Q: If someone in the family opposes and does not understand cultivation, what is the proper way for us to cultivate?
A:You should honestly put the principles into practice yourself, and strive to act correctly.
Q:In the Vajra Sutra, it says that "The mind of the past cannot be obtained, the mind of the present cannot be obtained, and the mind of the future cannot be obtained." Can this be explained as meaning to "produce the mind which abides nowhere"?
A:The mind of the past cannot be obtained: you say this is the mind of the past, but it has already passed, so where can you find this mind? The mind of the present cannot be obtained: the mind of the present doesn't stop, so which is the mind of the present? And the mind of the future hasn't arrived yet. Therefore, "the three minds cannot be obtained" means one shouldn't have false thoughts.
Q: Is the idea of "cutting off material desires and extending knowledge" in Confucianism different from that of "cutting off desires" in Buddhism?
A: The terms are different but the meaning is the same. Cutting off material desires means to purify the mind and lessen desires, and also to sever desires and get rid of love. Nobody explains the Confucian idea of "cutting off material desires" the way I do. Confucianism does not explain it in such detail and actually say what material desires are. It just says one should cut off material desires.
Q:Are the eight precepts very important? Should we take them at least once in our lives?
A: If you think it's important, then it's important. If you think it's not important, then it's not important. It's not fixed. Of course it's good if you have a chance to take them. But if you don't have a chance, you don't need to feel inferior either. It all depends on the causes and conditions.