After all, when the minds of sentient beings are pure, this is where the Buddha resides” (众生心净,见佛常住).

⚠️ Why is it important for us to believe in our own Buddha-nature? 

Our past bad karma is seen as so totally deterministic that there seems no way around it unless we assume an innate Buddha in the mind that can overpower it. In other words, our past karma doesn’t totally shape the present, and that present karma can always be free to choose the skillful alternative. All we need to do is to align our intentions, actions, and mind-states with a vision of the awakened heart or what we refer to as our “Buddha-nature”, our innate potential for awakening. 

Let us not forget that our Master had always wanted us to have faith that there is a natural awakened aspect of the heart that lies within all of us, though obscured……the good news is that it can be unobscured. 

In commemorating the Buddha’s Enlightenment Day tomorrow, may we seek to honour the teachings of this great teacher by cultivating greater awareness and understanding by reading the discourses below!






Buddha XLFM



Master Jun Hong Lu: As Buddhist practitioners, first and foremost, we must acquire the wisdom of the Buddha. We must understand that, to be awakened is to be Buddha while to remain deluded is to be a bewildered common mortal. That said, as soon as a person is awakened, he is indeed a Buddha. Hence, we must not be overly obsessed with the things we do. When you insist on something or the way something is to be done, you will stand to lose a lot in life. On this note, as your Master, let me say this to everyone, as Buddhist practitioners, while we are reciting the Buddha’s name with our mouths, we must remember not to lose the thought of Buddha in our minds. In addition, our bodies must constantly perform good deeds as only then can we become a Bodhisattva.      

To give a simple example: In whatever we do, we should be aware that now we are in the Guanyin Hall, we should speak softly so as not to disturb others. We should try to avoid troubling others as much as possible. This kind of mental offering and the generation of such thoughts is the Buddha. It is from this you will gain resonance with Bodhisattvas and receive Their blessings. 

This is because your thought is one and the same as that of Bodhisattvas. When your mind is filled with thoughts of Bodhisattva, naturally, you will manifest the actions of a Bodhisattva. 

Source: Baihuafofa20150326, Master Jun Hong Lu’s call-in radio program





Master Jun Hong Lu: Samantabhadra Bodhisattva’s seventh great vow is: “To beseech Buddhas to remain in the world” (请佛住世). 

In the era between “the passing of Shakyamuni Buddha and the rise of Maitreya Buddha” (释迦灭后,弥勒未生), how do we beseech the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas to remain in this world? If you don’t even know who the Bodhisattvas are, how would you be able to implore Them to come to this human realm?

When you understand the meaning of “It is the mind that becomes the Buddha (当知是心作佛)”, you should know when your mind is working according to the Buddha’s teachings.

In this era between “the passing of Shakyamuni Buddha and the rise of Maitreya Buddha”, who will become the Buddha? The answer is your mind (是你的心) because “The heart is the Buddha” (即心即佛). If you have the heart of a Budhha, you are in fact, a Buddha.

After all, “When the minds of sentient beings are pure, this is where the Buddha resides” (众生心净,见佛常住). Even sentient beings who have never encountered Buddhism, as long as their hearts are pure and calm, they will be able to see the Buddha in them. This explains why a person tends to be able to come up with solutions whenever he calms down. How does this happen? It is because the Buddha in their heart has emerged.

When a conscientious person is angered, in the heat of the moment, he may feel like fighting the other party to the death.

However, as he calms down, he will ask himself whether this is necessary and he will think, “After all, the other party is just as pitiful. We are all humans, why are we so eager to harm each other (相煎何太急)?”

When this thought arises, don’t you think the Buddha in your heart has emerged?

Therefore, to have “the presence of the Buddha to remain” (见佛常住), you must ensure that the Buddha in your heart is always present in this human realm, that is, the Buddha must be ever-present in your heart (佛常住在自己的心里).

“Sentient beings with a defiled mind see the Buddha’s Nirvana” (众生心垢,见佛涅槃). All of us, our minds are filled with defilements and contaminants, however, the Buddha has shown us the illuminative way (光明的道路) by demonstrating His attainment of nirvana.

What is nirvana? It is a type of awakening that transcends all boundaries to another domain (是完全超脱了境界觉悟地到另一个世界去). So, what about us, humans, what can we do? We need to learn to liberate ourselves from the shackles of the human realm (学会解脱).

Source: Master Jun Hong Lu’s Buddhism In Plain Terms, Volume 11 Chapter 14


1. Cultivate your behaviour


Master Jun Hong Lu: Next, I will talk about “Making offerings through spiritual cultivation” (修心供养) – a very important factor that Buddhas and Bodhisattvas wish us to know. Offerings include performing prostrations, offering water or fruits to Bodhisattvas, and supporting our parents as they are future Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.

1. Cultivating One’s Behaviour is Making Offerings to the Buddha (修行供养)

Cultivating according to the Buddha’s teachings is making offerings to the Buddhas. This means using your words and deeds as offerings to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. If you cultivate well, like a Bodhisattva, you are actually making an offering to the Bodhisattvas. When others view you as a very good person, just like a Bodhisattva, you are making an offering to the Bodhisattvas with your actions.

Source: Master Jun Hong Lu’s Buddhism In Plain Terms, Volume 2 Chapter 16 


2. Respect everyone 


Master Jun Hong Lu: We must maintain a respectful heart and have due regard to everyone around us (要普行恭敬). Through this, we are able to have a thorough understanding of our Buddha-nature (见性通达). A person who can let go of his ego is able to show respect for others; while the one with superiority complex, will never be able to let go of his exaggerated sense of self-worth (不会放下自己). 

When a person is able to respect others, he is fundamentally able to see his true Buddha-nature, and realises the purpose of his existence in society. You may be able to observe that an earnest person never fails to gain respect from others. It takes a respectful heart to practise Buddhism; only a respectful person is able to understand his mind and see his true nature (明心见性).

Source: Master Jun Hong Lu’s Buddhism In Plain Terms (Audio), Episode 6



Master Jun Hong Lu: When we respect others, we are, in fact, dignifying ourselves (庄严自我). The fact that we are worthy of honour, respect for others naturally arises. Sometimes, the truth of life lies in those mundane and tranquil moments (平淡寂静之中).

When we are going through the humdrums of everyday life (平平淡淡的生活), cultivating our mind, reciting sutras and learning Buddhism, we may feel that life is dull. But in reality, it is your peaceful state of mind, your dedication and your setting of a good role model for others that shape your tolerance, and this is what makes you truly noble.

Source: Master Jun Hong Lu’s Buddhism In Plain Terms (Audio), 19 October 2017


3. Perform frequent introspection and repentance

3a – The purity of your heart is the provision for your enlightenment


Master Jun Hong Lu: A Buddhist practitioner should frequently introspect, feel ashamed of his own misconduct and repent. This is because repentance will enable one to gain Prajna wisdom (般若智慧).

The Buddha’s teachings tell us, if you are able to frequently repent and feel ashamed of your wrongdoings, you will definitely be able to make progress on this path of spiritual cultivation. This allows you to attain the perfection of diligence (精进波罗蜜) as you will always remember this noble character, continue to work on its perfection and always be reminded of your original nature (本源). 

The purity of one’s heart is the provision for one’s enlightenment. That is why I want all of you to become more and more pure. Only when you rid yourself of all distracting thoughts, can you free yourself from the five desires and their corresponding six sense objects (五欲六尘).

Source: Master Jun Hong Lu’s Buddhism In Plain Terms, Episode 73

3b – The elimination of negative karma through repentance


Caller: Hi Master, how are you? It’s said that hardship we experience in life can help us eliminate our karmic obstacles. The same goes for performing repentance, offering of Little Houses, and having wisdom and a magnanimous heart (心量大). I’d like to ask whether the following understanding is correct:

The first three factors are able to eliminate the karmic obstacles per se, but with regards to the latter two – having wisdom and a big heart – are we able to eliminate the more deep-seated karmic obstacles because they entail tapping into one’s inherent nature? I would appreciate Master’s guidance. 

Master Jun Hong Lu: That’s absolutely correct! Conceptually, the elimination of karmic obstacles after a person gains wisdom differs from that when he remains in a non-enlightened state.

Caller: Master, this is the type of realisation that I’ve just mentioned where one’s karmic obstacles are eliminated through the application of wisdom and magnanimity. This is when the elimination of the more deep-seated karmic obstacles takes place. Is that right?

Master Jun Hong Lu: That’s correct. That’s how it works. 

Source: Wenda20160729  12:26, Master Jun Hong Lu’s call-in radio program

3c – Through repentance you will understand and see your true nature (明心见性)


Caller: Master, is it true that by studying Buddhism in Plain Terms, it can help us repent? The reason I ask is because there are times when we are studying Buddhism in Plain Terms, we will reflect on our past misdeeds, during which a sense of penitence will wash over us. Can Master enlighten us on this?

Master Jun Hong Lu: That’s for sure. I have not revealed this in the past. The fact of the matter is when you are studying Buddhism in Plain Terms, it will trigger a host of mental activity, which will slowly set the way you think and rationalise into motion. In fact, this is a process where you get to understand your mind and see your true nature (明心见性).

Hence, studying Buddhism in Plain Terms has both the effect of repentance as well as understanding your mind and seeing your true nature. This is why I encourage all of you to study Buddhism in Plain Terms.  

Those who practise Guan Yin Citta Dharma Door should not solely focus on performing recitation and not studying Buddhism in Plain Terms because if you do it this way, you are not any different from being superstitious and your practice will be rendered futile. It’s important to be rational and not be superstitious.

Caller: Is it better for us to read Buddhism in Plain Terms quietly or read it out loud?

Master Jun Hong Lu: You can read it in your heart at night so that you do not disturb others. During the daytime, you can read it out loud. It’s very good to read it out loud.

Take a look at the Buddhist scriptures, some of them are not scriptures per se, they are records of speeches delivered by the Buddha. The Diamond Sutra is one case in point. The entire Sutra encapsulates the Buddha’s teachings transpired during His time in the human realm. Why do we need to read it out loud? Do you understand now?

Caller: I understand now, Master. Since studying Buddhism in Plain Terms has repentance effects, how does it differ from the recitation of the Eighty-Eight Buddhas Great Repentance?

Master Jun Hong Lu: There’s definitely a difference! The former is ‘self-repentance (自我忏悔)’, while the latter refers to seeking forgiveness from heaven (对天忏悔). ‘Self-repentance’ will enhance one’s spiritual awakening.

Master Jun Hong Lu: On the other hand, when you repent to heaven, you will receive blessings from Bodhisattvas, and this will help eliminate your karmic obstacles.

Caller: Thank you, Master for enlightening us on this query.

Source: Wenda20171008B 18:09, Master Jun Hong Lu’s call-in radio program


We are capable of being enlightened if we discover our faults. 

We begin to be enlightened if we correct our faults. 

We will awaken if we discover all our mistakes. 

We will be thoroughly enlightened if we correct all our mistakes.



~ Master Jun Hong Lu | Words of Wisdom Volume 1 ~


4. Plug all leakages caused by our shortcomings (不能有漏)



Master Jun Hong Lu: When a person truly wishes to learn Buddhism and changes his bad habits, he must plug all ‘leakages’ caused by his shortcomings. He is someone who goes, “Today, I have decided to be a good person. Hence, I cannot allow myself to do even the slightest bad deed. Otherwise, I cannot be considered a good person”. While performing good deeds, if you are also doing some bad things, then you cannot be considered an absolute good person. 

To illustrate, when a hot air balloon takes off, in what circumstances would it fall from the sky? All it takes is a hole to cause it to come crashing down. Similarly, aeroplane windows are sealed tightly. But, the moment the door is open or there is a gap, the plane will plummet to the ground. 

It is the same with humans. Since you have started on this path of Buddhist practice, there must not be a slightest unwholesomeness in your thoughts and conduct. If this morning you perform good deeds, but at night you badmouth someone, you will not be able to make it in your Buddhist practice, and clearly, you are not a good Buddhist practitioner and there is definitely going to be ‘leakages’ in your merits. At the initial stages, you will not sense the ‘leakages’, and by the time you know about it, it may have reached the point when your merits have completely diminished.

Source: Master Jun Hong Lu’s Buddhism In Plain Terms, Volume 8 Chapter 27



Master Jun Hong Lu: If you want to become a Buddha, visualise the Buddha’s image, recollect the Buddha’s virtues, and recite the sacred name of the Buddha. When you do these, there and then you are a Buddha. 

Many people ask me, “How can I become a Buddha?” Let me tell you how. Visualise the Buddha in your mind, look at the Buddha’s image in veneration, recollect the Buddha’s virtues, think of the Buddha’s moral character, express gratitude to the Buddha for His compassion in helping us to be spiritually awakened.

Finally, recite the sacred name of the Buddha and be sincere in your recitation of the Buddhist scriptures. When you worship the Buddha, you are a Buddha. That said, when you kneel in front of the Buddha’s image and prostrate, essentially, you are already a Buddha.

Source: Master Jun Hong Lu’s Buddhism In Plain Terms, Volume 12 Chapter 62


< A True Cultivator Does Not See The Faults Of Others >

Master Jun Hong Lu:

“The villain always thinks he is innocent, but the gentleman always reflects on his wrongdoings (小人无错,君子常过)”.

Self-introspection allows you to see what needs to be changed within you.

Not only can you turn big problems into small ones and small ones into nothing, but you are also able to earn the respect of others.

Please remember, you should always think, “It’s all my fault”. This is a type of self-discipline that brings about continuous self-improvement.



< Buddhism in Plain Terms < 白话佛法共修分享