02 Sep Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 38
(Last week we ended with, “Today if you see objects, your ears hear sounds, your nose smell scents; if you are not arising thought in mind it is called Prajna. This is the first step, but it is not easy to do.”)
How can we achieve it? It is precisely having no attachment in mind. This needs regular training to let go from the smallest trivial matters. The meaning of letting go does not mean one does not care or be lazy.
It is up to you to think, does this matter have any impact?
Does it benefit both others and you?
If yes, then go ahead with it. Nevertheless, there is a prerequisite. Besides compassion you must have wisdom. Without wisdom and only compassion, then it causes karma and becomes artificially intended. There is only one difference between the ancient and modern man in cultivation practice, and that is ancient people were willing to follow cultivation practice realistically without flight of fancy. Why? They did not have many distracting thoughts and delusional thinking.
The social structure in ancient times is different from modern society. Today, the whole world is a family, regardless of wherever you go, we are all one family. Convenient in transportation, turning on the computer and all information comes into your home; eventually, it registers in your head all mixed and disorderly. If you have Prajna wisdom today, it is unmixed and undisturbed also; there is no need to watch the news or listen to the weather broadcast, naturally you would know. However, the problem is modern societal thinking, when talking to them this way, it does not work. How come? They need to have proof.
They demand to see evidence. They say: “You need to show me, is there this thing?” Therefore, the cultivation practice of Buddha teaching still emphasizes having verification by experience rather than theory or pure logic.
Having verifiable experience is self-experiment. Self-experiment needs to have method, you must have the “right (Buddha) understanding and right (Buddha) views”. “Understanding” is having the ability of correct understanding of the phenomena of the universe and this life on Earth. “View” is having the ability to know the whys and wherefores. This ability must be recovered first. After recovery, associating with others in this modern society becomes very interesting.
Modern people are self-centered. Ancient people were not; they focused mainly on the nation and society. Based on Confucianism:
They focused mainly on heaven, earth, and the people; as oneness of heaven and the people.
Modern society does not have this kind of thinking; they are neither harmonious with heaven, nor harmonious with people. Presently they attach most importance to themselves. Especially in Western society, relying mainly on one’s own; all is initiated from this “self-I”. Since it sets off from this “self-I”, then it turns into intelligence and exceptional ability with very strong combative nature, which is contrary to the practice cultivation of the Buddha teaching. Today we talk about the teaching of Buddha shall be no-self. Why? All living beings are Buddha, I am also Buddha and so is everyone else; we all have enlightenment nature.
Bear in mind, Buddha is not the picture that hangs on the wall, it expresses teaching. When you look at his appearance of “purity, equality and enlightenment”; you need to think that yourself is “purity, equality and enlightenment”. This being the case in this way, if your mind begins to be purified today, it has bit of function of tranquility, a clear vision about this society, and you would get along with everyone, in addition all become overjoyed.
In Western society, living alone is not possible, as you need to have some form of contact with society. Furthermore, many of you today conduct business which needs to have contact with the public. You cannot close the door and not do the business, that is impossible. During business handling, it is very difficult for you to be without arising thought in mind, without attachment and without delusional thinking. However, one can do cultivation of the Buddha’s teachings, so long as you put it into practice genuinely, to carry out during thought arising in the mind. Last time we referred to a resourceful method to learn thought arising in the mind. If you do not have the time to recite Buddhist scriptures, or to worship Buddha, none of these are important; the importance is at thought arising in your mind. If thought arising in the mind can have “tranquility”, and if you can subdue your afflictions, then you will be very happy living in this society. Others will not be able to tell, but you will be very clear about it:
How many days do you have with this society?
With whom is what kind of predestined affinity?
How will you be reconnected again in the next life?
What will the outlook be in future?
You no longer worry, do not have affliction, and also no expectations.
Modern societal lives are based on hopes. Many people say, “If there is no hope, I can no longer live”. Buddha teaching is completely different; Buddha teaching is:
Re-entering the womb and then reincarnation arises with endless hope.
One feels like re-entering the womb for rebirth then one can; you follow your natural affinity with all living beings, enter in the womb for rebirth to help one be awaken, and no longer have this nightmare of life (the time on Earth). After they awaken then the work is completed. If there is no more affinity occasion left, then you remain in the eternal energy of the universe to enjoy the days of pureness without darkness. This kind of living is totally different.
怎麼能做到？就是心裡沒有執著。這要平常訓練，從最小的雞毛蒜皮開始放。放的意思，不是說 – 不在乎，不是說 – 懶得做，不是這個意思。
記住，佛不是我們那個相上掛的，那是相，表示它是教學。你看他那個樣子 – 清淨、平等、覺，你想你自己也是清淨、平等、覺。既然如此。如果你今天心開始清淨了，有一點「寂」的作用，你在社會就看得很清楚，一樣跟大家相處，而且皆大歡喜。