And making offerings to all of the Thus Come Ones. The Buddha practiced making all types of offerings to all of the Thus Come Ones, all Buddhas of the ten directions. He used his body, mind, nature and life to make offerings, unlike us who can't stand a little suffering or hardship. That won't work. You have to offer up your body and mind to the Buddha for it to count.
Take for example the practice of sleeping sitting up. Some of you, rather than sitting in full lotus, sleep with your leg stretched out. You sit on a square bench, but you have another bench in front of you to hold your outstretched legs. That's not sleeping sitting up, it's sleeping outstretched, even though your resolve for the Way is, of course, better than if you simply lay down. But that's not enough. It's not the way an old cultivator sits, without unfolding his legs for several days and nights, as Venerable Master Syu Yun used to do. As soon as you unfold your legs, you have no power of samadhi. I told you before about how the Living Buddha of Gold Mountain displayed his samadhi-power in Hong Kong. He was like that too: he kept sitting, and it can't be that you keep your legs folded as long as other people are around to observe you, but unfold them on the sly when no one else is there. He wouldn't cheat himself.
The Buddha cultivated all kinds of ascetic practices, and it may be the same practice, but some people really sleep sitting up without stretching out their legs. You may insist you stay sitting, but if you are constantly stretching out your legs, you aren't really sleeping sitting up. I know some of you still can't take it and extend your legs. Actually you could stand up if your legs hurt. If you can learn to sleep standing up, you will really be outstanding. So far there isn't a Bodhisattva in this world who sleeps standing up. If you stand, as soon as you fall asleep you fall over---but you pick yourself up and stand again. That would be even harder.
The King Swiftness deeply believes and understands this state and Dharma-door of the practice of making offerings. Some people are thinking to themselves; "So it turns out we can't even be the least bit sloppy when practicing sitting up!" Not only while sleeping sitting up, no matter what Dharma-door you cultivate, you can't be sloppy. If you are the least bit casual, your samadhi will not be successfully accomplished, and you won't achieve real power of samadhi or of wisdom, and won't be able to become enlightened. Those who become enlightened at all times are intent upon their practice, and don't dare be lax in the least. That's the only way to have accomplishment. If you cultivate for awhile but keep stopping, you won't be late by just one kalpa, it will take even two kalpas longer.
In every single hairpore of the Thus Come One,
In one thought universally appear boundlessly many practices.
Such inconceivable states of the Buddha as these
Non-Retreating Adornment sees completely and clearly.
In every single hairpore of the Thus Come One, in one thought universally appear boundlessly many practices. "Thus Come One" Tathagata is one of the ten titles of a Buddha, another name for "Buddha." It also means not having come from anywhere and not going anywhere----being one come "thus." A hairpore is smallest area on the body of a Thus Come One, and yet the smallest area can hold limitlessly many world-systems, the Dharma Realms of the ten directions. That's the great appearing within the small, and the small appearing within the great. In each one of the hairpores of the Thus Come One, in the space of a single instant of thought, that is, the shortest interval of time, infinitely many world-systems universally appear. In this case, boundlessly many practices, Dharma-doors cultivated by the Thus Come One, all appear.
Such inconceivable states of the Buddha as these are as just described: the minute being able to contain the immense, and the immense containing the minute. The various states of non-obstruction of long and short time intervals defy conceptualization. They only belong to a Buddha, and are also called subtle, wonderful and inconceivable states. The Garuda King
Non-Retreating Adornment sees these states,
completely and clearly understands them, and enters this door of liberation.
The Buddha's practices are vast, great and inconceivable,
Such that living beings cannot fathom them:
The Guiding Master's merit, virtue, and wisdom are like the sea.
This is the place of practice of the King Sustain.
The Buddha's practices are vast, great and inconceivable. The Buddha cultivated all kinds of doors of practice, of which there are said to be eighty-four thousand. The Buddha perfectly cultivated them all. That's why it's said that in the entire world you won't find so much as an area the size of a particle of dust which is not a place where all Buddhas of the past sacrified their lives when cultivating the Bodhisattva Way.
When the Buddha was practicing the Way of a Bodhisattva, he benefitted living beings, even being willing to rescue and help the most evil beings among them. For example, the Buddha cut off his flesh to feed an eagle. Once an eagle was trying to catch a pigeon to eat. The pigeon, having no place to hide, ran to the lap of an old cultivator who was the Buddha when cultivating on the causal ground. The Buddha took the pigeon in, but the eagle said, "It's all very well and good for you to save the life of that pigeon, but without meat to eat I will die of starvation. You save his life, but I lose mine. Is that impartial kindness and compassion? No."
When the old cultivator heard the eagle able to talk and reason with him, he replied, "Okay. You just need meat; and any meat will do, won't it? You don't necessarily have to eat the pigeon, right?"
"As long as I have meat to eat, it doesn't have to be pigeon," the eagle answered.
Thereupon the old cultivator; piece by piece, cut the flesh---of which he didn't have a lot---from his own body, and fed it to the eagle. The first morsel was not enough to fill the eagle, so he cut off another. After the eagle had eaten it, he said, "That still won't do. I haven't had enough to eat. Your meat is so lean, it's like eating nothing." When the old cultivator had cut all the flesh from his entire body and given it to the eagle to eat, the eagle said, "That's pretty much it." Then both the pigeon and the eagle flew away, and in the sky it was revealed that all along they had been gods who had come to test the old cultivator. Moreover, all the flesh he had cut from his body grew back just as it had been before.
When he started cutting his flesh, he didn't have any idea that he was being tested by gods. He just was intent upon feeding the eagle. Eagles are extremely vicious birds, but he was able to sacrifice the flesh from his own body for the eagle. Would you say that door of practice is hard to cultivate or not? He made offerings of his own flesh to the worst of birds. That's true cultivation of the Way. Cultivators must sacrifice everything, and look on everything as very ordinary, as did Shakyamuni Buddha when he cut off his flesh to feed the eagle.
Another time the Buddha renounced his body to feed a tiger, tigers being the most terrible of beasts. Shakyamuni Buddha was cultivating in the mountains while on the causal ground. Once there was heavy snowfall for several days, preventing the animals from coming out. Two tigers were searching in vain for food to eat. The older tiger was on the verge of starvation, and the younger tiger was roaming with it. It looked as if the older one was so weak from hunger it could hardly move. When Shakyamuni Buddha on the causal ground saw this, he felt so sorry for the tiger he resolved to sacrifice his own body to keep the tiger alive. Think it over. If we met a tiger, we would run away at once. It would never occur to us to voluntarily give the hungry tiger our body as meat. But the Buddha was able to do those kinds of things. We need to reflect on whether or not the Buddha's way of thinking is the same as ours.
Some people are thinking, "I'll go look for a tiger, or an eagle, to feed." If you want to find one, you won't. The Buddha absolutely was not trying to find them---he encountered them. All you have to do is want to cultivate the Bodhisattva Way, and eventually the day will come when your work will be successful. You don't need to be nervous. That's why the text says that the Buddha's practices, and his strength of conduct, are vast, great and inconceivable. You can't conceptualize them mentally or express them verbally.
They are such that living beings cannot fathom how the Buddha's doors of conduct are cultivated.
The Guiding Master's merit, virtue and wisdom are like the sea. "Guiding Master" is another title of the Buddha, who is a great guide for living beings. His meritorious qualities and his wisdom are oceanic in extent.
This is the place of practice of the Garuda
King named Great Sea-Location Power to Gather in and
Sustain. He cultivated this kind of state and entered this door of liberation.
(To be continued)