14 Jul Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 45
[Series of Master Shen-Long expounding on the Prajna Paramita (Perfection of Transcendent Wisdom) Heart Sutra]
(Last week we ended with, “Why? It is too painful and one cannot endure the pain. One’s concept believes this matter is real.”)
The education way of the Buddha teaching is different.
Buddha teaching speaks about aching, who aches? It is your mind that aches.
Our science talks about how nerves throb with pain. This is wrong; it is your thought attachment to the painful feeling of the nerves. Remember this, it is the attachment attaching to the feeling of ache, then you feel the ache; if you do not attach to it, then there will be no ache.
Why? Many people have the willpower.
Some cancer patients in the final phase say to themselves: “I will not die”. That is not lip service; one says it with true willpower and determination. This results in the body cells recovering back to normal. If one can turn willpower and determination and transform it to enlightenment, letting go of life and death then one succeeds. So, people target different subjects.
Today we look from the aspect of all material phenomena are not different from no phenomena; the fundamental essence of no phenomenon is not different from all material phenomena. The phenomena of the universe changes every day, however the changing is only temporary. Like a flashlight that sends out intermittent flashes. Because the speed of flash is very fast, we think that is a continuous light. This continuity causes us to think of it as a mode of existence. Therefore, people who practice cultivation should be practicing mind activation with thought arising. Reciting Sutra or chanting Amitabha is a method. The main thing is to compose your mind. Practicing without thought movement within an instant is very important.
If you allow this thought to continue, then it is all finished. We just mentioned a moment ago, after the continuity, the idea initiates the activation and the body and mouth begins to act. This is very serious.
All phenomena within the universe are linked by thought. Therefore, all material phenomena are not different from no phenomena; the fundamental essence of no phenomenon is not different from all material phenomena. Very simply, if you consider the phenomenon to be unreal then it truly is unreal. If you consider the phenomenon alarming, then it becomes desperately serious; therefore, alarming and desperately serious both are the same exactly.
Talking about no phenomenon, it means nothing exists, that is not right. While nothing exists is the precise moment when everything exists. Here is an example:
This glass cup, we see it, does it exist? Yes, it exists and is formed by ions which forms temporally.
We talk about temporal form to be called a mode of existence. When it is temporally formed, we also know it will disperse. The moment it forms through the process of creation (rising) and extinction (falling), incessantly rising and falling, therefore, it is known as no phenomenon.
All of you, if you have experienced this principle, at any time and at any place, whether the situation is pleasant or unpleasant, remind yourself to apply this principle to all, and your mind will be composed and unmoved by any phenomena. You will certainly not be influenced by the outside world; this is the root of cultivation practice. For instance, we chant Amitabha ordinarily; when afflictions come, you chant: Amitabha.
Think about it, does Amitabha exist? Yes, he exists.
The moment you chant Amitabha, the fundamental essence of Amitabha has already became no phenomenon. No phenomenon (i.e. the impermeant nature of all phenomena) and the mode of existing (as phenomenon) are one and undivided; real and unreal (illusion) exist simultaneously; right?
Real is illusion, illusion is identical to real; if you take this idea and elaborate on it, and let go of everything, you will no longer have discrimination towards everything. Therefore, all material phenomena are not different from no phenomena; the fundamental essence of no phenomenon is not different from all material phenomena.
All phenomena are unreal, unreal is real that is phenomena. This “real” represents “phenomenon”. The “unreal” represents the impermanence of coming and going. So, the same is true with form, feelings, thinking, mental formations and consciousness.