Venerable Master: In the past the Mahayana Buddhists considered themselves the Greater Vehicle, which included the Lesser Vehicle. Those of the Lesser Vehicle were attached to their own ways and did not acknowledge the existence of the Greater Vehicle. It was like killing our own kin. We are all disciples of the Buddha; we should include one another and influence one another, and not discriminate between the Greater and Lesser Vehicles. First of all we should get rid of sectarian views within Buddhism. The next step will be to regard the followers of all religions as if they were Mahakashyapa, Shariputra, or Maudgalyayana--the Buddha's disciples from whom we should learn. We shouldn't harbor the slightest trace of discrimination. If we can maintain such an attitude and resolve under all circumstances, we can be certain that Buddhism will flourish. If we insist on discriminating between ourselves and others, then we will always be separate and alone; there can never be perfect harmony. It is my wish that we can see how everything is interconnected, that we can make Buddhism all-encompassing and unimpeded, so that its great kindness is felt even by those who have no affinities with it, and all creatures are seen as sharing the same substance. Then all beings, both sentient and insentient ones, will be able to achieve perfect wisdom. These are all old ideas, nothing new, but I'm bringing them up because people have forgotten about them.
Dharma Master Shun: I think it's a good idea to use Buddhist music, chanting, and ceremonies as a way to bring Buddhism and all other religions together in harmony.
Venerable Master: I would now like to present the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas as a gift to all Mahayana and Theravada Buddhists. Anytime the Mahayana Buddhists want to use the facilities of the City, they can do so. And the Theravadan Buddhists can also use the City's facilities for any activity they like. The only conditions on this unprecedented offer are that people must refrain from gambling, smoking, and so forth, and that they should honor the Buddha's precepts in their practice.
Dharma Master Jau: Venerable Sumedho would like to hold a two-week meditation retreat at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas next year.
Venerable Master: Not to mention two weeks, he can use the City for two months or even two years if he wants. [Editor's note: The Ven. Ajahn Sumedho and Ven. Ajahn Amaro led a sixteen-day Theravada-style meditation retreat at the City from June 21 to July 6, 1991. Dharma Master Jau: They are requesting a special area and invite us to attend as well.
Venerable Master: We will follow their lead and do whatever they do.
Dharma Master Chau: It's truly inconceivable. We often hear in Dharma talks that we should not have attachments. And it also says in the Vajra Sutra, "If someone says that the Thus Come One has spoken the Dharma, he is slandering the Buddha." The Master's suggestion is really making the Sutras come alive. We would never have thought of this method to bring everyone together. We have only known how to pick on others' faults.
Venerable Master: It's said: “Those who respect others will also be respected. Those who care for others will also be cared for. Those who beat others will also be beaten. Those who scold others will also be scolded.” Therefore, if we dont’ want to be beaten by people, we should not beat others. If we don't want to be scolded by people, we should not scold others. If we don't want others to disrespect up, we should not disrespect others.
To be continued