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No physical item sent. File Format: MP3. The PDF format is a popular format for electronics books. All platforms are able to gain access and read PDF formatting. Only 1 left! About Sun Tzu. Sun Tsu, um um v. By Marcus Aurelius. Author Marcus Aurelius. They have inspired debate, dissent, war and revolution. They have enlightened, outraged, provoked and comforted. They have enriched lives and destroyed them.
Cost will be as per product and distance basis. So, If there is any problem. How to Win Friends and Influence People. Note: This item is an Ebook, Not a physical book. Joe demystifies ancient understandings and bridges the gap between science and spirituality. He has been married twice and has three adult children. He and his wife Ann live in rural Victoria. Subtitle The Kath Pettingill Story. The Matriarch. But this is no plea for pity. Devas are heavenly beings with significantly higher powers than that of human beings. They are usually benevolent with some exceptions.
The deva denoted here is probably the ruler of the sixth heaven, Mara. Mara actively hinders spiritual seekers who are near enlightenment, because they will soon transcend samsara and be out of his control. Our body is literally a skin-bag, inside of which are wastes, fetid bodily fluids, germs, and many other foul substances. This is a kind of impurity contemplation that lessens our attraction to the human body, eventually realizing the body is neither impure nor pure. As human beings, we are easily pulled away from our cultivation by either loved ones or enemies because of our desires and anger.
When cultivators harbor false and erroneous views, they are vulnerable to demons and bad spirits. There are different kinds of barriers in the path of cultivation. If one is not diligent in overcoming obstacles, or if one is attached to secular rewards, then one is caught in a whirlpool, not making real progress. One observes the precepts correctly and does not become morally corrupted. Our ordinary mind is easily distracted, clinging to sights, sounds, memories, and ideas, like an unbridled wild horse, unstoppable and rarely in control.
Our mind can deceive itself unless we become arhats, which means we are free from delusions. A symbol of purity in Buddhism because it grows from muddy water and blooms without a trace of mud left upon it. Mud represents defilements that soil our mind. All sentient beings have been our relatives through our countless rebirths, so we should regard them as our family and try to help them achieve liberation instead of viewing them as objects of desire.
Before cultivators get rid of the root of desire, they are vulnerable to temptations and thus should be very cautious. While the man blamed his lust on the physical body, the Buddha pointed out that all problems originate in the mind. When both aspects of the mind are still, one sees that form and action are both empty. There are buddhas in the past, present, and future. Fear arises from worrying about losing what we have and not getting what we desire. A metaphor referring to the many habitual thoughts, actions, and demons that can hinder the practitioner.
Without dualistic thoughts or harboring extreme views. Refers to all kinds of afflictions such as greed, anger, ignorance, and dualistic thoughts. The three lower planes of existence in the realm of desire, namely animal, hungry ghost, and hell. An analogy in Buddhism says the chance of being born as a human being is like a blind turtle who rises to the surface of the sea every one hundred years and happens to poke his head through a hole in a piece of floating drift wood.
In the time of the Buddha, women suffer more than men. It was preferable to be born a man just as it was preferable to be born into a higher caste. The Buddha broke the caste and gender barriers by leading both men and women to enlightenment through his teachings. A country that is the center of culture, knowledge, and where Buddhism prospers. At the time of the Buddha, it refers to India.
A bodhi mind is an awakened mind. To bring forth the bodhi mind is to attain enlightenment. Before one gets enlightened, this phrase also means to resolve to attain Buddhahood and liberate countless sentient beings. Through the understanding of the principle of emptiness, one cultivates without the thought of self, others, actions, and attachments to their results.
The teachings are sweet from the surface expedient means to the middle the ultimate truth of the Middle Way. In a granary an ox is yoked to grind grain by turning a millstone. The ox follows a path around the grinding stone because he is forced to, but his mind does not. A shramana should have his mind and body unified in his cultivation path. This allows us to contemplate our attachments to our own perceptions. It also shows the impermanent nature of both worldly objects and attachments. In the next eight verses, the Buddha looks upon his own teachings as impermanent. They are useful only as a means to perfect enlightenment.
He has no attachment to his own teaching. Haritaki fruit is a type of Indian fruit, very small in size. We see the world as massive, yet the Buddha perceives the universe as a small fruit. What we see as abundant, the Buddha sees it as a few drops of oil. Anavatapta Lake is a great lake near the Himalayas, from which it is said flows the waters of the four great rivers of India, including the Ganges and Indus.
Its cool and pure water is considered precious and sacred. It is said the Buddha provided eighty-four thousand expedient means to transform our eighty-four thousand afflictions. For those in need, expedient means are treasured. When the need is gone, they are like imaginary jewels that should disappear. The One Vehicle that brings everyone to Buddhahood. An Indian metaphor for the illusion seen by one with eye disease.
The Buddha Way exists for the illnesses of the world. Mount Sumeru is the greatest mountain in the world like a pillar holding up the sky. Worldly Samadhi is as stable as Mount Sumeru. However, just as Mount Sumeru because it is made of the four elements will become speckles of dust as the world eventually disintegrates, worldly samadhi is impermanent like any phenomena. Nirvana is being fully awake enlightened at all times, contrary to samsara which is dreaming deluded both day and night.
Nirvana and samsara are still relative concepts; higher enlightenment means to see that nirvana and samsara are not different. This analogy comes from the perspective of the Middle Way. Aversion and attachment to phenomena that our six senses perceived are two extremes. In the ultimate truth, there is no absolute good or bad, pure or impure, up or down, merely the head and tail of a dancing dragon constantly switching places as it moves around. This comes from the perspective of emptiness. All sentient beings have the Buddha nature, therefore they are equal. All phenomena are mutually dependent and inseparable, therefore they are equal.
This is the absolute ground of reality. This analogy comes from the perspective of conventional truth. The Buddha sees that his teaching, like a tree in four seasons, goes through the cycle of germination, growth, fruition, and deterioration. The propagation of the teaching waxes and wanes.
Here it includes all those who are present in the assembly. I prostrate and take refuge in the Unsurpassed One Who, with endless vows of great compassion, Ferries sentient beings across the stream of birth and death, To reach the safe haven of nirvana. The Dharma clouds and Dharma rain imbue all beings, Eliminating searing afflictions and illnesses, Tempering and converting the obstinate, Guiding everyone appropriately, not by force. I prostrate and take refuge in the saints, The superior beings of the eight stages, Who can be freed from defilements.
With the vajra scepter of wisdom, They shatter the mountain of delusion, Forever severing the beginningless ties and fetters. According to individual vows and karma, they complete Their missions, realize nonbirth, and abide in stillness With body and knowledge extinguished. I prostrate and venerate the Three Jewels, The true source of liberation for all, Leading those drowning in samsara From foolish delusion to enlightenment.
All who are born will die, All beauty will fade, The strong are stricken by illness, And no one can escape. Even the great Mt. The vast and fathomless seas Will eventually dry up. The earth, sun, and moon Will all perish in due time. Not one thing in the world Can escape impermanence.
Even the unsurpassed buddhas, Pratyekabuddhas, and shravakas, Give up their impermanent bodies, Why not ordinary beings! Like sweet dew that cools and purifies, The Dharma eradicates all afflictions. So listen with one-mind! Thus have I heard. What are the three? Aging, illness, and death. Aging, illness, and death, of all things in this world, are truly not likable, not lustrous, not desired, and not agreeable.
If there were no aging, illness, and death in the world, Tathagata, the Worthy and Completely Enlightened One, need not appear in this world, to speak to all sentient beings on how to cultivate and what can be attained. Because of these three things, Tathagata, the Worthy and Completely Enlightened One, appears in the world, to speak to all sentient beings on how to cultivate and what can be attained.
Only the incomparable Dharma will endure. The wise should discern clearly. Aging, illness, and death are resented by all; Their appearance is dreadful and repulsive. The countenance of youth is fleeting, Soon it will wither and fade; Even living to a hundred years, still, One must give in to the force of impermanence. The suffering of aging, illness, and death Constantly afflicts all sentient beings. When the World Honored One had spoken this sutra, the bhiksus, devas, dragons, yaksas, ghandaras, asuras and so forth were all filled with immense joy; they accepted and followed the teaching faithfully.
Always pursuing worldly desires And not performing good deeds, How can you maintain your body and life, And not see the approach of death? When the breath of life is ending, Limbs and joints separate;. The agonies of death converge, And you can only lament. Eyes roll up, the blade of death Strikes down with the force of karma. The mind fills with fear and confusion, And no one can save you. Gasping, the chest heaves rapidly; Shortened breaths parch the throat. The king of death demands your life, And relatives can only stand by. All consciousness becomes hazy and dim, As you enter the city of peril.
Friends and relatives forsake you, As the rope drags you away To the place of King Yama, Where fate is determined by karma. Virtuous deeds give rise to good destinies, And bad karma plunges one into hell. There is no vision clearer than wisdom, And nothing darker than ignorance, There is no sickness worse than hatred, And no fear greater than death. All that live must die; Commit sins and the body suffers. Be diligent in examining the three karmas, Always cultivate merits and wisdom.
All your relatives will desert you, All possessions will be gone; You have only your virtues As sustenance on this treacherous path. Like those who rest by a roadside tree, They will not linger long;. Wife, children, carriages, and horses Will likewise soon be gone. Like birds that gather at night, Going their separate ways at dawn, Death callously parts all relatives and friends. Only buddha enlightenment is our true refuge. I have spoken in brief according to the sutras, The wise should reflect and take heed.
Uphold the Dharma so it may endure, Each of you should practice with diligence.
Sutra – Buddha Gate Monastery
All sentient beings who come for the teaching, Whether on land or in the air, Always be kind-hearted in this world, Abide in the Dharma day and night. May all worlds be safe and peaceful; May infinite blessings and wisdom benefit all beings. May all sinful karma and suffering be removed; May all enter perfect stillness. Anoint the body with the fragrance of precepts, And sustain it with the strength of samadhi; Adorn the world with flowers of bodhi wisdom, Dwell in peace and joy wherever you are.
To enter the Great Way there are many paths, but essentially they are of two means: by Principle and by Practice. Entering the Way by Principle means to awaken to the Truth through the doctrine, with a deep faith that all sentient beings have the same true nature. Obscured by the fleeting dust of delusions, this nature cannot manifest itself. Being non-discriminative, still, and empty of effort is to Enter by Principle. Entering by Practice means following four practices that encompass all other practices.
They are: accepting adversity, adapting to conditions, seeking nothing, and acting in accordance with the Dharma. What is the practice of accepting adversity? Even though now I have done no wrong, I am reaping the karmic consequences of past transgressions. It is something that neither the heavens nor other people can impose upon me. Therefore I should accept it willingly,. With thorough insight. With this understanding in mind, you are in accord with the Principle, advancing on the Way through the experience of adversity. This is called the practice of accepting adversity.
Second is the practice of adapting to conditions. Sentient beings are without a self, being steered by karmic conditions. Suffering and joy are experienced together as a result of causes and conditions. Any reward, blessing or honor is a consequence of past causes; nothing remains when the necessary conditions are exhausted. So what is there to be joyful about? Knowing that success and failure depend on conditions, the mind remains unmoved by the wind of joy, experiencing neither gain nor loss.
This is to be in harmony with the Way. Therefore it is called the practice of adapting to conditions. Third, to seek nothing. Ordinary people, in their perpetual ignorance, crave and form attachments to everything, everywhere. This is called seeking. The wise are awakened to the Truth, and choose reason over convention; even though their forms follow the law of causality, their minds are at peace and empty of effort.
Since all existence is empty, there is nothing to be desired. Blessing and Darkness always follow each other. This long sojourn in the Triple Realm is like living in a burning house; to have. Those who understand this renounce all mundane existence, cease desires, and stop seeking. This is the practice of seeking nothing. Fourth, to act in accordance with the Dharma. The principle of intrinsic purity is the Dharma. By this principle, all forms and characteristics are empty, without defilement and attachment, without self or others.
In the Dharma there is no self, because it is free of the impurities of self. There is no parsimony in the Dharma, so practice the giving of body, life, and possessions without any reservation. One liberates others without becoming attached to form, thus removing impurities. This benefits oneself, benefits others, and also glorifies the bodhi path. Dana is perfected this way; so are the other five paramitas. In order to relinquish delusions, one practices these six perfections, yet nothing is practiced. This is to act in accordance with the Dharma.
The great maha vehicle yana. It is the bodhisattva path which leads to Buddhahood. This involves devotion to the liberation of all beings and the perfection of wisdom. This current text is one of the very few records we have of his teaching. To enter the Great Way is to truly understand what it means to become a buddha. Sometimes the two means are combined. Here it refers to the canon of Buddhist teaching: the Dharma; the scriptures and their commentaries; and the philosophy.
Faith based on correct understanding of the Dharma, faith based on unbiased reasoning and experiences, as opposed to faith based on superstitions or unfounded beliefs. All living beings with sentience; beings that have awareness. Unlike buddhas and bodhisattvas, they are all trapped in samsara but have the potential to become buddhas.
To be enlightened is to directly experience this fact. The original mind is like a mirror covered with the dust of delusions; therefore its reflections of reality are unclear and distorted. Scriptures are important as they provide guidance to enlightenment, but they can be misinterpreted or taken too literally.
Also to study them as philosophy without practice will not lead to true understanding. To be in a state of mind free from all sources of discrimination and ultimately attaining a mind of non-duality. Stillness means free from disturbances. An unenlightened mind is constantly disturbed by greed, anger, selfish interests, etc. A mind of absolute stillness is nirvana.
Free from contrived effort; free from clinging and attachments; unconditioned; absolute. Being wu-wei also means inner peace obtained by having no desires. The universe is then recreated and destroyed , over and over again, by our collective karma. Innumerable kalpas refers to the countless cycles through lifetimes in the past. We should consider what is meaningful in our life, and whether we are working on it or pursuing trivial matters instead. Due to the ignorance of the Way, we intentionally or unintentionally caused much harm to others in this lifetime and each lifetime past.
Applying the Principle of causality, we really have no grounds to feel resentment for the suffering we now face. Karma means action which includes physical, verbal, and mental activities. In Buddhism there are devas or celestial beings who reside in different levels of heavens. They are born with more powers and blessings than human beings due to superior deeds in their past. People resent their fate because they lack understanding of causality and the teaching presented here.
All things arise from certain causes and conditions, and will cease to exist when the conditions fall apart. This is the teaching of conditional arising, also called dependent origination. The enlightened and the wise understand and adapt to conditions, whereas the ignorant and foolish try to get results without the right conditions, or are unaware of the changing conditions, thereby bringing misery and isappointment onto themselves.
Suffering is a result of harmful actions karma , and joy is a result of beneficial actions. Most people experience a mixture of suffering and joy in their lives because they have created both good and bad karma in the past. Result of good karma. Even though they are favored over suffering, they are also impermanent. To not realize this can lead to suffering. In practice, the mind is in equanimity, neither elated nor depressed.
In principle, nothing is gained and nothing is lost. To crave or desire anything, to cling to or despise anything, to dwell in the past or grumble about the present are all examples of attachment. Many common beliefs and practices are actually unwise, senseless, or even dangerous. Sometimes the truth is the opposite of what we believe.
Ignorant people do not realize that their bodies, actions and all phenomena follow the law of causality and try to go against it; therefore, they suffer. Wise people recognize this fact and accept it; therefore, they are at peace. Each will bear its own consequences.
The Maha-parinirvana Sutra tells of the story of a pair of deva sisters named Blessing and Darkness; wherever Blessing goes, good fortune follows; wherever Darkness goes, misfortune follows. However, the two sisters are inseparable, one cannot receive one sister without the other. They possess physical forms and have varying degrees of desires for wealth, lust, fame, food, and sleep. They have finer, uni-gender physical forms but not the desires of the lower realm. Beings of the Triple Realm are still subject to karma and rebirth, and therefore have not attained liberation.
Cycling through countless rebirths, we have taken on all different forms of being and traveled through all of the Triple Realm. Without enlightenment, it is an endless journey without an ultimate purpose. Each life in the Triple Realm has all kinds of suffering and ends in death, so the world we live in is like a house on fire that eventually consumes everything. Those who do not realize this still enjoy living in this house, instead of thinking of ways to get out! Birth, aging, illness, and death are all afflictions of the body that are unavoidable as long as one has a physical body.
Seeking is defined here as the attachment to things and phenomena to gratify the selfish ego. When one understands the underlying empty nature of these things, one can have true peace of mind and stop seeking. However, we can, out of compassion, seek to enlighten and benefit others without attachment to the ego. Ordinary sentient beings have the deep-rooted delusion of an inherent, unchanging self, which develops into the ego and subsequently gives rise to greed, anger, ignorance, pride, and a host of false views; they then lead to the suffering of sentient beings.
Being delusions, these false views and vexations have no real substance. The first of the six paramitas perfections practiced by a bodhisattva. There are 3 types of generosity: giving of material, giving of solace comfort, protection, removal of fear, etc. The highest form of dana is to give without the concept of the giver, the receiver, and the given, because all are empty. Then one can truly give without expectations, without the ego being involved. This is the perfection of dana, or dana paramita. Paramitas, the practice that can bring one to liberation.
Still, one then becomes a buddha; without the practice, the buddha nature is latent and one is an ordinary sentient being imbued with suffering. The Supreme Way is difficult Only for those who pick and choose. Simply let go of love and hate; The Way will fully reveal itself. The slightest distinction Results in a difference as great as heaven and earth. For the Way to manifest, Hold not to likes and dislikes.
The contention of likes and dislikes Is a disease of the mind. Without realizing the Profound Principle, It is futile to practice stillness. Intrinsically perfect like the Great Void, Without lack, without excess; In choosing to grasp or reject, One is blind to Suchness. Neither pursue conditioned existence, Nor stay in idle emptiness. In oneness and equality, All self-boundaries dissolve. Trying to still action Is an action itself. Still trapped in duality, How can you recognize oneness? Failing to penetrate the meaning of oneness, Neither side will function. Banishing existence entwines you in existence; Pursuing emptiness turns you away from it.
The more you talk and think, The more you go astray; Cease all speech and thought, Then everywhere you are with the Way. To attain the principle, return to the source; Pursuing reflections, the essence is lost. Inner illumination, in a moment, Surpasses idle emptiness. The appearance of this idle emptiness Results entirely from deluded views. No need to search for truth, Just put to rest all views. Abide not in dualistic views; Take heed not to pursue them.
As soon as right and wrong arise, The mind is bewildered and lost. Two comes from one, Hold on not even to one. When not even one thought arises, All dharmas are flawless. Free of flaws, free of dharmas, No arising, no thought. The subject disappears with its object, The object vanishes without its subject. Objects are objects because of subjects, Subjects are subjects because of objects. Know that these two Are essentially of one emptiness. The one emptiness unites opposites, Equally pervading all phenomena.
Not differentiating what is fine or coarse, How can there be any preferences? The Great Way is all embracing, Neither easy nor difficult. The narrow minded doubt this; In haste, they fall behind. With clinging one loses judgment And will surely go astray. Let everything follow its own nature; The Essence neither goes nor stays. To follow your true nature is to unite with the Way, Be at ease and worries will cease. Fixation of thought is unnatural, Yet laziness of mind is undesirable. Not wanting to wear down the spirit, Why do you hold dear or alienate?
To enter the One Vehicle, Be not prejudice against the six dusts. To have no prejudice toward the six dusts Is to come into true enlightenment. The wise abide in wu-wei, The fools entangle themselves. Dharmas do not differ, Yet the deluded desire and cling. To seek the mind with the mind— Is this not a great error?
In delusion chaos and stillness arise, In enlightenment there is no desire and aversion. The duality of all things Comes from false discrimination. Dreams, illusions, like flowers in the sky— How can they be worth grasping? Gain and loss, right and wrong— Abandon these at once. If your eyes are open Dreams will naturally cease.
If the mind makes no distinctions, All dharmas are of One Suchness. In the profound essence of this Suchness, One abandons all conditioning. Beholding the myriad dharmas in their entirety Things return to their natural state. As all grounds for distinction vanish, Nothing can be compared or described. When what is still moves, there is no motion; When what is moving stops, there is no stillness. Since two cannot be established, How can there be one? Reaching the ultimate, Rules and measures are nonexistent. Achieving a mind of impartiality, All striving comes to an end; Doubts are completely cleared, In right faith the mind is set straight.
Nothing to linger upon, Nothing to remember. Clear, empty, and self-illuminating, The mind exerts no effort. This is beyond the sphere of thought, Which reason and feeling cannot fathom. To reach accord with it at once Just practice non-duality. Non-duality embodies all things, As all things are inseparable. The wise everywhere All follow this teaching. The Way transcends time and space — One thought for ten thousand years. Being nowhere yet everywhere, All places are right before your eyes. The smallest is the same as the largest, In the realm free of delusions.
The largest is the same as the smallest; No boundaries or marks can be seen. Existence is precisely nonexistence, Nonexistence is precisely existence. If you cannot realize this, Then you should change your ways. One is everything; Everything is one. If you can realize this, Why worry about not reaching perfection? Trust in the non-duality of mind; Non-duality results from trust in mind. Beyond words and speech, It is neither past, present, nor future.
This is the precept of No Killing. This is the precept of No Stealing. This is the precept of No Sexual Conduct. This the precept of No Lying. This is the precept of No Intoxicants. From the profound and wondrous original nature which is flawless, speak of no faults. This is the precept of No Bragging And Slandering. This is the precept of No Greed. This is the precept of No Anger.
The short title of this most popular and important sutra. It contains the very essence of the vast body of wisdom teachings prajna-paramita sutras in Buddhism. Perfection, the practice that can bring one to liberation. One who, with infinite compassion, vows to become a buddha and to liberate countless sentient beings. A bodhisattva practices all six paramitas perfections , but it is the prajna paramita that ultimately brings true liberation.
Bodhi: enlightenment, to awaken. Sattva: sentient beings, beings with consciousness. This bodhisattva is considered the embodiment of the Buddhist virtue of compassion. Known as Guanyin in Chinese, this is the most beloved bodhisattva in Asia. Deep in the practice and understanding of the profound prajna paramita. It is not enough to understand prajna intellectually; one must practice it with the whole body and mind. Both the self and all phenomena are without independent existence or inherent, fixed characteristics.
They are impermanent, mutable and mutually dependent; their individuality is in appearance only. Buddhism provides us with several classifications of phenomena to help us understand how ordinary people perceive the world. They are: the five skandhas, the twelve bases, and the eighteen spheres see below. However, our perceptions of the world are founded on ignorance; therefore, these constructions are ultimately empty. Form refers to our body or the physical world, the other four are of the mind. Ordinary beings see themselves as composed of these aggregates. When we analyze them deeper, we find no real substance.
Pronounced Shariputra. A senior disciple of the Buddha, known for his wisdom. By understanding the mutual dependencies and inter-connections of all things, one realizes that all creation and destruction, birth-and-death, good and bad, more and less, etc. Form physical matter is energy, its appearance is an illusion of the perceiver; feelings are subjective; conceptions are mind-made; volition will or intent which leads to action ; and what we call consciousness are streams of thought based on deluded understanding of reality. The six senses are used to perceive the six sense objects and the result is our conception of the world.
The six sense objects are also known as six dusts in Buddhism. The eighteen spheres represent the way the deluded mind perceives and divides the world, and prevents us from seeing the unity and equality of all things. However, from the view of absolute reality, the twelve links and their elimination ending of …, which is needed to gain liberation from rebirth , are also empty. When all beings purify the three actions i. Disregarding suffering, he averts disasters with his miraculous activities.
After practicing wisdom and contemplation, [Kuan-tzu-tsai] perfects the ten kinds of mastery i. Pu- ti bodhi means wisdom. Sa-va sattva indicates skillful means. These two benefits bestow peace and happiness on all sentient beings. Bodhi also means enlightenment, the fruition of wisdom. Sattva means sentient beings. Bodhisattvas enlighten sentient beings by means of their compassion. It does not necessarily refer to that bodhisattva who travels here from the Western [Pure Land], although the Mahaprajnapdramita-sutra does not make this point clear.
Just as in order to transcend birth and death and out of concern for the various types of unfortunate sentient beings, Kuan-tzu-tsai Bodhisattva has practiced this profound wisdom, I should do the same. I should improve self-awareness and not retrogress. But because of an incident in which he gave his own eyes, he retreated to seek lesser fruition. In order to prevent him from retrogressing further, exhortation and encouragement were given. It is not that there is something to be practiced. From another perspective, in another interpretation of practice it is asserted that there is nothing to be practiced and that there is nothing that cannot be practiced.
This is what is meant by practice. Disciplining the mind to eradicate conceptualizations is the root of transcending worldly existence. This is practice. The Yogacarins say that although a magician who plays tricks cannot actually transform anything, it appears that he can. However, nondiscriminating, not seeing the marks o f practice hsing-hsiang i.
If there are fundamentally no dharmas that can be practiced or from which one can sever [attachment], then those ignorant o f the Dharma will claim that they are already enlightened and, wrongly claiming to be enlightened, they will cause themselves great harm. Since these flowers do not exist, how can they be eliminated? However, if the cataract is not eliminated, there will be no healthy eye.
How does ultimate truth paramartha reveal that the [sky] flower is essentially empty? If there is nothing that is to be practiced and nothing that is not practiced, and if the unenlightened state of sentient beings is nothing other than enlightenment, then all beings should have been enlightened from beginningless time. This is like the presumptions of non-action of the heretics, which contradict reason and violate the doctrine. How can they a ccom p lish the w isdom o f en ligh ten m en t? If term in a tin g conceptualization were a genuine [exclusive] practice, no-thought would be the true and perfect path, all precepts would be useless, and training would be forsaken.
Consider this carefully and quickly eliminate such a perverted view. Here practice means that although a person practices, he does not perceive that he is practicing. This does not mean that there is no need for practice. The qualities of the Buddha, supreme and boundless, cannot be attained without extensive practice. The two natures are: 1 Innate nature, which means the fundamental consciousness i. Such a person has a gentle disposition and does not harm others with vicious actions.
If a transgression is committed, he quickly repents and continually practices compassion. Identifying with goodness and repudiating evil, he never speaks harshly to inferiors and always praises and admires the virtuous. When harmed, he is not the least vindictive. Readily accepting apology, he never harbors hatred or nurses a grudge. Diligent by nature, he rises early and retires late. Being courageous and determined, he likes to do things perfectly. Being righteous, he is fearless and does not despise himself. Reflecting on the meaning of the Dharma, he ponders it carefully.
He takes delight in quietude and longs to leave the household life. He does not forget whatever he does. He feels compassion even toward those with ill-will. Intelligent by nature, he accomplishes whatever he studies. Avoiding transgressions, he has the ability to discriminate [between right and wrong]. Such a nature is not capable of generating afflictions, or of creating the karma that results in unremitting suffering or that severs the roots of virtue. When one recognizes that apparent characteristics such as generosity are in the majority and transgressions are in the minority, then one understands that one definitely has the innate nature o f enlightenment.
However, people still abide in cyclic existence because they have not yet met truly beneficial friends to explain enlightenment to them. Even if they have [met such people], they grasp the skillful means of training erroneously, or they learn so slowly that their roots of virtue do not mature. Hence, they continue in the cycle of samsara. The stage of accumulating provisions sambharavastha. This includes the initial aspiration to seek full enlightenment i. Ten aspects of faith: 1 faith; 2 vigor; 3 mindfulness; 4 wisdom; 5 meditation; 6 giving or non-retrogression; 7 precepts; 8 protection [of the truth]; 9 vow; and 10 transference.
Ten aspects of abiding: 1 resolution; 2 basis of discipline; 3 cultivation; 4 noble birth; 5 skillful means; 6 proper thought; 7 non-retrogression; 8 perfection as a son of the Buddha i. Ten stages of practice: 1 joyful service; 2 beneficial service; 3 freedom from resentment; 4 limitlessness; 5 separation from ignorance; 6 manifestation in any form at will; 7 nonattachment; 8 exaltation; 9 wholesome dharmas; and 10 manifestation of perfect, ultimate reality. Although a person may know the five stages, how are they to be put into practice? Just as the first drop of water in the great ocean can be the abode of jewels, similarly this initial aspiration can be the source of the wholesome dharmas of the five vehicles.
Again, just as the realm of space contains everything, so does the mind of great enlightenment. Since it rejects conditioned [dharmas] and partial emptiness, it realizes enlightenment as a whole and is deeply concerned with sentient beings who are as measureless as space. What causes a person to generate the mind of enlightenment bodhicitta? Prior to generating the mind of enlightenment, one should first be equipped with the ten supreme virtues and the three profound vipasyanas contemplations. The first of the three profound vipasyanas kuan is to become weary of conditioned dharmas.
After carefully contemplating all these, one grows weary of the world. The second vipasyana is to seek enlightenment. This means to contemplate the fine, magnificent characteristics of the Buddha, the original purity of the dharmakaya, and the powers that derive from holding precepts and supreme dharmas such as fearlessness. It means to perfect the two wonderful wisdoms through which the Buddha shows compassion for sentient beings, guides ignorant and a confused beings to the right path, and eradicates the afflictions that sentient beings encounter.
The third vipasyana concerns sentient beings. Not believing in the law of cause and effect, they create the causes of negative actions. Forsaking the true Dharma, they trust and accept heretical doctrines. They float along with the four currents [of illusion, desire, existence, and ignorance] and are tormented by the seven afflictions.
Although beings fear suffering, they continue to perform negative actions. As a result, they create misery and afflictions for themselves. Although experiencing the suffering that derives from parting from loved ones, they still indulge in attachments; although aware that meeting with what they hate causes distress, still they are full of enmity. Being obstinate and shameless, they denigrate the Mahayana, and their ignorance and grasping give rise to arrogance. Even if intelligent, they completely sever their virtuous roots. Being totally arrogant, they never repent. Born into the state of the eight difficulties and lacking the Dharma, they are unable to study.
They call worldly attainments evidence of nirvana. Before him were Dipamkara and Ratnasikhin, Then in this kalpa Sakyamuni appeared. The Bodhisattva Asanga said: The increasing power of purity And the victorious progress of a resolute mind Are called the first stage of bodhisattva practice In three immeasurable kalpas.
In this first stage, a person develops faith, vigor, mindfulness, concentration, and wisdom so as to eradicate hidden defilements. Next, one generates an aspiration to meet beneficial friends of positive affinity. Even when encountering evil friends who are an obstructive and evil influence, one never forsakes the aspiration for enlightenment bodhicitta. This is known as the initial stage of practice. By generating the initial aspiration described above, a person proceeds toward unsurpassed enlightenment and prepares to enter the Mahayana path to become a bodhisattva.
The amount of time one must spend in cyclic existence is thereby limited. Next, one continues to practice. There are two categories of practice here: the abridged and extensive types. There are three steps to reverse this trend. The first step is to carefully observe objects o f cognition visaya ; then, after discerning what is right and wrong, one should stop doing b wrong and practice what is right. Finally, when the causal practice is perfected, the resultant virtue will be attained. What is meant by the object of contemplation?
This is called mere imagination parikalpita. Both self and dharmas arise from dependent nature and are fundamentally empty. The truth that manifests through the contemplation of this emptiness is likened to [the vastness of] empty space and is called ultimate reality parinispanna. All known dharmas do not spill over [into the categories of] existence, nonexistence, non-dharmas, and substantial nonexistence.
W hether it be sudden enlightenment, gradual enlightenment, Hinayana or Mahayana, it is expounded according to this profound doctrine. The Avatamsaka- sutra says: The mind, like a skillful painter, Variously paints the five skandhas. In all the worlds There is nothing the mind does not create. As is the mind, so is Buddha, As is Buddha, so are sentient beings. The mind, Buddha, and sentient beings, All three are without distinction. All Buddhas understand that Everything evolves from mind. One who can understand likewise Is one who can see the truth of the Buddha. If one wished to understand All Buddhas of the three periods of time, One should understand and contemplate That all Tathagatas are created by mind.
Through mind one perceives the c Buddha, and through mind one becomes a Buddha. Mind is Buddha and mind is my body. The mind neither understands itself nor sees itself. The causal mind is like a master artist that paints with dharmas. Nominally it stands alone, and yet it includes other dharmas. Consciousness only vijnapti-matra shows that there are definitely no dharmas apart from the mind. However, this does not mean that nothing exists except the mind, because worthy and unworthy friends, causes and effects, noumena and phenomena, conventional and ultimate, are not nonexistent.
A verse says: Hungry ghosts, animals, human beings, and gods, According to their different preceptions, Perceive the same thing differently. In regard to phenomena of the past and future, As in dream images or mirror reflections, Although the object-support alambana is not real, Still the marks of objects of cognition visaya-laksanas are posited.
Examining carefully the sacred teachings that expound the doctrine of consciousness only, we find that although there are numerous kinds, they can be categorized into five. Eradicating the false and maintaining the true. This is to contemplate things of mere imagination parikalpita that arise from illusion as lacking substance and function. In this way one should eradicate [false perceptions]. Contemplating that all dharmas of dependent nature paratantra and true nature parinispanna are substantially true in the sphere of the two wisdoms, one maintains their existence.
A verse says: One must analyze the fact that The interdependence of name and form is incidental. These two should be considered As merely of the mind and conventional designation. If one sees that when [these objects] do not exist, those discernments do not exist, One understands the three natures. Contemplation on emptiness and existence eliminates [grasping at] either existence or emptiness. If there were no [grasping at] existence and emptiness, there would be no [need to contemplate] emptiness and existence.
Therefore, if one wishes to gain insight into the nature of the Dharma that transcends words, one should depend on this skillful method. This is not to say that emptiness and existence are all determined. In the stage of true vipasyana, there is neither exist- a ence nor emptiness because dharmas are neither discriminated nor conceptualized. To say that the truth can be realized through the contemplation of emptiness simply means that by contemplating self and dharmas grasped by mere imagination as empty, one gains insight into reality.
The essence of reality is not empty. This first vipasyana applies to various doctrines explained in the sutras, such as consciousness only, the two truths, the three natures, the three nonexistences, the three emancipations, the three kinds of unproduced forbearance, the four established doctrines siddhartha , the four solemn voluntary discourses udana , the four analytical contemplations, the four true wisdoms, the five meditations on patience, and so forth. All these are included in this vipasyana.
Rejecting the false and preserving the pure. Mind arises necessarily by apprehending the arising of a field of objects o f cognition visaya-gocara. They do not understand m ental contemplation, nor do they diligently seek liberation. This is not to imply that the object of cognition within [consciousness], like the [imagined entity existing] externally, is entirely nonexistent. Since the substance of the mind is pure, it is said to be consciousness only. Therefore, a sutra says, The object-supports suo-yuan; alambana of mind citta , thought manas , and [mental] consciousness mano-vijhana are not apart from their self-natures svabhdva.
Therefore, I say that everything is nothing but consciousness. One-pointed concentration falls under this category of vipasyana. Gathering the branches parts into the root foundation. Objects of cognition visaya appear clearly to the mind and so does the functioning o f the mind. Apart from consciousness, there is definitely neither the foundation [i.
They i. That which is capable of transformation neng-pien has only three [types]. It says that the substance of consciousness appears in two aspects, namely, the object perceived and the perceiving faculty. Contemplations on noumena and phenomena, the true and the conventional, etc. Concealing the inferior and revealing the superior. Both the mind citta and its caittas mental attributes can transform. The mental attributes are inferior in that they depend on the primary mind.
The inferior is covert, i. Therefore, Maitreya said: The mind seems to appear in two aspects: Defiled, such as covetousness, Or pure, such as faith, And there are no defiled or pure phenomena apart from the mind. The Vim alakirti[nirdesa]-sutra says that w hether things appear to be defiled or pure depends upon the mind.
All such contem plations fall into this category o f vipasyand. Eradicating forms and realizing its self-nature. Phenomena are the functional aspect o f noumena and should not be grasped at. Noumena is the ultimate nature and should be realized. A verse says: A rope is mistakenly perceived to be a snake. Seeing the rope, one realizes it is not [a snake]. Other sutras assert that the self-nature of the mind is pure. All these belong to this category of vipasyana. The five categories mentioned above—emptiness and existence, the phenomenal and the mind, function and substance, mind and its attributes, noumena and phenomena—proceed from the gross to the subtle and expound progressively the profound principle of consciousness only.
They include all types of vipasyana and take wonderful wisdom derived from hearing, reflecting, and practicing as the essence of vipasyana. To be able to understand clearly and discern properly is not innate or inborn. Contemplations in the desire realm kamadhatu include only the wisdom derived from hearing and reflection. The practice of uncontaminated vipasyana encompasses the former two contemplations. In the stage of cultivation one still cannot get insight into the emptiness o f the two attachments. By developing true knowledge in this way, one thoroughly realizes that the apprehending consciousness does not really exist.
The esteemed Compassionate One i. Having eradicated discursive thoughts, He realizes that there is merely his own projection. Abiding within the mind this way, One knows that what is grasped does not exist, Nor does that which grasps i. Subsequently, nothing is sensed sparsa. A bodhisattva in this stage is able to practice vipasyana but still clings to appearance and therefore cannot realize truth.
In the stage of penetrating understanding, nothing whatsoever is attained amid alambanas and visayas by nondiscriminating wisdom. When principle and cognition chih; jn an a are conjoined, mind and objects o f cognition visayas profoundly encounter [each other]. They are like magical occurrences, Although existent, they are unreal i. In this stage, a bodhisattva comprehends the dharmadhatu, abides in the [first] bhumi of utmost joy, is born into the family of the Tathagata, and is aware that supreme enlightenment is soon to be attained.
In the stage of practice, there are different degrees of practice. Beyond the eighth bhumi, one practices effortlessly, spontaneously, and naturally in the domain of emptiness, giving rise to superior practices. Two things are to be worked on during practice. They are 1 what is presented to cognition, and 2 hidden latencies, or seeds bijas. As to presentation and seeds, in [this stage of] practice, only the seeds are understood to be contaminated.
In the stage of cultivation, prior to the seventh bhumi, the three wisdoms are both contaminated sasrava and uncontaminated anasrava. As to presentation and seeds in the final stage, they are all understood to be contaminated, and [thus] are all eliminated. Practice here means to contemplate the fact that manifest activities and potentialities mutually intensify and develop until perfected.
Those who have gained mastery, even in the lower stages, are capable of higher practices, while those who have not gained mastery are not. The practice o f consciousness only encompasses all other practices, because all [other practices] depend upon the practice of consciousness only. In short, what results are to be obtained by practice?
This is to explain them separately, but when the two practices are conjoined, they are all-encompassing. The above explanation is a brief presentation of practice. What is the expanded exposition of practice? It consists of three aspects: 1 what is taught; 2 the [dharma] of cultivating the teachings; and 3 the one able to cultivate the teachings. First of all, one should know what is taught, one should rely on that teaching, and, finally, one methodically accomplishes what he is able to cultivate from the teachings.
Thus, all three aspects are included in the bodhisattva practice. Regarding those to be trained. One should clearly recognize that people differ by gotra i. Regarding beneficial deeds. If one wishes to engage in deeds purely benefiting others, deeds such as practicing generosity with deviant views, teaching the Dharma without the view of causality, or teaching without practicing oneself should all be totally abandoned. And the two faultless benefits should be diligently practiced.
Regarding true meaning. Regarding power. He manifests the four kinds of birth as well as the eight aspects of a Buddha s life, and even unfortunate births or blindness, in order to benefit beings. From these practices the Buddha creates his power, through which he knows the circumstances, the timing, and the suitability of all beings within the dharmadhatu.
When one knows there are such powers, one should practice diligently so as to realize Buddhahood. Regarding bodhi. The wisdoms, abandonments, and so on, all the Buddha qualities, should be understood and engaged in extensively so as to realize the fruition of [Buddhahood], Regarding these five aspects, one should first understand the capabilities of the beings to be taught and then begin practices to benefit them. Next, one should know what is to be practiced and what is to be eliminated, and then one benefits oneself through attaining great powers. After understanding the object o f practice, one should engage in practice.
The practice of the Dharma starts from attaining the benefits from the virtues of the Three Jewels, the powers of the Buddhas and bodhisattvas, and the true meaning of the infallible [law of] cause and effect. After attaining skillful means, one purely believes, comprehends, and surely delights in the excellent words of the sutras.
A ll these should be diligently pursued. How does one pursue them? As for inner thought, one should vigorously and enthusiastically seek to hear [the Buddha-Dharma], Just to hear a single phrase of the excellent Dharma, one would happily walk on a road as crude as iron, let alone do so to hear many good teachings. Unsatiated, tireless, with deep faith and a pure heart, and possessing right views, one cherishes virtues and the Dharma. One should always respectfully listen to the teachings without belittling or finding fault [in them] nor underestimating or belittling oneself.
Logic is studied in order to refute heretical systems of thought and to uphold the proper path. Medicine is studied in order to cure illnesses so that sentient beings may live healthy, happy lives. The arts are studied so that with little effort a great accumulation of precious riches may greatly benefit countless beings.
Next, one should propagate the true Dharma and teach the five fields of knowledge in a way that is beneficial and pleasing.
Spring Retreat Dharma Talk on the Diamond Sutra – March 26, 2010
How should one teach? One should teach calmly in accordance with the Dharma and with dignified deportment. One should not expound the true Dharma to those who are not sick yet sit upon a high seat, because the teachings of the Buddhas and bodhi- sattvas are worthy of respect, and people should be taught to respect the precious treasure of the Dharma. One should teach [the Dharma] ceaselessly, withholding nothing.
According to the disposition of [those one is teaching], one should explain things in sequence without thought o f miserliness. N either should one teach the Dharma for the sake o f obtaining fame, gain, respect, or praise. Next, one should engage in practice, avoiding the three types o f negative actions, that is, o f body, speech, and mind, as proscribed by the Buddha. Having heard teachings on positive actions, one contemplates and practices them properly.
Living alone in guarded tranquility, one ponders the teachings of the Dharma one has heard. One seeks to understand what is not yet understood and never forgets what is already understood. Knowing the profound meaning [o f the Dharma] well, one is unmoved by different teachings. One practices calm abiding samatha and special insight vipasyana. Next, one should teach. One should take into consideration the mental capacities and inclination of others. Accordingly, one should determine the practices appropriate for each, so as to cause them to forsake their arrogance and pride.
Those who are able to practice properly are praised kindly, with parables humbly explained to enhance their joyful practice. Next, one establishes the three actions of body, speech, and mind. First, one benefits others through gifts o f material wealth that induce them to listen to the teachings and, therefore, to practice. One should work together with them in proper practice, so that they will not be inclined to say [that the teacher does not practice]. Next, one should practice the [six] perfections param itas. The Perfection of Giving The perfection of giving dana is to give up position and greed with regard to the three actions.
When practicing giving, one should not give things that lead only to sensual pleasure but not to virtuous benefit, or give things that lead neither to pleasure nor virtuous benefit; in other words, one should give things that lead to virtuous benefit and not pleasure, or give things that result in both virtuous benefit and pleasure. If people request material goods, one should seek to satisfy [their requests].
If they request more than [what is] necessary, then, depending on the situation, one should exhort them to eliminate their afflictions and generate contentment. One should not give to those who frequently seek [to satisfy] their gluttonous appetites, nor help those in distress with plans to harm themselves. One should not seize things from inferiors, nor should one take delight in doing evil or seek for position. One should not give while harboring malice or enmity. Having practiced generosity, one should not publicize or boast, expecting favor in return.
One should not throw or give gifts in a rude manner. If people come [to make requests] with negative minds and bad manners and one gives indiscriminately to them, one should not regard this giving as purely virtuous. One should not practice giving simply because one is coerced by others, or out of fear of poverty [in future lives]. One should not give in order to stir up ill will between two parties in order to gain their submission.
One should not be lax in the practice of giving while encouraging others to give. Once should not give unequally, out o f sequence, unwillingly, unhappily, or regretfully. One should not give fake things when asked for real ones. One should not ridicule those who seek help at an improper time, without forethought, or in an improper manner, causing them to feel ashamed.
One should not remain silent nor refuse to give when entreated repeatedly. The above-mentioned are faults and should all be avoided. One should do whatever is the reverse. If one does not possess sufficient wealth, one should consider if those who come for help are content and not poor, or miserable and helpless.
Then, according to one s wealth, one satisfies their needs. Those with little should delight in giving whatever they can to create contentment and happiness for whoever comes asking. I have valuables and wealth that I will allow you to give away as you choose. Be careful not to let those who come for help return empty-handed.
When I benefit them, you should accord with that virtue to cause delight in others. The seeds thus sown will gradually grow. If they are deceitful and cunning and take advantage, or cheat when begging, [one should] conceal their mistakes without hurting them and fulfill their wishes. One should not disgrace or shame them, so that they can leave happily. At first they may take advantage and cheat, but sooner or later they will come to understand.
Neither commend nor reproach, but rather develop pity and sympathy for them. I will maintain a cheerful attitude and keep them a from negativity. One should very skillfully propagate the proper Buddha-Dharma and cause beings to learn the practice of giving. One should not cause others to give too little, or to give improperly, or to give partially to friends, or to make offerings thoughtlessly.
One should practice giving [copies of scriptures] without miserliness even if one should become ignorant, let alone merely become short of provisions for acquiring wisdom. In such cases, not giving [scriptures] does not violate pure precepts. One then skillfully explains [why one cannot give], and dismisses the person.
Thus, even if one accumulates wealth, one still abides in the sacred lineage. If one encounters the four types of obstacles so that one is unable to give graciously, one should apply the four types of wisdom to counteract them: 1. If one has wealth but does not enjoy giving, one should consider that this [stinginess] results from the habits accumulated in successive past [lifetimes], and that unless one forces oneself to give, the problem will further intensify in the future. Thus, one earnestly encourages oneself in the practice and develops the wisdom of awareness.
A Short Talk on the Diamond Sutra
If one has an attitude of not giving joyfully due to a lack of possessions, one should reflect on the causes of this lack of wealth that prevents one from giving, and summon forth an attitude of benevolence to endure the suffering of poverty. Perceiving the benefits of giving, one develops the wisdom of forbearing suffering. Thus, one earnestly encourages oneself to give and develops the wisdom of eradicating errors viparyasa. Even if one does practice giving but does so only for worldly rewards, one should quickly and thoroughly understand that this is an erroneous view.
One should contemplate that all things are impermanent, are bound to disintegrate, and will soon come to an end. Thus, one will not take delight in worldly pleasures but will certainly seek enlightenment and gain insight into impermanence. One should abide in tranquil seclusion, summoning deep faith and continually concentrating on the thought of giving many and excellent things.
Because of this intention, one can give wealth to all sentient beings. Therefore, with little effort, one can create immeasurable blessings and give away things that one treasures and loves. One should not be miserly with what has been gained b through hardship and difficulty. With faith and respect, one should graciously give in person, at the right time, and without harming oneself or others.
To give pure and excellent possessions extensively is the giving of wealth. And to exhort others to practice good deeds is the giving of the Dharma. One gives readily and does not create delays or withhold anything, though it is not because people demand things quickly that one does so. One promptly gives whatever one has, not waiting [to give] until one accumulates a lot of wealth.
One should be humble with supplicants and without competitiveness or arrogance. The Perfection of Morality Morality sila means receiving and studying pure actions with regard to the three actions [of body, speech, and mind]. If one violates the precepts that one has properly received, one should see this as a source of shame. Therefore, one is able to safeguard the precepts and restore them purely with respect and mindfulness.
Due to the first two [of the four qualities] one can consequently avoid all negative actions. Due to the first two and the last [of these four qualities], one is able to avoid violating the precepts. If one can regain purity [through repentance] after violation, one can quickly restore [the precepts], leaving transgressions behind.
Both ordained [people] and laypeople should practice the three types o f morality. First is the morality o f discipline. This refers to the precepts followed by the seven groups o f Buddhists i. They have no desire for divine pleasures, much less worldly wealth and position.
They vigorously engage in other practices, not being satisfied only with the practice of morality. They abandon negative speech and thought. If these arise, they quickly repent and purify them, so as to restrain their speech and collect their thoughts properly. Hearing about difficult practices, they are neither alarmed nor intimidated but apply themselves and persevere in the practice.
Seeing wicked and violent beings, they compassionately accept them. When harmed or offended [by someone], they neither get angry nor reject them. If they commit a violation, they repent and pledge not to transgress again. They eschew deceit and all such negative behavior. Second is the morality that consists of positive actions. This refers to all positive actions that are causes [for the attainment] of great enlightenment accumulated after receiving precepts. One vows to make offerings [to the Three Jewels] and to keep the precepts scrupulously.
One is self- restrained in taking food and strictly guards the senses. During the first and last parts of the night, one continually maintains mindful alertness. One has no tolerance for negative actions, understands well the law of cause and effect, and also eradicates obstacles. Third is the morality of wishing to greatly benefit sentient beings. One works to help those o f various inclinations in all unmistaken actions. One consoles those who are despised, urging them to eliminate miserliness and negativity. One c remembers favors received, repays kindnesses, and praises and welcomes people one meets.
One reciprocates w ith som ething o f equal or greater value, not o f less value. One protects beings from fear and consoles those in sorrow. One always has wealth on hand to give away when requested. If one lacks possessions, one goes searching for things to give away. One shares whatever one has and does not hoard things for oneself. One practices sincerely in accordance with what one teaches. Except for censuring reprehensible transgressions, one does not annoy others nor denigrate, embarrass, or humiliate them.
One stays neither too close to nor too distant from people, nor does one stay near them at improper times. One does not destroy what others are fond of nor praise what they detest.