29 Jun Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 7
[Series of Master Shen-Long expounding on Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra]
(Last week we ended with, “We need to think, worship Buddha, and chant the name of Buddha daily: What kind of phenomena are we worshipping? What mindfulness are you having?”)
The “Buddha” is purified of defiling illusion.
Are you not worshipping the condition of purification?
Worshipping what kind of pure condition?
Are you paying respect to Buddha?
To worship is paying respect, it is not superstition in a religious way. “To worship” is paying respect to our inherent pure fundamental essence. “Mindfulness or chanting” is constantly entering our undefiled life essence called the “Pure Land”.
“Land” is an environment.
“Pure” is purified of defiling illusion.
Everyone has a Pure Land, it is not just limited to the Bliss World of Amitabha Pure Land. I heard about the Bliss World of Amitabha Pure Land at a young age and I felt it was superstition. When I heard Christianity talk about Heaven I felt that place was like a fantasy story. In fact, that energy field truly exists. “Land” is the energy environment. For instance, right now everyone lives here, but if you do not have attachments and discriminations in mind, and do not have delusional thoughts it is precisely purified of defiling illusion. This is exactly your own Bliss World of Pure Land.
The Sixth Patriarch self-experienced:
When the mind is not bound by any tie (no attachment), so the mind arises naturally and uses freely.
People who have read the Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarchit states, “When the mind is not bound by any tie”, it refers that the mind has no attachments, and no attachment to any image so as no attachment to all phenomena.
The mind arises naturally and uses freely, as towhat kind of mind? It arises a mind of compassion, equality, and being the master of one’s self. In addition, arising no mind, and a mind of seeking no gain.
Living in this society if we are not seeking any gain, then we are very happy. Nevertheless, “seeking no gain” cannot be misunderstood. “Seeking no gain” does not mean one does nothing and depends on others to take care of you. “Seeking no gain” means you still do what you should do, but without greedy intention in mind.
Everyone needs to think, what is a greedy intention? It means to stay and be strongly attached to.
“Strongly attached to” is holding on and not willing to let go.
“Staying” is exactly stopping over.
We constantly mention attachment, but what is it? It attaches or adheres onto a thought, or this material world, or substantiality phenomena. Someone attaches or adheres to invisible spiritual phenomena.
No, this way cannot be.
We studied Buddhism and chanted Amitabha for some time, we ought to think: do I have attachment while chanting Amitabha? Or in our daily life of “walking, standing, sitting, lying-in every state”; within the 24 hours are there any attachments from activating the mind with arising thoughts?
Of course, there are.
Can you turn it off?
Nobody can help you with this, only you can help yourself.
To help yourself, who is the best model? The Sixth Patriarch, the Great Master Hui-Neng. The first character “Hui” in his name means wisdom, and the second word “Neng” means ability.
What is wisdom ability? It is to become Buddha.
Buddha is the enlightened one; it is to achieve enlightenment phenomena. Everyone needs to remember this; Buddha is not a deity and is not here for us to request his protection or blessing, there is nothing of the sort. Buddha serves only in appearance to show you.
The monastery is a school, and the monks or nuns are the teachers; the believers go there for education and learning; unfortunately, all of that has completely changed now.
The phenomenon of the Sixth Patriarch at 24 years of age will continuously keep forever. His mind has not moved without greedy thoughts. Under his teaching there were 43 people who became enlightened, and later they all became Patriarchs of Dhyana (Zen) Buddhism School. A “Patriarch” is someone who explored a mountain and opens a Monastery, and is the founder of each Monastery.
From then until now, how many have been enlightened? In our modern era there are a few, only one or two people have become enlightened. It is very difficult.
Why is it difficult? It is because we have delusional thoughts and attachments. Besides our own delusional thoughts and attachments, television, movies and other media also educate you to have delusional thought and attachment. If you die, you would not have a peaceful mind.
Why? If you descend to the hungry ghost world, you wander around here every day with delusional thought and attachment.
If you end up in hell, what is the hell world? It is the place to have delusional thoughts and attachments in severity; it is self-tormenting daily and endless mental self-persecution.
The unclear and muddle-headed or, those of strong mental stupidity or prejudices cultivated from previous lives, will end up in the animal world.
These are the so-called “Three Wretched Realms”. If everyone applies one’s rational minds to view the “Three Wretched Realms” then one has crystal clarity about it. We live in the state of the “Three Wretched Realms” daily. Of course, there are Three Upper Realms: Today one with kind thoughts will go to “Heaven”. One whose mind arises with fighting thoughts goes to the world of “Asuras”. One who initiates thoughts of either good or no-good, discrimination, attachments, will stay in the “Human world”. These are the six states of existence –the six realms of reincarnation.