Wednesday, August 20, 1975 (afternoon)
The Master: Are there any questions?
Student: I am rather new to Buddhism and would like to know what school or sect you teach.
The Master: What is your name?
The Master: Where are you from?
The Master: At Gold Mountain Monastery we study the entire spectrum of Buddhism. We do not subscribe to any one particular sect or school. We maintain no such divisions.
Student: I recall the Master once saying that we must cultivate our roots where we come from and we must cultivate the Dharma where it comes from. I'm very new and I don't really understand very much, but I do grasp the idea of birth and death. I understand that when things die, new things are born. I would like the Master to expound upon that and tell us more about what the Dharma is and how we can learn to propagate it in the Dharma-ending Age. Like other living things, when the Dharma ends, does it then get reborn?
The Master: The Dharma is a method—a method for cultivating the Way. After practicing for a time, people often feel that the Dharma is not as fresh and exciting as it was at first and they quit cultivating. Basically, there is no Dharma-ending Age and there is no Proper Dharma Age. The Dharma itself is unmoving. It is not inherently "proper" or "ending." People, however, are sometimes diligent and vigorous and at other times they are lax and lazy. When people are vigorous, that's the Proper Dharma Age. When people are lazy, it's the Dharma-ending Age.
The Buddha Recitation session we are conducting here is a vigorous one and it is the Proper Dharma Age for us. After the session is over, if you don't cultivate and aren't vigorous, it will revert to the Dharma-ending Age.
Another student: Could the Master please tell us more about the third eye?
The Master: There are five eyes, not just three eyes. Where have you heard about three eyes?
Student: Yesterday, when the Master discussed Amitabha Buddha's white hair-mark, I took that to be the third eye.
The Master: That's not the third eye. That's just the white hairmark. The Buddha doesn't have just three eyes. The Buddha has a hundred thousand billion, limitless, boundless eyes. If we living beings cultivate, we too can possess a measureless number of eyes. On the tip of every hair alone there is an infinite number of eyes. The third eye which non-Buddhist religions talk about is really nothing. They simply have no understanding of what the doctrines of Buddhism are all about. If you cultivate and become a Buddha you will have an uncountable number of eyes and an uncountable number of hands. Guanyin Bodhisattva is said to have "a thousand hands and a thousand eyes," but not only has she a thousand eyes and hands, she has more than ten thousand. It cannot be known how many hands and eyes she has.
Has anyone been bitten by mosquitoes? Certainly a lot of people must have bites?
The Master: That's because you haven't been sincere in your recitation! You haven't brought forth your true heart.
Student: What about the contract?
The Master: The mosquitoes are not trustworthy. They are bound to fail to observe the terms of the contract. There's not the slightest doubt about it. They are just too small to pay attention to things like that. There are too many of them, besides. I can sign a contract with one of them, but another won't keep the agreement, and will close in. They like their independence and are very democratic in spirit. They won't put up with having people supervise them. If I sign a contract with one of them, another will say, "I didn't sign nothing. I'm not following no contract," and so they bite.
Translator: The Master only made out a contract with one mosquito...
The Master: Hey, it wasn't just one. It was a lot of them. But there were still a lot of them who didn't sign. For example, in this country there are the Democrats and the Republicans. If I signed a contract with one of them, the other would say, "He didn't sign. It's none of our business." Mosquitoes, too, have a lot of different parties and sects.
Mosquitoes have the Mosquito Party. Ants have ant parties and bees have bee parties. Each creature belongs to its own organization and faction. Only my Buddhism has no party, no school, and no sect; it is all-inclusive, complete Buddhism. The Buddhism I teach is not Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Burmese, Ceylonese, or Indian. The Buddhism I promote is world-Buddhism, universal Buddhism, the Buddhism of the entire Dharma Realm. The Buddhism I promote I don't even call Buddhism; I call it "the teaching of people." If you are a person, you should believe in Buddhism. This is because people can become Buddhas. Since all people can become Buddhas, we can call this teaching "the teaching of people."
To be continued