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 20181031《靜思妙蓮華》菩薩眾中 有四導師 (第1469集) (法華經·從地涌出品第十五)

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發表主題: 20181031《靜思妙蓮華》菩薩眾中 有四導師 (第1469集) (法華經·從地涌出品第十五)   周二 10月 30, 2018 10:37 pm

20181031《靜思妙蓮華》 (第1469集) 菩薩眾中 有四導師(法華經·從地涌出品第十五)

⊙處空中道住無為,真空之理離障礙,猶如虛空藏妙有,無為無作無有量計,真空無體,理通作善有為,以智滅惑,所顯諦理妙有真如,量周沙界遍空。
⊙虛空上下左右,無邊際無疆界,菩薩無始來今,領眾持善護法,六度入人群中,勤耕耘護善種,歷長久不離棄,如虛空理常存。
⊙「是時、釋迦牟尼佛默然而坐,及諸四眾亦皆默然。五十小劫,佛神力故,令諸大眾謂如半日。」《法華經從地涌出品第十五》
⊙「爾時、四眾亦以佛神力故,見諸菩薩遍滿無量百千萬億國土虛空。」《法華經從地涌出品第十五》
⊙爾時、四眾亦以佛神力故:時會四眾,亦因佛力。爾時四眾,即從四眾狹而見廣。
⊙見諸菩薩遍滿無量百千萬億國土虛空:諸來菩薩眾,並遍滿他方無量國土虛空之中。顯菩薩所證,彌滿法界之真理。
⊙「是菩薩眾中有四導師:一名上行,二名無邊行,三名淨行,四名安立行。」《法華經從地涌出品第十五》
⊙上首唱導之師一名上行:身乃履踐,萬行賴修持身正行殊勝最為上,故名上行。
⊙上首唱導之師二名無邊行:口能以正語宣說,無邊妙義,故名無邊行。
⊙上首唱導之師三名淨行:意淨無染著,平等說法,故名淨行。
⊙上首唱導之師四名安立行:願悲誓願力,令眾住是法中,故正大悲為安立行。
⊙大悲誓願力,令眾住是法中,故正大悲為安立行。
安立行:謂隨順一切功德而能安住。

【證嚴上人開示】
處空中道住無為,真空之理離障礙,猶如虛空藏妙有,無為無作無有量計,真空無體,理通作善有為,以智滅惑所顯,諦理妙有真如,量周沙界遍空。

處空中道住無為
真空之理離障礙
猶如虛空藏妙有
無為無作無有量計
真空無體
理通作善有為
以智滅惑
所顯諦理
妙有真如
量周沙界遍空

用心體會,法如何理解、如何通達,這是我們要很用心。釋迦佛靈山說《法華經》,已經過去十四品的裡面,已經是「顯跡」;現在開始就是要「顯本」了,因為《法華經》是「本跡開二門」。大家要記得,前面也說過好幾次,「跡」和「本」,這是佛陀一生說法很重要。跡,那就是降生人間,一直到成道,一直到說法,一直到示涅槃,這「八相成道」,顯跡人間度眾生。這個事蹟,佛陀面對著什麼樣的弟子,他就講什麼樣的法;弟子根機差別,佛陀隨機教化,用了這麼長的時間,四十九年!

尤其是「法華」之前,已經是四十二年了,隨順眾生根機,一直到這個時候,不論是過去談空說有,無不都是要讓人人去體解大道;期待人人能夠了解道理,引入門來,好好投入道理,好好去體會。眾生的根器若是較敏銳,那就是為他們,講說「空」的真理,因為他們的根機有辦法接受,讓他們知道不要執著,人生因為執著,所以會產生了很多的無明煩惱。佛陀為了破除眾生無明煩惱,所以後面在「方等」開始進入,一直一路向「般若」引導;「般若」,那就是開啟智慧;智慧,就是要讓你,將事、物、理能夠分清楚,分析到最後,什麼都是歸於空。這樣,這讓大家了解世間物資,世間所有的形相,不論是情啊、愛啊,所有看得到、接觸得到,無不都是虛幻,無不都是空。所以,破除大家,對物質、對感情的執著,這是「般若」,讓我們能夠去體會、了解,人生原來就是短暫而已。但是,空的之前,談空以前,那就是說「有」了。

「有」就是教育我們,讓我們知道起心動念無不是業,這很多,無不都是因緣果報。這說「有」,讓我們常常提起警惕,我們若能夠警惕,我們就有守戒,所以有「戒、定、慧」,等等的法都是在這四十二年間,「談空說有」,讓不同的根機的眾生,隨他們的根機而接受。但是,必定要空有會合了,有,非真有;空,也非真空,所以佛陀就是要給我們,一個很圓滿的道理,那就是「妙有」。妙有,「妙有」讓我們了解,佛陀覺悟的初一念,那就是發現到了,大發現天地人間,最奇妙的就是真如,就是道理。萬物的道理,人性的真如,要讓大家能夠清楚了解,但是,談何容易啊!佛陀才會用這麼久的時間,很有耐心,住堪忍的世界,也忍著這個堪忍面對眾生。要耐心,眾生根機鈍劣,很鈍、很劣,尤其是很剛強,難調伏。

事情這麼簡單,就這樣說,我們要如何讓一個環境有道氣?環境的道氣就是要人的生活中,既有這樣的環境,早上一大早我們就是要上大殿,大家共同一念虔誠,聞鐘聲、聞鼓聲,整齊的隊伍這樣入大殿來。很整齊禮佛,複誦經典,規則這麼的整齊、這麼的好,這是我們每一天生活,最最有規則的時間,也是最有道氣的空間。這個感受是很美!人人能夠循規、持戒,這豈不是一個最好,氣氛最好,一天的開始,「一日之計在於晨」,這一大早天是還沒亮,而氣候也沒有很熱,這樣,在這個環境中,這道氣是不是我們自己,人人,每一個人來配合,同一念心,同一個動作,豈不就是很有道氣呢?

一直到中午,中午,大家虔誠再上大殿來,這個環境,因為早上,我們大半天做工作很忙,很不簡單,我們中餐過後了,稍微休息一點點,我們要再開始工作;要開始工作之前,大家再凝聚起來,在大殿虔誠祈禱,表示我們上半天的時間過去了,現在已經到日中之時,要交接在下午。我們日中這個時間,又讓我們有機會,表達一下我們的虔誠,在靜思中念念虔誠,大家的心念,上達諸佛、諸菩薩聽。虔誠的祈禱,不就是除了我們修行者,還有同仁,大家共同一堂,虔誠祈禱;之後我們又是下半天的工作,又開始。

這是調伏我們的心,保持我們生活的規律,就說:「請大家在這個時間祈禱,集合之時,大家這念心要趕緊再凝聚起來。」這個時候靜默,不要說話,趕緊虔誠合掌,也停息我們的心,聽音樂,聽大殿裡面這個祈禱的聲音,哪怕在外面座談也要停下來,虔誠,這就是一個莊嚴的道場。下半天的工作做好了,要收工了,晚上晚課,我們再一次來精進。一日三時,虔誠入道場,你們想,這就是「有」,在「有」中要解「空」,因為我們動作,人與人在動作,你若把握時間,多一分的動作,你的工作就早一分完成,這就是「有」。

時間和你的工作是不能分離的,我們的心散了,自然工作中就延慢掉了,所以在做要用心來工作,把握時間:我們時間有餘的,回過頭來,我們將心全都掏空了,好好再凝聚我們虔誠的心,回歸在法中。這一大早、中午、晚上,我們一天有三次,尤其是還有時間,大家在分享座談,這樣的道場,好好如規律己,這不就是一個,心靈最好的依靠呢。所以,我們也要好好,「處空中道住無為」。我們的心要如何會理呢?空,無為,那就是真理。這個真理,我們的心,就常常在這個真理之中,所以「處空中道住無為」。我們出生人間,我們也是同樣,和佛陀一樣,在我們父母的家庭,我們在那裡出生,我們在那裡長大,我們在這個人間,各人不相同的環境;是同樣的生態,有幼年、有少年、有青年、有中年、有老年。這種的生態,我們一輩子,各人不一樣的環境生活過來,這全都能夠回憶。就像佛陀在說那個「跡門」,是他如何過來的,他面對著什麼樣的弟子,他對他說什麼法,這也就是佛陀的「跡」。

而我們呢?人人都有「跡」,我們的足跡,每一個人我們都有幼小的時候,有少年的時候,大家都一樣。不過我們的少年時,我們的過程是糊里糊塗,佛陀是清楚、有方向,我們還在迷茫中,佛陀已經覺悟,與天體、與虛空為一體了,所以,他的心歸於真理。所以這就是空的真理,究竟到來是如夢如幻、如露如電,就是這麼短暫的人生,這麼的虛幻,卻是凡夫就是執著這樣的虛幻,情迷了,所以隨著很多的業力,這樣一直造去,這就是我們空不掉、放不下。

佛陀教育我們,「處空中道」。前面都一直在說,從地湧出,住在空中,這就是菩薩的心,佛陀的教育,所做的一切歸於無為,那就是道理。心無執著,一切就是無所求,那就是「無為法」。過去就是空的,時間過後沒有痕跡,同樣就是這樣過。所以,真是「真空之理離障礙」。我們的心若放空了,平時生活認真,就是要把握時間,對的,我們應該做;做好,我們放下,就是「空」。要如何來調理我們的心,不散亂掉,空而不散亂,能夠很有規律,那就是「真空之理離障礙」。我們不會受情、愛、物欲、名利來亂了我們的心,我們該做的,認真做就對了。

所以,「猶如虛空藏妙有」,就是像在虛空,所藏著的就是一切的「妙有」,哪一樣東西,沒有它的物理存在呢?不論是動物、植物,或者是一切所創造起來,有為的、硬體的,都有它的道理存在,有種種合成的存在,破壞之後再將它合成。就像水泥,也是要破壞山地,經過人工歷鍊就變為水泥,鐵也是一樣。世間一切的物資,哪一項不是受過了破壞之後,才完成的東西呢,都是這樣。就像我們的身體也是,我們過去帶著種種的業,由不得自己,前面的人生的生態消滅了,就是前輩子往生了,也是破壞了,才再依靠今生的因緣,再來(出)生;來(出)生了之後,生、老、病、死,最後我們也是又破滅,這個身體歸於空,是要燒,還是要埋?總是全都沒有了。之後,就是這個身體沒有了,再到後面去。這就是世間,不論動物或者是植物,或者是硬體的,你眼睛看得到,無不都是在生滅中。我們要學的就是「不生不滅」,那就是道理。

道理,有這樣的道理存在,這樣的道理在循環,體相有生滅,道理永遠不滅。所以,「猶如虛空藏妙有」。它就是因為它這樣的道理,所以用那項土石來變水泥,這就是它的原理,它的道理。就這麼的簡單,但是也是很奧妙的道理。所以,我們若通徹了解了,就像「虛空藏妙有」,道理,這麼微妙的道理,我們了解了。所以,「無為無作無有量計」。這個道理遍處皆是,歸於無為,無為就是真理,這個真理不是人去將它造作的;每一項道理不是有為造作,沒有辦法,它原來就是存在。所以說,這個「無為法」,我們不是有辦法去造作出來,生命歸於魂、魄,魂是永恆的,那就是真如,我們的真如,就是我們的本性,也是靈魂,都可以說。這些東西都是看不到。所以,「無有量計」,很多很多。

所以,「真空無體」,歸納於道理就是「真空無體」。所以「理通作善有為」,道理若通了,我們就是去付出,「善有為」就是人間法,我們要去付出。我們所造作的,佛陀已經「妙有真空」了,告訴我們一切因緣,一切有為法,這個「有為法」就是「集合因緣,有所作為」。雖然有所作為,到後來也是要歸於空。我們這個有所作為,無不都是造善因、種善福等等,或者是造惡因、造惡果,這就是這樣。惡不要做,所以需要有「戒」,戒、定、慧,這就是我們生活的規律。

所以,我們「理通作善有為」。道理若通,我們就要行菩薩道,入人群中去,這叫做「有為法」,是善的有為法,不是惡的有為法。我們所做的合道理,善的有為法。「以智滅惑,所顯諦理,妙有真如」。我們用智慧,因為我們求法,法已經我們通達了,所以,我們能夠滅掉,我們的無明、惑。我們的無明煩惱、惑,若都去除了,自然就顯出了這個真理。「妙有真如」,我們的真如本性,歷歷在目,我們很清楚,很了解了。我們這個真如、道理,是「量周沙界遍空」,這就是真如,真如真的是遍虛空法界,道理普遍。所以這個「虛空」,菩薩住虛空中,就是行中道,很多的道理,都能夠在這個地方產生出來,無量智慧。所以,「虛空上下左右,無邊際無疆界」。

虛空上下左右
無邊際無疆界
菩薩無始來今
領眾持善護法
六度入人群中
勤耕耘護善種
歷長久不離棄
如虛空理常存

虛空就是表示很開闊,上無頂、下無底,這就是虛空,左右很開闊。所以,「菩薩無始來今,領眾持善護法」。菩薩發願總是很長久的時間,從一念心開始,他長久的時間,生生世世,全都是在人間付出,入人群,所以,「領眾持善護法」。常常以身作則,入人群度眾生。所以,「六度入人群中」,我們就要去「勤耕耘護善種」。我們的心,這念善心,就是我們的善的種子。看看,菩薩從地,地裂開了,種子浮現出來,這就是我們平時,從長久以來,這一念善念,我們都保護在,我們的心底的深處。修菩薩道就是,「勤耕耘護善種,歷長久不離棄」。菩薩不棄眾生、不離眾生,永遠都是在眾生群中,就像虛空的道理常存。這就是我們的真如本性,我們啟發了菩薩心,不論是住虛空,或者是隱在深地裡,同樣這粒種子是永恆的,我們要很用心去體會。

所以前面的文,就是這樣說:「是時、釋迦牟尼佛默然而坐,及諸四眾亦皆默然。五十小劫,佛神力故,令諸大眾謂如半日。」

是時
釋迦牟尼佛
默然而坐
及諸四眾亦皆默然
五十小劫
佛神力故
令諸大眾謂如半日
《法華經從地涌出品第十五》

菩薩從地湧出,一直在虛空中,向著靈山會,向寶塔去,向二世尊,兩尊佛頂禮,又向諸佛,也是作禮,這樣圍繞之後,佛還是默然。雖然菩薩用很多種,來讚歎法、讚歎佛,但是時間經歷很久,釋迦牟尼佛還是默然。這是前面說過了,經五十小劫謂如半日,這是我們前面解釋過的。

下面再來說:「爾時、四眾亦以佛神力故,見諸菩薩遍滿無量百千萬億國土虛空。」

爾時
四眾亦以佛神力故
見諸菩薩
遍滿無量百千萬億
國土虛空
《法華經從地涌出品第十五》

在這個時候,「四眾」,那就是佛的弟子,在家二眾,出家二眾,稱為「四眾」。在這法會中,也,是看到這麼多菩薩,有他方來,有從地湧出,在虛空中的菩薩,又看到這麼虔誠向佛作禮,又虔誠讚法、讚佛。同時大家都在這法會中,這個「四眾」,已經法一直在聽了,因為佛陀《法華經》是講七年,一直講到這個地方,也經過幾年了,大家勤精進。法,「跡門」也聽了,都很清楚了,現在入「本門」來了,這些菩薩已經對法很熟悉,也很了解佛陀所講法那個意義,清楚了,入神了,法入他們的精神之中,很入神。

爾時
四眾亦以
佛神力故:
時會四眾
亦因佛力
爾時四眾
即從四眾
狹而見廣。

所以,「時會四眾,亦因佛力」。因為借佛陀開示,他們體會,法已經入那個精神之中了,所以因為這樣,「四眾」也同樣,他們以佛之神力,借佛的通達法的力量。「四眾」,是從狹義來看廣的事情。「狹」那就是窄,佛的弟子「四眾」,其實四眾,就已經包含了很多種,在家的弟子,有國王、王子、大臣等等,還有士、農、工、商,貧、富、貴、賤,全都有,各不一樣階級的人都在這裡。還有,還有出家,出家的弟子,他們的背景也不同,很開闊。除了人間「四眾」,那個範圍很廣以外,還有「天龍八部」,所以這全都含蓋在裡面。所以「四眾」是一個名稱,簡單說就是「狹」,其實要分析起來,人種很多,這種不同的階級很多。所以,「見諸菩薩,遍滿無量百千萬億,國土虛空」。

見諸菩薩
遍滿無量百千萬億
國土虛空:
諸來菩薩眾
並遍滿他方
無量國土虛空之中
顯菩薩所證
彌滿法界之真理

在那個境界已經看那麼多了,雖然四眾,能夠看到菩薩遍滿虛空,看去通通是,都是菩薩,因為心有菩薩,就看人人都是菩薩,那個精神理念之中,無處不菩薩,所以,「遍滿虛空:諸來菩薩眾,並遍滿他方」。在那個現場,不只是當場的人間,還有他方的菩薩還在場,所以,遍他方無量國土虛空中,還是很多菩薩,顯出了「菩薩所證,彌滿法界之真理」,菩薩所證得的道理,那是遍滿法界,盡虛空,遍法界,這就是表示,我們所接受到的真理,有多大、有多廣。你能夠接受多大的真理,和體會多大的含義,你的心所看到的無不都是正法,無不都是菩薩;菩薩行在正法中,盡虛空,遍法界,就是這樣在為我們描寫,有這麼多。

所以,下面接下來又是這段文:「是菩薩眾中有四導師」。來的這麼多的菩薩,裡面有四位導師,「一名上行,二名無邊行,三名淨行,四名安立行」。

是菩薩眾中
有四導師
一名上行
二名無邊行
三名淨行
四名安立行
《法華經從地涌出品第十五》

這就是要說是這些菩薩,有來到靈鷲山的這些菩薩,大眾中其中有四位,是「上首唱導之師」,這就是菩薩中最為上首。

第一,名叫做「上行」。為什麼名叫做「上行」呢?

上首唱導之師
一名上行:
身乃履踐
萬行賴修持身正行
殊勝最為上
故名上行

因為他的身就是,「履踐萬行賴修持身正行,殊勝最為上」,所以,「故名上行」。因為我們在修行,一定要身體力行,這位菩薩就是從發心以來,他一直都是行在六道中。「履踐」,那就是在六度中,來來回回都是完全受持正行,在度眾生,在人群中。要修行一定要有這個身體,有賴這個身體來修行,所以,我們要在環境中好好把握,我們有這麼好的環境,但是我們也很忙碌;忙碌在人群,所以我們也要取一個時間,一大早要共同修行,中午我們要好好靜一下心,晚上好好回歸回來,一切法,就是在我們的行動中。我們還要再回歸我們的本心性,這就是修持,「修持身正行殊勝最為上」。因為這樣他的名叫做「上行」。

第二位,叫做「無邊行」。我們要說法,就要用口來說法,所以,「口能以正語宣說,無邊妙義,故名無邊行」。

上首唱導之師
二名無邊行:
口能以正語宣說
無邊妙義
故名無邊行

法,我們好好說,很多人聽到了,很多人來聽,各人住的地方不同,他聽入耳、入心了,心有所得,他們就會拿回去他們的僑居地,他們的本居地,將這個法又再普遍,這叫做「微妙義」。這個好的法無邊,能夠去弘法,去宣導教法,這叫做「無邊妙義」,要用正語。我們正身修行、正語說法,所以第一位叫做「上行」,第二位叫做「無邊行」,我們若能夠身體力行,我們的法就能夠普遍在人間。

第三位那就是「淨行」,清淨的行,我們必定意要清淨;意清淨,無染著;無染著的心自然就是說法平等,所以名叫做「淨行」。

上首唱導之師
三名淨行:
意淨無染著
平等說法
故名淨行

我們對人平等,我們所說的也是平等法,我們沒有分別,對一個人,也這樣說這麼深的道理,對很多人,也是說很容易了解的道理,這就是一人亦普遍說,多人也是這樣平等說,這就是講法不分多少,心不分別,同樣的真理就是這樣說。要講法的人要心清淨,說無染法,這就是意要淨;我們若意淨無染,平等說法,這就是「意淨」。我們的心意要正確,所以名叫做淨行。

第四位就是「安立行」。「安立行」就是「願悲誓願力,令眾住是法中,故正大悲為安立行」。

上首唱導之師
四名安立行:
願悲誓願力
令眾住是法中
故正大悲為安立行

這第四位就是「願」,你們看我們〈安樂行品〉,佛陀為我們開出「四法」來,這「四法」要讓我們好好受持。「身」,我們要身體力行,好好入人群度眾生。我們要有這個身體,我們才有辦法去造作有為法。這個有為,善有為法在人群中,這是要身「正行」,入人群去,這就是「身安樂行」。我們的身正了,有無染、無為這個真理,我們才有辦法,發揮清淨無染的有為法,善有為法在人群中,所以,我們需要有身,要有口。身體在力行,我們也要教人;要教人就要方法,方法就是要用嘴說話,所以要「正語」來講法,這就是口的正行。

三就是要「意」,意就是要有很清淨,意若沒有染著,自然我們所造作的一切,那就是沒有污染、沒有煩惱、沒有無明,我們一切都是清淨。這是我們的心意,心意清淨,一切皆清淨,這就是我們的「意」。

所以身、口、意都是正──正心、正語、正意念,現在我們就是要發願了。所以發願,願悲智雙運,我們的悲願誓力,大慈無悔,大悲無怨,大喜無憂,大捨無求。我們若能夠常常這樣,慈、悲、喜、捨,在我們的心行中,這願力我們就能夠持久。所以,「令眾住是法中」,人人都在這個法之中,無悔、無怨、無憂、無求,這樣地付出,「慈悲喜舍」。這些人人都是住在這樣的法中,這就是「正大悲為安立行」,就是正大的慈悲,願力立在這個行中。所以這「四行」,就是這四位菩薩為典範。我們要很用心,說起來也是這麼簡單,做起來沒有什麼困難,只要一念心。

大悲誓願力
令眾住是法中
故正大悲為安立行
安立行:
謂隨順一切功德
而能安住

所以,「大悲誓願力,令眾住是法中,故正大悲為安立行」。「安立行」,就是「謂隨順一切功德而能安住」。這就是用隨順眾生的根機,佛陀四十九年,將近五十年間的說法,無不都是隨順,隨順眾生的根機,所以眾生,不論是佛陀為他們談空說有,適合他們的根機接受,這些眾生就是這樣,接受了這些法,人人落實在那個「善有為法」,在人群中法已經入心了,到無為法,盡虛空,遍法界無障礙;對我們的心,不會受到人間世事所障礙。

雖然,「苦」,佛陀告訴我們人間是苦;是啊,就是苦,所以我們要堪得忍耐,就能夠看透苦的真理。苦的真理你若看透,那就不苦了,了解人生的法則,生、老、病、死,來就是來,去就是去,只是還有,「愛別離」、「怨憎會」、「求不得」、「五蘊熾盛」,我們若通撤道理了,我們就沒有「愛別離」那種苦,來煎熬、來折磨我們。人生,愛的愛得追求不到,不擇手段,就是愛一個人,造成了人間多少的人禍災難呢?也還有怨,怨得恨不得他如何,就是去受苦,或者是怨到他死還沒有,還未解開那個怨,這種的「愛別離」、「怨憎會」,真的是苦不堪!

人生最難堪就是這些事情──「愛別離」、「怨憎會」,我就一直要求,求得讓他更長壽、更有名、財產更多,哇,很多很多求不盡,這種永遠求不盡。還有我們的身體,我們所感受的,這種受,「五蘊熾盛」這個苦,這全都是苦!這些道理若不懂,這些苦永遠都在我們的心,在拖磨我們,永遠在我們的生活中,讓我們走不出來,苦不堪。所以愛、恨、情、仇,我們在修行,就要看透平等,這才是真正解脫了,這就是「無為法」,真理透徹了,就沒有得失心;沒有得失心,我們走入人群,善有為法,把握時間。

這就是菩薩永恆,他利用這個身體,從口來說法,心要常常保持著用修行的身心,身、口、意來行有為法,還要立願,生生世世堅持下去,這樣初一念心,要用心,把握時間,生活在有為中,我們才更要謹慎、用心。一天三次,在這個修行的環境要珍惜,不論有為、無為,都是在我們日常生活中,請大家時時要多用心!


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發表主題: 回復: 20181031《靜思妙蓮華》菩薩眾中 有四導師 (第1469集) (法華經·從地涌出品第十五)   周日 12月 02, 2018 2:17 pm

Explanations by Master Cheng-Yan
Subject: The Four Guiding Teachers Among the Bodhisattvas (菩薩眾中 有四導師)
Date: October.31.2018

“We must abide in empty space and the Middle Way and reside in unconditioned Dharma. The principle of true emptiness is free from obstructions. This is like how the empty void contains wondrous existence, which is unconditioned, uncontrived and immeasurable. True emptiness has no substance. When we thoroughly understand the principles, we will do conditioned good deeds. When we use wisdom to eradicate delusion, the true principle that is revealed is the True Suchness of wondrous existence that encompasses the boundless worlds and pervades the empty void.”

We must mindfully seek to understand this! We must find a way to understand the Dharma completely. This is something we must be very mindful of Sakyamuni Buddha taught the Lotus Sutra on Vulture Peak. In the previous 14 Chapters, He “revealed the manifest.” At this point, He had to start “revealing the intrinsic.” The Lotus Sutra “opens two doors, the intrinsic and the manifest.” We must remember what we have said many times before, that the “manifest” and “the intrinsic” are essential to everything the Buddha taught in life. The manifest concerns how [the Buddha] was born into the world, attained enlightenment, expounded the Dharma and revealed Nirvana. The Eight Aspects of Enlightenment describe how He manifested in this world to transform sentient beings.

When it comes to these manifestations, in response to [the capabilities] of His disciples, the Buddha gave teachings accordingly. According for differences in His disciples’ capabilities, the Buddha adjusted his teachings. [He taught like this] for such a long time, for 49 years! To be exact, prior to the Lotus Sutra, the Buddha had taught for 42 years. He accorded with sentient beings’ capabilities all the way up until this time. Whether He taught about emptiness or existence, it was all meant to help everyone come to understand the great path. He hoped everyone would be able to comprehend the principles. He led them through the door so they could earnestly immerse themselves in the principles and put effort into understanding them. For sentient beings with sharper capabilities, He would explain the true principles of emptiness to them. Because their capabilities enabled them to accept this, this helped them learn to refrain from forming attachments. It is because people form attachments that in their lives, they give rise to so many afflictions and so much ignorance.

The Buddha wanted to eliminate the ignorance and afflictions of sentient beings, so, during the Vaipulya [period], He began to guide people inside. He lead people along the path toward prajna. Prajna is awakened wisdom. Wisdom helps us to clearly discern matters, objects and principles. When we break them down, everything returns to emptiness. This helps us to understand the material world and the forms and appearances of this world. Even though [we feel] emotions and love, everything that we see and touch is illusory and empty. Thus, we must eliminate our attachments to material things and emotions. This is Prajna, which enables us to realize and understand that human life is inherently transient.

Yet before we discuss emptiness, we must speak of “existence”. “Existence” teaches us and enables us to understand that every thought we give rise to is karma and that everything follows the law of karma. These teachings about “existence” enable us to constantly heighten our vigilance. If we can be vigilant, we will uphold the precepts. So, [the Buddha taught] “precepts, Samadhi and wisdom” and other teachings during those 42 years when He taught about emptiness and existence. This enabled sentient beings of different capabilities to accept the Dharma according to their capacities.

However, emptiness and existence must be brought together. Existence is not true existence. Emptiness is not true emptiness. Therefore, the Buddha needed to provide us with an all-encompassing principle. This principle is “wondrous existence.” “Wondrous existence” enables us to understand the Buddha’s initial thought upon attaining enlightenment. This was His great realization that the most wonderful thing in the world is True Suchness, which is the principles. The principle of all things, the True Suchness of human nature, must be made clear for everyone to understand. This, however, is no easy task. This is why the Buddha had to spend so much time and have so much patience while abiding in this world that is hard to endure, enduring these hardships in facing sentient beings. He needed to have patience, for sentient beings’ capabilities are very dull. They are especially stubborn and hard to tame. Simply speaking, we must find a way to imbue our environment with an atmosphere of spirituality. We must maintain this spiritual atmosphere in our lives. In an environment like [the Abode], we must enter the prayer hall early in the morning. We all have the same sense of reverence as we listen to the sound of the bell and drum. We enter the prayer hall in orderly lines, paying our respects to the Buddha and reciting the sutras in a very orderly fashion. We do this while closely adhering to routine. In our daily lives, this is the most routine time of the day, and it is also when we [create] the most spiritual atmosphere. Our experience of this atmosphere is so beautiful!

When everyone is able to follow routine and uphold the precepts, isn’t this a wonderful atmosphere, the best way to start day? “The morning is the key to the day.” In the morning, it is still dark outside, and it is still cool outside. In this environment, isn’t this spiritual atmosphere something that we all work together [to create]? With our common thoughts and actions, isn’t this atmosphere very spiritual? Continuing on to midday, at midday, we reverently enter the prayer hall once more. At the [Abode], because we are busy working all morning, and our work is not easy, after lunch, we can rest a bit. Then, we must return to our work. Before we start working, we gather together again and reverently pray in the prayer hall. This means the first half of our day is over. We have reached midday and are entering the afternoon. At midday, we once again have an opportunity to express our sincerity. Our hearts are full of sincerity. Our sincere thoughts are heard by all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. Our sincere prayers come not only form our spiritual practitioners but also our staff. Everyone comes together to pray with sincerity.

After this, we commence the rest of the day’s work. In this way, we tame our minds and preserve the discipline of our daily living. We ask everyone to pray at a certain time so that when we gather together, our thoughts will gather together as well. At this time, we must be quiet and refrain from speaking, reverently bring our palms together and still our minds. As we listen to the music and hear the sounds of prayer filling the hall, even the conversations outside will come to a halt. This reverence is [the mark of] a dignified Dharma-assembly. After finishing the day’s work, we call it a day. At night, we attend evening recitations and practice diligently once again. Three times a day, we reverently enter our spiritual training ground.

When we think about it, this is “existence”. Through “existence,” we must understand emptiness. In our own actions and our interactions with others, if we make the most of our time to do more things, we will finish our work earlier. This is all part of “existence”. Our time and work are inseparable from one another. Whenever we become distracted, naturally, we will work more slowly. Thus, we must do our work mindfully and make the most of our time. Then we will have more time to reflect upon ourselves, empty our minds and earnestly focus our reverent thoughts back on the Dharma.

[We do this in] the morning, midday and evening. We do this three times a day, and when we have extra time, [our volunteers] will share [their experiences]. A spiritual training ground like this, with its strict adherence to routine, is this not the best support for our spirit? We must earnestly seek to “abide in empty space and the Middle Way and reside in unconditioned Dharma.” How can we unite our minds with the principles? Emptiness and unconditioned Dharma are the true principles. What of these true principles? Our minds always abide within these true principles. So, “We must abide in empty space and the Middle Way and reside in unconditioned Dharma.” When we are born into the human realm, in the same way as the Buddha, we are born into our parents’ home and grow up there. In this world, everyone lives in a different environment, but our lives take a similar course. We go through childhood, adolescence, early adulthood, middle age and old age; this is the course of life. In our lives, each person experiences different circumstances which we can recall in full. This is just like when the Buddha taught the “teaching of the manifest,” which is about how He came to be [a Buddha] how He interacted with different disciples and what kind of teachings He used to teach them. Those are the manifestations of the Buddha. What about us? We all have manifestations. We all have footprints. Everyone has a childhood. Everyone is young at some point. We are all the same in this. However, when we are adolescents, our [life] gets very confusing.

While the Buddha was clear in His direction we are still confused. The Buddha attained enlightenment and became one with the universe and empty void. His heart thus returned to the true principles. These are the true principles of emptiness. Truly, everything is just like a dream, an illusion, like dew or lightning. Our lives are very transient and illusory. Unenlightened beings form attachments to these illusions and lose themselves in infatuation. So, pulled along by many different karmic forces, they keep creating karma like this. This is all because we fail to empty ourselves and let go of [our attachments]. The Buddha taught us to “abide in empty space and the Middle way”. Previously, we said that [the Bodhisattvas] emerged from the ground and abided in empty space. This is the state of mind of Bodhisattvas. The Buddha taught us that everything we do must relate back to unconditioned Dharma, to the principles. When our mind is free of attachments, we will always act without expectations. This is “unconditioned Dharma”. The past is empty; time leaves no trace. It still passes in this way. Truly, “The principle of true emptiness is free from obstructions”. We must empty our minds and earnestly make the most of our time in life. When we have work to do, we must do it; once we are finished, we need to let it go. This is emptiness. How can we discipline our minds so they do not become distracted? To be empty but not disorderly, to abide by routine and discipline, this is “the principle of true emptiness, [which] is free from any obstructions”. Our minds will not be distracted by passion, lust, material desires or ambitions for fame and profit. [Instead], we will work hard to do what we should. “This is like how the empty void contains wondrous existence”. This is just like how the empty void contains all “wondrous existence”. Is there anything that is not governed by physical principles? Whether it is an animal, a plant or something artificial, it is a conditioned, material object. Everything has its own principles and is formed by combining many different components; once destroyed, they can be brought together again. This is like how, to make concrete, we must destroy mountains [for materials] and artificially refine them into concrete. It is the same for iron. Of all the world’s resources, is there any resource that is not completed through destruction? It is the same for everything. Our bodies are like this as well. We are laden with all kinds of karmic forces from the past that we have no control over. Our previous life is gone, as we died in our past life. It is only because of this destruction that we follow our karma for this life to be born again. Once we are born, we go through birth, again, illness and death, and, eventually, we will also be destroyed. Our bodies will return to emptiness. We will be cremated or buried. In the end, everything is non-existent. After this process, this body will be gone, and we will continue on to our next life. In this world, whether it is an animal or a plant or any solid object we can see with our eyes, everything arises and ceases. We must learn to be “non-arising and non-ceasing”, just like the principles. These principles exist within cyclic existence. Substances and appearances arise and ease, but the principles are ever-lasting and unceasing. “This is like how the empty void contains wondrous existence”. Because [stone] has certain principles, we can turn stone into concrete.

This is due to its underlying principles. It really is that simple, yet the principle behind this is wondrously profound. So, if we fully understand this, that “The empty void contains wondrous existence”, we will come to understand these very subtle and wondrous principles. So, [these principles] “are unconditioned, uncontrived and immeasurable”. These principles are everywhere, and they all return to unconditioned Dharma. Unconditioned Dharma is the true principles. These true principles are not manmade. None of these principles are contrived; this would be impossible. They have always existed. So, “unconditioned Dharma” is impossible for us to create.

[Some] attribute life to the “soul”. The “soul” is everlasting, just like True Suchness. True Suchness is our intrinsic nature or our spiritual essence; you can call it either. These things cannot be seen. So, they are “immeasurable”. There are many such things. Therefore, “True emptiness has no substance”. That which originates from the principles is truly empty and has no substance. “When we thoroughly understand the principles, we will do conditioned good deeds”. When we understand the principles, we will go to serve others.

“Conditioned good deeds” are worldly phenomena. We must serve others. The Buddha has already [identified] all that we do as “true emptiness in wondrous existence”. He told us that we all have causes and conditions and that everything is conditioned phenomena. “Conditioned phenomena” are formed from the causes and conditions we accumulate through the actions we take. Although they all exist, they must return to emptiness in the end.

In everything that we do, we either create positive causes and sow the seeds of goodness and blessings or create negative causes and negative effects. This is how it is. We must refrain from doing evil deeds and sowed need the precepts. Precepts, Samadhi and wisdom are the rules we live by. “When we thoroughly understand the principles, we will do conditioned good deeds”. When we understand the principles, we will follow the Bodhisattva-path and go among people. These are called “conditioned phenomena”. These are good conditioned phenomena, not bad conditioned phenomena. In everything we do, we must follow the principles. This is good conditioned phenomena. “When we use wisdom to eradicate delusion, the true principle that is revealed is the True Suchness of wondrous existence”.

We must use our wisdom. When we seek the Dharma and come to understand it, we will be able to eliminate our ignorance and delusion. If we can eliminate our ignorance and delusion, this true principle will naturally be revealed, “the True Suchness of wondrous existence”. Our intrinsic nature of True Suchness will come clearly into view. We will understand it very clearly. This nature of True Suchness of ours “encompasses the boundless worlds and pervades the empty void”. This is True Suchness. True Suchness truly pervades the entire universe. This principle is universal. Let us speak of this “empty void”. These Bodhisattvas abided in empty space, in the Middle Way. Many principles can [be realized] in this place, and infinite wisdom. So, “in the empty void, whether up, down, left or right, there are no limits and no boundaries.

In the empty void, whether up, down, left or right, there are no limits or boundaries. Since Beginningless Time, Bodhisattvas have led beings to uphold goodness and protect the Dharma. They practice the Six Paramitas and go among people to diligently cultivate and protect the seeds of goodness. For such a long period of time, they have never abandoned sentient beings just as the principles will always exist in the universe.

The empty void is very open and spacious, without top or bottom. This is the empty void; it is open and spacious to the left and right. “Since Beginningless Time, Bodhisattvas have led “being to uphold goodness and protect the Dharma”. When Bodhisattvas make vows, they always last for a very long time. Beginning from a single aspiration, they spend a long time over multiple lifetimes going among people of the world to help others. They “lead sentient beings to uphold goodness and protect the Dharma, always leading by example and going among people to transform sentient beings”. They practice the Six Paramitas and go among people. So, we must “diligently cultivate and protect the seeds of goodness”. The good thoughts in our minds are our seeds of goodness. Just watch how these Bodhisattvas emerge from the ground. The ground splits open and the seeds sprout. This is because for a very long time, we protected this thought of goodness we protected this thought of goodness in the depths of our hearts. In cultivating the Bodhisattva-path, [Bodhisattvas] “diligently cultivate and protect the seeds of goodness”. For such a long period of time, they have never abandoned sentient beings. Bodhisattvas never leave or abandon sentient beings. They will forever remain among sentient beings, just like how the principles of the universe will last forever. This is our intrinsic nature of True Suchness. When we awaken our Bodhisattva-aspirations, whether they abide in empty space or are hidden deep within the earth, these seeds will last forever. We must mindfully seek to comprehend this.

The previous sutra passage says, “During this time, Sakyamuni Buddha sat in silence and all in the fourfold assembly were also silent 50 small kalpas [passed], but though the Buddha’s spiritual powers, He made it seem like half a day to the assembly.”

These Bodhisattvas emerged from the ground and abide in empty space. They went to the Vulture Peak Assembly and the stupa of treasures, came before the two World-Honored Ones and prostrated before the two Buddhas. They also paid their respects to the Buddha’s [multiple manifestations]. As they surrounded Him, the Buddha had been silent this entire time. Although these Bodhisattvas praised the Dharma and the Buddha in all kinds of ways, for such a long time, the Buddha still remained silent. We discussed this previously 50 small kalpas passed as if it were half a day. This is what we explained previously.

The following passage goes, “At that time, the fourfold assembly, also due to the Buddha’s spiritual powers, saw those Bodhisattvas filling the empty space of infinite trillions of lands.”

At this time, the fourfold assembly, the Buddha’s disciples, consisted of the male and female lay and monastic practitioners This is known as the “fourfold assembly”. At this Dharma-assembly, they saw so many Bodhisattvas. Some were from other lands and some had emerged from the ground and abided in empty space. They saw them reverently pay their respects to the Buddha and reverently praise the Dharma and the Buddha. They were all together at this Dharma-assembly at the same time. This “fourfold assembly” had consistently listened to the Dharma. The Buddha taught the Lotus Sutra for seven years. It had taken him several years to teach up to this point. Everyone [listened] diligently. They had heard the “teaching of the manifest”. It was all clear to them. At this point, they had entered “the teaching of the intrinsic”. These Bodhisattvas were already very familiar with the Dharma and understood the meaning of everything the Buddha taught. It was clear to them, they had absorbed it. They took the Dharma deeply to heart, absorbing it completely.

At that time, the fourfold assembly, also due to the Buddha’s spiritual powers: At that time, the fourfold assembly also relied on the Buddha’s powers. As for “at that time, the fourfold assembly, we must proceed from the narrow definition of the fourfold assembly and envision it more broadly.”

“At that time, the fourfold assembly also relied on the Buddha’s powers.” Because of the Buddha’s teachings, they understood [the Dharma] and took the Dharma to heart. So, in this way, the fourfold assembly relied upon the Buddha’s spiritual powers that come from thoroughly understanding the Dharma. When it comes to the “fourfold assembly, we must proceed from its narrow definition to envision the broader picture”. “Narrow” means limited. The Buddha’s disciples were the fourfold assembly. In truth, the fourfold assembly included many different varieties of la disciples. There were kings, princess, officials and so on. There were also scholars, farmers, laborers and merchants; poor, rich, noble and lowly were all represented. People from every social class were there. Furthermore, there were also monastic disciples, who all came from different backgrounds as well. What a wide range of people! Beyond the broad scope of the “fourfold assembly” in this world were the “eight classes of Dharma-protectors”. They were all encompassed by [this assembly].

So, the fourfold assembly is just a simplistic and narrow definition. In actually, when we break it down, there were many different kinds of people from many different strata of society. So, “They saw those Bodhisattvas filling the empty space of infinite trillions of lands”.

They saw those Bodhisattvas filling the empty space of infinite trillions of lands: The group of Bodhisattvas that came also filled the empty space of infinite other lands. This demonstrates how the true principles that Bodhisattvas realize pervade the Dharma-realms.

They had seen so much here already. The fourfold assembly was able to see these Bodhisattvas fill up all the empty space. Everywhere they looked, there were Bodhisattvas. When we keep the Bodhisattvas in our heart, everyone we see will be a Bodhisattva. When we have this mindset, we will see Bodhisattvas everywhere. So, “Filling the empty space, the assembly of Bodhisattvas that came also filled the empty space of infinite lands.” At this assembly, there were not only people from this world but Bodhisattvas from other lands as well. So, they also filled the empty space of infinite other lands. There were we still many other Bodhisattvas. This demonstrates how “the true principles that Bodhisattvas realize pervade the Dharma-realms”. The principles that Bodhisattvas realize pervade the Dharma-realms, filling all the empty space throughout them. This shows that the true principles we accept are very vast and broad. If we can accept many great true principles and comprehend the extent of their meaning, then we will see nothing but Right Dharma and Bodhisattvas. Bodhisattvas practice within Right Dharma, filling the universe. This is how it is described to us. There are so many [Bodhisattvas].

So, the next sutra passage says, “Among the assembly of Bodhisattvas, there were four guiding teachers”. Among the many Bodhisattvas who arrived were four guiding teachers. “The first was named Superior Practice. The second was named Boundless Practice. The third was named Pure Practice. The fourth was named Peacefully Abiding Practice”. This means that among these Bodhisattvas who came to Vulture Peak, there were four among them who were the “foremost guiding teachers”.

They were the foremost among the Bodhisattvas. The first was called “Superior Practice”. Why was he called “Superior Practice”? This is because “He actualized all practices by cultivating and upholding right conduct with his body. In this, he was extraordinary and supreme”. Because of this, “His name was Superior Practice”.

When we engage in spiritual practice, we must put the Dharma into action with our bodies. Ever since He formed aspirations, this Bodhisattva practiced constantly throughout the Six Realms. “Actualize” here means that, while transmigrating throughout the Six Realms, he always upheld right conduct while transforming sentient beings among people. We need to have this body to engage in spiritual practice. We rely on this body for spiritual practice. We must make the most of it in our environment. Even in the wonderful environment we have here, we still get very busy, bustling about among people. Still, we must make the most of our time. In the morning, we must engage in spiritual practice together. At midday, we must quiet our minds for a bit. In the evening, we must return [to our practice]. All Dharma lies within our actions.

We must return to our original mind. This is what it means to cultivate and uphold. “By cultivating and upholding right conduct with his body,” he had become extraordinary and supreme. Because of this, he was called Superior Practice.

The second was called Boundless Practice. In order to teach the Dharma, we need to teach with our speech. Thus, “He could use right speech to expound boundless wondrous meanings, thus his name was Boundless Practice”. When we earnestly teach the Dharma, many people will hear this and many of them will come to listen. They will all come from different places. [The Dharma] will enter their ears and minds. They will take whatever insights they gain back to where they live abroad, back to their homeland, spreading this Dharma far and wide. This is called [expounding the] “wondrous meaning”. This good Dharma is boundless. Those who are able to spread and teach the Dharma are said to [expound its] “boundless wondrous meanings”. For this, we must use right speech. We must practice with right conduct and teach the Dharma with right speech. So, the first was called “Superior Practice”. The second was called “Boundless Practice”. If we can put the teachings into action, our Dharma will spread wide throughout the world.

The third was called “Pure Practice” for his purity in practice. Our mind must be pure and undefiled. With an undefiled mind, we will naturally teach the Dharma with impartiality. So, he was called “Pure Practice”. When we treat others with impartiality, we will also teach the Dharma with impartiality. We will not discriminate between anyone. We might teach someone somewhat deeper principles, and then teach other people principles that are easier to understand. No matter if it is one person or many, we will teach the Dharma to them with impartiality. Thus, teaching the Dharma is not about the quantity [of people] or discriminating between them. We teach them all the same true principles. When teaching the Dharma, our minds must be pure. To teach the undefiled Dharma, our intentions must be pure. If our intentions are pure and we teach the Dharma with impartiality, this is what it means to have a “pure mind”. We must have the right intentions. So, He was called “Pure Practice”.

The fourth was “Peacefully Abiding Practice. Peacefully Abiding Practice” refers to vows. “Through his power of compassionate vows, He helped everyone abide in this Dharma. Thus, due to his great compassion, he was called Peacefully Abiding Practice.”

This fourth guiding teacher [represented] “vows”. When we read the Chapter on the Practice of Bringing Peace and Joy, the Buddha taught us the Four Practices. These Four Practices help us uphold [this sutra]. With our body, we must put the Dharma into action as we earnestly go among people to transform them. It is only through this body that we will be able to do conditioned [good deeds]. We must do conditioned good deeds among people. We need to have right conduct to go among people. This is “the practice of bringing peace and joy with the body”. Only with the right bodily conduct and the undefiled and unconditioned true principles will we be able to demonstrate pure, undefiled conditioned [goodness] and do conditioned good deeds among people.

So, we must use body and speech. We must use our body to put the Dharma into action and teach people the methods they need. Teaching people requires a method, and our method requires using our mouths to speak. Thus, we need right speech to teach the Dharma. This is the right conduct for our mouths. Third, we need our “minds”. Our minds must be very pure. If our minds are undefiled, naturally, everything we do will be free of defilements, free of afflictions and free of ignorance. Everything will be pure. This is [the power of] our mind. When our minds are pure, everything is pure. This is what we mean by “mind”. With upright body, speech and mind and right conduct, right speech and right mindfulness, at this moment, we must make vows. When we make vows, we need to have compassionate vows and wisdom.

This is our power of compassionate vows. We must have great loving-kindness without regrets and great compassion without resentment, great joy without worries and great equanimity without expectations. If we can always be like this, with loving-kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity in our actions, then our power of vows will be long-enduring. So, “He helped everyone abide in the Dharma.” [He helped] everyone abide in the Dharma without regrets, resentment, worries or expectations. This is how He served others with loving-kindness, compassion, joy and equanimity, [helping] everyone to abide in the Dharma. Thus, “Due to his great upright compassion, he was called Peacefully Abiding Practice.” This great upright compassion and power of vows are all established through practice. So, the Four Practices of Bringing Peace and Joy are exemplified by these four model Bodhisattvas. We must be very mindful. Teaching [the Dharma] can be so simple, and putting it into action will not be hard so long as we are mindful.

“Through his great power of compassionate vows, He helped everyone abide in this Dharma. Thus, due to his great compassion, he was called Peacefully Abiding Practice.” [The name] “Peacefully Abiding Practice means that through the virtue of according with all, he could abide peacefully.”

We must accord with sentient beings’ capabilities. In the Buddha’s 49, almost 50 years, of teaching the Dharma, He did this all in accordance with the capabilities of sentient beings. Thus, when the Buddha taught sentient beings about emptiness and existence, He always adjusted to their capacities for accepting it. In this way, these sentient beings were able to accept the Dharma. Everyone can implement conditioned good deeds. When we take the Dharma to heart among people and abide in unconditioned Dharma, we will fill all the empty space throughout the universe without obstruction. Our minds will be unobstructed by worldly affairs. However, there will still be suffering.

The Buddha tells us that life is suffering. This is true! It is suffering. So, we must patiently endure [this suffering]. In this way, we will be able to see the true principles of suffering clearly. If we can see these principles clearly, then we will no longer suffer. We will understand the law of nature, the cycle of birth, age, illness and death, that what comes, comes, and what goes, goes. There is also [the suffering of] “parting with those we love, meeting those we hate, not getting what we want” and “the raging Five Aggregates.” If we thoroughly understand these principles, the suffering of “parting with those we love” will no longer torment us or cause us anguish. In life, people will pursue unrequited love by any means necessary. In the name of love for another, how many disasters have people created in the world? There is also hate; people hate others so much that they will do anything to make them suffer or become so full of hatred that even in death, they will still have yet to release this hatred. The suffering of “parting with those we love” and “meeting those we hate” is truly unbearable. These are the hardest things to endure in life, parting with loved ones and meeting those we hate. Or perhaps it is “not getting what we want.” We constantly want more. We want a longer life, more fame and more wealth. There are so many things we want; they are endless. We will never stop wanting things. There is also our body and everything we feel with it. Such sensations, the suffering of the “raging Five Aggregates,” all cause us suffering. If we do not understand these principles, this suffering will fill our hearts forever, torturing us. It will always be part of our lives, inescapable and unbearable. So, we will feel love, hate, passion and animosity. As we engage in spiritual cultivation, we must see them clearly and impartially. This alone is true liberation. This is unconditioned Dharma.

When we see the true principles clearly, we will have no sense of gain or loss. With no sense of gain or loss, we can go among people to do conditioned good deeds and make the most of our time. In this way, Bodhisattvas are everlasting. They make good use of their bodies and use their speech to teach the Dharma, always upholding the [right] bodily conduct and state of mind for spiritual practice. With their body, speech and mind, they practice conditioned [goodness]. They also make vows and persevere in upholding them throughout lifetime after lifetime. In this way, starting from our initial aspiration, we must be mindful about seizing the time we have. Our lives [unfold] among conditioned phenomena, so we must be vigilant and mindful. Three times a day, we must cherish this place of spiritual practice. Whether it is conditioned or unconditioned, this all takes place in our everyday lives, so I must ask everyone to always be mindful!

(Source: Da Ai TV – Wisdom at Dawn program – Explanation by Master Chen-Yen)
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