01 Jun Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 39
[Series of Master Shen-Long expounding on the Prajna Paramita (Perfection of Transcendent Wisdom) Heart Sutra]
(Last week ended with, “What was his purpose? It is to let you experience happiness and have days without worry for the rest of your life.”)
Later, Daoism was developed in China; “Dao – the way” is:
The way that can be expressed is not the universal and eternal way.
What is the “Dao (Way)”? It is the truth about the universe.
Lao-Zi (philosopher and founder of Daoism) had already into practice. Unfortunately, he experienced this condition on his own, and this is not something the average person can achieve. He talks about:
Letting things take their own course.
It does not mean you are not doing anything; instead it means that you do, but your mind is without the attachment of doing. After you act, you feel like you have not acted, so you will not feel tired.
Ancient Chinese all have this kind of education. However, in the modern era this kind of education has been completely deposed.
Why? Nowadays the focus is centered on the individual self, such as “I am the greatest”; it all starts from this “I”. This “I” has created a kind of unreal phenomena. This is the expansion of the concept of “I”.
When you ask everyone how you are doing today, they will tell you one’s feeling. The starting point of one is the “I”. Our afflictions are entirely from this “I”.
What is the biggest definition of “I”? It is thinking.
The Chinese character for thinking is “想 xiangˇ”, as in on top of the mind–“心 xin” lodged with phenomena–“相xiangˋ”, which means there is an image on the mind, to have phenomena; then you circulate incessantly in that phenomena and that phenomena is “birth, aging, sickness and death”. During the phenomena of “birth, aging, sickness and death”, the variation from everything will influence your mind, and then you follow the rotation of “birth, aging, sickness and death” to reincarnate, like a car wheel that rotates incessantly.
Later when Buddhism was transmitted into China, a person who truly understands the truth about the universe had a path to follow.
What path? The path to resolve the affliction of life and death, in other words to resolve this thinking.
How to resolve it? No thinking.
Life of no thinking is a wide horizon, there is no restrictions of time and space. Here I am only putting forward the concept, later I will explain more in detail.
All materialphenomena, feeling, thinking, mental formation; to be discussed next is mental formation (from thinking continuously) that never disconnects.
It continues to what extent? One instant is approximately one-fourth of a second.
Within this one-fourth of a second there are 900 times of births and deaths. Speaking bluntly, one second has 3,600 times of births and annihilations. These births and annihilations are just like a camera where a lens opens and closes 3,600 times in one second. Therefore, the average person has no way to tell, and when you say to one that “life is but a dream”, one will not believe it because the change is too huge. If you say to one that “the physical body is unreal”, one would refuse to admit it even at one’s death.
We watch gun-shooting scenes in movies, and was a bullet really shot?
No one has really seen it with the naked eye. After the gun is fired, men are on the ground. However, if you use a high-speed camera to look, the speed of the bullet is very slow.
Our thoughts are remarkable; it speeds to what extent? Our thoughts are as rapid as the speed of light, where in one second it can rotate around the earth several times. Even the speed of light cannot compete with the speed of our mind thoughts. Everyone needs to know that all phenomena of the universe are caused by thoughts of the mind. When a thought is not cut off then the six directions of reincarnation do not cut off, and the phenomena of “birth, aging, sickness and death” will not end. If your mind has been purified of defiling illusion, you no longer have dreams, and you become free and become the master of yourself, then this kind of person is called a “Buddha”.
Everyone must be clear with this concept. Buddha is not a deity, not a religious object, not a kind of religious worship, and not God; he is a person who understands the truth about the universe and without afflictions.
Does Buddha have material phenomena, feeling, thinking, mental formation? No, he does not.