sutra text from last issue: With flight and ascension, one will not sink, but will naturally become transcendent.
“Endowed solely with thought, they will fly and can certainly be reborn in the heavens above. If they fly from the heart, and if they have blessings and wisdom, as well as pure vows, then their hearts will spontaneously open and they will see the Buddhas of the ten directions and all their pure lands and they will be reborn in whichever one they wish.
“Endowed solely with thought” means that the person has no emotion, no yin, but has only reason, which belongs to yang. “Solely” means it is present to the exclusion of any other mental process. There is only thought, nothing else. It is a kind of true sincerity.
People's thoughts are such that they govern what happens. For instance, eating, drinking, and smoking all come about based on thought. First one thinks about it and then one does it. Conversely, if one decides not to do something, that thing won't be done. “If I want to eat something good, I go buy some good things to eat. If I want something nice to wear, I go buy it.” The same is true for drinking. If one is thirsty, one goes out and gets some brandy, whiskey, rum, or beer. Just mentioning it is enough to make some people's mouths water. People who like to smoke are always mulling over the best brands of cigarettes. They've always got their mind on these things. Then they meet a good and wise advisor who tells them to stop smoking, stop eating meat, and stop drinking. Obediently they stop, but since their minds habitually run to these things, they start having dreams about smoking cigarettes, drinking liquor, and eating meat. They don't actually do these things in their waking hours, but because the thought remains, they dream of indulging in them at night. When they awaken they regret their conduct in the dream.“I've already stopped doing that. Why would I resort to it in a dream?” they admonish themselves. As I've told you before, it's difficult to remain in control of yourself when you're sick and even more difficult to do so in a dream.
Endowed solely with thought, they will fly and can certainly be reborn in the heavens above. If they fly from the heart, and if they have blessings and wisdom, as well as pure vows, then their hearts will spontaneously open. However, if one's thought is of the heart and one does not wish to be reborn in the heavens, but instead keeps blessings and wisdom in mind at all times, then, even better than to be born in the heavens, one may have made pure vows to be reborn in a Buddhaland. The Buddha is known as the Doubly Complete One; that is, he is complete in both blessings and wisdom. Aware of this, one wants to cultivate blessings and wisdom oneself.
But to cultivate blessings and not wisdom, one will be like an elephant
wearing a necklace.
And to cultivate wisdom and not blessings one will become an Arhat with
The necklace is handsome and valuable, but it's all the elephant has; it doesn't have any thought-power, any wisdom. If you seek wisdom in your cultivation by studying the Sutras and sitting in meditation, but fail to plant any blessings and are unable to practice giving, then you'll end up smart but hungry. To plant blessings means one should do meritorious and virtuous deeds, especially on the Buddhist holidays-the birthdays and anniversaries of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas-or on your own birthday, or on the first and the fifteenth of the lunar month. If you practice giving and create merit before the Triple Jewel, then you willl amass blessings. If you do not do meritorious and virtuous deeds, then you won't have any blessings. If you concentrate on wisdom and don't develop blessings, then no one will make offerings to you when you become an Arhat. That's because on the cause ground you did not make offerings in your turn. So if you want people to make offerings to you when the time comes, you should make offerings to them now. It's as simple as the principle of
Planting melons, you get melons.
Planting beans, you get beans.
To be continued