On April 9th, at the joint request of the Buddhist Associations of the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), the University of California at Irvine (UCI), and the California Polytechnic Institute (CALPOLY), the Venerable Master Hsuan Hua, accompanied by five Dharma Masters, delivered a lecture at UCLA. The UCLA Buddhist Association first invited the Venerable Master to speak in 1989, when the group had just started. Since then, they have invited the Master to speak almost every year, and this is the fourth time the Master is bringing a delegation to visit UCLA. The theme of the lecture was "Buddhism and Psychology."
The Venerable Master's peaceful composure and the students' sincerity in seeking the Dharma filled the auditorium with a solemn and harmonious air. The president of the association first introduced the Venerable Master and the other masters. In order to train more speakers, the Venerable Master compassionately followed his customary rule of letting his disciples speak first. The Ven. Master began his speech by explaining the word "Buddha," and then speaking about how the human mind can be good or bad. The mind encompasses all of space, and pervades the entire universe. It can become an animal or a Buddha. In a single thought of ignorance, it creates all kinds of karma. In a single thought of wisdom, it eradicates all kinds of karma. These are all functions of the mind. The Master further pointed out that when the mind comes into being, the myriad things come into being; when the mind ceases to be, the myriad things also cease to be. When the human mind dies, the mind for the Way comes forth. How can we guard this mind for the Way and give rise to samadhi? The Master then talked about precepts, samadhi and wisdom. In the last half hour, students asked questions, broaching a variety of topics including politics, psychology, meditation, earthquakes and so on.
The Venerable Master departed as the assembly recited the name of Gwanyin Bodhisattva. Students respectfully accompanied him to the street outside the building and saw him off; they will cherish the limitless flavor of the Dharma which he has left for them.