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Our Mentor » Words of gratitude » The Venerable Master’s Teachings

The Venerable Master’s Teachings 2013-11-21


By Alex Wong Speaking at GSM
English translation by Gengling Zhen

Today is the 15th anniversary of the Master entering nirvana, and a very special day. Each year today is a day worthy of us all coming back home for. Why is this day very special? Because we all come back home, getting together and sitting by each other; we can ask ourselves questions and reflect within ourselves: since taking refuge with the Triple Jewel and starting learning from the Master, what in us have increased? What have decreased?

In this Buddha Hall, we saw that there are more beings, fewer Buddhas; fewer Dharma Masters, more lay Buddhists; more elders, fewer young people. These are distinctions and false thoughts we made by looking outward, and as a result we are differentiating that this is more and that is less. But the Master taught us to reflect within; Most importantly― we should look inward at ourselves. Do we have more proper thoughts, or more deviant thoughts? More good thoughts, or more evil thoughts?

The sixth patriarch said:in delusion, one needs a master to cross over oneself; having awakened, one should cross over oneself. Even though we are not enlightened yet, I think that in our self nature, there is great enlightenment as well as small enlightenment. Since we have taken refuge with the Triple Jewel and become Buddhist disciples, we should have had a tiny bit of that “enlightenment”, so we should depend on our own ability. We should have done so when the Master was with us, and when the Master is no longer with us ― always following the Master’s teachings persistently. There is a saying, “the master takes the disciple in the door and the disciple works on his own cultivation.” In this life we are greatly blessed. We came across the Triple Jewel; we met the Master; and we can learn the proper Dharma.

Yesterday in “Vajra Bodhi Sea”, I came upon Dharma Master Sure’s account of the year 1957, when he met the Master in Gold Mountain Monastery - how the Master taught and guided the disciples. Dharma Master Sure said, when he first met the Master and learned under the Master’s guidance, he did not hear the Master talking about spiritual power, or samadhi.... What he heard was the Master’s teachings of how to remove old habits and shortcomings, and how to admit mistakes….

The three keys to cultivation that the Master taught us are: Trueness, sincerity, and perseverance. First of all, “trueness” means, that we should make true efforts in what we do, otherwise “the Cause ground is not true, the Effect will turn out to be tortuous”. Secondly, “sincerity” means, in getting along with people, we should be sincere, courteous, kind, and forbearing. Otherwise we will have many obstacles. On a day when we get angry, we will find many obstacles hindering us from cultivation and studying Dharma. Thirdly, “perseverance” means, that we need to be perseverant in all we do. In the course of learning Buddhism, we should carefully choose a dharma door, single-minded and perseverant in learning it. These are the three keys to cultivation that the Master taught us.