If we want to practice the Dharma for
transcending the world, we must select a wise teacher with clear
vision. Who can be considered a wise teacher with clear vision?
There are four criteria: the person is not greedy for money,
fame, or sex, and isn't selfish. We should use these four
criteria to determine whether a teacher has wisdom and clarity.
We should see whether the person has ulterior motives--does he
seek to make a profit or advance his own position, or plotting
for his own personal benefit?
near a wise teacher does not mean hanging around him every day. It means
following his teaching. Of course, you can ask for guidance when you run into
problems, but you don't have to see your teacher all the time to be "near" him.
When you go to see your teacher, you should request instructions in a very
respectful manner--not laughing and joking and being totally unserious. Don't
give your teacher unnecessary trouble. First find out if he is free. If he is,
then you can ask for guidance. If he is busy, then you should not persist and
say, "I must see him. My business is very important!"
teacher never thinks of his own benefit. Some people have asked me, "The City of
Ten Thousand Buddhas is already very big. If someone built another temple for
you, would you accept it?" I most certainly would. "Well, then, aren't you being
greedy?" Yes. I am extremely greedy, but not for my own sake. I want to
establish an international headquarters for Buddhism that can propagate the
Proper Dharma. Everyone who comes to the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas,
regardless of what he or she thinks, is really coming to protect the City. Even
if they slander the City, they are in fact helping the City. I am not afraid of
being scolded or slandered. I wouldn't have come to America if I were. No matter
how much people may slander me, it's perfectly fine with me.
Buddhism, we have to learn to take losses. Great Master Yongjia
Contemplate vicious words as merit and
virtue; Then vicious words become one's good advisors. Do not
let abuse and slander arouse enmity. How else can one express
the power of compassion and patience with the nonarising of
People who scold us are in fact helping
us in our cultivation. Therefore, we must advance vigorously in
favorable as well as adverse circumstances, and allow neither
praise nor slander to sway us. There is no need to feel
resentful when we are slandered. We should treat friends and
enemies with equal kindness. Otherwise, how can we express the
compassionate strength that arises from patience with the
nonarising of dharmas?