Time : Saturday 2pm-4pm
Platform : ZOOM Cloud Meeting
Topic of Discussion : With a calm and undisturbed mind, all remains as such (Part 2)
On 20 June 2020, Guan Yin Citta, Singapore held another online Buddhism in Plain Terms (BIPT) Group Study (in English).
The topic of this week was on The Perfection of Endurance, the third of the Six Perfection or Paramitas. The positive spiritual energy of Master Lu’s Buddhism in Plain Terms inspired a fruitful discussion that centred around understanding that endurance is one’s greatest strength and the utmost accomplishment in cultivation. Participants gained a radically new perspective as they learnt that when they manage to hold back a brilliant retort to a coworker, it is only an external manifestation of patience under humiliation ; simply because it does not constitute true acceptance of how things are. The session today shed light on the fact that this attainment is a long way from its counterpart state i.e. the state of internal patience under humiliation, which is a state where one is absolutely free from the feeling of having to be patient.
The discussion continued with a few sharing by participants on how endurance has allowed them to have the clarity of wisdom and softness of compassion at work and has since improved their relationship with their impossible superiors. The mutual sharing of thoughts during the session reinforced their belief that all the moments of their lives deserve their patient endurance, be it in their relationship with their aged parents or demanding bosses.
Let us now look at some comments from participants:
“Today, I attended the session together with my wife and my son. I am glad my son is now actively learning through this session. We hope he can continue this momentum!”
“I learnt lots of different ways to cultivate tolerance. Listening to the sharing of other Buddhist friends also allowed me to reflect on my own cultivation and look for areas of improvement.“
📚 Join us in our next session. Please contact Loh sx/Woan Yi sx for more information
⏰ Date and time:
Saturday 27 June 2020
Please click here to download the Summary Slides shared during the Group Study:
Buddhism in Plain Terms – Episode 3 (Part )
Topic : THE PERFECTION OF ENDURANCE
I hope you will put in the best effort in your spiritual cultivation. Life is impermanent. I often tell you, what’s transient may seem to be permanent to us. As we live in this world, there are many things beyond our comprehension. We must learn to understand them. If you don’t have the patience, then you will never understand them. Hence, having patience is an important trait. Impatient people will never attain Buddha-hood.
What is patience? It is about being steadfast in making preparations. Preparation is getting ready. Just like when we were in school, “Ready, Get set, Go!” Right?” Are you ready?” “Have you prepared?” Right? Preparation requires patience, readiness comes from diligent preparation and it is through patience that one becomes diligent. An impatient person will not achieve much in their Buddhist practice nor will they be diligent in their practice.
The aim of practising Buddhism is to attain wisdom. Be diligent in practising Buddhism. Learn the Buddha’s wisdom well. Reflect on how the Buddha promoted Dharma during His time, how He helped us to understand such profound Dharma. That’s why people must understand that all phenomena in this world are brought about by man. In reality, all circumstances are empty and idle by nature unchanging, and it is only the people themselves who stir things up and thus create a lot of afflictions.
Master Jun Hong Lu’s related discourses (cross references):
< The Perfection of Endurance>
THE SIX PERFECTIONS IN BUDDHISM IS A PRACTICE THAT TAKES A PROGRESSIVE APPROACH
Caller: The Six Perfections (六度) i.e. the perfection of generosity, morality, tolerance, diligence, concentration, and wisdom (布施、持戒、忍辱、精进、禅定和般若) are the guides in Buddhist practice that takes a progressive approach, am I right to say that?
For example: Through our practice of generosity, we learn morality; through morality, we learn to be tolerant; through tolerance, we are able to dedicate ourselves to progress in our spiritual cultivation; once we are vigorous in our cultivation, we learn the mind of concentration; and this mind of concentration, is the foundation of wisdom, is that right?
Master Jun Hong Lu: That’s correct. I have mentioned this, for example in my books, Buddhism in Plain Terms and in my discourses to disciples and monastics.
Excerpt from Master Jun Hong Lu’s Public Talk in Jakarta, Indonesia, April 22, 2017
THE IMPORTANCE OF TOLERANCE
We must learn to exercise tolerance towards natural disasters and destitute of life. In the process of Buddhist cultivation, by paying particular attention to exercising tolerance, you will be able to liberate yourself from sufferings as tolerance lays the foundation for Buddhist cultivators.
In accordance to Buddhist teachings, “tolerance” is the most ingenious Dharma door that liberates us from sufferings. Let me tell you, this is so as “tolerance” is able to help us attain “Precepts, Concentration, and Wisdom” (戒定慧).
THE DEFINITION OF TOLERANCE FOR WORDS, PEOPLE AND MATTERS
Caller: Master has mentioned before that, there are three aspects of tolerance, namely the tolerance for words, people and matters. Would you please elaborate further, Master Lu?
Master Jun Hong Lu: ‘Tolerance for appearance’ is to be tolerant of others regardless of their physical appearance. Similarly, when it comes to ‘tolerance for words’, we should be forgiving no matter what others may have said. As for ‘tolerance for people’, be forbearing with others despite their speech and action.
And when you have ‘tolerance for matters’, it means you have the tolerance for all the good and bad in others as you are someone who allows nature to take its course. With that, a forbearing person is a person with tolerance, which is the trait that leads to diligence in one’s spiritual cultivation.
Caller: I understand now.
Words of Wisdom (vol.3)
A glass of water changes its colour and becomes unthinkable when it is stained by a drop of ink, whereas the ocean remains blue even when a drop of ink dissolves in it.
Why is it so? It is because their capacity differs (肚量不一样).
Wheat spikes grow straight upwards when unripe, but they lower their tips when they ripen.
Why is it so? It is because their substance differs (分量不一样).
We will have more capacity if we practise tolerance towards others.
We will have substance if we practise humility.
A combination of both is a sought-after quality (质量).
Excerpt from Master Jun Hong Lu‘s Public Talk, Houston, USA, September 10, 2016
POWER OF ENDURANCE
The utmost accomplishment in cultivation is one’s ability to endure, as our endurance is our greatest strength. If you wish for serenity and peace at home, you have to endure; if you wish for a safe society, you have to learn to endure; if you wish to resolve conflicts, you must learn to endure. Only by doing so could you survive in this world. Therefore, we have to adopt the wisdom of Buddha to resolve conflicts in our daily lives. We ought to learn three methods in life.
Firstly, learn to admit our mistake. Once admitted, the mistake will no longer exist.
Secondly, learn to be tolerant, patient and accommodating.
Thirdly, seek to get over vexations and learn to let go.
Zongshu20160721 27:08 [Excerpt of Master Jun Hong Lu’s call-in radio program]
TO PRACTISE BUDDHISM IS TO HAVE UNWAVERING CONFIDENCE
Master Jun Hong Lu:
Confidence is a pre-requisite for a person who wants to be successful. A confident person will definitely be successful.
A Buddhist practitioner needs to understand that everything evolves around constancy. He needs to believe, persist and be enduring in his cultivation. By doing so, he can be assured of attaining his goal.
Why there are so many people who fail in their lifetime? They do not have the opportunity to be successful as they do not possess the attributes of perseverance and patience. Thus, I hope all our fellow practitioners would have unwavering confidence and faith in Guan Yin Bodhisattva.
A QUESTION REGARDING PATIENCE UNDER HUMILIATION
Caller: When a well-cultivated individual exercises patience under humiliation, his mind will remain unmoved (如如不动). On the other hand, those of a lower state of mind may outwardly restrain themselves from creating the karma of speech (忍住口业) but continue to feel indignant inwardly, thereby sinning through their thoughts (意念犯罪). Is it right to say that such examples of surface-level patience cannot be classified as true displays of patience under humiliation, or is this a stage that everyone will go through in the pursuit of true patience under humiliation?
Master Jun Hong Lu: In actuality, patience under humiliation is divided into two categories – internal and external (内忍辱，外忍辱). The external form of patience under humiliation is seen when one does not rebuke or even speak to the other party but remains mentally agitated, transgressing in the mind (内心剧烈活动). On the other hand, great monastics who exercise internal patience under humiliation would not even need to put in effort for an outward expression of patience. After all, if there is no hatred within, how would hatred be expressed? Hence, it is only when one is unable to exercise internal patience under humiliation that an external expression of patience is necessary.
It is best for external patience under humiliation to be grounded by its internal manifestation as this will then affect your psyche (外忍辱能够有一点内忍辱作基础也很好，会影响到你的内心). For example, your mind will gradually suppress negative notions should you consistently refrain from speaking negatively, and this will then form the foundation for internal patience. Needless to say, the best state of mind is to be free from the feeling of having to be patient — that is when you will be completely natural.
Caller: Yes, Master Lu.
Master Jun Hong Lu: The external manifestation of patience is easier to achieve than internal patience.
Caller: Is it right to say that a continual effort to perform recitation, gain wisdom and resolve negative karmic affinities is the way to truly achieve internal patience under humiliation?
Master Jun Hong Lu: That is right.
wenda 20130419 25:07
SHOULD WE EXERCISE ENDURANCE OR AVOIDANCE IN THE FACE OF BAD KARMA?
Caller: A person will experience both good and bad affinities within a circle. If we are aware that the predicament (恶缘) which we are going through is the actualization of karma from evil seeds that we had planted in the past, apart from accepting it and reciting the Mantra to Untie Karmic Knots to resolve it, can we choose to elude from it? Is it considered as putting an end to the affinity?
Master Jun Hong Lu: Evade (逃避)! Evading itself is also a resolution. In the past, an audience told me that her husband hit people for no reason. She told me she would escape whenever he was deranged. So, do you think she should escape or get beaten up by him?
Caller: Certainly escape. But what if the situation is not as bad?
Master Jun Hong Lu: As long as the bad karma is too serious, you should try to avoid it. For example, can’t you leave the house early and return later at night? You are not leaving your house for good.
Caller: It is not related to home. What if we are outside, like at our workplace.
Master Jun Hong Lu: That is a little tricky. Try to avoid whenever possible. Avoidance is also a way to resolve bad karma.
Caller: If we are not able to avoid, and aware that it is fruition of our bad karma and have to recite Mantra to Untie Karmic Knots. We still have to endure at that place, will it eliminate our karmic obstacles or …..?
Master Jun Hong Lu: That is regarded as eliminating karmic obstacles. That is to say, having to endure would mean that resolution is still in process and you can only continue to bear with it. In fact, practising tolerance constitutes a vital foundation for Buddhist learning.
A person without the capacity to tolerate will never be able to cultivate well. Who does not need to exercise tolerance? When you are driving and the traffic light turns red, you will still have to bear with it and stop the car even if you think that it is safe to proceed.
Caller: Yes, but viewing from a different perspective. If we opt to leave, wouldn’t it help us in our cultivation by lifting our mood up?
Master Jun Hong Lu: That will depend. You may be relieved from this spot, but you may not necessarily be better off in another spot. The fact is, karmic affinities follow you wherever you go, so does bad karma.
ENDURANCE IS NOT THE HIGHEST STATE OF MIND; STRIVE TO RESOLVE CONFLICTS INSTEAD
Caller: As the saying goes, “kind people are liable to being taken advantaged of”. Master Lu, do we really need to be tolerant of everything? As Buddhist practitioners, what should we do?
Master Jun Hong Lu: You need to resolve these karmic conflicts instead of simply tolerating others. Endurance is not the highest state of mind. Despite your tolerance, you are still being taken advantaged of, isn’t that right?
We must understand the reason for all our sufferings in the human realm. If we are karmically indebted to others from our past lives, we will have to repay our karmic debts in this life. Guan Yin Bodhisattva is the saviour of sufferings and calamities. Why do you think Guan Yin Bodhisattva wishes to save you from the sea of suffering? It is so that you will not suffer!
Do you think that Guan Yin Bodhisattva is interfering with the law of causality? No, as you relied on your own effort to ceaselessly work towards resolving conflicts, performing meritorious deeds and other means to repay all your karmic debts and free yourself from all the negative aspects of our previous life.
WORDS OF WISDOM (Volume 1)
Enduring hardship is a process of eliminating karmic obstacles
Those who can accept reality understand how to change reality.
For a Buddhist practitioner, suffering is only temporary.
For a non-practitioner, suffering will be long-lasting.
< Buddhism in Plain Terms < 白话佛法共修分享