Venerable Master: This is not something that happens overnight; it came about because of my bowing to them--that's why they were moved. In the past if you were a left-home person of the northern tradition and you bowed to left-home people of the southern tradition, they just ignored you.
A Vietnamese Dharma Master:
What the Master just said is not at all easy to put into actual practice. And it is even more difficult to influence people through practicing it. Yesterday I saw that the Theravadan Bhikshus were very respectful towards the Master. They were totally moved by him. They were delighted to listen to the Master and admired him greatly. This is the first time I have witnessed such respect for someone; it's very touching. I believe it is because the Master does not discriminate between different sects; he can encompass them all. This is not something most people can do.
Dharma Master Sure:
At the last precept transmission ceremony held at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, the Bodhisattva precepts were transmitted using Pali, English, and Chinese; it was a rare and special event--something that had never been done before.
Venerable Master: We weren't deliberately trying to be different by doing something that had never been done before; we were just picking up on something that others had forgotten about. We weren't out to show that we were special and different from others. We are the same as everyone else; don't get the idea that I like to be unusual--that's not so. I just do the things that others aren't willing to do. Maybe people forgot, I’m reminding them!
The Ten Dharma Realms Are Not Beyond A Single Thought
A talk given on October 8, l990,
at the Amaravati Buddhist Centre outside of London, England
Good and wise advisors! There's no knowing how many times we have gathered together throughout limitless eons in the past, but it was all like a dream. All kinds of states appeared in the dream, but when we woke up we forgot about them. Our present meeting, too, is like a dream. When we wake up from this dream, some of us will have vague memories of it, while others will remember it very clearly. Probably we all received the Buddha's teaching measureless eons ago, but we didn't really understand the Buddhadharma then. That's why it seems like a dream and we don't really remember one another.
Now that we have gathered together, we want to clear up the fuzzy impressions; we want to understand where the objects of the six senses come from. In order to do that, we first have to study Prajna wisdom. Once we have Prajna wisdom, we can sweep away and empty out all the sense impressions that have accumulated up to now. This is our common aim in studying the Buddha's teachings.
Shakyamuni Buddha once said, "Strange indeed, strange indeed, strange indeed! All living beings have the Buddha-nature and can become Buddhas. It is only because of idle thinking and attachments that they cannot realize it." The Buddha also said, "All men are my fathers, and all women are my mothers." From these words, we should know that all living beings have been our parents in past lives and will become Buddhas in the future. This being the case, if we fail to treat men and women equally--if we think that men are more important than women or that women are more important than men--aren't we being unfilial? If we look down upon any living being, then our practice of the Buddhadharma is still imperfect.
If we know that all living beings can become Buddhas if they have no idle thoughts or attachments, why can't we bear to give up our own idle thinking and attachments? Why have we stopped halfway, unable to either advance or retreat? There is nothing to be gained by advancing, and nothing to be lost by retreating, and yet we are just stuck here, thinking this a safe place. Aren't we just being lax and throwing away our future?
to be continued