Constantly Improve and Reform: Doing all that is wholesome; doing all that is right.

(Continued from issue #257)

Instructional Talk by Dharma Master Heng Shr on February 28, 2016,
during Lunch at Gold Wheel Sagely Monastery Medicine Master Jeweled Repentance Dharma Assembly

"The ancients' benevolence, righteousness, propriety, and wisdom nourished the marrow housed in the ancient Buddhas' pagoda". Ancient Buddhas so practiced to accomplish Buddhahood. Now if we want to embark on the road to Buddhahood, we must walk the same path. Likewise, future Buddhas originate from humans. First, we have to perfect being a person, only then can we accomplish Buddhahood. This means we have to practice the Eight Virtues, i.e. benevolence, righteousness, propriety, wisdom, filiality, fraternity, loyalty, and trustworthiness. These Eight Virtues 'filled the ancient Buddhas' pagoda'. Just as there are limitless ancient Buddhas, there will be limitless future Buddhas. All begin by practicing benevolence and righteousness. A person must have the essence of a human. Otherwise, he/she will be devoid of the human aura and lose the opportunity to be a human being.

Hence, the first line of Venerable Master's couplet is "The ancients' benevolence, righteousness, propriety, and wisdom, nourished the marrow housed in the ancient Buddhas' pagoda". What is the second line?"In the new year, month, day and hour build a new way place in one's mind". Everyone must establish the most majestic Wayplace within his mind. We have such a good Way Place, yet we do not cherish it. Consequentially, we fail to use the external provision to construct and maintain our internal Way place. The external and the internal mutually complement each other, constituting the cause and the effect.

For this reason, the Venerable Master encouraged us to follow what the ancient Buddhas did and to compel ourselves at all times toward vigorously constructing our inner way place. We must learn from sages like Confucius. We must believe in the teachings of the ancient sages, from the Yellow Emperor, Emperors Tang, Yao, Shun, Yu, and the Duke of Zhou, who is known for being an accomplished scholar and warrior. Even Confucius firmly believed in the teachings of the sages. Therefore, we must take pride in our heritage and our ancient sages.

Regardless, we must certainly lay out well our foundation of being a person. Otherwise, we cannot progress learning Buddhism. We should not fool ourselves; or else we would end up harming ourselves. By then, we would likely regret at a point where it is too late. We should be a person with wisdom, good roots and courage. If the great knights can stop their bad habits, why can't we? As long as we are resolved to do so, we can. If we do not remain steadfast and persevere, we will just loaf through our life, and then we will end up in the three evil destinies and the six paths on the cycle of birth and death. It is miserable.

We must learn proper Buddhism, which tastes bitter in the beginning but sweet in the end. Do not go along with our afflictions or we will end up in extreme suffering. When we can help ourselves, then the Buddha can help us. This is what the Venerable Master always said.

This afternoon we will start the first incense at 1:30pm. On special days, there are usually more people. Hope everyone can help clean up quietly and quickly.

I hope that in the future, everyone who comes to the Way Place will be quiet and talk less. If you wish to talk, please step outside. The time you spend here at the Way Place is very precious. You may want to take a rest; so do others. Speaking nonsense and irrelevant things is a waste of time and energy. It is your call to waste your own energy and time, but mind and respect the serenity and adorned ambience of the Way Place. Should you choose to have idle chatter, you are also disturbing those who wish to practice mindfulness of the Buddha and those who strive not to have false thoughts. Ours is not a way place for social parties. Ours is a way place to help people leave delusions behind and reach enlightenment. We all should join in and lend our support for this goal. Amitabha.

(The End of the Article)