21 May Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 38
[Series of Master Shen-Long expounding on the Prajna Paramita (Perfection of Transcendent Wisdom) Heart Sutra]
(Last week we ended with, “Speaking further in-depth, where does this kind of feeling come from? It is produced from your mind not understanding the truth about the universe.”)
Next is to explain thinking starts from the feeling, it is the continuation of your delusional thought and attachment. Today, if we look at something very tasty, if you do not think about it then it passes. But, if you want to continue, you keep on continuing with it, and your way of thinking becomes more and more serious and then it becomes more like a kind of aggressiveness and you want to fully implement it.
As we talk about “action, verbal speech, thought”; truly speaking, all of this is caused by thought.
How is it caused? It is brought about according to your thinking.
Each one of us has had this experience. Undoubtedly, there are many things that one should not do but one insists on doing them.
Why one insists on doing them? One thinks about it and does not merely think about it, rather one thinks about it every second, day and night; to the end, it then becomes real.
What is the phenomenon of becoming real? It is the illusion of a continued thought.
Speaking more in-depth, you are living in the illusion. Our life is an illusion; this kind of illusion is an inconceivable illusion. At night we have dreams.
Where do these dream experience come from? Here is an ancient proverb:
That who which one thinks about during the day is the one that one dreams about come night.
We need to carefully think this over. When you look at all materialphenomena, feeling, thinking; if you do not have doubt about the materialistic phenomena seen by the eyes then you will not enter this state, and if you do not have feelings you will also not continually think about it. Thus, the average person will misunderstand this, and think that it is all over; would not this person become an idiot now?
But, all of you need to remember, to be an idiot is also but a dream.
We live in this world and this dream is beyond thought.
All of you, from your memories of childhood until now, does it not feel as though it was just an instant?
What is this instant, do you know?
Your feeling; all conduct is just in this feeling. Today you either fail at doing business, or you suffer from being wrongly accused by others, or you are the best of all possible worlds today; I am telling you that is only a feeling. You want to prove to yourself, so you must have gratitude and grudges – these are all feelings. Feelings belong to illusion.
What is real then? Very simply, when you do not have dreams.
A person without dreams can control one’s own life and death. This is interesting.
In general, the so-called enlightened one regards life and death no matter in the East or the West:
If you asked the enlightened one: “Are you afraid of death?” One never has this kind of thought.
How about life? One never has this kind of thought either.
What does the enlightened one do daily? One does things, even when one knows it is impossible to succeed.
What does it mean? Like Confucius, he was crystal clear that no one would accept him during the Warring States Period and the Spring and Autumn Period, yet he still traveled to various countries.
What was his purpose? His purpose was to train his mind.
To see whether his mind would be affected by daily life. He once made a statement:
Mount Tai (in the Shandong province, China, the easternmost of the five sacred mountains) collapses before me now and I will not change my composure.
This is what us -the modern people need to learn; Confucius carried himself in this way. Confucianism is the foundation of conducting oneself. Since it is the foundation of conducting oneself, it can completely control situations regarding the human world. He once stated his point:
If you cannot understand life, how can you understand death!
This is ingeniously!
What was his purpose? To let you experience happiness and have days without worry for the rest of your life.