10 Sep Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 4
[Series of Master Shen-Long expounding on the Prajna Paramita (Perfection of Transcendent Wisdom) Heart Sutra]
But how do you use it?
For instance, to everybody here listening to my talk, is your Prajna now present?
I do not believe so.
Why is it not present now? It is because you cannot control your subconscious, or what we often speak of as your so-called stream of consciousness. More scientifically, it is the fluctuation of your mind.
What is the fluctuation? When you see something good you activate likeness, and when you see something not good you will initiate annoyance; this is called a wave motion. This wave motion makes you unclear. Explaining further, a mind of yours should be like a mirror where all phenomena is reflected crystal clear from the mirror, but the mirror itself does not have the emotions of happiness, anger, sorrow and joy. Of course, I am not saying that one does not truly have emotions of “joy, anger, sorrow, happiness” as if one did not have affections and feelings, it is not like that; it is knowing you are not confused by it. When you are not confused, it activates a function.
What function? It is called going with the flow but not following the bad example of others.
You are not apart from society, you hang out together to have food and drink with them, however your mind is clear and you know when to do what; also, you are not in opposition with them, in addition you are to the satisfaction of all, and are also able to be at the urgent and important moments (as in moments of life or death), to help them.
How to help? There are two ways: one way is knowing where their ending place is after death, and in that instant, if they can accept your way of thinking and looking at things, then you may turn their thought successfully. The second way is before their life has ended, which is precisely this moment right now, you use an ingenious method to reveal their shortcomings, and let them self-awaken. This is a very simple method. However, the problem is that you need to be enlightened beforehand.
Regarding this “enlightenment”, it is seeing all phenomena clearly, as described in the sutra text:
To have omniscient penetrative ability with crystal clear perception that the nature of Five Skandhas (the five composition elements of our existence – all materialistic phenomena, feeling, thinking, mental formation and consciousness) are the absence of inherent existence.
Omniscient penetrative ability is just like a light; originally this room is dark inside, but when you turn the light on, you can see everything in this room – this is the function of wisdom.
Crystal clear perception is without discrimination and attachment; it is different from the ordinary way of using the eye to see, it is the attitude of the mind without any defilements. This way seems difficult for the people of the modern era.
Why? It is because we have never had this kind of education before or been in touch with the Buddha teaching. There are two kinds of this form of education, either the religious way or the academic way. Sometimes the religious way makes people feel conflicted.
Why? It’s because they are superstitious.
The academic way is more complicated, has too much terminology and names that are not easy for letting a person to become purified of defiling illusion. These are the problems of our modern era.