22 Sep Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 54
[Series of Master Shen-Long expounding on the Prajna Paramita (Perfection of Transcendent Wisdom) Heart Sutra]
(Last week we ended with, “Our life is illusion, but their life is not; what they see is the illusion within an illusion.”)
Therefore, I feel when studying the Heart Sutra, the most important thing is to take your life experience and verify it by comparing with the Sutra text. Buddhist Sutra is not that hard to understand. Frankly, Buddhist Sutra speaks about the phenomena of the universe; it is you that thinks it is difficult. We now talk about no mind and consciousness, then this person becomes at ease. Without mind and consciousness does not mean one does not have a way to think. A person without mind and consciousness represents being without distracted thoughts, where one’s mind and consciousness are turned into brightness and transformed into the sphere of Prajna. Speaking more bluntly, it is further in-depth and revealed from one’s pure mind. This is where the enormous difference is at.
Frankly, our mind is very hard to be purified of defiling illusion, I trust all of you have experienced this before for yourself.
Why is this mind hard to be purified of defiling illusion? It is the function of the mind and consciousness that can cause the phenomena of “birth, aging, sickness and death”. This phenomenon of “birth, aging, sickness and death” per the Heart Sutra, fundamentally they do not exist.
Why do you experience its existence? It is your wrong understanding. To clarify further, from the time when we are young, we do not have enlightenment education. If you have enlightenment education, you would not have this kind of suffering. Since we were young, human education is an education about “gain and loss” therefore you feel unwell. Many people often state: I exist with the concept of gain and loss, but I cannot change it — that is deceiving.
Why? You have not truly seen it clearly. If you truly see it clearly then it is not deceptive; it displays the phenomena of creation (rising) and extinction (falling) in an instant to an instant incessantly. We talked about this earlier; science has already proven that all phenomena are entirely wave motions. If you use the concept of wave motions to live your life, I am telling you that you have no gain or loss.
No unenlightened condition, also no ending of the unenlightened condition; I need to explain this unenlightened condition: Frankly, if we do not use Buddhism terminology to explain this it is very difficult, but when using Buddhist terminology to explain it some people have a problem understanding and accepting it. It is us – humans call it the unenlightened condition. In a nutshell, the unenlightened condition means to be unclear, unclear about the truth of life in the universe.
Why is one unclear? It is because one has an unenlightened condition.
How does the unenlightened condition start?
I am telling you, it is called no unenlightened condition where fundamentally there exists no unenlightened condition. If you have no attachment to the unenlightened condition, then the unenlightened condition does not exist.
What does this mean? If you have no attachment to your afflictions, your afflictions will be gone. Strangely, if you want to attach to it in that case, you will say afflictions exist.
Your affliction obviously exists, you see we sit here now and we have a body, do we not? Yes, there is a body.
Eye, ear, nose, tongue, body and mind produces the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, touch and all illusory phenomena, is it there? Yes, it is.
Why is it there? You have attachment to it.
There are people who say, I know what you are saying however, I cannot be without attachment – this is one kind. The second kind is, I do not want attachment, I do not have attachment – this means a thought possesses – “I do not have attachments”.
Sometimes explaining the depth of Buddha teaching can cause people to misunderstand, as though one is playing riddles, misunderstanding the more explained the more mysterious it gets. In fact, it is not so; rather the more it talks, the clearer it becomes. It is all due to your mind not being refined enough. If you are under the condition of Samadhi (the highest level of mind unmoved and undisturbed) when you hear the Sutra scripture, you will become enlightened and you will truly understand the truth of the universe.