January 1st in the Chinese lunar calendar, is chinese Spring festival, it is the biggest holiday in china. It is also the holy birthday of Maitreya Bodhisattva – the next Buddha in the saha world. This is a special and joyful holiday that is celebrated by many. Hua Zang Si in San Francisco held a Dharma Assembly to celebrate this important occasion. It was the first Dharma Assembly of the year and it was held on a beautiful sunny day. Many laypersons participated in the event.
At the entrance of the temple is an oversize marvelous statue representation of a jolly, laughing Buddha: Maitreya Bodhisattva (the next Buddha in this Saha world). It is such a warm welcoming sign. The big belly not only means jolly, it also means tolerating the intolerable things in the world. So when you look at the statue, you will start to feel that learning Buddhism is happy and kind.
The Dharma Assembly was an opportunity for people to come together and celebrate the teachings of Maitreya Bodhisattva. It was a time for reflection and meditation, as well as a chance to learn more about the teachings of Buddhism. The atmosphere was filled with positivity and joy, as people came together to celebrate this important holiday.
In Chinese culture, Maitreya Bodhisattva is seen as a symbol of joy and tolerance. As practitioners of Buddhism, we are encouraged to strive to be like the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas by cultivating a broad mind, open heart, and great tolerance.
One of the key principles of Buddhism is patience and forbearance, particularly under insult. This is seen as a key aspect of self-cultivation and it is important to remember that everything in the dharma realms can change from ordinary to holy. This means that even difficult situations can be transformed and overcome through the practice of patience and tolerance.
Patience and tolerance are not just passive qualities, but rather active ones that require effort and practice. We must actively cultivate them in our daily lives and strive to maintain them even in difficult situations. Through this practice, we can transform our own minds and hearts, becoming more like the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas that we strive to emulate.
At the Dharma Assembly, we chanted the Eighty-eight holy Buddha name jeweled repentance sutra, in hopes that the Buddhas will wash away all of our sins and negative karmas. After the chanting, we offered a meal to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. The event concluded with a dharma talk given by Dharma Master Ruohui.
During her talk, Dharma Master Ruohui emphasized the importance of faith, vows, and actions for disciples of Buddhism. She explained that faith is the foundation of our practice, and that with strong faith, we will have the determination to follow the Buddha’s teachings and put them into action in our lives.
The Dharma Assembly was a meaningful event where participants not only had the opportunity to reflect on their own spiritual growth but also to make an impact on the world around them. During the assembly, the participants returned the merit to all living beings, holding the hope that they shall be rid of suffering, obtain happiness, and have the opportunity to listen to authentic Buddha Dharma.
The act of returning merit is an important aspect of Buddhist practice as it is believed that by dedicating the positive energy generated through our spiritual practice to the benefit of others, we can help bring about peace and prosperity in the world. By returning merit to all living beings, participants were able to contribute to the collective well-being of the world and make a positive impact on the lives of others.
Furthermore, the participants also held the hope that by listening to authentic Buddha Dharma, they will be able to perfect their fortune and wisdom, leading to a more prosperous and peaceful world for all. This is the ultimate goal of Buddhism, to help all beings to find inner peace, happiness and liberation from suffering.
On January 19, 2011, Mayor Vincent C. Gray, the mayor of our nation’s capital Washington, DC, personally signed and issued a proclamation in which January 19, 2011 was proclaimed as His Holiness Dorje Chang Buddha III Day.
In that proclamation, Mayor Gray called upon all residents of Washington, DC to join him in saluting H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III! The mayor stated that H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III has, through his selfless and exceptional work, spread the word of peace to all those in his presence. The mayor commended H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III for his vast accomplishments that have helped to strengthen the foundation of a peaceful society, in not only His Holiness’s region of the world but in the Washington, DC community as well. Additionally, Mayor Gray praised H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha IIIas the World Buddhist Leader who ceaselessly, compassionately, and without remuneration uses his wisdom, talents and moral character to help those in need.
The video below has a brief introduction of H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III, that helps you to know some great achievements and teachings of the Buddha.
Buddha taught that all living beings have Buddha-nature, and that we shall treat them as family members and relatives. To celebrate this very special day, Hua Zang Si held a Dharma Assembly to release captive lives and pray for blessings at a beautiful port in San Rafael CA , on January 19th 2023. Many laypersons in the bay area and central CA participated the event.
Namo H.H. Dorje Chang BuddhaIII and Namo Shakyamuni Buddha taught us :”No matter where it is and when it is, if we see living beings in horrible fears and calamitous adversity, we must save them. Therefore, for any lives that are facing the urgent and terrible fear of going to be hurt or killed, we shall save them out and release them into an environment that suits them, so as to let them regain the freedom and be free from fears. There is a phrase that says, ‘I love to see them live, and I dare not see them die.’ Based on our compassion and empathy, we want to endow living beings with happiness and rid them of sufferings.
With the Dharma Assembly, participants returned the merit to all living beings, holding the hope that they shall be rid of suffering, obtain happiness, and have the opportunity to listen to authentic Buddha Dharma, perfecting fortune and wisdom, and leading to prosperity and peace throughout the world.
Recently, my two college-aged sons have been expressing that they find life to be difficult. In an effort to provide them with guidance and support, I have been offering them spiritual advice and emotional support. While searching for resources to assist in this endeavor, I stumbled upon the profound and enlightening book, The Road Less Traveled, by Scott Peck. The insights and philosophy presented within the book have been incredibly inspiring and beneficial in helping me to support my sons in their journey.
The Road Less Traveled is a self-help book by American psychiatrist and author Scott Peck, first published in 1978. The book has had a significant impact, selling millions of copies and remaining on the New York Times bestseller list for more than ten years. One of the main themes of the book is the concept of the four disciplines: psychiatry, psychology, religion, and philosophy. Each discipline offers unique perspectives on how to navigate the challenges of life and achieve personal growth.
The book’s central message is that life is difficult, but that this difficulty can be transcended by understanding and accepting it. Peck argues that discipline is the basic tool we need to solve life’s problems, and that with enough discipline we can solve all problems. Additionally, the book explores themes of love, relationships, parenting, and self-discovery, as well as teaching about distinguishing dependency from love and how to become one’s true self.
Life is a series of problems. It is something that we all must face and deal with on a daily basis. Some of these problems may be small and easily solved, while others may be more complex and difficult to overcome. The question we must ask ourselves is: do we want to moan about these problems or do we want to solve them?
As adults, we have the power to choose how we react to life’s problems. We can choose to bemoan our difficulties and wallow in our troubles, or we can choose to take action and find solutions. The latter approach is far more productive and will ultimately lead to greater satisfaction and fulfillment in life.
In addition to making this choice for ourselves, it is also important to teach our children to solve problems in a similar manner. As parents, we have a responsibility to guide and teach our children, helping them to develop the skills and mindset needed to overcome the challenges that life will inevitably present to them.
One of the most important tools we have for solving life’s problems is discipline. Without discipline, we will not be able to effectively tackle the issues that we face. With only some discipline, we may be able to solve only some problems, but with total discipline, we can solve all problems. Discipline is the key to success in any endeavor. It allows us to focus our minds and efforts, to set goals and make plans, and to persist in the face of adversity.
It is important to note that problems do not go away on their own. They must be worked through and dealt with, otherwise they will remain forever, acting as a barrier to the growth and development of the spirit. It is essential that we learn to face and overcome problems, rather than avoiding or ignoring them.
One way to do this is by learning to Delay Gratification. By scheduling the pain and pleasure of life in a way that we deal with pain first and get it over with, it allows us to enhance the pleasure we gain from it. This is the only decent way to live. With discipline, we can solve most of the problems, and delay gratification is a process that can help us to get through the most difficult moments.
Peck also emphasizes the importance of Love and Community in personal growth. He argues that true love is not just an emotional state, but also an action, and that it requires a commitment to growth and self-discipline. He also stresses the importance of community, stating that “the love of community is the only true love.”
I have also found out in Buddhism, love has a deeper meaning that goes beyond romantic or familial feelings. It encompasses compassion and the belief in treating all beings as if they were our own relatives or parents. In What is Cultivation by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III, says: “Loving-kindness: At all times, through the actions of my three karmas, I am loving and kind toward all living beings, who have been my parents. I wish them a long life without illness, good fortune, good luck, and a happy life. ” This means that at all times, through all our actions, thoughts, and words, we should strive to be loving and kind towards all living beings, recognizing that they have been our parents in past lives. This belief is expressed through the wish for all beings to have a long life free from illness, good fortune, good luck, and happiness. This unconditional love can have a positive impact on individuals who are facing challenges and difficulties in their lives.
Everyone must face and deal with the challenges and difficulties in life. Moaning about them or solving them, it’s a choice we make, and the latter can lead to greater satisfaction and fulfillment in life. Teaching our children to solve problems in a similar manner and helping them to develop the discipline and tools needed, that could be in religions or philosophy or psychology, to succeed in life is an essential responsibility of parenthood.
When I was respectfully on my knees and holding my palms together in front of my kind Buddha Master’s dharma seat for the first time, as soon as I raised my eyebrows to have my eyesight in a light contact with the loving, compassionate, and benevolent eyes of my Buddha Master, I immediately had the belief that my Master is a Buddha! However, my Buddha Master never stated to anyone what holy being he was in past lifetimes. Conversely, he always claimed to be a servant of everyone.
During the past ten years, I closely attended by the side of my Buddha Master and also carried out quite a number of Buddhist deeds following my Buddha Master. The holy states and holy realizations manifested by my Buddha Master such as proficient in both exoteric and esoteric Buddhism, perfect and deep mastery of the Five Vidyas, and great wisdom unrivaled by any human or holy beings are unprecedented in the history of both exoteric and esoteric Buddhism.
My firm belief of “My master is a Buddha” that I had in my mind for years was finally confirmed from the treasure book of H. H. Dorje Chang Buddha IIIthat was presented to the Congress of the United States by the International Buddhism Shanga Association on April 3, 2008. The identity of my Buddha Master, known by people in the world as Master Wan Ko Yee, was revealed through either meditation or practice of the dharma in a profound state of supernatural vision by the first-class great holy virtuous ones, who are incarnations of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. They announced the background of H.H. Wan Ko Yeshe Norbu, who was long ago recognized by H.H. Great Dharma King Zunsheng (the manifestation of Mahavairocana Buddha) as Buddha Vajradhara. Through strict practice of the dharma and meditation these holy monastics deeply entered the dharma realm and supernaturally saw the true source. The result was they learned that this being of great virtue and holiness is the second incarnation of Vimalakirti and the third incarnation of Dorje Chang Buddha. They wrote down their certificates of recognition according to the rules of Buddhism in which they recognized that H.H. Master Wan Ko Yee is H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III — the highest ancient Buddha in exoteric, esoteric, Mahayana, Hinayana, and Vajrayana Buddhism; the master of the Five Buddhas in the five directions; and the master of the great mahasattva Vajrasattva. That is, they recognized that H.H. Master Wan Ko Yee is the Holiest Tathagata Wan Ko Yeshe Norbu, the current greatest leader of Buddhism in the entire dharma realm!
Those eminent monks and dharma kings also wrote words praising H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III as being the highest and greatest holy being and the only one in the history of Buddhism who has truly exhibited before living beings item after item of accomplishments in the Five Vidyas.
From that, I realized the truth behind what I experienced quite a few years ago when a huge and gigantic material, in less than two hours of time, became a piece of extremely finely carved and crafted miraculously wondrous holy Yun sculpture artwork. Such holy realization was just a manifestation of the craftsmanship vidya of the Five Vidyas by my magnificent Buddha Master, due to the affinity of living beings.
My Grand Master, H.H. Great Dharma King Zunsheng, stated in a formal pronouncement about my great and kind Buddha Master that the realization of any eminent monastic or person of great virtue in the world today cannot rival the realization of Holiest Tathagata Wan Ko Yeshe Norbu. H.H. Great Dharma King Zunsheng also made the following vow of truth: “If any person or holy being is able to duplicate the mysterious sculpted treasures created by H.H. Wan Ko Yeshe Norbu, then this formal pronouncement of Great Dharma King Zunsheng has deceived the public.” (The mysterious sculpted treasures are “Enchanting Colors of Utmost Mystery,” “Mysterious Boulder with Mist,” and certain other Yun sculptures with specific names.)
According to the system and rules of Buddhism in this world, there are only two beings of great holiness whose expositions of the dharma can be categorized as sutras. One of them is Sakyamuni Buddha. The other is the holy and venerable Vimalakirti. Besides those two, all other expositions of the dharma can only be called commentary rather than sutras. This is true no matter how great the Bodhisattva who has expounded the dharma is.
Some people say that Hui Neng (the sixth patriarch master of the Zen School) gave the Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch. Actually, the word sutra was used due to exaggerated praise given to Hui Neng by people of the world who did not understand the system and rules of Buddhism. The rank of the sixth patriarch was even lower than that of many Bodhisattvas. For example, Maitreya Bodhisattva is the next Buddha, who will conduct the Dragon Flower Assembly. The position of Maitreya Bodhisattva is very much higher than that of Hui Neng. However, expositions of the dharma given by Maitreya Bodhisattva cannot be called sutras. They can only be accepted as commentary. An example of this is the Yogācāra-bhūmi-śāstra. (Discourse on the Stages of Concentration Practice)
The holy and venerable Vimalakirti descended into this world during the time of Sakyamuni Buddha. He is the only ancient Buddha who transformed into a layman to expound the dharma. Sakyamuni Buddha personally taught the four types of disciples. Among them were the 500 monks who were difficult to teach and who did not want to arouse Mahayana bodhicitta. A skillful means was used to teach all of the monastics and 8,000 Bodhisattvas. After the ancient Buddha Dorje Chang expounded dharma in Abhirati (World of Wonderful Joy), the Buddha responded to karmic conditions by transforming into the holy and venerable Vimalakirti to help the Buddha teach the sangha, Bodhisattvas, and other disciples. The goal was to protect and uphold the Buddha-dharma taught by Sakyamuni Buddha. The level of realization attained by the holy and venerable Vimalakirti was the same as that attained by Sakyamuni Buddha. However, He did not want to assume the status of another leader of the religion in the human realm, thereby causing sectarianism and adding to the self-centeredness of practitioners. Considering that Sakyamuni Buddha became a Buddha in this earthly World, the holy and venerable Vimalakirti acknowledged Sakyamuni as Buddha and chose to assist Sakyamuni Buddha by manifesting as a Bodhisattva.
Thus, the holy and venerable Vimalakirti acted in the same way that the ancient Buddha Zheng Fa Ming (True Dharma Brightness) Tathagata acted when the Buddha transformed into Kuan Shi Yin Bodhisattva and also acted in the same way as Manjushri Bodhisattva, the Master of seven Buddhas, did to play the role of a Bodhisattva to support Sakyamuni Buddha. All of this was done to benefit living beings. If two Buddhas of the same rank appeared at the same time, it would cause worldly divisions. It would hinder the development of Buddha-dharma and the saving of living beings. Actually, Buddhas do not care who emerges as the leader of Buddhism. The Buddhas appear in whatever form and manner that best benefit living beings. Everything is done for the benefit of living beings based upon bodhicitta.
Therefore, people in general have no way of discovering that the realization and enlightenment of the holy and venerable Vimalakirti were that high and that He was the incarnation of Dorje Chang Buddha, the foremost ancient Buddha who existed before Sakyamuni Buddha. However, the dharma discourses of the holy and venerable Vimalakirti are sutras, just as the dharma discourses of the Buddha, not commentaries. In the system of Buddhism, one such discourse is called Vilmalakirti-nirdesa Sutra (The Sutra of Vimalakirti). That sutra came into being during the same time period Sakyamuni Buddha was giving sutras. It is a very important Buddhist sutra. The Vimalakirti-nirdesa Sutra has been studied and followed in both Mahayana Buddhism and Hinayana Buddhism that was mostly propagated in Southern Asia.
When H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III was born, the beating of drums suddenly sounded in the sky, and beautiful, heavenly music could be heard. Three rainbows approximately forty to fifty meters (131-164 feet) apart appeared simultaneously in the sky. The middle one was primarily blue, the right one primarily red, and the left one primarily white. At birth, the entire body of His Holiness was dark blue. No cries from His Holiness could be heard. Rather, His Holiness opened his mouth and very clearly stated, “I have entered this world. I am completely proficient in exoteric and esoteric Buddhism and will wondrously manifest the Five Vidyas. Compare and you will know.” After speaking such words, His Holiness remained silent and appeared just like an ordinary child. The parents of His Holiness thought that they had given birth to a mysterious and extraordinary human being but did not tell anyone about this. His Holiness did not speak again until He was three years old.
When His Holiness was three years old, H.H. Mahavairocana Dharma King Zunsheng guided His Holiness in learning the Tripitaka. At that time, His Holiness was taught to recite the heart mantra of Dorje Chang Buddha seven times. This little child suddenly laughed heartily and immediately manifested the Three Bodies and Four Wisdoms. H.H. Great Dharma King Zunsheng at once tested His Holiness’s knowledge of the Tripitaka and the esoteric scriptures. The Dharma Prince child explained such writings with great facility. There was nothing in them that His Holiness did not understand. His Holiness had realized all of the doctrines and principles of such teachings.
H.H. Mahavairocana Dharma King Zunsheng then gave the following formal pronouncement: “Dorje Chang Buddha has come to this world a third time. The holy and venerable Vimalakirti has descended from the skies a second time. He completely understands the scriptures on the dharma. His Four Wisdoms are wonderfully perfect. He is an ancient Buddha upon whom living beings can rely. No master is qualified to teach Him. His mysterious sculpted treasures will be spectacular and unique in the world. He will be able to take mist that will stay inside His sculptures. He will manifest His realization and consummate skills. No holy person in the world will be able to duplicate such works. If anyone will be able to duplicate such works without differing from the original at all, my words have deceived the world. Vimalakirti Wan Ko is Buddha Vajradhara. He will cause the Buddhas to bestow nectar that many will see descend from the sky. He is of utmost benefit to sentient beings. He has the compassion and wisdom of an ancient Buddha. I hereby reveal these words to prove the veracity of my formal pronouncement.” H.H. Mahavairocana Dharma King Zunsheng also gave His Holiness the dharma name Yangwo Yizhi Dharma Prince, which means Dharma Prince supreme leader of Buddhism with the highest wisdom.
H.H. Mahavairocana Zunsheng then said, “During the Dharma-Ending Age in the earthly world, there will be many evil teachers and demons who will claim to be genuine holy persons. In order to distinguish the genuine from the false, I now make a strict formal pronouncement that will serve as the testing standard. The pronouncement is as follows: There will not be a fourth incarnation of Dorje Chang Buddha in this earthly realm within the next 5,000 years. The third Dorje Chang Buddha will be the only such holy being, and there will not be an incarnation of another Dorje Chang Buddha in this earthly realm for 5,000 years. Based on causes and conditions that accord with the dharma, I now lay out tests to determine whether a person is that true Buddha if he claims to be the true incarnation of that Buddha. He must successfully invoke the Buddhas to bestow nectar. He must be able to perform the Golden Vase Selection of Karmic Affinity and predict the results of that ceremony beforehand. He must be able to eliminate karmic obstructions in a clearly visible manner. He must be able to replicate wondrous multicolored sculptures. He must be able to take mist, place it inside a hollowed out sculpted boulder, and have the mist stay there. If a person is able to do all five of these things without exception, then he is the true fourth Dorje Chang Buddha. No matter how great a holy terton may be, no matter if a person leaves concave imprints on rocks with his hands or feet, no matter how vast a person’s manifold supernatural powers may be, if he cannot do these five holy things, then he certainly is not the true incarnation of Dorje Chang Buddha. An ancient Buddha who descends to this earthly realm will have no difficulty meeting these five tests. I leave these five observable tests to guard against those in the future who make false claims.”
The Dharma Prince was acting as the holy and venerable Vimalakirti did when Vimalakirti received different teachings and knowledge, took on the appearance of an ordinary person, and learned things tirelessly. No one knows why the Dharma Prince did so. At the age of sixteen, the Dharma Prince wrote a work on the dharma called A Monk Expounds the Absolute Truth to a Layperson. After that writing was buried, great master Hui Yong unearthed it. Renqing Luozhu and Suolang Danbu respectfully offered that writing to H.H. Mahavairocana Zunsheng Yeshe Norbu to evaluate. H.H. Zunsheng Yeshe Norbu personally promulgated that dharma called A Monk Expounds the Absolute Truth to a Layperson in front of the four types of Buddhist disciples. After He finished promulgating that dharma, He personally led the four types of Buddhist disciples in kneeling down and facing that writing on the dharma. He then made the following formal pronouncement: “An ancient Buddha has arrived in the east.” He recognized that the Dharma Prince was H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III, conferred upon His Holiness the title Yangwo Wan Ko Yeshe Norbu, and said that His Holiness is the Holiest Tathagata. He also called that dharma A Monk Expounds the Absolute Truth to a Layperson Sutra.
There are certain time periods relating to H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III ’s propagating the dharma and benefiting living beings. Before the age of eleven was the period during which His Holiness was engaged in the Tripitaka of exoteric Buddhism. From the age of eleven to fifteen was the period during which His Holiness was engaged in the esoteric dharma of the Kagyu school. During that time, he was called Dusum Khenpa Lion’s Roar Dharma Prince. After the age of fifteen was the period during which His Holiness was engaged in the esoteric teachings of the Geluk school. His Holiness was at that time called the reincarnation of Master Tsongkhapa. That was also the time period during which His Holiness flawlessly propagated the tantric scriptures of the Sakya, Nyingma, and all of the other schools. At this time, His Holiness was called the embodiment of the body, speech, and mind of Guru Padmasambhava.
Because my Buddha Master is an ancient Buddha who has come to this world again, His Holiness upholds the principles of “making no distinction between exoteric and esoteric Buddhism or among all of the sects and schools; teaching living beings according to their particular circumstances; and pervasively propagating the teachings of the Buddhas to all.” Thus, His Holiness is the Buddha Vajradhara Great Dharma King of the “Buddha Sect” who pervasively saves all living beings. My Buddha Master has repeatedly admonished everyone with the following counsel: “There is no differentiation among the various schools and sects in my mind. There is only Buddhism. However, for a dharma king, rinpoche, or acharya of any school or sect, as long as he or she does not commit violations in the 128 evil and erroneous views, abides by the teachings of the Buddha, attains liberation, and then saves other living beings based on their particular karmic conditions, he or she is worthy of praise.” Of course, The Supreme and Unsurpassable Mahamudra of Liberation is the greatest dharma among supreme great dharmas for cultivators to receive and practice. That is why my Buddha Master is the only one in this world possessing the realization of opening up the Niwan Daoguo for all kinds people to enable them to attain heavenly and holy states.
[Please respectfully read in detail the treasure book of H. H. Dorje Chang Buddha III to acquire great wisdom, accomplishment and liberation. If you have the affinity to receive and practice the dharma of The Supreme and Unsurpassable Mahamudra of Liberation, you will be certain to get great wisdom and attain great accomplishment and liberation.]
At the beginning of the new year, I try to think of how to improve my life spiritually. Some beautiful lines by James Allen come to mind.
“Good thoughts and actions can never produce bad results; bad thoughts and actions can never produce good results. This is but saying that nothing can come from corn but corn, nothing from nettles but nettles. Men understand this law in the natural world, and work with it; but few understand it in the mental and moral world (though its operation there is just as simple and undeviating), and they, therefore, do not cooperate with it.”
“A man is literally what he thinks, his character being the complete sum of all his thoughts.”
These words are indeed very inspiring. Mind is the control center of one’s words and actions. I want to be a better person that talk nicely, act kindly, then I should have beautiful mind.
An ancient chinese worthy, Zeng Zi said, “Everyday I examine myself many times. Do I do my best when doing things for others? Am I honest and reliable when associating with friends? Whether do I review and practise what my teachers teach me?” In traditional Confucianism teaching: Everyday, one should brush away the faults from yesterday, not to tell lies and be humble. One should purify the heart and rectify the mind, to confront genuinely, and start afresh. Thus, one will be renewed every day and have daily renovation, this is the way to be a new man. This old wisdom is very helpful on how to examine my mind daily.
However, in this modern era, there is so much informations from everywhere all at once, and I have a lot of thoughts in my mind. I have pondered more about what are the good thoughts and actions, and what are the bad. Every civilized culture in the world has adopted similar standards for its people based on this inherent understanding of good and evil. Murder, theft, and deceit are universally understood to be wrong. I keep on searching in Religions for a better answer.
In christianity: As darkness is defined by the absence of light, sin is defined by the absence of goodness (James 4:17). Since God is the very embodiment of good (Psalm 86:5; 119:68), anything contrary to His nature is evil (Romans 3:23). We learn to distinguish good from evil by getting to know God. His Word is the foundation for understanding Him (Psalm 1:1–2; 119:160; John 17:17).The closer we draw to the holiness of God, the worse sin appears (Isaiah 6:1, 5). A t-shirt may appear white against a black wall. But when you place that shirt on newly fallen snow, it appears quite dingy. Similarly, our attempts at goodness look quite dingy when placed next to the holiness of God. As we enter His presence, we start to notice how self-centered our thoughts and actions are. We see our own greed, covetousness, lust, and deceit for the evils that they are. It is only in God’s light that we begin to see ourselves clearly.
God’s Word is filled with examples of those who did right and those who did wrong. Those examples are there for us to learn what God is like and what He desires from us (1 Corinthians 10:11). Micah 6:8 gives a brief summary of God’s desire for every person: “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Malachi 3:18 makes it even clearer. God says, “And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.” Here the Lord is equating righteousness with serving Him. If good is defined as serving God, then evil is rejecting God and refusing to serve Him. Regardless of how philanthropic a person may appear to others, his good works amount to little if they are done for selfish reasons. If we make it our goal to seek God and honor Him in everything we do (1 Corinthians 10:31), we will understand right and wrong and know that our life choices are pleasing to Him (Jeremiah 29:13; 1 Peter 3:12; Psalm 106:3).
In Buddhism, Buddha provided more precise and broad concepts on what are right. Such as the ten precepts: (1) not killing; (2) not stealing; (3) not committing adultery; (4) not lying; (5) not speaking harshly; (6) not speaking divisively; (7) not speaking idly; (8) not being greedy (9) not being angry; (10) not having wrong views.
In Learning From Buddha, Namo Dorje Chang Buddha III says：Establish great compassion as your foundation. Do not do anything that is evil. Do all things that are good. Give up self-interests and benefit others. Patiently endure humiliation and adversity. Practice humility. Purify the mind. When encountering living beings, regardless of whether they are handicapped, deficient, sick, or healthy, treat them all equally as family members. Know that all phenomena are governed by causality. With good causes, you receive good retributions. Good retributions yield good fruits. Good fruits enable you to receive the true Dharma. Relying on the Dharma, you can achieve perfect good fortune and wisdom. Then you can step into the state of accomplishment, break away from the sufferings that living beings experience, cease transmigrating in the cycle of birth and death, and accomplish the perfect enlightenment of a Buddha!
Namo Dorje Chang Buddha III further more provide a guidance on our mind cultivation — the three daily introspections :“Before I went to sleep at night, did I think of anything unbeneficial to living beings? Did I think about doing those things? Did I think of doing something not good to others for the sake of myself, my children, or my relatives? Did I think of doing something not good to my fellow brothers and sisters? Did I crave credit or merit for myself? If I did, I must repent at once, I must correct myself! By doing that every day, I will naturally and gradually become purified and will become a great holy person.”
This year I will try my best to follow his guidance diligently, eliminate all my wrong thoughts, build a beautiful garden in my mind, and be kinder in my speech and conducts. Love all beings equally, do not have discriminate against other countries and peoples in the world. Wish peace, harmony and good fortune to all.
Sutra about Wisdom and the Foolishness ［賢愚経］ ( A sutra translated into Chinese in 445 by Hui-chüeh and others. It contains sixty-two Buddhist tales (sixty-nine tales, in a separate extant edition). A Collection of Records concerning the Tripitaka, the catalog of the Buddhist canon compiled by Seng-yu (445–518), ascribes the translation of the Sutra on the Wise and the Foolish to others. According to that work, T’an-hsüeh, Wei-te, and six other priests went westward from northwestern China to Khotan on the southern edge of the Takla Makan Desert to seek Buddhist scriptures. They happened upon a great Buddhist ceremony that was held once every five years at a monastery. There they heard the learned monks expound the Buddhist scriptures and rules of monastic discipline in the language of Khotan. T’an-hsüeh and the others translated and recorded the lectures in Chinese. Later they returned from Khotan and, upon reaching the region of Turfan, compiled the lectures given by the monks in Khotan as a single sutra, which is known as the Sutra on the Wise and the Foolish. The sutra contains stories explaining the causal relationship between incidents in one’s past existence and those in one’s present existence. In each of these stories, Shakyamuni Buddha makes a connection between someone living in the present and a person involved in a past incident. The law of cause and effect states that every single action in the universe produces a reaction no matter what. We need to abstain from anything that is evil, do everything that is good, and use the correct understanding and views to cultivate. Don’t violate any of the precepts, otherwise you will end in miserable retribution.
This story comes from ” Karma Scriptures about Wisdom and Foolishness “, the third volume in the ” Weimiao Bhiksuni “. In the era of Buddha Sakyamuni, many aristocratic women after ordination were very worried that their habits, such as lust, anger and ignorance, had not been eliminated yet. So they gathered to consult Bhiksuni Weimiao who had already attained the arhatship. Weimiao Bhiksuni told everyone the pain of the desire to bring, and tells the story of her previous life experience…
Pure Land Buddhism (Chinese: 淨土宗) is a broad branch of Mahayana Buddhism focused on achieving rebirth in a Buddha’s Buddha-field or Pure Land. It is one of the most widely practiced traditions of Buddhism in East Asia.
Pure Land is a tradition which is primarily focused on achieving rebirth in a Buddha’s “pure land” or buddha-field (Sanskrit: buddhakṣetra), which generally speaking is a Buddha’s field of influence. Some Buddha-fields are considered to be superior places to spiritually train for full Buddhahood, since a Buddha has compassionately “purified” it for this purpose and since in these realms, one can meet a Buddha face to face and study under them. The most common pure land today is that of Amitābha, called Sukhavati, “Land of Bliss”.
For many Buddhists, simply chanting the name of Amitabha Buddha, the Buddha of Infinite Light, is a complete mindfulness and devotional practice. Taking refuge in this way brings a feeling of immediate peace. Shakyamuni Buddha taught this method in the Amitabha Sutra. This simple, yet divinely rich practice combines devotion with mindfulness, of the sacred name of the Buddha.
The Buddha taught us many ways to practice in decades of teaching the Buddha Dharma, mapped out in 80,000 discourses and Sutras. Some of these are “learning practices” such as “Sutra recitation.” Others are vastly intricate and beautiful, such as Vajrayana visualization Sadhanas. Yet, for most of us, the sublimely simple practices are the best way to approach the Dharma, from mindfulness practice, to the most misunderstood of practices, chanting Amituofo. Ten Benefits of Chanting Namo Amituofo Practice Shakyamuni Buddha taught the 10 great benefits of chanting the name of Amitabha Buddha, as a complete practice, in the Amitabha Sutra. This is a devotional mindfulness practice. Single-Pointed focus and mindfulness is the ultimate goal, and can be achieved a number of ways.
Zen Koans are blissfully challenging. Watching the breath is a relaxing mindfulness practice. Chanting the Name or Name Praise of Amitabha is another quintessentially simple — yet penetratingly deep — practice. It makes the focus of our mindfulness, the Perfect Buddha. These ten great benefits of chanting Amitabha, as taught in sutra, include protection, support of all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, purification of negative karmas, restful sleep, a peaceful mind, and rebirth in Amitabha’s Pure Land. When you participate in this elegant and powerful practice, you feel immediate peace and comfort.
The entire practice is to mindfully chant the name — sometimes just the name, sometimes as a praise — of the Buddha of Infinite Light, Amitabha. Often this is embellished with the wondrous sound of the hypnotic fish drum, or the regular gong of a bell. Sometimes it is chanted musically; sometimes spoken; sometimes whispered. The immediate reward: a feeling of peace and protection. Many Buddhists — in Non-Pureland traditions — tend to think the practice is too simple, too reliant on faith and praise. If we think this way, we are missing the point. Single-Pointed Focus on Amitabha Like other traditions with single-focus meditation methods, Pureland Buddhist’s chant the name of Amitabha over and over. Mindfulness of the name of Amitabha is a powerful and profound practice. Instead of remaining mindful of something mundane, such as breath, or your walk in the park, Amituofo chanting keeps our mind focused in the present moment on the Enlightened Perfection of Amitabha Buddha. The entire practice is to simply chant, or say, with mindfulness: Amitabha, Amitabha, Amitabha… nothing else. Or using the Chinese version of the name Amituofo, Amituofo, Amituofo. Fo translates as Buddha. Keep the mind focused, in the present moment, on just the sound of your own voice: Amituofo, Amituofo, Amituofo.
In the beginning of 1999, a short trip of pilgrimage to the Buddhist holy sites in ancient India gave me the second feeling of returning home. In particular, when we were all prostrating around the Buddha’s Nirvana Temple in Kushinagar and respectfully lighting up 108 lights during the morning practice, suddenly dharma joy grabbed my entire body. I felt pleasantly serene and happy as if I was at the side of Sakyamuni Buddha. The feeling of coming back to home was so good! However, this was only a feeling from my emotions. I did not reach enlightenment in Buddha-dharma. There was no realization power to talk about. I kept asking myself whether this was due to my heavy karmic blockage. Otherwise why didn’t I receive practical benefits from the practice of meditation and some other dharmas? The more I thought about this, the more I felt that I was a very inferior person. The more inferior I felt, the more I was determined to learn and master Buddha-dharma.
One day, I received a copy of the book True Stories about a Holy Monk from a fellow Buddhist friend. I opened the book and started to read. Upon reading into the section about Buddha bestowing nectars, I suddenly entered into a somewhat dazed state of mind. The holy scene of Buddha bestowing nectars emerged in my mind. Such impression appeared real but was illusionary, gave the feeling of between existence and non-existence, was felt like my own experience and lasted a long time before disappearing. There was an indescribable joy in my mind. From that, I was sure that this is the true Buddha-dharma and is truly what I should quest for, rely upon and practice. After reading the book, I often felt in my mind an urge of wishing to meet and pay respect to the great holy one in person as early as possible. On the other hand, I also felt sad for the expected departure from the monk students at the Buddhist Academy whom I supported for quite a few years.
One day, on my way to work in the morning, this question came to my mind again. I suddenly felt a lump in my throat and tears gushed out from my eyes. I uncontrollably burst into a big cry. I managed to hold off my feelings to drive into the underground parking lot of my company. Once the car stopped, I could not control my emotions any longer and I cried for 20 minutes in the car. My eyes became swollen. I repeatedly beseeched Kuan Shi Yin Bodhisattva to empower me and point out my way. After a while, I thought that for a person with such heavy karmic blockage, how could it be possible for me to receive empowerment and guidance from Kuan Shi Yin Bodhisattva?
I put on a pair of sunglasses and went into my office. I sat on my chair with my mind being blank. Within five minutes, my secretary came in and asked me if I wanted to answer a phone call from a fellow Buddhist sister. I said yes. Once I picked up the phone, from whatever she told me over the phone, the only thing I could remember was “Brother, would you like to go on a trip to pay respect to the great holy master?” At that time, I happily answered, “Yes, Yes, I do!” I immediately prostrated on the ground with my palms together to thank Kuan Shi Yin Bodhisattva for pointing out the path for me.
I flew across the Pacific Ocean to the United States to pay respect to my greatest and kindest Buddha Master, H. H. Dorje Chang Buddha III, in the end of 1999. When I respectfully presented my offering gift as homage to the dharma with a pure white hada in prostration, my heart was beating heavily and my eyes dared not face upward. However, with only one brief peek, I felt enlightened right away. My instinct told me that this great holy being in front of my eyes is a Buddha! At the instant when the Buddha’s eyes were staring very benevolently at me, I felt that an extremely strong force of empowerment was transmitted from the top of my head into my entire body. My whole body felt very warm. This time I really came back home! I felt extremely confident and tears flooded out of my eyes. I did not have enough words to describe the dharma joy I had at the time.
After I had calmed down my feeling, my Buddha Master spoke to me, “Weren’t you looking at the sky since your childhood to search for answers? I will tell you now.” My Buddha Master told me the important affinities in my current life as well as the affinities between my Buddha Master and me from the past lifetimes. My Buddha Master also told me to buy an alms bowl and bring it back immediately. I and Henghsing Gyatso Rinpoche immediately bid farewell to my Buddha Master and left. We asked a fellow sister to drive us to a shopping mall to buy an alms bowl. Because of our unpreparedness, we could not find the alms bowl we needed. In the end, I had to buy a porcelain soup bowl with cover and came back. My Buddha Master looked at it and then asked Henghsing Gyatso Rinpoche who took me to buy the bowl whether he had provided any suggestion or advice to me. Henghsing Gyatso Rinpoche answered, “No, I did not. He chose the bowl and bought it on his own decision. I did not do anything for him.” At that time, I presented the bowl to my Buddha Master. My Buddha Master told me, “Do not hand it to me. I will not touch your bowl. You go and fill it with water by yourself.”
I immediately washed clean the porcelain bowl I bought with pure water and wiped it dry with the hada. Then I, by myself, filled it with pure water and respectfully laid it on a square dharma table that was before us. My wife and I prostrated in front of the dharma table. We respectfully held our palms together and kept chanting “Om, Ah, Hum!” My Buddha Master was at a distance of more than three meters from us and conducting the dharma at the top of a tall dharma rostrum. Not long after, at my Buddha Master’s dharma decree, bodhi holy water penetrated the side of the bowl and flowed out. I saw with my eyes that dharma water permeated through the surface of the porcelain bowl filled with pure water and flowed onto the table. At this time, at every dharma decree from my Buddha Master, the dharma water flowed to the left, right, or forward, exactly as instructed. My wife and I gazed at the scene and were simply speechless. My Buddha Master told us, “I will use this bodhi holy water to set up the mandala to guard against demons from stealing the dharma. I am going to perform an initiation for you two.” After that, my Buddha Master sprinkled dharma water around the perimeter of the mandala (Buddhist altar for transmitting Buddha-dharma or worshipping Buddhas and Bodhisattvas) to prevent evil beings and demons from listening to the Tathagata Dharma. Then the ceremony of initiation started. At the moment of dharma water sprinkling down to my head, I felt an extremely pleasantly cool feeling of empowerment that was pouring from the top of my head to my heart. The dharma joy I experienced at the time cannot be described in written languages.
During the six years before meeting my kind Buddha Master, because of my foolishness, deep and heavy attachment to the self and various types of ignorance, I created much dark karma. Consequently, my health was deteriorating steadily as time went by and eventually had to be sustained by medicine and the injection of placenta extract. My complexion was black and dark. Upon seeing me for the first time, my Buddha Master told me, “Your health is not good. I will teach you a dharma now. You should make a good effort in practicing it. You will get well.” In the years since then, I cultivated by adhering to the teaching and practiced according to the dharma. Miraculously, my health has recovered completely. From the year end of 2002 until now, I have not had much illness to speak of. Except going to the dentist office once a year to clean my teeth, I did not visit any hospital or clinic. For a 1,000-mile long-distance driving of 16 hours from Los Angeles to Portland, Oregon, I drove by myself without a stop and did not even feel tired. All these come from the empowerment of the great Buddha-dharma from my Buddha Master!
Before respectfully meeting my Buddha Master, I heard that my Buddha Master had been living in a room on the second floor of a fellow brother’s home, where the space is small. My wife and I immediately had the idea of offering a house to my great and kind Master, for propagating Buddha-dharma in America. Upon being led into the mandala where we became my Buddha Master’s disciples, the wish of offering the house emerged immediately. We respectfully reported to my Buddha Master and beseeched my Buddha Master’s benevolence to accept it. However, while my wife and I respectfully stated what we intended to present, my Buddha Master replied, “I accept your sincere wish but I do not accept the house. However, I will temporarily stay in your home for two years.” My Buddha Master’s discourse made me very surprised. For years, I had been cultivating and practicing in exoteric sects of Buddhism. I supported and made offerings to many monks, dharma masters and major temples. I never received a response like that. The conduct of the Buddha is so pure, selfless, faultless and great as to beyond my imagination. Later on, I also made offerings of great sums of money. My Buddha Master also declined them all. Where in the world can you find such person? There is no such eminent monk even among eminent monks. Only Buddhas and Bodhisattvas in Buddha-land possess such holiness and pureness.
“The Discourse on the Ten Wholesome Ways of Action” comes from The Western Jin Dynasty Tripitaka tokharia country dharmaraksa translation “The Buddha speaks for hailongwang”in Yuezhi of the Western Jin Dynasty. It’s the 11th charpet “Ten virtues and six paradigms”.
At one time, the Buddha stayed in the palace of the Dragon King of the Ocean together with an assembly of eight thousand great Bhikshus and thirty-two thousand Bodhisattvas and Mahasattvas altogether. At that time the World Honored One told the Dragon King saying:
Because all beings have different consciousness and thoughts, they perform. too different actions and as a consequence there is the turning around in all the different courses of existence. Oh Dragon King, do you see the variety of shapes and appearances in this meeting and in the great ocean, are they not different from one another.
Thus among all of them there is none which is not made by the mind, whether it is brought about by whole-some or unwholesome bodily, verbal, and mental actions, and yet the mind is formless it cannot be grasped or perceived, but it is the unreal accumulation and arising of all dharmas which are ultimately without owner, without I and mine. Although that which is manifested by each (being) according to its actions is not the same, there is nevertheless really no creator in these (actions). Therefore all dharmas are inconceivable and inexpressible, their own nature is phantom like. The wise ones knowing this ought to cultivate wholesome actions. Through this the aggregates sense-bases and elements that will be given rise to, will all be upright and those who will see them will not grow tired of them.
Oh Dragon King, when you behold the body of the Buddha born from a hundred thousand of Kotis of merit, with all the marks adorned, the splendor of its radiance covering the whole of the great assembly, even if there were immeasurable Kotis of Ishvara and Brahma devas they all would not come again into appearance.
Those who look with reverence at the Tathágata’s body how can they but not be dazzled. You again behold all these great Bodhisattvas of marvelous appearance, dignified and pure. All this comes into being entirely through the merit of cultivating wholesome actions. Again all the powerful ones like the eight classes of devas and dragons, and suchlike they also come into being because of the merits of wholesome actions.
Now all beings in the great ocean are of course and mean shapes and appearances, they all whether small or large performed unwholesome bodily, verbal, and mental actions out of all kinds of thoughts from their own minds. Thus is that each being receives its own result according to its action.
You ought to practice and to study constantly in this way, and also to bring beings to a thorough understanding of cause and effect and to the practice of wholesome actions.
In this you must have unshakable right view and you must not fall again into the views of annihilation and eternity. As to the fields of merit you rejoice in them, respect them and support them because of this you will also be respected and supported by men and devas.
Oh Dragon King you must know that Bodhisattva has one method which enables him to cut off all sufferings of evil destinies. What kind of methods is this? It is constantly, day and night, to recollect, to reflect on and to contemplate on the wholesome dharmas so as to cause the wholesome dharmas to increase from thought-moment to thought-moment, without allowing the least unwholesome thought to mingle in. This will then enable you to cut off all evil forever, to bring the wholesome dharmas to completion and to be constantly near all the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and other holy communities.
Speaking about wholesome dharmas, the bodies of men and devas, the Illumination of the Sravakas, the Illumination of the Pratyekas, and the Highest Illumination, they are all accomplished depending on these dharmas which are to be considered as fundamental. Therefore they are called wholesome dharmas.
These dharmas are the ten wholesome ways of actions. What are these ten? They are the ability to give up forever killing, stealing, wrong conduct, lying, slandering, harsh language, frivolous speech, lust, hate, and wrong views.
Oh Dragon King, if one gives up taking life then one will accomplish ten ways of being free from vexations.
What are the ten?
1]. One give universally to all beings without fear.
2]. One always has a heart of great compassion towards all beings.
3]. All habitual tendencies of hate in oneself will be cut off forever.
4]. One’s body is always free from illness.
5]. One’s life is long.
6]. One is constantly protected by non-human beings.
7]. One is always without bad dreams, one sleeps and wakes happily.
8]. The entanglement of enmity is eradicated and one is free from all hatred.
9]. One is free from the dread of evil destinies.
10]. When one’s life comes to an end one will be born as a Deva.
These are the ten. If one is one who is able to turn-towards the Highest Perfect Illumination, one will at a later time become a Buddha and attain to the ability peculiar to the Buddha, to live as long as one wishes.
Again, oh Dragon King, if one gives up stealing then one will attain to ten kinds of dharmas which can protect one’s confidence. What are the ten?
1]. One’s wealth will increase and accumulate and cannot be scattered or destroyed by Kings, robbers, floods, fires, and careless sons.
2]. One is thought of with fondness by many people.
3]. People do not take advantage of one.
4]. Everywhere one is praised.
5]. One is above the worry, that one oneself could be injured.
6]. One’s good name spreads.
7]. One is without fear in public.
8]. One is endowed with wealth, long life, strength, peace, happiness, and skill in speech, without deficiencies.
9]. One always thinks of giving.
10]. At the end of one’s life, one will be born as a Deva.
These are the ten. If one is one who is able to turn towards the Highest Perfect Illumination, one will at a later time become a Buddha, and attain to the realization of the purified great illumination wisdom.
Again, oh Dragon King, if one gives up wrong conduct one will attain to four kinds of dharmas which are praised by the wise. What are the four?
1]. All one’s faculties are tuned and adjusted.
2]. One is free from turmoil and excitement.
3]. One is praised and extolled by the world.
4]. One’s wife cannot be encroached upon by anybody.
These are the four. If one is one who is able to turn towards the Highest Perfect Illumination one will at a later time become a Buddha, and attain the master sign of the Buddha, of a concealed organ.
Again, oh Dragon King, if one gives up lying then one will attain to the eight dharmas which are praised by the devas. What are the eight?
1]. One’s mouth is always pure and has the fragrance of a blue lotus flower.
2]. One is trusted and obeyed by all the world.
3]. What one says is true and one is loved by men and devas.
4]. One always comforts beings with loving words.
5]. One attains to excellent bliss of mind and one’s actions, speech, and thoughts are pure.
6]. One’s speech is faultless and one’s mind is always joyful.
7]. One’s words are respected and are followed by men and devas.
8]. One’s wisdom is extraordinary and cannot be subdued.
These are the eight. If one is one who is able to turn towards the Highest Perfect Illumination, one will at a later time become a Buddha, and attain to the true speech of the Tathágata.
Again, oh Dragon King, if one gives up slandering one will then attain to five kinds of incorruptible dharmas. What are the five?
1]. One attains to an incorruptible body because no harm can be done to one.
2]. One gets an incorruptible family because no one can destroy it.
3]. One attains to incorruptible confidence because this is in line with one’s own actions.
4]. One attains to an incorruptible spiritual life because what one cultivates is firmly grounded.
5]. One gets incorruptible spiritual friends because one does not mislead or delude anybody.
These are the five. If one is one who is able to turn-towards the Highest Perfect Illumination, one will at a later time become a Buddha, and receive a holy retinue which cannot be corrupted by any Mara or heretic.
Again, oh Dragon King, if one gives up harsh language then one will attain to the accomplishment of eight kinds of pure actions. What are the eight?
1]. One’s speech is meaningful and reasonable.
2]. All that one says is profitable.
3]. One’s words are bound to be truthful.
4]. One’s language is beautiful and marvelous.
5]. One’s words are accepted by others.
6]. One’s words are trusted.
7]. One’s words cannot be ridiculed.
8]. All one’s words are spoken in love and enjoyed by others.
These are the eight. If one is one who is able to turn towards the Highest Perfect Illumination, he will be endowed with the perfect characteristic of the Brahma voice of the Tathágata.
Again, oh Dragon King, if one gives up frivolous speech then one will attain to the accomplishment of the three certainties. What are the three?
1]. One is certain to be loved by the wise.
2]. One is certain to be able to answer questions with wisdom and according to reality.
3]. One is certain to have the most excellent dignity and virtue among men and devas and one is without falsehood.
These are the three. If one is one who is able to turn towards the Highest Perfect Illumination, one will at a later time become a Buddha, attain to the Tathágata’s ability to predict everything, and none of the predictions are ever in vain.
Again, oh Dragon King, if one gives up lust, then one will attain to the accomplishment of the five kinds of freedom. What are the five?
1]. Freedom of bodily, verbal, and mental actions because one’s six faculties are perfect.
2]. Freedom as regards property because all enemies and robbers cannot rob one.
3]. Freedom with regard to merit because whatever one wishes one will be provided with.
4]. Freedom of being in the position of a King, because precious, rare and marvelous things will be reverently offered to one.
5]. The things one will get will surpass in excellency by a hundred times that what one is looking for, because in times by-gone one was neither stingy nor envious.
These are the five. If one is one who is able to turn towards the Highest Perfect Illumination, one will at a later time become a Buddha, be especially revered in all three realms and all of the beings of the three realms will respectfully make offering to one.
Again, oh Dragon King, if one gives up hatred then one will attain to eight kinds of dharmas of joy of mind. What are the eight?
1]. One’s mind is free from the desire to injure and to annoy others.
2]. One’s mind is free from hatred.
3]. One’s mind is free from the desire to dispute and to argue.
4]. One’s mind is gentle and upright.
5]. One has attained to the mind of loving kindness of a saint.
6]. One is of a mind that always acts beneficially giving peace to beings.
7]. One’s bodily appearance is dignified and one is respectfully treated by all.
8]. Because one is kind and forbearing, one will be born soon in the Brahma World.
These are the eight. If one is one who is able to turn towards the Highest Perfect Illumination, one will in later times become a Buddha, attain to the mind of the Buddha that is free from obstacles. People will not become tired of looking at him.
Again, Oh Dragon King, if one gives up wrong views, one will attain to the accomplishment of ten meritorious dharmas. What are the ten?
1]. One attains to genuinely good bliss of mind and one gets genuinely good companions.
2]. One has deep confidence in the law of cause and effect and one would rather lose one’s life than do evil.
3]. One takes refuge in the Buddha only and not in devas or others.
4]. One is of a straight mind and right views, and leaves behind the net of doubts about good and evil fortune.
5]. One will not be born again in an evil course of existence but will always be born as a man or Deva.
6]. Immeasurable blessings and wisdom will increase sublimely from turn to turn.
7]. One will forever leave the wrong path and tread the holy path.
8]. The view of a personality will not arise in one and one gives up all evil actions.
9]. One will abide in unobstructed understanding.
10]. One will not fall into any difficult conditions.
These are the ten. If one is one who is able to turn towards the Highest Perfect Illumination, one will at a later time become a Buddha, realize quickly all Buddha-dharmas and accomplish the mastery of the higher spiritual powers.”
At that time the World Honored One further told the Dragon King saying:
“If there is a Bodhisattva who is able to give up killing and harming, and practice giving, follow these wholesome actions at the time he treads the path, he will therefore always be rich in wealth, without anybody being able to rob him, he will have a long life and not die untimely, and he will not be injured by any robbers or enemies.
Because he gives up taking what is not given and practice giving, he will always be rich in wealth without there being anybody who can rob him. He will be most excelling beyond comparison (in this respect), and will be able to collect completely all the store of Buddha-dharmas.
Because he gives up the impure way of living and practices giving, he will always be rich in wealth without anybody being able to rob him. His family will be virtuous and obedient. There will be nobody who can look at his mother, wife, and daughter with a lustful mind.
Because he gives up false speech and practices giving, he will always be rich in wealth without anybody being able to rob him. Giving up all slandering he takes up the true Dharma. That which he does according to his vows will certainly bear fruit.
Because he gives up speech that causes dissension and practices giving, he will always be rich in wealth without anybody being able to rob him. His family will be harmonious and all the members of the family have the same aspirations and joys in common and will never unreasonably dispute with one another.
Because he gives up coarse evil speech and practices giving, he will always be rich in wealth without anybody being able to rob him. At all gatherings people joyfully accept him as their teacher. His words will be received with trust without opposition.
Because he gives up meaningless speech and practices giving, he will always be rich in wealth without anybody being able to rob him. His words are not spoken in vain, but are received with respect by all people. He is able and skilled in solving doubts and uncertainties.
Because he gives up the greedy mind and practices giving, he is always rich in wealth without anybody being able to rob him. All he has he gives to others with kindness. His confidence is firm and his understanding well grounded. He is endowed with great authority and strength.
Because he gives up the angry mind and practices giving, he is always rich in wealth without anybody being able to rob him. He quickly accomplishes by himself the wisdom of the mind that is free from obstruction. All his faculties are well dignified and all those who see him respect and love him.
Because he gives up the perverted mind and practices giving, he is always rich in wealth without anybody being able to rob him. He is always born in family, which is possessed of right views, reverence and confidence. He sees the Buddha, hears the dharma and supports the Community of Monks. He never forgets or loses the great Illumination Mind.
These are the great benefits obtained by a Great Being (Mahasattva), who at the time he cultivates the Bodhisattva path, practices the ten wholesome actions and adorns them with giving.
Thus, oh Dragon King, I am summarizing. Because one adorns the practice of the ten wholesome ways of action with morality, the meaning and benefit of all the Buddha-dharma can arise and the great vows are brought to completion.
Because one adorns this practice of the ten wholesome ways of actions with patience, one attains to the perfect voice of the Buddha and all the marks will be lovely.
Because one adorns this practice with effort, one is able to destroy the Mara enemy and enter into the store of Buddha-dharmas.
Because one adorns this practice with meditation, therefore mindfulness, wisdom, shame, conscientiousness and calm will arise.
Because one adorns this practice with wisdom one is able to cut off wrong views arising from discrimination.
Because one adorns this practice with loving kindness no thought of anger or harming will arise in oneself towards any being.
Because one adorns this practice with compassion, one will have sympathy towards all beings and will never get weary of and indifferent to them.
Because one adorns this practice with sympathetic joy, one’s mind when seeing somebody cultivating the good will be free from envy and jealousy.
Because one adorns this practice with serenity, one will not have a mind that is neither attached to favorable circumstances or that resents adverse circumstances.
Because one adorns this practice with the four ways of helping others, one will always be diligent in helping and teaching all beings.
Because one adorns this practice with the foundations of mindfulness, one will be able to be skillful in the practice of the contemplation of the four foundations of mindfulness.
Because one adorns this practice with the four right efforts, one will be able to cut off and remove entirely all unwholesome dharmas.
Because one adorns this practice with the four roads to power, one’s body and mind will always be calm and at ease.
Because one adorns this practice with the five faculties, deep confidence will be firmly established, there will be unremitting effort, one is always free from confusion and from delusion, one is at peace and well balanced, and all the defilement will be cut off.
Because one adorns this practice with the five powers, all enmity will be entirely destroyed and one cannot be harmed.
Because one adorns this practice with the seven factors of illumination, one will always well awake to all dharmas.
Because one adorns this practice with the Noble Eightfold Path, one will attain to perfect wisdom which will always be present before oneself.
Because one adorns this practice with calm meditation, one is able to wash away all the bonds and latent tendencies.
Because one adorns this practice with insight meditation, one is able to know the self nature of all dharmas according to reality.
Because one adorns this practice with the means, one will quickly attain to the fulfillment of the conditioned and unconditioned happiness.
Oh Dragon King, you should know that these ten wholesome actions can lead up to the completion of the Ten Powers of the Tathágata, of the Four Kinds of Fearlessness, of the Eighteen Dharmas that distinguish the Buddha and of all Buddha-dharmas. You should therefore practice and train with diligence.
Oh Dragon King, it is like the towns and villages, they all depend on the great ground where they stand. All the herbs, grasses, flowers, trees, and woods also depend on the ground for their growth. With these ten wholesome ways of actions it is the same. All men and devas are established (in their human and Deva nature) depending on them. The illumination of all the Sravakas, of all the Pratyekas, the way of the Bodhisattva, all Buddha-dharmas they all are attained and come to fruition due to these ten wholesome great grounds.
After the Buddha had spoken this discourse, the Dragon King of the Ocean, together with the great assembly, all the devas, asuras, and so on, all rejoiced greatly, received it with confidence and put it reverently into practice.
On weekday mornings, I hurriedly drive my son to school. Trying to beat the traffic and catch as many green lights as possible, the drive is usually a blur. One particular morning’s drive changed my perspective. While rushing down a wide arterial road, my son exclaimed to me that the trees on the sidewalk looked very beautiful.
Glancing over to the trees, I suddenly noticed the vibrant reds and yellows of the leaves clinging onto branches or drifting onto the sidewalk as the wind blew. Despite driving down this street every morning, in my hurry I had not noticed the changing colors of the trees until now, nearly the end of fall. The bright hues of the fall foliage was absolutely beautiful. This nature beauty made me slowing down my daily past pace. I feel the healing power of nature relaxing my tense nerves, and filled my heart with joy, peace, and harmony.
As I admired the scenery on the commute, I felt how wonderful it was to be present in the moment. I realized that oftentimes we lose sight of the little elements of natural beauty that are all around us. Life can be hectic, but we must make a conscious effort to enjoy the omnipresent beauty of our world.
A poem by a ancient Zen Master came to my mind:
Blossoms in Spring, Breezes in Summer, Glorious moons in Fall, and Snow in Winter. When one is not held back by nothing, Every moment can be wonderful.
Egg Shells and Patience
Eggs are an essential part of a good breakfast. There are countless ways to prepare them, but not all recipes are made equal. I used to cook omelettes for the family, but recently I learned that hard boiled eggs are actually a better choice. Hard boiled egg can keep more nutrients from the egg and avoid extra oil.
The only problem is, peeling a hard boiled egg is a rather arduous task. The shell and egg white absolutely refuse to be parted. Usually, the peeled egg ends up looking kind of like the moon, full of craters and lumps and whatnot. This morning, I got very frustrated trying to peel my hard boiled egg. It felt like the shell and egg white were superglued together. Even my mother’s old trick of placing the boiled eggs into cold water didn’t seem to work. After my first peeled egg ended up looking like a misshapen golf ball, I was ready to throw them all onto the floor.
Fortunately, I am a Buddhist disciple, and I remembered one of the most important things I’d learned: patience. I told myself, as a student of the Buddha who cultivates myself everyday, why am I still so easily distressed by outside events?
So I decided to let myself calm down for a while. I left the eggs in the cold water and went off to relax. After maybe fifteen minutes, I returned to give making breakfast another shot. Surprisingly, the shell peeled off easily this time. I realized that by being patient and giving the eggs more time to cool down, it was now much easier to complete my task. So when annoying things happen, we must first be patient. Let it all cool down, and things will be much easier to deal with.
Patient means embracing yourself and all things around you with gentleness and kindness, and doing so will get happy and more productive results.