Time : Saturday 2pm-4.15pm
Platform : ZOOM Cloud Meeting
Topic of Discussion : The Six Paramitas (Part 1) | Perfections of Giving & Morality
On 22 August 2020, Guan Yin Citta, Singapore held yet another online Buddhism in Plain Terms (BIPT) Group Study (in English) that focused on two of the Six Paramitas or Perfections, the Perfections of Giving and Morality.
If spirituality is likened to a journey on sea, attaining enlightenment is to reach the shore. To Buddhist practitioners of Guan Yin Citta, we are no stranger to the paramitas as reciting the Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra is daily fodder for our soul. The informative session began by providing an overview of the Six Paramitas: the Perfections of Giving, Morality, Patience, Diligence and Meditative Concentration. They were characterised as a spiritual state of awakening that empowers one to reach ‘the other shore’.
Firstly, in discussing the Perfection of Giving, participants learnt more about the three types of giving: wealth, dharma and fearlessness through intriguing cross-references to Master Lu’s discourses and meaningful short stories.
After the session, many participants remarked that they learnt something new — the seven types of non-monetary giving. Including small things such as giving of a smile or giving of a seat, Buddhist practitioners realised that practising this Perfection is not as daunting as it might otherwise seem, gaining more confidence as a result of the sharing.
Secondly, from the discussion on the Perfection of Morality, Buddhist friends were reminded about the importance of abiding by the precepts in our journey to the other shore. Indeed, the Buddha’s last words to his disciples are familiar to many, “Let the precepts be your foundation.”
Let us now look at some comments from participants:
“It is enlightening to know that if one could excel in practising just one of the six perfections, whilst maintaining a balanced state of mind in the other five perfections, one could still liberate oneself from the endless cycle of rebirth. This motivates and does instill a sense of confidence indeed.”
“This weekly session is like an anchor to me. After every session, it will trigger me to reflect on myself and how I can improve on my spiritual cultivation. The timing on Saturday is just perfect because after a day of reflection on Sunday, we can face our daily changes at work and home when the week starts on Monday. And after a week long of daily challenges, we can then be refreshed again on our flow of thoughts during the Saturday sessions. I strongly encourage everyone to attend this session consistently. The changes to oneself can be felt. Thanks to all Buddhist friends who make this session possible.”
? Join us in our next session
Please contact Loh SX (96978356) / Woan Yi SX (82182248) for more information
⏰ Date and time:
Saturday 29 August 2020
Please click here to download the Summary Slides shared during the Group Study:
BHFF_Summary_Six Paramita_Part 1_220820
Master Lu’s Buddhism in Plain Terms Episode 21 (Audio)
THE SIX PARAMITAS
Please remember, how do you make it to heaven? How do you ascend? Those who manage to make their way up cultivate The Ten Good Deeds. And, there are six other methods to liberate themselves from cyclical rebirth. Out of these six methods, if you specialise in just one of them, you will be liberated from the six realms of rebirth and enter the path of Arhat and Bodhisattva. These six methods are known as the Six Paramitas.
These six perfections progress in stages, that is, practise Giving to reach the other shore, practise Morality to reach the other shore, practise Patience to reach the other shore, practise Diligence to reach the other shore, practise the Power of Concentration to reach the other shore and practise Wisdom to reach the other shore. Do you understand? Think about it.
Let me give you a tip. If you practise any one of these six methods with all your might, the one that you can excel in, with the condition that you do not make mistakes with the other methods, that is major mistakes. With that, very soon, you will “reach the other shore”.
You all know about the Practice of Giving, right? All of you know that you should practise Morality. How did it feel when your child lied to you? You felt sad, didn’t you? The child you love so much and here he is telling you lies.
Tolerance is the basic survival criteria of humans. In order to live on in this society, everyone should learn to be tolerant, otherwise, you wouldn’t be able to survive. People are very selfish nowadays, it is impossible to survive without forbearance. You can’t even find a friend, without this quality. Is there anyone who is not selfish at your workplace? You know well that this person is selfish, if you do not learn to be tolerant, if you don’t adopt the “I don’t care” attitude, you may end up having depression. Do you understand?
You know how important Diligence is, don’t you?
What does Meditative Concentration mean? Well-cultivated people possess the power of concentration. They are never hasty. When their flight is delayed, they will go, “I can recite one Little House.” It’s true. The power of concentration will calm you down. You see people around you complaining, “Why is the train late?“, “What’s wrong with the bus? It’s not here again!” They are so stressed up. Look at us, we just carry on with our chanting and waste no time.
Others may make a fuss, but not you. That makes you a better cultivated person, doesn’t it? When your parents scold you, they are not well-cultivated. When your parents quarrel, as their child, you keep quiet as you are well-cultivated. Right? What is the Power of Concentration? The moment you are calmed, you will be able to differentiate the well-cultivated ones from those who aren’t.
Lastly, in the Six Paramitas, there is Wisdom. Think about this, a person with wisdom is able to find the solution to every problem. There are some who are very wise, no matter what they encounter, For example, they go, “You should go over there.”, “You should move this here”, “Push this over slightly”. These are also wisdom.
For example, you are someone who is extremely generous but not so good in the other aspects of the Six Paramitas (Patience, Calmness, Discipline and Diligence). If you continue with your Practice of Giving and avoid all unwholesome deeds, you will surely become a Bodhisattva. When you make it to heaven in the future, you will become Bodhisattva of Giving. Do you understand?
If you are someone without much money neither are you diligent, but, you have one strength! You have been practising patience endurance your entire life, in the end, you become the Bodhisattva of Great Endurance.You may pick one out of these six methods, take a look, which is the one that resonates with you. So, do you feel more confident now?
Master Jun Hong Lu’s related discourses (cross references):
< Overview of The Paramitas >
Buddhism in Plain Terms Vol. 11 Chapter 11 (An Excerpt)
Let me explain to you what the “Six Paramitas” (六波罗蜜) is. If you wish to be a Tathagata, Bodhisattva, (如来菩萨) or attain Nirvana (涅槃), the Six Paramitas are what you ought to practise. The same goes with all of the Bodhisattvas who aspire to be Buddha. The Six Paramitas are the six codes of conduct.
Caller: Buddhism teaches “To see through the reality of things and let go” (看破放下). What it means is that we should not have any concern for all the worldly things, we are supposed to let go and lead a life of asceticism (出家). But, how about us, lay practitioners? We still have a life to live, to earn a living and support our family. How can we practise “Seeing through and letting go?”(看破放下)
Master Jun Hong Lu: Please remember. Do not go any further than necessary (点到为止), be it work, thoughts or even your intake of food (as long as you do need to starve). When you go overboard, and you want everything in life, it means you have yet to practise letting go (放不下). Do you understand?
First, the Perfection of Giving.
Second, the Perfection of Morality.
Third, the Perfection of Patience.
Fourth, the Perfection of Diligence.
Fifth, the Perfection of Meditative Concentration
– it means the ability to stay calm. To be well-mannered, be it during sitting or standing. A person who can’t sit or stand still or is fidgety. Do you think a person like this can be a Buddha? Do you think such a person has meditative concentration?
Sixth, the Perfection of Prajna. That is wisdom.
What does Paramita mean? It means “To Reach The Other Shore” (度到彼岸).
That is to say, your Practice of Giving has reached a state of self- lessness – an entirely liberated spiritual state completely detached from yourself. This practice allows beings who are in the sea of suffering, reinstates their innate awareness. (恢 复本来就有的觉知)
< Overview of the Six Paramitas: What does “The Other Shore” means? >
Master Jun Hong Lu’s Discourse in Sydney Guan Yin Hall – 14 July 2018
What is “The Other Shore”?
It is the other side of a pure and untainted world.
From the perspective of Mahayana Buddhism, “The Other Shore” means to be awakened to the truth (彼岸就是觉醒).
Where there is purity of mind and when one discovers a balanced spiritual state (保持心理平衡的境界).
To put it plainly, when a person is able to, maintain this balanced spiritual state and see through all things in life,
this person is said to have reach “The Other Shore”.
< Overview of the Six Paramitas: The Path to the Attainment of Buddhahood >
Sharing by a Venerable Shi Hsin Hui – 29 April 2019
The constant application of the Six Paramitas (六度波罗蜜) to overcome our deep-rooted bad habits (劣根性) is the ingenious way towards liberation from suffering in Buddhism.
1. Practise Giving to transform greed (布施度化贪婪)
- Learn to let go and there shall be no obstructions.
2. Keep to our Morality so that we won’t be heedless (持戒度化放逸)
- Be disciplined to accomplish our quest on this Buddha’s Path.
3. Apply Forbearance, to avoid hatred (忍辱度化瞋恨)
- Be compassionate and form good ties with all.
4. Be Diligent to overcome laziness (精进度化懈怠)
- Penetrate deep in our studies through practising single- mindedly with diligence.
5. Apply Meditative Concentration to overcome our disarray mind (禅定度化散乱)
- Be focused and practise unmoving suchness. (如如不动)
6. Apply Wisdom to overcome ignorance (智慧度化愚痴)
- Adjust our state-of-mind so that we “enter the sagely and transcend the ordinary” (转凡成圣).
In practising the Six Paramitas, we will come to realize that our greed, hatred and delusion are quenched while our discipline, power of concentration and wisdom are strengthened.
The practice of the Six Paramitas will help us accomplish and perfect our journey on this Path. Master Lu once mentioned “We need to manifest the Six Perfections in our every action in this human realm – only then we are able to attain the state of Bodhisattva”.
The Six Paramitas is the path to the attainment of Buddhahood.
No matter which one of the “perfections” you are cultivating, you will definitely be accomplished on this Path.
However, if we can tirelessly cultivate a few of the perfections, it will even be more remarkable!
How is it that we will be able to accomplish our spiritual cultivation by only practising a few of the six perfections?
It is because when we are practising any one of the perfections, we are actually practising other perfections at the same time.
For example, practising the Perfection of Giving also encompasses the practice of the Perfection of Diligence, Patience and Wisdom. Hence, all the perfections will be cultivated for sure.
<THE FIRST PARAMITA: THE PERFECTION OF GIVING 布施波罗蜜>
< THE PRACTICE OF GIVING: THREE TYPES OF GIVING >
Master Lu’s Discourse in Guan Yin Hall (An Excerpt) – 17 July 2018
First, let’s talk about the Perfection of Giving. What does it mean? When you see all the sufferings of life, you develop compassion in your heart, and you spend all your energy helping others so that all deluded beings can abandon suffering and gain happiness.
Everyone knows that there are three kinds of Giving (三种布施).
The first is the giving of money (财布施) to transform the suffering of others.
True Giving is when you give to those who are poor and are deprived of food and in a state of desolation and your giving saved their lives whereby the recipient would be extremely grateful to you. Illusory giving, on the other hand, is when you give to someone who already has everything in life.
In addition, the sponsoring of printing of the books that guides sentient beings back to the right path, and inspire the Buddha-nature (感化众生的佛性) in them, is also considered as Giving of Wealth. Hence, it is said that the printing of such books are very important. As these are the books that offer life-changing experiences to many people. (改变他的人生)
The second is the Giving of Fearlessness (无畏布施). Among the three kinds of giving, this one is not known by many. Wheneveryou help those who are in pain and suffering, for example, those who have just undergone a breakup, those who lost hope in life.
When you go all out, invest your time and use the warmth of your heart to give comfort to them or when others are in difficulty, you reach out to them: In the past this is known as, “The Great Fearless Spirit”. (大无畏精神)
In this spirit, the welfare of others is your sole concern, it was never about yourself. Your help grants a sense of peace to others and shields them from fear (心中得到平安，没有恐怖) – this is the meaning of the Giving of Fearlessness.
There is another type of Giving of Fearlessness. When you are being slandered (诽谤) or when someone slanders the Dharma (诽谤正法), you uphold justice in a fearless spirit (以无畏的精神伸 张正义) with the intention to guide the other party back to the right path, rather than to defeat them. This is a Giving of Fearlessness.
The third type of giving is the Giving of Dharma (法布施). All of you know that when you help others to be spiritually awakened (度化别人) or distribute dharma books, they are considered the Giving of Dharma.
In fact, the true Giving of Dharma is when you comprehend the Dharma and you use the knowledge that you have learned, you talk to others and propagate the dharma to allow them to benefit as well.
When these people learned and live happily, got enlightened and managed to break through their illusion (破迷开悟) as a result, this is considered a successful case of the Giving of Dharma. (法布施)
< THE PRACTICE OF GIVING: GIVING IS THE KEY TO WEALTH >
Master Jun Hong Lu’s Public Talk, Taiwan – 16 October 2016
One day a man, after learning about the Karma of Giving, eagerly told the Zen Master.
“When I am rich, I will definitely cultivate generosity and make a career out of helping others.“
The Zen master answered: “If you are only willing to give after you become rich, then I suppose you will neither be rich nor will you give.”
The man asked, “Why do you say so?”
The Zen master told him,
“Because giving is the key to wealth.” (富从布施中来)
This man said: “I am so poor now. I don’t even have enough to eat. How can I practise giving?”
The Zen master picked up a grain of rice from the man’s bowl and said, “A sincere and compassionate heart starts from offering a grain of rice. When we take one less grain, a few grains lesser or a dozen or dozens of grains lesser it will not affect our health at all. In fact, in many cases, things that may seem worthless to us can be the things that others yearn for. When our hearts are sincere in giving, even if it is just a grain of rice or a penny, they are equally meritorious.”
“Unfortunately, many people are only willing to give after they become rich, not knowing that generosity starts now. Those truly rich people have no time to practise giving, neither do they have the heart to do so as they will be more interested to use the money in exchange for more lucrative investment.“
In Buddhism, it is said that it is from giving that one receives. A person who wishes to gain needs to understand that he needs to learn to give first (真正想“得”的人，首先学会“舍”). It is common nowadays that people wait for others to treat them well before they decide to treat others well. If you know the other party is waiting for you to show them kindness, why can’t you be the one to take the first step? When you give your heart out, be rest assured that your love will be reciprocated. Hence, to be willing to part with one’s possession is the wisdom of a Bodhisattva that is free from all self-interests.
< What You Give is What You Get >
Shuohua20130118 12:16 (Master Jun Hong Lu’s radio call-in programme) – An Excerpt
Question: Is wealth only derived from the Giving of Wealth? (财布施) or can we also derive wealth from the Giving of Dharma (法布施) or Fearlessness (无畏布施)?
Generally, it is from the Giving of Wealth that one derives wealth. Why is it not efficacious when we pray for wealth? It is because wealth is generally derived from the deeds of one’s past lives. Praying for wealth involves a long process that may take decades before results can be seen.
You gain Wealth from the Giving of Wealth.
You gain Wisdom from the Giving of Dharma.
You can gain Strength and Spiritual Power from the Giving of Fearlessness.
They are clearly differentiated.
It is a form of retribution for one to be poor in this lifetime.
They must have not given much in their past life, so they suffer in this life. Hence, it is important for one to cultivate both fortune and wisdom (福慧双修).
As for those who have good fortune, merits and virtues, they owe it to the many kind deeds they had previously performed to enjoy the fortune of this lifetime.
Story Telling by Master Jun Hong Lu – Story No. 13 (A monk and the king’s favourite elephant)
Once, there lived two brothers. One of them focused on being diligent in reciting Buddhist scriptures but never performed any kind deeds nor practised the Perfection of Giving to cultivate good fortune (不修福). The other brother, on the other hand, did not recite Buddhist scriptures, but he was very kind and helpful – always reaching out to the poor and those in need. Hence, cultivated lots of good fortune.
The two men were reincarnated.
One day, one of them, who became a monk in that lifetime, was going around begging for alms with not much luck. His alms bowl was empty despite hours of begging. Along his way, he walked by the king’s garden and saw a luxuriously decorated elephant, with gold and silver covering its entire body. He was told that the elephant was the king’s favourite.
The monk slowly walked up to the elephant and said, “Brother, obviously we had deviated from our spiritual path in our past life. I solely cultivated wisdom and did not cultivate good fortune, falling into this impoverished state, with nothing to eat. You cultivated good fortune and not wisdom. Now you lead a blessed life of ease and luxury, adorned with gold and silver even, but you have fallen into the animal realm.”
Master Lu says, “As Buddhist practitioners, we need to be enlightened to the importance of cultivating both good fortune and wisdom (福慧双修). There are some who may give readily but do not cultivate their mind (修心) while there are others who devote themselves to mind-cultivation, but they are not willing to give – both of which are incorrect.
What we give is what we get; and what we cultivate is what we reap. An effort made for the happiness of others lifts us above ourselves. We must always let go of the micro self in order to fulfil the needs of the macro collective.” (舍去小我，成全大我)
< Seven Types of Non-monetary Giving in Buddhism >
Master Jun Hong Lu’s Discourse (An Excerpt) – 14 May 2016
SEVEN TYPES OF NON-MONETARY GIVING IN BUDDHISM (不用花钱的七种布施)
A man once went to the Buddha and cried, “I am such a loser; I fail in everything I do”. The Buddha told him, “That’s because you didn’t practise giving.” This person said, “Buddha, I am a poor man. How am I supposed to practise giving?” The Buddha told him: “Even if a person has no money, he can offer seven things to others.
The first one is called the Giving of Facial Expression (颜施); which means giving those who see you, the warmth of your smile.
The second one is the Giving of Words (言施); that is the giving of kind words, words of encouragement that comfort others.
The third is the Giving of one’s Heart (心施). You should open up your heart, treat others with your utmost sincerity, help them and let them feel your love.
The fourth is called Giving through one’s Eyes (眼施) that is sending others comfort through your gaze. Unfortunately people nowadays only have cold gazes. They look at others as if they are their enemies. Hence, hurting themselves as well as others.
The fifth is the Giving by means of Bodily actions (身施), where you help others through your actions and let them feel the abundance of love in this world.
The sixth is the Giving of one’s Seat (座施). Think about it, when we give up our seat to others in a boat, bus, it is actually a form of giving.
In addition, there is the Giving of Rooms (房施). That is, you offer others a place to stay in order to help them when you have extra rooms in your house.
The Buddha said, “If you are able to practise these seven types of giving, you will enjoy good luck your entire life.”
< Eight Types of Offerings to the Buddha 八种供养 >
Buddhism in Plain Terms Vol. 2 Chapter 16 (An Excerpt)
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.
2. Benefitting Sentient Beings is Making Offerings to the Buddha (利益众生供养)
This means to help others and understand that all beings possess the Buddha-nature. So, when you treat them well, don’t you think you are making an offering?
3. Taking On Sentient Beings is Making Offerings to the Buddha (摄受众生供养)
Being tolerant and compassionate towards all living beings is making offerings to the Buddha. This means you take on the sufferings of sentient beings as offerings to the Buddha, that is to take upon yourself all the bad things so that beings can be relieved of sufferings.
To help sentient beings, we must apply an ingenious method (方便善巧的方法) that takes into consideration their ability to accept the teachings of Buddhism (随顺众生的根基来度化). When we go about doing so, we must exercise forbearance to quell humiliation, great diligence to get rid of slackness and laziness, and last but not least, use wisdom to overcome ignorance.
4. Standing in for the Sufferings of all Beings is Making Offerings to the Buddha (代众生苦供养)
This means you suffer on behalf of sentient beings. For example, when we rescue those who are hit by a disaster, we will surely need to go through a lot of suffering ourselves. We undergo such sufferings for sentient beings – just like the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas who never hesitate to suffer for all sentient beings. Just like us now, who are on this path of spiritual cultivation, aren’t we making offerings by standing in for the sufferings of sentient beings?
5. Diligently Cultivating Good Roots is Making Offerings to the Buddha (勤修善根供养)
Good roots are our inherent nature (善根是本性). We should always reflect upon our inherent nature and conscience (本性、良心). If you are someone who is always ready to help others, a kind person who is always doing kind deeds, you are making an offering to the Buddha through cultivating good roots. (勤修善根)
6. Not Forsaking the Deeds of Bodhisattvas is Making Offerings to the Buddha (不捨菩萨业供养)
When we hold close to our hearts, never to abandon the deeds of the Bodhisattvas and the path; following closely and diligently cultivating our morality and behaviour (修心修行), this is an offering to the Buddha.
7. Not Renouncing the Bodhi-mind is Making Offerings to the Buddha (不离菩提心供养)
This means the offering of our compassionate heart. Regardless if we are speaking, offering water or fruits to Guan Yin Bodhisattva, we do it with the Bodhi-mind (菩提心). We are Bodhisattvas, hence, the Bodhi-mind should always be part of us. The merits from this offering are boundless.
8. Serve the Dharma by Modelling the Actions of Bodhisattva is Making Offerings to the Buddha (塑菩萨行法供养)
Bodhisattvas make offerings of dharma in the human realm (菩萨在人间法供养) by bestowing us the dharma teachings and rendering us the protection. Guan Yin Bodhisattva has bestowed these efficacious methods upon me, so that I can teach and help you.
So that I can help you understand the truth, perform recitation to improve your family conditions. This is what Giving of Dharma (法布施) is about. If you emulate the Bodhisattva and you practise the giving of the Buddha’s teachings, you are essentially making offerings to the Tathagata.
< GIVING WITHOUT PERCEPTION >
Master Jun Hong Lu’s Discourse at Guan Yin Hall (An Excerpt) – 30 November 2011
It is essential for the Practice of Giving to not be attached to any perception (布施必须要离相). Otherwise, one will fall into “Attachment to the act of Giving” (布施的执著). Do you understand?
It means one awaits for reward every time they give. And, when the reward doesn’t come, they will be unhappy. For example, you offered some fruits to Guan Yin Bodhisattva or drop some money in the donation box today, and you ask, “Why have I not been rewarded yet?”
Hence, it is important that giving needs to be detached from all forms of perception. For example, you made a donation to print the book “Totem World”, but you insist that you do not want your name to be mentioned in the book. You will feel comfortable with this arrangement, because you won’t be thinking that you made any donations for that matter.
Unfortunately, there are many people who “give with a perception” (有相布施) nowadays. What does that mean? It is when you go, “Hey, I paid for the printing of the book. Why hasn’t my situation gotten any better?” This is when you start to feel troubled.
And, maybe you go, “I have helped so many people, I have recited so many mantras. I thought my recitation is meritorious but why haven’t my condition improved?”
The reason is: You are attached to a perception, that is why things have failed to improve.
< Give, even if no one knows >
Master Jun Hong Lu’s Public Talk, Los Angeles, USA – 2 May 2015
In the United States, there was a small enterprise owner who faced repeated failures in seeking business collaboration with big corporations. One day, as he was walking out from another failed business pitch, he passed by a small plant which appeared to have been toppled by the wind. He gently lifted the plant, put it back right up. In order to prevent it from toppling again, he went to his car to get a rope to fasten it.
Little did he know what he did was witnessed by the owner of the big corporation upstairs, who was moved by what he saw. Right after that, the two companies managed to strike a business collaboration.
During the contract signing, the owner of the big corporation said, “You know, what moved me was not the fact that you put the plant back right up. It was but the fact that you went all the way to your car to fetch the rope to fix it.”
This story tells us that when we put away our own self-interests, no matter how little, in order to help those in need, it is an act of giving. As Buddhist practitioners, we should know the importance of helping others.
When you give, without others knowing, they will be greatly moved by what you did. This is what it means by “Giving without any perception” (无相布施) – a truly high state of spirituality for a Buddhist practitioner. (真正的高境界)
< GIVE WITH COMPASSION >
Wenda20131006B 03:11 (Master Jun Hong Lu’s call-in radio program)
SHOULD WE GIVE TO THOSE BOGUS BEGGARS?
Caller: I have one more question on “Compassion”. We are taught that we need to have the same compassion for all beings. Nowadays, there are many fake beggars on the road , who just want to make some money. If we give them some money without knowing whether they are genuine or not, will we contribute towards their karmic obstacles and inadvertently encourage their evil behaviour? Will we generate negative karma for ourselves from this?
Master Jun Hong Lu: Firstly, you need to have the right perspective of compassion. Make no mistakes – are you practising compassion towards yourself or others? For example, when you offer some money to others, on the surface it may appear that you are showing compassion towards them. But, in fact, it all comes back to you. It is because of your compassion, you generate merits for yourself.
No matter who you show compassion to, do not think that you are on the losing end. This is because, the moment you are compassionate, heaven, earth and the Bodhisattva will all know about it.
Your giving doesn’t make him any richer; neither will it make you a poor man. In fact, your compassion renders you a lot of spiritual comfort. As to whether he is genuine or not, or if he will continue to con others, these are all his own karma. Are you willing to kneel and pretend like him? It is obvious that he is already suffering from his present life retribution. (现世报) You think you still want to hold back your compassion? If you think along this line, you will understand.
< THE PRACTICE OF GIVING – ACCORD WITH CONDITIONS >
wenda20160410 11:46 (Master Jun Hong Lu’s call-in radio program)
Caller: Is it proper for me to make a vow to the Bodhisattva that I will use a certain percentage of my monthly income for dharma propagation – to perform the Giving of Wealth, to make offerings to the the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha, and other virtuous deeds?
Master Jun Hong Lu: Actually, we are different from other Western religions. In all that we do, we accord with conditions. Your kind intention to something virtuous today is a way to establish kind affinity. But, if you don’t do it, there is no problem too, as long as you are practising Buddhism. We don’t have to make rigid rules. Instead, we should accord with conditions at all times.
You must remember that what’s most important is your heart. If you wish to do it, then just do it. It’s alright. It goes without saying that it is proper to do kind deeds. You see me doing a lot of charity work outside too, the nursing home, etc. I just did it yesterday as a matter of act. It all boils down to our heart. Accord with the conditions. Do not be rigid, otherwise you will be stressed up.
If you insist that “From this monthly salary of mine, I must….” In the event that you are financially tight in certain months due to some unforeseen circumstances, you will put yourself under pressure. Do you understand? Bodhisattva will always be compassionate towards all living beings.
< DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GENEROSITY AND THE PRACTICE OF GIVING >
Wenda20180413 55:49 (Master Jun Hong Lu’s call-in radio program)
HOW DOES GENEROSITY DIFFER FROM THE PRACTICE OF GIVING?
Caller: What is the difference between generosity (大方) and the Practice of Giving (布施)?
Master Jun Hong Lu: Of course there is a difference between the two. Generosity is a character trait. On the other hand, what is the Practice of Giving? Through learning Buddhism, we learn to be compassionate, kind and charitable. From this, a certain sense of sympathy for others arises in our heart, and we thus start to understand what it means to be altruistic. This form of giving has the underlying element of compassion, and is hence termed to be the “Practice of Giving”.
< THE SECOND PARAMITA: THE PERFECTION OF MORALITY 持戒波罗蜜 >
< OVERVIEW OF THE PRACTICE OF MORALITY >
Master Jun Hong Lu’s Discourse at Guan Yin Hall (An Excerpt) – 17 July 2018
To keep the precepts is to keep the purity of one’s body, speech and mind (身口意要干净). Speak less, maintain a pure physical
body and mind. Women who speak few words have a dignified appearance (庄严); the same is true for men. Conversely, a man who can’t stop talking will not be respected by others.
If you wish to avoid evil deeds and be diligent in your spiritual cultivation you must observe the Five Precepts, i.e., no killing, no stealing, no sexual misconduct, no lying, no intoxication. These are the rules that the Buddha had set for us back then.
Today, I would like to remind all that, in addition to these five precepts, you should also quit any fascinating, bewildering song,
dance (目迷神乱的歌舞和抽烟), and smoking. This is what I
require of you. Any obscene music and sexy dances will give rise
to the bad thoughts in you, and you will enter into a confused state (神迷意乱). On top of that, you should refrain from smoking.
Anything that works against one’s cultivation and state-of-mind, all those desires, etc. must all be curbed. Otherwise it will be difficult for you to make it in this path of spiritual cultivation.(很难修成)
< LET THE PRECEPTS BE YOUR FOUNDATION >
Buddhism in Plain Terms Episode 82 (An Excerpt)
When the Buddha entered Nirvana, his disciples knelt on his side, stricken in grief. They said, “Buddha, when you enter Nirvana, what shall we do?” The Buddha said to them, “Let the precepts be your foundation” (以戒为本).
Hence, observing the precepts reflects one’s moral character, a sign of nobility. A person who is able to do so is a good person.
A person who keeps the precepts will not do bad things, they will not lie, be greedy, arrogant or suspicious. The precepts train us to obey the code of behaviour. We should instil it in our Eighth Consciousness (八识田); keeping to it at all the times and never
letting it slip our mind. This is the essence of keeping the precepts.
Each arising thoughts and movement of our mind (起心动念) must comply with the rules and standards of morality. (要符合戒 律的规范)
Stay away from all those meaningless things for e.g. trying to impress the opposite sex with your capability at work; greed for things that are beyond you; going behind and talking bad about the person you hate and when the other party finds out and they strike back mercilessly. In consequence, you get yourself hurt. You didn’t see that coming, did you? So, what’s the point of all these? Hence, keeping to one’s moral discipline is very important. In fact, we need to live by the discipline, every second of every minute – only then can we be successful.
< THE RAILWAY SWITCH-TENDER STORY: DISCIPLINE IS KEY >
Master Jun Hong Lu’s Public Talk, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – 20.10.2019
THE RAILWAY SWITCH-TENDER AND HIS CHILD
Many years ago, on one of the railroads in Germany, there was a switch-tender. One evening as usual, he was just taking his place, waiting to turn a coming train approaching in a contrary direction. Just at this moment, he heard a sound that made his blood run cold. “Daddy, where are you?”
His four-year-old son was crossing the track of the advancing engine to look for him. His first impulse was to cry out to the child, “Run! Run!” But the train was too close; the tiny legs may get
stuck on the railroad. He might spring to his child and rescue him, but he could not do this and turn the switch in time. Either many people on the train – or his own son – MUST DIE.
Although in sore trouble, he could not neglect his greater duty. He exclaimed with a loud voice to his son, “Lie Down!” as he laid hold of the switch.
His boy, accustomed to obedience, did as his father command. He made a split-second drop to the ground and the fearful, heavy train thundered over him.
Little did the passengers dream, as they found themselves quietly resting on that turnout, what terrible anguish their approach had that day caused to one’s noble heart.
The father rushed to where his boy was lying, fearful lest he should find only a mangled corpse, but to his great joy and thankful gratitude he found him alive and unharmed.
Prompt obedience had saved him. Had he paused to argue, to reason whether it were best – death, and fearful mutilation of body, would have resulted.
The switch-tender’s son is a mentally handicapped child. As his father, he has warned the child again and again: “My child, you don’t get to do that many things in life. Hence, be excellent in what you do.”
Although the child didn’t really understand what his dad meant but, whenever he played war games with him, every time his father shouted “Lie Down!”, the child would immediately fall to the ground and this has been his most excellent move.
Think about this. Even a child with brain disorder can strictly obey his father’s instructions during critical moments. What more a normal child and what about us Buddhist practitioners? Shouldn’t we be following closely the teachings of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, abide strictly by the precepts and practice diligently?
< THE IMPORTANCE OF OBSERVING MORALITY >
Master Jun Hong Lu’s Discourse at Guan Yin Hall (An Excerpt) – 8 April 2012
Observing moral discipline (戒律) is like having Bodhisattva on top of our head, watching over, protecting and supervising us, so that we do not dare to mess around.
If you allow yourself to go crazy as and when you feel like it, or say whatever you want to say, do you think you are observing moral discipline at all? In this world, we are not to do things according to our whims and fancies because what you say may lead to a fatal disaster that could cause one’s life (杀身之祸) or other irreversible family tragedies. (无可挽回的家庭悲剧)
Can you speak irrationally during a quarrel?
You should say nothing because those irresponsible words once blurted may cause family to break up in the future. We should guard against creating bad karma by guarding our speech, thoughts and bodily actions.
Buddhism in Plain Terms Vol. 8 Chapter 38 (An Excerpt)
How can we prevent the outflow of our wisdom and blessings? (怎么样让自己的智慧不漏)
First of all, we must observe moral discipline. What is moral discipline? Do what you should do, refrain from doing what you shouldn’t. Think only what you should think about, stop thinking about what you shouldn’t. Say only what you should say, otherwise just keep silent.
The fact that you couldn’t keep the precepts, you will enter the Three Lower Realms (下三道). When a person loses his temper and is upset, he has started to exhaust his wisdom and his line of thoughts will fall into the three lower realms.
Think about it, those who fight, gone mad, lost their temper, they are no different than the animals. They bite, fight and they are vicious, just like the tiger that feeds on its prey.
Many people do not commit unwholesome deeds through their bodily actions but they speak a lot of nonsense and commit numerous negative karma of speech (犯口业). There are others, who hardly create any karma of speech, but they do so through their bodily actions. There is another type of person, who does neither bodily nor karma of speech; they seem like a very quiet person, but their minds are constantly thinking about negative things, committing karma of thought (犯意业), like cursing others etc.
He is thus guilty of committing negative karma of action and speech. In fact, the karma is even more serious and hefty. How so? It is because when you commit negative mental karma (犯意业), it is known to all the Bodhisattvas in heaven and the ghosts in the underworld.
Buddhism in Plain Terms Vol. 8 Chapter 31 (An Excerpt)
People with impure souls (灵魂不干净) have a lot of karmic obstacles (业障) in their consciousness (意识). For this reason, they are not able to ascend to the heavens, and can only descend to the lower realms.
Strictly speaking, there is no way that they can make it to heaven or become a Buddha because they are just like punctured hot air balloons, which can never fly.
Learn to guard your mind and your thoughts and never let it sin. Learn to guard your energy field, never let it commit the negative karma of speech or speak more than you should. Learn to guard your behaviour, do not perform those shameless acts, fight or scold others.
You need to understand your mind and see your true nature (明心见性) before you can go to heaven and become a Buddha.