Time : Saturday 2pm-4pm
Platform : ZOOM Cloud Meeting
Topic of Discussion : With a calm and undisturbed mind, all remains as such
On 13 June 2020, Guan Yin Citta, Singapore held yet another online Buddhism in Plain Terms (BIPT) Group Study (in English). Covering the part three of episode three, the topic of the week was: with a calm and undisturbed mind, all remains as such.
As Master Lu said, the first lesson for any Buddhist cultivator is to master unmoving suchness. It is thus fitting that first up on the agenda was to discuss the importance of attaining a state of unmoving suchness. Using the metaphor of a flagpole that never topples, Buddhist friends learnt that the mind should remain unmoved despite external changes. After all, as the Heart Sutra says, Form is Emptiness and Emptiness is Form. Some may lament that this is easy to say, hard to do.
Well, practitioners who attended the session would be able to state the various ways to eliminate unruly thoughts and remain unmoved during times of adversity — the Four Golden Buddhist Practices of making great vows, reciting Buddhist scriptures, performing life liberation and reading Buddhism in Plain Terms. In addition, one may also use the three points of contemplation — contemplate with wisdom the true nature of things as transient, sufferings of hell and hungry ghosts.
During the discussion, a participant also shared a popular zen story that asked whether one should whip the cart or the ox if a traveller fails to move forward. An interpretation of the parable is that the mind is like the ox and progress in spiritual cultivation lies in cultivating the mind. In your life journey, to what extent have you attained the state of unmoving suchness? By taking time out to calm their minds and learn Master Lu’s Buddhist teachings, participants prevented muddy thoughts from clouding and contaminating the purity of their minds.
In today’s world, karma of speech is doubly created through both the mediums of tongue and prose as many of us are active on social media and the like. Hence, understanding how easy it is to create such negative karma (and hence how easy it is to avoid creating such unnecessary karma) is paramount towards avoiding troubles in life. Hence, the session shifted towards understanding the karma of speech.
The four categories of such negative speech include harsh, false, divisive and frivolous speech, and engaging in such discourse will result in karmic retribution and the depletion of merits and virtues. During the discussion, a Buddhist practitioner asked how to differentiate between constructive criticism and scoldings, a question that many may face especially when interacting with their juniors.
Another interesting question raised was about whether it is proper to tell children that they are beautiful even if they may not have socially desirable features. Master Lu often emphasises that intentions are what counts and we should thus use that as a guide. In line with that, criticism presented in a tasteful and helpful manner to a person with a good attitude would most likely be welcome, and a child possessing inner beauty with characteristics such as compassion will certainly be beautiful even if they may not have big eyes or a sharp jaw.
As Master Lu said, the mannerisms of a person who does well in mind-cultivation will resemble that of Bodhisattva and they will not scold or quarrel with others. Indeed, the many Buddhist friends that participated actively during the discussion truly embodied Bodhisattva in speaking responsibly and meaningfully.
Let us now look at some comments from participants:
“I would recommend Buddhism in Plain Terms group study to all Buddhist friends as it teaches us things like karma of speech. Karma of speech can really happen all around us, like when we gossip and text. This session is able to remind us that as Buddhist practitioners, we should avoid creating karma as it is really not good for us.”
“This week’s session was great! It inspired me to think in depth about speech and I understand now that right speech is to speak without verbal abuse, lies, hatred or blame. Both speakers were very awesome, friendly and well-prepared. I would recommend more Buddhist friends to take part!”
📚 Next Buddhism in Plain Terms English Group Study:
⏰ Date and time: Saturday 20 June 2020 @ 2-4 pm
(If you are interested in joining this group study, please contact Loh shixiong)
Please click here to download the Summary Slides shared during the Group Study:
Buddhism in Plain Terms – Episode 3 (Part 3)
Topic 1: THE IMPORTANCE OF ATTAINING A STATE OF UNMOVING SUCHNESS
If one’s mind remains unmoved, everything remains undisturbed. It does not matter how other people behave if your mind remains in an undisturbed state. Nothing can change you. Let me give you a simple example. You are busy taking selfies at home, and you don’t care what other people are saying. You are indifferent. Aren’t you in a state of undisturbed mind?
People say: “Do you know? This product is really good, and it can make you rich, help you do this and that.” You look at your reflection in a mirror or in the lens. If you remain calm and not affected, then what effect does it have on you? Nothing at all. However, once your mind is moved, it will start to show on your face. You start to feel like a millionaire, a billionaire. This is because your mind has been affected by it.
Topic 2: UNDERSTANDING THE KARMA OF SPEECH
At times, it is best to speak less. If you speak too much, you will invite troubles. Speak only when it is necessary. What doesn’t need to be said should be refrained. Don’t say what you shouldn’t say – if you say them you will invite enemies, do you understand? Because you are not supposed to say it. This is how a person invite rivals in their life. Am I right?
If somebody is speaking and you suddenly interrupt them. Why did you do that? Aren’t you creating enemies then? Am I right? When you are not careful with your words and say something you shouldn’t say, the words coming out of your mouth are just nonsense and such nonsensical words will invite troubles, am I right? We must be cautious with our speech in our daily life. That’s why I hope everybody will make the best effort.
Alright, this is the Buddhism in Plain Terms for today. When I get the chance, I will get in touch with you through videos and give more talks on this. I hope that everyone can practise Buddhism with diligence and stay undisturbed no matter what happens. Here I am in Australia, though faraway I really miss you all. I hope you will benefit more from practising Buddhism that will inspire you to work even harder.
Let go of all affinities, be patient and diligent in your cultivation. In the future, I will give more talks on Buddhism in Plain Terms. So that you will be able to stay clear headed and wise at all times and cope with life’s troubles and tribulations. Where there is a will, there is a way. As long as you have wisdom, you will surely be able to break free from the cycle of rebirth in this lifetime.
Master Jun Hong Lu’s related discourses (cross references):
< The Importance of Attaining a State of Unmoving Suchness>
OUR MIND IS AN IMPORTANT MACHINE, UNMOVING SUCHNESS IS THE KEY
Master Jun Hong Lu:
Our mind is the most important machine, if it stops functioning or malfunction, we will encounter problems with our brain, limbs, as well as soul. Due to the close relation between mind and body, many people who are psychologically ill are likely to suffer physiologically, and vice versa.
On that premise, what could possibly be the source of problem?
The answer is very simple: it is our troubled mind.
The jealousy, hatred and greed that harbour in our mind will bring about demonic obstacles in us and cause us to get caught up in a predicament (陷入一个困境) which we are unable to break free.
As such, the first lesson for any Buddhist cultivator is to master unmoving suchness (如如不动).
PRACTISE UNMOVING SUCHNESS; REMAIN UNMOVED IN ANY GIVEN SITUATION OR WE WILL BE HURT
Caller: Recently while reading Buddhism in Plain Terms, I came across a paragraph in which Master said, “In Buddhism studies, one’s mind should have ‘a flagpole that never topples.” (学佛心中要有一杆旗，要不倒) Typically, a person’s emotions are affected, and vexations arise after meeting with a small issue — this represents the toppling of that flagpole.”
Master Jun Hong Lu: Yes, indeed.
Caller: Hence, learning Buddhism is not easy.
Master Jun Hong Lu: What does this ‘flagpole of your mind’ represent and what does it mean if it topples? It is a depiction of ‘remaining unmoved regardless of conditions (如如不动)’ . When you are under the influence of the five desires and six dust (五欲六尘) of the world, you are emotionally affected; your mind falters, the wind shifts, the banner moves and your soul wavers (心动了，风动了，幡动了，灵动了).
If you can remain unmoved regardless of any conditions (如如不动), you will have the firmness of mind. When a situation calls for something, you act unequivocally — accord with conditions and do what is right. You should not cause harm to yourself. Many hurt themselves precisely because their mind is perturbed (心动了); otherwise, they will not be harmed.
Caller: That is right. Thank you, Master Lu.
Master Lu’s Buddhism in Plain Terms Episode 7 (An Excerpt)
GOOD AND EVIL ARE THE RESULTS OF KARMA
A person needs to have the Buddha nature which is fundamentally pure. As Buddhists often say, “The mind remains unmoved despite external changes”. (境转而心不转) No matter what changes have taken place in your environment, your mind remains unmoved. Don’t let the surroundings flutter your state of mind.
The ultimately pure Buddha nature (根本清净的佛性) is the Amala-consciousness (阿摩罗识) which is also the Ninth Consciousness. This is your conscience and your innate nature (良心本性). Regardless of what happens, your mind remains unmoved. Once you have the Buddha and Bodhisattvas in your heart, you won’t conceive unwholesome thoughts. This way, you won’t be trapped in the Six Realms of Existence.
Master Lu’s Buddhism in Plain Terms Episode 4 (An Excerpt)
KNOWING WHEN NOT TO ACT, YOU CAN LIVE YOUR TRUE SELF
So Buddhist practitioners need to understand that all things on earth remain unperturbed, only when the heart remains unchanged will things remain unchanged. When you are kind to others, others will be kind to you. Sitting is Zen, walking is Zen (行亦禅, 坐亦禅), to see a world in a flower and the Buddha in a leaf (一花一世界，一叶一如来). What does it mean?
You will gain wisdom by sitting there, you will also gain wisdom by standing and going about your task, you will gain meditative concentration in whatever you do (不管做什么事情都是你的禅定). As there is such a world in your heart, there is such a practice place, no matter what you do, in everything you do, you will do it as if you are a Buddha performing the task (像佛一样地在做). This is what “to see the Buddha in a leaf (一叶一如来)” means.
There is a poet who says that “Flowers will turn fresh when spring arrives, leaves will fall when autumn comes (春来花自青，秋至叶飘零)”. What does it mean? When spring comes, flowers will naturally turn fresh, it’s so beautiful. When autumn comes, leaves will fall, and flowers will wither.
“Our heart will be at ease when we have immense wisdom (无穷般若心自在)”, trees and leaves will all change in spring or in autumn, whereas our immense wisdom, our heart and wisdom, will remain at ease eternally – they will remain the same forever and never change.
“Your body will be natural if you speak less and remain calm (语默动静体自然)” – this means we must be a person of few words and remain calm and composed in our actions, then our body and life will become natural.
Do not be tempted by anything you see meaning that when you see something (不要看见一件事情就心动), don’t be hasty in acting on it, then people will find that you are a person who can’t sit and stand still, you are unable to remain still and quiet.
PRACTICE TRUE CULTIVATION – A MIND THAT IS UNPERTURBED
Master Jun Hong Lu: In practising Buddhism, we must be true to our practice (真学). No matter what happens, our mind should remain unperturbed, “no wax or wane (心不增不减)”. What does this mean? It is a state of “unmoving suchness (如如不动)”.
What does it mean by “no wax, no wane”? When good things come along, let there be no “increase” in our mind or in our desire; whatever comes along, it could never make us lose our morality or diligence in cultivation.
When there is no “increase” there shall be no “decrease”. When there is no “decrease”, we don’t have to work on “increasing”. These are the basic principles of the Dharma. Only there is “no wax, no wane” can there be “no birth and no death”. There are many pitiable people around. They are always desiring this and that, and they suffer when they fail to attain what they wish for.
Disciple Discourse (Book 2)
BEING UNPERTURBED IS THE ABILITY TO LET NATURE TAKES IT COURSE (随缘)
Master Jun Hong Lu: To be unmoved in any given situation is a quality of a broad-minded person. We should not change when we encounter something; neither should be overly anxious. What’s the big deal? Since we have come to this world, we have to be mentally prepared. Birth, ageing, sickness, death, having to part with our loved ones….
There are The Eight Sufferings in life – but that’s just an outline, there are 100 kinds of other distresses in this world. There are those who are deeply in love but are forced to be separated; we are born alone, and no one will accompany us when we die, we will have to leave alone. Think about it, that is all to this world. What is there for us to grasp? Don‘t be silly.
All phenomena are just mere affinities (一种缘分) in this world.
Let it come and let it go. Whatever happened, don’t be frightened, like what I said, “do not change with conditions (随缘不变)”. To be able to do so not only requires a state of broadmindedness but also a level of maturity. It is a quality of a confident person – a person who allows nature to take its course no matter how major the ordeal they are faced with.
WORK WITH ALL-OUT EFFORT, BEHAVE HUMBLY, REMAIN CALM AND UNMOVED BY COMPLIMENTS OR CRITICISM
Master Lu gave a discourse in Indonesia, asking us to “Work with all-out effort, behave humbly, remain indifferent to compliments and criticism, and guard against arrogance and impatience (高调做事，低调做人，宠辱不惊，戒骄戒躁)”. Could Master Lu elaborate on how to be considered as “working with all-out effort and to behave humbly?”
Master Jun Hong Lu: “Work with all-out effort” is not asking you to be boastful, but to work with seriousness and to give your best. Do I need to elaborate on “Behaving humbly”? Give without expecting anything in return (无相布施) and do not fight for fame or status; that is being humble. Being calm and unmoved by compliments and criticism is to preserve equanimity under any circumstances (宠辱不惊). Treat everything in life as the best arrangement as determined by Bodhisattva (一切都是最好的安排).
Master Jun Hong Lu’s World Buddhist Meeting, Singapore, 24 Apr 2016 (An excerpt)
REALISING THE ONENESS OF THINGS
1.In the beginning, seeing mountains are mountains, rivers are rivers;
2.Seeing mountains are not as mountains and river are not as rivers;
3.Seeing mountains are still mountains and rivers still as rivers”
STAGE 1 – Mountains are mountains, rivers are rivers.
When we first came to this world, we were taught to believe that everything in our phenomenal world are real and permanent. We thought what we see with our eyes are the truth. This perception is too shallow and it is of a low level of understanding on the concept of Oneness of things.
STAGE 2 – Mountains are not mountains; rivers are not rivers.
After studying Buddhism, we learned that the constituent forms which make up the universe are transient, all phenomena are impermanent and illusory (知无常，懂人生，虚幻世界). With this realization, we see mountains are not mountains, and rivers are not rivers.
STAGE 3 – Mountains are still mountain and rivers are still rivers.
When we reached this stage of enlightenment, we are able to utilize the illusory world to cultivate the truth (彻悟之后，借假修真), hence seeing mountains as still mountains, seeing rivers still as rivers, this is akin to “form is exactly emptiness; emptiness is exactly form (色即是空，空即是色) ” in the Heart Sutra.
It is through the diligent spiritual cultivation and practice, we are able to elevate to this level of understanding.
When a person reached this stage, he will devote himself to spiritual cultivation and detach himself from wealth and fame. It is similar to what we are doing, reciting scriptures everyday, refrain from having any preoccupations with others (无求无欲，与世无争). Abstain from dispute, able to view the worldly things as it is, and respond with a smile.
Buddhism In Plain Terms Vol. 1 Chapter 13 (An excerpt)
STAY TRUE REGARDLESS OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES
Master Jun Hong Lu: We should not be affected no matter what the circumstances we are in. In times of adversity, how do we eliminate unruly thoughts (消除杂念) and remain unmoved (不动心)?
Firstly, contemplate with wisdom (慧观). Understand that all phenomena are transient, and it never lasts. When we look at a problem with wisdom, what we gain is wisdom.
Secondly, contemplate the sufferings of hell (观地狱苦). At the verge of doing something bad, we should think about its retribution – we may need to go to hell. Hence, we must practise restraint (克制自己). For example: when we deceive others or mistreat others, think about what kind of suffering that we will have to go through in Hell.
Thirdly, contemplate the sufferings of the hungry ghosts (观饿鬼苦). Hungry ghosts are those who are in the ghost path; with small mouths and big belly. They are always in hunger and very pitiable.
Fourthly, repent through reciting scriptures (持咒忏悔). When we are troubled, we should concentrate on chanting and repent sincerely. With that, our troubles will be eliminated naturally. Only through sincere chanting that we can be free from karmic obstacles, evil phenomena and everything else that trouble us.
Concentrate during chanting, otherwise it will be ineffective. If our thoughts are scattered during recitation, the verses that we recite will be scattered and so will be our mind. Hence, it is crucial that we recite the Buddhist scriptures attentively. It is very important.
Wenda 20140815 01:24:47 (An excerpt)
Caller: Master, when we constantly watch our mind and when we sense the arising of thoughts, do we have to deliberately exercise restraint? And use some short sutras or mantras to fill up the time and space so as not to allow such distracting thoughts to sustain; recite more Heart Sutra daily, and read the Buddhism in Plain Terms, perform more acts like that of Bodhisattva, to fill all our thoughts and the motion of mind with the welfare of sentient beings. Is my understanding correct?
Master Jun Hong Lu: That’s right! What you said shows that you entered the path of enlightenment and that you have wisdom. What it means here is, one should not allow space for selfish motives, distracting thoughts or muddy water to contaminate the purity of your mind. So how should we fill in such gaps? Through chanting, making great vows, reading Buddhism in Plain Terms, performing kind and virtuous deeds. This is to protect us from the invasion of the Five Desires and Six Sense Objects.
< Understanding the Karma of Speech >
BENCHMARK AND CHARACTERISTIC OF A PERSON WITH GOOD MIND CULTIVATION
Caller: Master Lu, time and again you have stressed the importance of cultivation of our mind; whereby only through proper mind cultivation that one’s behaviour will be dignified. To facilitate our self-check and self-reflection, can you advise us what are the benchmarks and characteristics of a person who does it well?
Master Jun Hong Lu: A person who cultivates his mind well,
- Will not quarrel with others;
- Will not scold others;
- Will not hold any lustful thoughts, keeping his eyes at the right place;
- They are refined and courteous; allowing others to speak first; they do not tell lies and neither do they incite disharmony.
These are all the characteristics of a person who cultivates well, that are obvious to others. Fundamentally, a successful person’s behaviour and mannerism will resemble that of Bodhisattva’s, which leads others to perceive that he bears a resemblance to Bodhisattva. Contrarily, if a person’s behaviour and mannerism bear no resemblance to that of Bodhisattva’s, how could he possibly have cultivated well?
Caller: I understand. Thank you for answering my question, Master Lu.
Words of Wisdom from Buddhist Master Jun Hong Lu (Volume 2)
You will be held responsible if others create karma of speech because of you. When you make others emotionally attached to you, it is also considered to be your fault.
The words that you say are incomprehensible if you do not understand the words of others first. Do not make comments if you do not understand what others say.
When someone tells a lie, deep down they know this is wrong. They have no compassion.
< The Ten Good Deeds >
The Karma of Speech
No Harsh Speech （不恶口）
- Speak kind words (不恶口而出言慈和)
No Divisive speech （不两舌）
- No fighting over right or wrong (不两舌而无争是非)
No False Speech （不妄语）
- Being truthful and never lie (不妄语而诚实无欺)
No Frivolous Speech （不绮语）
- Speak politely and decently (不绮语而言说有礼)
< What is the Karma of Speech? >
DRAWING CONCLUSIONS ON MATTERS WHICH WE DO NOT HAVE A THOROUGH UNDERSTANDING ARE CONSIDERED AS CREATING SOMETHING OUT OF NOTHING AND HAS HEAVY KARMIC RAMIFICATIONS
Caller: As a Buddhist practitioner, how do we avoid drawing conclusions or stereotyping someone (贴标签) or some matters which we do not have a thorough understanding?
Is discussion involving other’s privacy and their pasts (言论他人隐私与过去) considered as an act of creating something out of nothing (无中生有) and creating bad karma of speech?
Master Jun Hong Lu: Exactly! Karmic ramifications are equally heavy (罪孽一样深重) for creating something out of nowhere, creating bad karma of speech and when defaming others.
Caller: When we are uncertain of other’s family matters and their pasts, but simply pass judgement that such people are good or bad, will this become…
Master Jun Hong Lu: This is a form of attachment.
TO COMMENT ON OTHERS BEHIND THEIR BACK IS A SERIOUS KARMA OF SPEECH
Caller: Master Lu, you mentioned that “One is halfway to achieving Buddhahood when he is able to guard himself from creating karma of speech (守住口业成佛一半) ”. May I ask if karma of speech includes making comments about others behind their back?
Master Jun Hong Lu: That’s for sure.
Caller: So, it means, regardless of whether the other party is in the right or wrong, we shouldn’t make judgements about them, is that right?
Master Jun Hong Lu: Unless your intention is to help him, only then you can make a comment about them. Otherwise, if you do so, you are generating negative energy. If your intention is to help him and you talk to him face-to-face, this is positive energy, and as such it is not considered as creating karma of speech. For example, I am ready to help a person today. How can I avoid commenting on him? Do you regard this as creating karma of speech, then? On the other hand, if I am not with the person concerned today but I made some sharp statements and talked behind his back, it is then considered to be creating karma of speech.
Buddhism in Plain Terms Vol. 9 Chapter 15 (an excerpt)
YOU COMMIT KARMA OF SPEECH NOT ONLY THROUGH WORDS UTTERED BUT ALSO THROUGH WORDS WRITTEN
In today’s society, you commit karma of speech not only through words uttered but also through words written. When you post an article online to criticise others, or make a sarcastic remarks about someone, aren’t you committing karma of speech? The false accusations you made online, though not verbal, have caused people’s misunderstanding towards this person, do you consider yourself committing karma of speech? So, new types of karma arise in this new era.
In the past, when there was no computer, karma of speech was committed through mouth. Now, it is through your hands. Even when you are not speaking, you are still committing karma of speech through your written messages shared online, aren’t you?
< The Consequences of Speech Karma >
Excerpt from Master Lu’s Q&A (270), 4 December 2018
JOURNEY TO HEAVEN V1.C14: MY VISIT TO THE TONGUE-CARVING HELL: WATCH A TRIAL REGARDING DISCIPLE WHO COMMITTED VERBAL MISDEEDS
The Tongue-Carving Hell: Those who have committed abusive speech, fabricated rumours, and sowed discord, and those who slandered and defamed practitioners (of any religions) will be punished here.
WHAT WILL CAUSE THE BURNING OF ONE’S FOREST OF VIRTUES?
Caller: Master Lu, besides a bad mouth and a hot temper, what other factors would cause the burning of one’s Forest of Virtues (火烧功德林) ? Please enlighten us.
Master Jun Hong Lu: The burning of the Forest of Virtues is caused by negative flames within our heart, thus, hating or cursing others behind their back would set flame to one’s Forest of Virtues.
Master Jun Hong Lu: One’s merits will be depleted rapidly if he frequently curses or bears hatred behind others back. In short, it makes no difference, be it scolding others in person, behind their back or within our heart; they will all lead to depletion of one’s merits.
Caller: Thank you Master Lu for your kind explanation.
WHAT IS THE CAUSE OF TALENT BEING UNRECOGNISED?
Caller: What is the cause of talent being unrecognised?
Master Jun Hong Lu: It is the result of committing speech karma, which holds one back from utilising his ability.
< Ways to Eliminate the Karma of Speech >
BUDDHIST SCRIPTURES TO RECITE FOR ELIMINATING THE KARMA OF SPEECH
Caller: Which Buddhist scriptures should we recite to eliminate the karma of speech?
Master Jun Hong Lu: You have to recite the Heart Sutra, Eighty-Eight Buddhas Great Repentance, and also Qi Fo Mie Zui Zhen Yan. In fact, the karma of speech arises from your thoughts. If you didn’t have the unwholesome thoughts, it won’t be reflected in your speech. That’s why you have to recite the Heart Sutra.
HOW DO WE STOP OURSELVES FROM BRAGGING?
Caller: Master Lu, how do we eliminate our inclination to brag?
Master Jun Hong Lu: In any conversation, as long as you speak what is necessary, it is not considered as bragging. Once you have made your message understood by the other party, don’t dwell on the subject anymore. It will help you guard against bragging. Showing you rattle on about how good you are is considered bragging, isn’t it?
Caller: That’s right.
Master Jun Hong Lu: For example, in the process of helping the others, you may speak at length about how much effort you have put. However, in the end, if you keep harping on how good you are and how diligent you have been practising Buddhism, isn’t this bragging? The other party has already fully understood what you are trying to say, so stop talking! Stop before you go too far, observe moderation in everything you do (适可而止，中庸之道). Say only what is necessary as dwelling on something at length would be meaningless.
Caller: I understand now, Master Lu. Thank you.
Buddhism in Plain Terms Vol. 1 Chapter 28 (an excerpt)
TO LOOK BEYOND AND LET GO IS PRAJNA (WISDOM)
Master frequently tells everybody to uphold the precepts. Why should we uphold the precepts? It is because upholding the precepts can prevent the outflow of worldly blessings and merits which are derived through your cultivation (把你修心的福德漏洞全部堵住). For example, today you performed a good deed, but in the end, you said something that offended the person you helped. Then, it also means that all the benevolent and meritorious deeds you performed today are flawed, and there are outflows.
Master has once said that when you have just finished reciting sutras, your energy field is very good. But when you start talking to people, and talk frivolously, then you create outflows of merits gained from the recitation earlier.
Master Jun Hong Lu’s Public Talk, Kuala Lumpur December 23, 2016 (an excerpt)
A VERY IMPORTANT ETHIC TO OBSERVE
Many people think that moral ethic is about aiding others and performing good deeds. However, it is not so. Please remember, as human, it is very important to know that “Forbearance is a Moral Ethic (忍之为德) ”. It means a person who is forbearing, is a person with moral ethics.
For example, there are two persons quarrelling on the street. One party is berating, while the other did not retaliate, but and just stand at the side and keep smiling back politely. Bystanders will surely say that the latter is someone with virtue, am I right?
The same applies to couples who quarrel. The husband is scolding, while his wife just kept quiet and smiled politely saying, “I am sorry.” Which of these two persons you think is virtuous? If your boss is reprimanding you, and you go, “I’m sorry, I will do a better job next time”. Do you think you will be fired? A person with forbearance is a virtuous person. He is a person with wisdom. Please remember, a person who gets angry frequently, is a person who lacks wisdom.
Master Jun Hong Lu’s Public Talk, Sydney, Australia 27 January 2019 (an excerpt)
LISTEN TWICE AS MUCH AS WE SPEAK
Master Jun Hong Lu: One’s ability to argue is not necessarily what is most valuable. After all, we have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak (多听少说). A true mind-cultivator is one who is adept at attentive listening and who appreciates that this skill forms the foundation for being a cultured person.
EXPLAIN WHEN NECESSARY BUT DO NOT OVERDO IT
Caller: Master Lu, how do Buddhist practitioners put into practice “Not explaining is the best explanation”? Is it possible to achieve this through actions in order to remove all vexations?
Master Jun Hong Lu: You still have to explain when necessary. However, do not overly explain. It suffice when you make your point clear. It’s now the Age of Dharma Decline, not the Age of the Right Dharma, during which explanation was not needed as self-realisation prevailed in everyone: when you stop talking, the other party will follow suit as he will be immediately enlightened. Nowadays people get confused easily, therefore you have to explain when the need arises.
Caller: If we would like to resolve everything in a non-confrontational manner…
Master Jun Hong Lu: It’s impossible. For example, your husband suspects that you are having an affair, what happen if you do not explain and remain silent? He will be very angry at you. It’s that simple. Can you afford not explaining under such circumstances?
Caller: We still have to explain when necessary, otherwise it will deepen the misunderstanding.
Master Jun Hong Lu: People today are different from people in the past. Their morality and standards have deteriorated.
Master Jun Hong Lu’s Public Talk, Sydney, Australia, 27 January 2019 (an excerpt)
BEING MINDFUL OF OUR SPEECH IS AS GOOD AS GUARDING OUR MINDS
Master Jun Hong Lu: Most of our negative karma is derived from our speech. There is a traditional Chinese saying, “misfortune finds its way out through the mouth; illness finds its way in through the mouth”. Hence, being mindful of our speech is as good as guarding our minds.
As Buddhist practitioners:
- When we do not know, do not speak irresponsibly
- When we do know, do not speak too much
- When we are troubled, do not speak hastily
- When we have nothing to say, say nothing
Guard our speech and diligently perform recitations – that is the way to achieve a healthy mind and body to follow the spiritual path of Amitabha Buddha.< Buddhism in Plain Terms < 白话佛法共修分享