Lecturer: Master Cheng-Yan
Subject: 20130404---Living By the Dharma (行不離法履正道)
Date: April 4, 2013
Every morning, before daybreak, as I walk out (to the Buddha Hall), I always look up at the sky to see how today’s weather is. If the skies are clear, I’d see the moon as well as stars. Sometimes, it’s a full moon; other times, a crescent moon (Sometimes there are more stars,) (other times, just a few). Every morning, in this short period of time, my heart becomes very expansive. If there are a lot of dark clouds, I’d think to myself that I really need to sincerely pray for the weather to be favorable so we may have orderly seasons with timely wind and rain.
So, every day, when I come out, I have different feelings. But, these feelings always contain gratitude and
a sincere prayer.
Every morning, I have this short time when my mind is very tranquil as I look up at the sky and see the moon and see how the day will be I am most grateful to the Buddha. The Buddha, being enlightened, understands the principles and workings of all phenomena and he can explain to us the deep laws within a flower, a blade of grass, or a tree.
He also told us about the deep law of karma which governs the life of all living creatures. Such is the extent of the Buddha’s wisdom. He understands all universal laws and principles.
As Buddhist practitioners, we need to strive to attain the Buddha’s knowledge and understanding. What the Buddha taught was later recorded down into sutras (These teachings contain) abiding truths (that remain true throughout time).
These truths are non-changing (and are widely applicable). So, the teachings can be spread widely, as they are suitable for all times and places. The Buddha’s teachings can with stand the test of time. Yet, times are changing, people’s
hearts are changing, and our world is changing.
So, at this time, when so many changes are happening
(and people’s hearts are out of balance,)(the Buddha’s teachings)(can restore the balance in people’s
This is why we do morning and evening services as it helps give us direction (for how we should live out
our daily life). It reminds us:
“As I start this day, from this moment on,”
“(I will emulate the Buddha,)” “strive to harbor the Buddha’s heart” “and learn his Dharma”
“Today, I will live my life” “in accordance with the Buddha’s teachings”
This is why I tell everyone to take the Buddha’s heart as our own and live out the Dharma in action so that the Buddha’s teachings are in our hearts and in our actions.
If we can keep the Buddha’s spirit in our hearts and carry out the Dharma in our actions, then the Buddha’s truths reside in our hearts. So, if our thoughts and actions are in accord with the Dharma, that means we’ve brought forth the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha of our true nature.
We need to accept the Buddha’s teachings (and apply them to what e do). The sutras point out a path for us and we need to walk that path.
When we mundane beings walk on the right path, naturally we will begin to see and understand life’s principles and know what is right. When we live out the principles, that living out the sutra.
That means we have the Dharma in our hearts I hope you really understand this point. Only then can you really (find peace and freedom from affliction).
So, the key is to live out the teachings in the sutras (Don’t think just reciting the sutras) (will bring you merits and dispel misfortune) (Please don’t have such wrong views)
This is (a very important point I want you to understand). With wrong views, you will lose yourself. In these changing times, we need the Dharma to keep our minds upright and to keep us on the right path.
This is very important (This is what the Jing Si Dharma Lineage upholds) (Please stay on the right path). As your teacher, I feel responsibility toward you. That is why I wish for Tzu Chi volunteers to truly follow and uphold the principles of our Jing Si Dharma Lineage.
Tzu Chi has been established for more than 40 years. The badge number of commissioners and Tzu Cheng members has surpassed 60,000. There’s also our recycling volunteers who cherish and care for our Mother Earth. There are many people who know to cherish resources.
So, there are also many people who harbor a heart of sincerity.
Not to mention the batch after batch of volunteers who are in training. What moves me the most is you act of going around your neighborhood (to spread Great Love) or post Jing Si Aphorism posters on storefronts. You are all very mindful in promoting vegetarianism (so animals won’t be killed). Though the results are not quickly noticeable, as we promote our campaign, more people are adopting a vegetarian diet. So, there are more people being pious and sincere.
When we pray, we express our sincere piety to all Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and all Dharma-protecting beings. Some people will eat vegetarian as a show of piety when praying for peace and wellbeing. But after their period of prayer ends, they have a big feast and many animals are slaughtered for it.
Such is how deluded and blind people are. So, I hope everyone can have correct beliefs. Don’t burn paper money as well. Look at other countries in the world. In the wealthy countries, the people there don’t burn paper money. Yet, they can still be wealthy. So, burning paper money doesn’t bring wealth)
(So, I hope everyone can have correct views).
When we promote vegetarianism and people abstain from meal, (they think about the issue of not taking life) and Taiwan becomes more peaceful and safe. This doesn’t come from prayer, but from our sincerity of heart and from our not creating bad karma. By not creating the karma of killing, naturally we’ll receive the karmic retribution of peace.
We urge people to eat vegetarian for its benefits. We don’t force people, but share with them the reasoning. Look at all the animals raised for food. They are locked in cages and feed on animal feed that contains chemicals and hormones.
If you have watched the film called “Life’s Crying Plea”, you’ll have seen how animals are killed. In fact, all creatures have the Buddha nature. Every day, animals are being killed. When they’re being killed, they give rise to hatred and want revenge. This is why nowadays, tiny incidents easily cause serious disaster.
A very simple incident between people can escalate into violence and killing. This is due to the karma created.
Everyone, we should think about how to spread the Dharma. If people can come into contact with Tzu Chi, they’ll have the chance to learn the Dharma. We have Da Ai TV. If we can encourage people to watch it, they can learn something from the programs.
Furthermore, if we tell people about Tzu Chi, as we do so, we plant a seed in our hearts. When we introduce Tzu Chi to someone, in our hearts, a good seed also gets planted which will nourish our wisdom-life (The seeds we are spreading) (are also being planted in our hearts as well). By sharing Tzu Chi with one more person, we gain another good seed. We also gain another seed of blessings.