萬佛城金剛菩提海 Vajra Bodhi Sea


Vajra Bodhi Sea: HomeMain IndexIssue Index




Instructional Talks by the Venerable Master during a
Buddha Recitation Session at Buddha Root Farm

一九七五年八月於美國奧立崗州August 1975, on Buddha Root Farm on the Smith River near Reedsport, Oregon
國際譯經學院記錄翻譯 Translated by the International Translation Institute









Thursday, August 21, 1975 afternoon Ullambana

Bhikshu Heng Sure: So much has been going on that trying to share with people the beauty and wonders of it is like trying to scoop the ocean out with a teacup. It's really hard because you can only get a drop at a time. But the water that comes out is so nourishing, so fine, that it's really worth all the effort. It's kind of frustrating for people who have been cultivating a little longer to know how much there is and to want to share it all at once. Of course you can't do it, but I think this week has been an epoch-making event. This is a historically significant occasion because it's very similar to the Dharma assembly—this is an arrogant thing to say, but it seems to me that it's very similar to the Dharma assembly in which the Sixth Patriarch, the Great Master Hui Neng, spoke his Dharma Jewel Platform Sutra. The conditions were somewhat similar, and certainly the quality of Dharma was of the same flavor. This is a remarkable event; don't miss it. As the saying goes,  

Whether you're walking, standing, sitting, or lying down, Don't depart from this. Once you separate from this, you've gone amiss.  

As the Master said last night, to return empty-handed from the mountain of jewels would really be a mistake. One of the more obvious Dharma treasures we can share is the verse you hear every noon, just before you plunge into the natural goodies that Peggy Brevoort lays on the table. That verse goes, in part: "The Buddha told the assembly, while eating observe the Five Contemplations." I imagine every one of you has said, "Okay, what are the five? I'll observe them if you let me know." Well, here are the Five Contemplations: 

1.As you eat, you should be mindful of the amount ofwork that it took to bring the food here to the place of eating.Think about the farmer who grew the vegetarian meal that you're eating, the various people that were involved in planting, nurturing, harvesting, trucking, sorting, selling, and preparing the food all to bring it into your mouth. There's a lot of work involved, a lot of sweat and toil. You're reaping the benefits from it, and you should be mindful of the amount of work that was required in all these different phases to bring the food to the place of eating. The second thing that Sang- hans and faithful disciples should be mindful of is:

2. Are you worthy of this offering of food? That is to say, have you done anything today to deserve the blessing of eating? The Chinese talk about "mouth blessings" (口福)--the mouth gets a lot of blessings to enjoy. What have you done today to serve the Dharma? Have you served anyone else? Have you been a lazy worm? Have you been vigorous? Have you been mindful of the Buddha and really done the work out here? Have you been interested mainly in pursuing the five desires instead? These are questions that only you can answer. This is the second contemplation.

3. Guard your mind and depart from all transgressions, of which the most coarse is greed. The foremost of the three poisons (greed, hatred, and stupidity) is greed. Now, who isn't greedy? Who doesn't have greedy thoughts? Well, the Buddha doesn't have greedy thoughts. Sages don't either. But almost everyone else, up to and including Seventh Stage Bodhisattvas, still have some slight flicker of desire, some slight stirring of the passions. Now, someone who is just beginning to cultivate the Way will think, "Gee, I'm doing pretty well. I don't have any greed left. I was able to put down that fourth bowl of noodles today and share it with someone else." Well, that's good. That's the first step. You start near if you want to go far. That's the way to begin. But know that greed manifests in a thousand different ways, and once you get past the coarse forms of greed, there are subtle forms of greed that are just as powerful and poisonous. It all depends on the subtlety and quality of your mind as you cultivate.

So the third contemplation is to guard the mind and depart from all transgressions, of which greed is by far the most prominent. Some people say that greed is the thing that turns the world. Well, if you can put your greed down, if you can actually get in there and uproot the greed and the mountain of self—that false illusion of a self that you're getting something for—then you're really cultivating the Way. That's where cultivation actually works. People say, "My gosh, Buddhism? I know all about Buddhism. I've read all those books. I've seen those far-out pictures of things popping out of these sages' heads—they sit there all tranquil. I sat in meditation this morning and I know what Buddhism is all about." Well, they're not wrong. Buddhism includes all that. Buddhism includes just about every kind of practice and every kind of thought that you can imagine. But the Buddhism that's taught at Gold Mountain starts with the very common, the very ordinary, mundane things of daily existence—for instance, eating. Wow, eating is the place where a lot of cultivation or lack of cultivation happens every single day. The Master urges his disciples to be mindful of their eating. He sets a perfect example by the vow he made, which was to strictly observe the Buddha's regulation and take only one meal a day, and that being taken before noon. This is one of the Twelve Ascetic Practices that Shakyamuni Buddha and early Buddhists cultivated. It's not to say at all that to be a Buddhist you can only eat once a day. For a lot of people that would be too much—it would turn them away from Buddhism. That's not the way to go about it. The way to go about it is to be mindful of your eating, and be mindful of the greed that makes you want to eat more, and eat more, and eat more... Basically, Americans are pretty wasteful when it comes to eating. Americans eat much too much. They just pile it on when they don't have to. That's why we have so many heart attacks, so many arterial diseases—that sort of thing. It's because people's eating habits are pretty gross. So the third contemplation is to guard the mind and depart from transgressions, of which greed is the most prominent.

To be continued


法界佛教總會Dharma Realm Buddhist Association │ © Vajra Bodhi Sea