Venerables, fellow students, my warmest greetings to you all. We will continue to talk about ‘God Loves All Beings’.
The deepening of religious cohesion must be on the basis of all religious groups delving into one another’s sacred texts. Only with this basis can we succeed. In so doing, the preachers and followers of all faiths will come to understand the commonalities among the sacred texts of one another’s religion and that they are all the children of one true God.
Considering the great importance of understanding and learning the sacred texts of each religion, we selected a number of excerpts of the most essential teachings from the sacred texts of eleven major religions in the world. They enable readers to understand that all divinities are truly one entity and that they all have the same universal love and true mind. This is the basis of our study as well as the core of it. Otherwise, the significance of religious cohesion would be lost. The booklet ‘God Loves All Beings’ helps us reach this state of mutual understanding.
We know that the roots of learning lie in the sentence ‘all divinities have the same universal love and true mind’. First of all, we must be without any doubt that, according to the scriptures, every religion is based on sacred teachings. So how do we find this love? This love, the sacred love, comes from our true mind, but not from our false mind. So what is a false mind? It is a mind with differentiation and attachment. Or to sum up, a mind that gives rise to random thought is a false mind, a mind that has differentiation and attachment is a false mind. We must let go of the false mind and then the true mind will appear. God’s love for all is the manifestation of a true mind, and there is no difference between the true mind of all beings and that of God.
It is why in the end we will understand what these excerpts from various scriptures tell us: not only all divinities are one entity, but the entire universe arise due to the true mind and the universe changes in accordance to the false mind. The true mind reveals Heaven and the Land of Ultimate Bliss whereas the false mind changes them into the ten dharma-realms (our universe is included within). The ten dharma-realms, the Land of Ultimate Bliss and Heaven are one, not two.
It is stated in a Buddhist sutra that ‘All phenomena is illusive and unreal’. This is true, not false. When we let go of all that is illusive and unreal, remove them from our minds, at this very moment, our minds are the true mind. What is the difference between us and those who have attained enlightenment and witnessed the true nature? It lies right here. When they see anything, no thought arises in their minds but they can see it all clearly and thoroughly. When they hear anything, they can hear it all clearly but no thought arises in their minds. From here, we can see the secret of the cultivation and attainment of ancient sages. Once we fully and clearly understand what it is, we also want to learn it! To learn it is to attain the ability, to learn is to do or practise it. When ordinary people do something, there are wandering thoughts, differentiation and attachment as well as afflictions and aquired habits in their minds. As for those who have attained enlightenment and attained their true nature, there are no thought, differentiation and attachment when their six sense are in contact with worldly phenomena This is the difference.
If anyone thinks that they must leave this world in order to attain enlightenment a, then they are completely wrong! They cannot leave this world to attain it. Truth and falsehood are one and the same, how could they leave the world to attain awakening? So what should we do? Well, Buddhas, bodhisattvas, the founders of all religions, God as well as God’s messengers and those who taught and reformed all beings in the six realms, all of them not only taught us but also were good role models for us. So when the state of our minds is the same as that of theirs, we will have attained the right “Path”. What shall we have attained? We shall have attained the path to attaining enlightenment. By then, we shall know how to get there, that is, how to use our six senses when in contact with this world to properly conduct our learning. For example, when our eyes see a form or a phenomenon, it is a chance to cultivate ourselves and learning to attain enlightenment . Start from this moment onward, whenever we see any form or phenomenon, be it beautiful or ugly, we do not differentiate the form, nor do we have any attachment to it, and lastly, we let go of the form from our minds. This is the right way to cultivate.
And what would ordinary people do? Ordinary people cannot let go of any form or phenomenon, true or false. Everything is on their minds. They do not know that the true mind or self-nature is pure without a single speck of dust. Although a person with a true mind sees a form or phenomenon, that form touches not the mind within; although they hear a sound, that sound is not present in the mind. As for what they smell or taste, they let go of it. It is why it is called ‘one self-nature’ or the ‘true self-nature’. What does ‘true self-nature’ mean? True and false are one, not two, and they are called ‘one self-nature’ or the ‘true self-nature’. Do not differentiate or be attached to anything—this is where we start our learning. We need to practise it with genuine effort. When you can truly practise it, you will attain what Professor Fang Dongmei told me – ‘Practising the Buddha’s teachings is the highest enjoyment of one’s life’. I attain it, you attain it, they attain it, and everyone attains it. How is it attained? Stop from having wandering thoughts, no more differentiation, no more attachment and do let go of everything on your mind. This is the right way. Those who cannot let go of things are ordinary people. They have changed their true mind into false mind and changed their self-nature into habitual nature. This is where the problem is. I can testify what Professor Fang said – ‘the highest enjoyment of one’s life’.
Someone asked me, ‘I’ve cultivated for decades, but I still have much afflictions and without peace or happiness. How did you do it?’ I told him, ‘If you learn from me, you’ll also achieve it. What do you need to learn? Let go of things from your mind.’ This sentence is easy to say, but hard to do. Why? It is because you have developed a habit of thinking, differentiating and being attached to various things. Whenever you see or hear something, thoughts immediately arise in your mind. When your six senses are in contact with the world, all of them are busy with creating more wanderingthoughts. This is where the real trouble is! So long as thoughts are arising in our minds, our minds are the false mind, not the true mind anymore. Let go of wandering thoughts, let go of thoughts of differentiation and let go of attachment. Let go of everything in the mind. This is the true mind and this is self-nature. Numerous sutras and sacred texts help us understand the true reality of all phenomena in the world. Once we understand the truth, as mentioned in the previous lesson, the four learning steps are believing, understanding, practising and attaining. The step of “understanding” is only knowing the truth but without the practise. So what do we practiset? “Let go” is the practise. Once you let go of things, your understanding will turn into wisdom and it is no longer afflictions.
Learn to “lett go” o is how you should cultivate yourself. I sought guidance from my teacher, the Changkya Khutukhtu, ‘Is there a quickeer way of getting into Buddhism?’ Having heard my question, he looked at me. And I looked at him back. We looked at one another in silence for half an hour. I did not know what he meant by looking at me at that time. Later, I realised that he was waiting for my mind to settle down. If my mind did not settle down, I would not take in his words and I would not have believed what my teacher said. That half an hour was much like entering into meditation for me. After that, my mind was pure without any thought. He then said one word, ‘Yes.’ Well, hearing his answer, I immediately focused my attention to what he was about to say. Wrong move! Because wandering thoughts arised in my mind. Once again, he stopped speaking. This time, he waited for about 10 minutes. You see, in the first 30 minutes, I settled down my mind and he said one word ‘yes’. After that, my mind was stirred and random thoughts together with differentiation and attachment was present. As I had all of those, he did not speak further. Ten minutes later, my mind settled down again. He then told me, “See through and let go”. “See through the truth of everything will help you let go of them. Letting go of things helps you see through them.” Then, I understood the method. What is the cultivation and practice of Buddhism? It is to see through things and let go of them. Seeing through things is wisdom, and letting go of them is real practise.
In our daily lives, if you want to benefit from the practice of the Buddha’s teachings, you must let go of all affairs. Letting go will help us gain wisdom. There are just too many benefits from such practice. Gradually, you will attain the state of the minds of Buddhas. Buddhas and bodhisattvas have attained enlightenment. You will also attain it. Enlightenment is something innate to our self-nature, and it is not gained from outside. The ability to practise is also innate to us and it is also meditative concentration. When there is something on our minds, we cannot enter into meditative concentrate. So when we let go of wandering thoughts, differentiation and attachment, our minds will be able to achieve meditative concentration. Meditative concentration gives rise to wisdom, which is innate in our self-nature. Subsequently, we shall be able to delve deeper into the sutras and gradually grasp the width and depth of them. This is something we must know. I hope that fellow students can slowly contemplate it.
It is best kind of fortune if we do not have to manage people, affairs and money in our lifetime. We should learn to let go of people and affairs. So when there is something we have to do, we do it properly but let go of all of it after we are done. We let go of money too. At that moment, you will fully experience what Professor Fang said ‘Practising the Buddha’s teachings is the highest enjoyment in one’s life’.
OK, time is up. This is it for today. Thank you.