Grand Master’s Sweet Dew of the Dharma
1. A pure mind is the greatest blessing. Listening to the Dharma, making the right resolve, every thought is of infinite merit.
2.“Where Dharma arise, the mind arises.” The mind and the outside world give rise to and condition each other. Through prajna wisdom, we will realize that these are all delusions, that all external phenomena are delusive and have no true substance.
3.Cultivation is done in every day life. Using a mind of compassion and equality to live and work, we cultivate virtue and accumulate blessing.
4.To be liberated is not to escape from difficulties; it is to use the power of wisdom and samadhi to eliminate the obstacles present. That is liberation.
5.To attain true happiness, we must begin by transforming the mind’s vexations.
6.To affirm the truth of causality, work hard on the cause, and life will be filled with hope and light.
7.Buddhism is a practical knowledge. Whether we put in a ten percent effort or a hundred percent effort, we will reap what deserve.
8.When we see through the gains and losses in this world clearly, our mind will be peaceful and serene.
9.Blessings are the accumulated result of good deeds. Broadly cultivate blessings and wisdom, and we can enjoy a bright and meaningful life.
10.When you succeed, do not be conceited; when you fail, review and reflect. Working this way, you will accomplish your goal.
11.People have vexations because they are not capable of being content. If we always harbor a “grateful mind”, dealing with people and things around us with a mind of gratitude, we will always happy and content.
12.If you cannot assume responsibility for your own cultivation, or endure its trails and hardships, then you are at best studying Buddhism, not practicing it.
13.If we are truthful and sincere with others, we can maintain true friendships. If we are truthful in our endeavors, we can accomplish all things.
14.Be humble and harmonious in all circumstances; this can eliminate violence and conflicts. Be congenial and pleasant with others and you will achieve harmony and accomplish all things.
15.Compassion is the good medicine that dispels anger. If your mind is all embracing and compassionate, then all people will enjoy being with you.
16.By using respect to overcome pride, we can eliminate karmic obstacles, and increase our merits and wisdom..
17.”When the mind is pure, the Buddha Land is pure.” When this mind is lucid and pure, then everywhere is the Pure Land.
18.If we care for others with a mind of compassion, equality and respect, we will generate good karma with everyone.
19.Praise others frequently and slander no one. When our speech is pure and faultless, then we achieve freedom in verbal karma.(e.g. abilities in speech and debate, free from verbal handicaps.)
20.The bad things that we face may not be bad; if we face all things calmly, we can control our fate.
21.Tolerance is an expedient means in cultivating samadhi. If we are tolerant and patient, we will surely achieve samadhi.
22.The riches and honor in this life are fleeting, like the dew on the flower, evaporating when the sun rises. Only when the mind becomes truly pure and content is the true prosperity in life.
23.If we are content, our minds will be at peace, we will see our blessings be filled with gratitude and a willingness to help all, and our lives will be filled with hope and happiness.
24.What is attachment? Not letting go of outward circumstances of gain and loss, of right and wrong, of self and others, this is attachment.
25.Prosperity and adversity both facilitate our cultivation. They are expedient means. Prosperity fulfills us; adversity disciplines us.
26.The Platform Sutra of Hui Neng says, ” Let not a single thought arise.” Let this present mind think of neither good nor evil, so it is like a clear mirror, whose merit lies in reflecting myriad things faithfully. When an object appears, an image is manifest; when the object is gone, nothing remains. When we realize this fact, our mind is clear and luminous; no matter where we go, we can be at ease and free.
27.To be liberated is not escaping reality. It is eliminating vexations, eradicating erroneous thoughts, and opening the knot in our minds. When the mind is opened to true understanding, that is liberation. To face sufferings without worry, and happiness without rejoicing, this present-mind is a liberated mind, it is already in Pure Land.
28.”Enlighten the mind and see the true nature. Seeing the true nature, one becomes a Buddha.” This is equivalent to the “Amitabha Buddha” of the Pure Land School, which means infinite light and infinite life. Realizing this present-mind, one enjoys the same longevity as that of empty space. The empty space never perishes; neither will this mind, which is replace with infinite life, light, and wisdom.
29.The problems in the world are no other than suffering and joy. Suffering and joy are opposed and relative. Joy from stimulation of the sense is like clouds or smoke passing before our eyes; it is shot-lived and empty. After experiencing joy, unending attachments and vexations follow. Only when we pacifying the mind, when the mind is pure and serene, do we experience true joy.
30.The Principles of Causality in Buddhism actually teaches us to depend on our own diligent efforts. If we understand our life then we can direct out life. If you can perceive these truths clearly, then you can understand your fate and create/establish your fate.
31.”With a mind at peace, the thatched hut is safe. With a serene nature, the vegetable roots are fragrant” If you can harness your ever-clinging mind, abide in the original mind, the original nature, then your mind will naturally be peaceful.
32.”The bodhisattvas dread the cause. Mundane beings dread the retribution.” We should be true and down on earth in all our undertakings. Ask only how much we cultivate, not how much we shall harvest. Work diligently on the right causes, and then you will surely succeed. Conversely, success is unlikely if you aim too high but overlook the groundwork.
33.We should pursue a spiritual life. A mind of contentment and tranquility is the true blessing, prosperity, and happiness in life.
34.In Buddhism we say, “Vexation is Bodhi (enlightenment) .” This means that when we encounter afflictions (distressful circumstances), we must use wisdom to perceive and understand them clearly, turning the afflictive outlook into joy, freedom, and tranquility. “Vexation ”and “joy” are, in reality, within one single thought.
35.”A dharma does not arise by itself, it is born out of the right conditions.” All worldly phenomena arise from the combination of causes and conditions. Virtuous cause and conditions lead to dire retribution.
36.Buddhism teaches us to transform our thoughts. Constantly reflect on the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha. Use good thoughts to counteract bad thoughts. When all bad thoughts are extinguished, one the lets go of even good thoughts, thereby arriving at “no thought”, and the realm of absolute reality.
37.Practicing “unconditioned compassion” is to treat all people, whether related or unrelated to you, with the same compassion mind.
38.Purity of mind is to be away from the mind of delusion. The Diamond Sutra says, “the mind moves freely without attachment.” That is the mind of purity.
39. “Without understanding of the original mind, it is futile to study the Dharma.” Hence, the Buddhist practice does not merely consist of the recitation of the Sutra, or making prostrations to the Buddha. The true merit of practicing the Way comes from the awareness of our own mind and the discernment of our self-nature. Yet, if one has already attained understanding of the original mind, one should not neglect the practice of virtuous acts either.
40. The mind is Buddha. When there are desires, vexations and attachments in the mind, this Buddha becomes a sentient being. When this mind is pure, a sentient being becomes a Buddha.
41. No matter how much external circumstances change, if we can see through and let go of vexations, delusions, and attachments, with the mind always in equanimity and suchness, having clarity and true understanding—that is Zen.
42. If we face suffering without worry then we can remove karmic hindrances, settle disputes, turn our enemies into friends, and be united in the Dharma family.
43. With respect we eradicate arrogance, with compassion we extinguish anger, with harmony we eliminate violence, with truth and sincerity we eradicate deceit.
44. Vexations and joy are only within one single thought. The key is, when faced with the problems in life, can your mind maintain tranquility, will you have the wisdom to understand and observe accurately?
45. The one key word in practicing the Way is tolerance—to endure patiently and accept suffering. By accepting suffering, we eliminate suffering. This eradicates karmic hindrances, and prepares us for supreme enlightenment.
46.When the mind is peaceful and serene, even with low-grade tea and plain food, our lives will be happy and care-free
47.When we keep the mind in the state of perfect equanimity, our inherent wisdom will naturally arise.
48. If we understand “ giving others what is good, taking responsibility for what id bad,” then we will face life with the correct attitude.
49.Cultivating the Way is to purify, to rectify, and transform our thoughts.
50. Vegetarianism is the sign of a compassionate mind. When we are filled with compassion, blessings and merits increase and good health will come naturally.