"How should I be?" you may ask. You should be without patience.
"If I should be without patience, then why are you telling people to be patient?" you may wonder. "If I shouldn't have any patience, then why are you even bringing the subject up? If there's not supposed to be any patience, then why did the Buddha talk about the Paramita of Patience?"
Being without patience is true patience. Not having any patience is real patience. No patience is genuine patience.
You may ask, "How do you explain that? When the Dharma Master speaks the Dharma, it's not reasonable. He says whatever he wants."
What's meant by 'being without patience' ? It means you are patient, but you don't feel like you are being patient. You don't think, "Oh, I'm being patient. I was patient that time." That's an attachment. You should be patient as if you weren't being patient. Having patience should be 'as if not having any' : Although the patience is actual, it's as if it were unreal.
For instance, suppose someone scolds you, and you think, "I'll be patient with his scolding." In your mind there's still a "scolding." If you are 'as if without patience,' then you basically don't even know that you are being scolded; it's as if it weren't happening. Then there's no patience involved. That is what's meant by no patience. If you have the concept of "patience," then you have an attachment.
"I don't believe it," you say.
Well, if you don't believe it, then believe what you want.
"It's not that I don't believe it, but Shakyamuni Buddha still remembered that when he was practicing as a Patient Immortal, King Kali cut off his limbs. He hadn't put it down. He was still attached. If he wasn't attached, then why did he remember it?"
His remembering was not remembering, and your understanding is not understanding. That is the general meaning of patience. Sometimes it's easy to be patient once or even twice, but by the third time, one loses patience. As soon as one loses patience, one loses all the merit and virtue acquired from being patient before. That's why it's said:
One spark of fire
Burns up a forest of merit and virtue.
...is gentle and compliant, not impetuous or volatile. His mind is not frightened. If, moreover, he does not practice in regard to any dharma, but contemplates the marks of all dharmas as they really are, not, however, practicing nondiscrimination, that is called the Bodhisattva Mahasattva's range of practice.
Furthermore, the Bodhisattva Mahasattva "is gentle and compliant." Gentle means yielding and not contending. Compliant means good-tempered and agreeable. The great Bodhisattva who practices patience and cultivates the Bodhisattva Way must be gentle and compliant, and "not impetuous or volatile." Being impetuous means being overhasty and doing things all in a rush, very abruptly. Things done that way end up being not at all in accord with principle. Being volatile means having an explosive temper. A Bodhisattva who cultivates the Bodhisattva Way should not have a volatile temper.
His mind is not frightened. His mind doesn't become alarmed or terrified concerning anything. Why not? Because he has the power of samadhi.
If, moreover, he does not practice in regard to any dharma... A Bodhisattva Mahasattva is without any "doing" in regard to all dharmas, but that doesn't mean he doesn't act. Rather, he has no thought of attachment to cultivation. He doesn't have that kind of attached thinking. He does practice, but it's as if no such thing were going on. Why is that? It's because he can really put everything down.
...but contemplates the marks of all dharmas as they really are.
A Bodhisattva contemplates all dharmas as empty. If you were to tell most people that all dharmas are empty, they wouldn't cultivate. They would think, "All dharmas are empty, and so what is there to cultivate? Cultivation is empty, too. If I don't cultivate, that's also empty, and so why do I have to cultivate?" That's the outlook and understanding of those externalise ways, and the sort of thing they say. A Bodhisattva, however, contemplates all dharmas as empty. He knows that they are empty and enters the reality of all dharmas, being in accord with the wonderful principle of reality.
Not, however, practicing nondiscrimination—he does not form views of nondiscrimination, either. Externalises say that all dharmas are empty, and so they don't discriminate and don't cultivate. That's the externalises' view of nondiscrimination. "Everything is empty," they say, "and so why are you discriminating?" They cultivate this kind of deviant view of nondiscrimination, but a Bodhisattva does not cultivate this kind of deviant view.
That is called the Bodhisattva Mahasattva's range of practice. What was just described is the Bodhisattva Mahasattva's happily-dwelling conduct of the body, the range of practice of the body.
To be continued