By Dharma Master Heng K'ung

      We must cultivate the Way with Firm resolution and Innocent Simplicity. One of the most common reasons that cultivators fail to gain the penetrative insight that the practice of meditative techniques and other spiritual practices is supposed to yield is a failure to stay with a given practice until a thorough penetration is achieved. With few exceptions, this will mean enduring long periods of unspeakable boredom, with no end in sight. While the seed of enlightenment is developing in the field of the mind, it may seem as if nothing at all is going on. One will get the feeling that the sacrifices one is making are in vain, and this will be an extreme test of one's endurance. Often times people abandon practices before this extreme is reached and a considerable amount of effort is lost. We must wait patiently for our conditions to ripen. This requires a Firm Resolution at the outset of cultivation. If our method of cultivation is orthodox and based on principles expounded in the Sutras, half of the requirement for Firm Resolution has been fulfilled. The other half is to have a willingness to absorb the unexpected blows that are certain to arise out of the clear blue sky. Nothing in life is without unexpected hindrances. In cultivation, there will be times when our patience is already at the breaking point and something happens that causes us to think that we are putting forth a great effort that will yield a small amount of fruit. A proper attitude if worship is one without any hope of reward. Just cultivate the Way for the sake of cultivating the Way, without thought of gain or loss. We must be ready to die in the last ditch.

Innocent Simplicity means not adorning one's cultivation with a lot of one's own ideas as to how the practice should be done. It is just following the teachings to the letter. It also means having a compliant id yielding heart when our practice comes conflict with some of our other desires One must be willing to make a great sacrifice for a little bit of Truth. Innocent Simplicity means gradually weeding out from one's life all activities and associations that don't reflect the lofty stand is of one who is treading the path to enlightenment. All of our actions should an extension of and a complement to practice. It is said,

When a deviant person practices a proper dharma, the proper dharma becomes deviant.

When a proper person practices a deviant dharma, the deviant dharma becomes proper.

If we have a sincere heart, we will naturally and without effort become aware of our mistakes. The main thing a cultivator must recognize is the truth of non-duality. Not only must Innocent Simplicity permeate our cultivation, but also our lives. Everything we do should be simplified, so that the real and perplexing problems of life can be looked at with a restful mind.

Our actions create the thought-forms that will be the soil for our meditational practice to grow in. So we should do worth while deeds so that those thought forms are an aid to our quest and not a hindrance We must clearly see the motivating force behind all our actions, and weed out even good deeds that have selfish motives or are rooted in jealousy or other undesirable personal characteristics. We must act with a straightforward mind and never try to cover up our mistakes. We should never do when alone what we wouldn't do in the presence of others.

Firm Resolution and Innocent Simplicity are two qualities a cultivator cannot be without, for the realization of one's fundamental nature is a most lofty objective, and also most difficult to attain. But it is the common mind that is used to realized the profound mind. And indeed it is just because one's viewpoint is not correct that the profound mind appears as the common mind. Recognizing that we are not going to attain anything apart from what we already have, the above qualities should be easy to embody.


WITH ONE HEART BOWING TO THE CITY OF TEN THOUSAND BUDDHAS, VOLUMES I, II, and III. These daily records of two Buddhist monks, Heng Sure and Heng Ch'au, are a moving document of their journey to influence humankind to cease all hatred and hostility and to prevent disasters, wars, and suffering in all forms. Dharma Master Heng Sure fulfills his vow to bow once every three steps from Los Angeles to the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas. Heng Ch'au aids him and protects the journey. The pilgrimage is as much inward as outward, and these records express both aspects with eloquence and sincerity. Paperbound with photos, drawings, and news article?