假如你自己不願意作菩薩，那麼你幫助其他的眾生成菩薩，這也是一件善事，所以你不可以不唸這個咒。You should hurry up and recite it！（你要快快念這個咒。）這個咒，我現在告訴你們各位，我傳給你們，你們各位要特別注意。你們已經知道了這個咒，不要說：「喔！我已經知道了。」就生一種輕慢的心；不知道的呢，更應該生一種尊重法的心。我現在來教你們這個咒，你們都注意一點！我只教三遍，你記不記得就隨你自己了。
Friday, August 22, 1975 (afternoon)
So far, I have explained three techniques of Buddha Recitation: "contemplation by thought," "contemplation of an image," and "holding the name." But I have not yet explained the fourth method, which is "Real Mark Buddha Recitation."
The Real Mark is apart from marks; it is not attached to any distinguishing characteristics. It has left all dharmas behind and swept away all marks. This is the Dharma door of investigating dhyana. Those who truly practice dhyana truly chant the Buddha's name as well. Those who can really recite the Buddha's name are, in fact, investigating dhyana. Dhyana practice and Buddha Recitation both help you to stop your idle thoughts and sweep away your personal desires and random thoughts, so that your original face appears. This is called Real Mark recitation.
The Buddha spoke all the Dharma doors to cure the illnesses of living beings. If living beings had no illnesses, then none of the methods would be of use. But, because we living beings have such problems, the methods are useful. Of the eighty-four thousand Dharma doors spoken by the Buddha, every Dharma door is number one. Not one of them is number two. Whichever method is appropriate to your situation is number one. If one is inappropriate and you can't use it, that doesn't mean that it is number two, because it may be number one for someone else. So I say that there are eighty-four thousand Dharma doors and eighty-four thousand of them are number one.
Now we are cultivating the method of Buddha recitation, and some also cultivate the technique of holding mantras. There are various mantras, and there are many different Buddhas, but of all the Buddhas, Amitabha Buddha has the closest affinity with us. We living beings may be likened to iron filings and Amitahba Buddha is like a magnet which draws us in to the Western Land of Ultimate Bliss. The other Buddhas are also like magnets, but their magnetism is not as strong. So living beings should recite the name of Amitabha Buddha and cultivate the Pure Land Dharma door. This is the first time in the history of America that we have gathered in the mountains to recite the Buddha's name. I believe that we are planting a cause which will in the future certainly produce a grand blossom and bear a great fruit. I absolutely believe that this will be the case.
After the session, I will teach you a secret mantra. When you return home, if you want to recite the mantra you may, or if you want to recite the Buddha's name, you may. We'll see who succeeds first in their cultivation. Does anyone have an opinion on this?
Student: Could we still speak about special occurrences? Yesterday during the hour sit, I felt a lot of electrical energy and at one moment I felt very large. My head was in the clouds and a rainy feeling was in the air. Later, I was once more in the clouds only this time I was talking with an entity and I did not want the rain to fall.
The Master: This state may happen to those who cultivate dhyana. I just said that when the session was over I would teach you a mantra and I think now that some people are having a particular idle thought and there is something they want to say. If you want to speak, just go ahead. Someone is thinking, "I'm leaving tomorrow. I might not get a chance to learn it." Isn't that correct?
The Master: Well, if I taught it to you now, would that be okay?
Student: Yes, thank you!
The Master: This is the most wonderful of mantra. Now I will teach it to you audibly, but when you recite it you should do so silently. Don't speak it out loud, because it's a secret mantra, and if you speak it out loud it won't be a secret any longer. Walking, standing, sitting, and reclining, you should always recite this mantra. The mantra's power is very great. For example, if you recite it in the mountains, after five hundred years have passed all the living creatures on the mountain will become Bodhisattvas. Its merit and virtue are that great. If you recite it in the water, after five hundred years all the living creatures in the water will bring forth the Bodhi resolve and in the future will become Bodhisattvas. Just recite it, and five hundred years later all the fleas, nits, and bed-bugs, and all the germs in your own body will also bring forth the thought of enlightenment and become Bodhisattvas. Is this or is this not powerful? If you yourself do not wish to become a Bodhisattva, helping other living beings to become Bodhisattvas is a good thing to do. Therefore, you can't fail to recite this mantra. You should hurry up and recite it!
I will now transmit it to you and you should all pay special attention to it. If you already know the mantra, don't think, "Oh, I know it," and look on it lightly. Those who don't know it should be even more respectful of this dharma. Now I will teach it to you. Pay attention, because I'm only going to repeat it three times and whether or not you remember it is up to you:
Om Mani Padme Hum
Om Mani Padme Hum
Om Mani Padme Hum
The power of the mantra is inconceivable. Pay special attention in cultivating and upholding this dharma.
[On Friday afternoon, seventeen people took refuge with the Master, including Mr. and Mrs. Brevoort, hosts of the Buddha Recitation Session, and their son, Joshua. At the end of the ceremony, the Master delivered the following short talk to the new disciples:]
I have a few more words to say to you. Please sit down. You should all remember that you took refuge at Buddha Root Farm. I gave young Joshua the Dharma name "Fruit of the Root," (Guo Gen) because he is a Buddha root. All of you who have taken refuge here should be leaders of Buddhism. You must act as models for all peoples of the world. Be good Buddhist disciples and spread Buddhism throughout the entire world, throughout the Dharma Realm. If there is one person who does not believe in the Buddha, it will be because you have not fulfilled your responsibilities. You should vow to cause all people to take refuge with the Triple Jewel. That will result in the greatest merit and virtue. The Sutra of Comparative Merit and Virtue says, "If there were Buddhas in number like the seedlings of rice, stalks of hemp, stalks of bamboo and reeds in the great trichiliocosm, and if you presented those Buddhas with the four kinds of offerings, and then, when those Buddhas passed into Nirvana, you again made offerings of incense and flowers, food and drink, and built shrines and temples for them, the resulting merit and virtue would be great indeed. However, when you yourself take refuge with the Triple Jewel and exhort others to take refuge, the merit from this exceeds the former."
What are the four types of offerings? They are: food and drink, clothing, bedding, and medicine. Although the merit from offerings of flowers and incense and building shrines and temples is considerable, when you encourage one person to take refuge with the Triple Jewel and when you do so yourself, the merit from that action surpasses the merit obtained by making offerings to all those Buddhas. Thus, the result of taking refuge with the Triple Jewel is inconceivable.
Each of you should make Buddhism your own responsibility. Think, "Buddhism is just me; I am Buddhism." Don't set yourself apart from Buddhism. "Not only is Buddhism my religion, but I am going to convert those of other religions to Buddhism. This is my vow." You should make the Four Vast Vows:
I vow to save the boundless number of beings.
I vow to sever the endless afflictions.
I vow to study the unlimited Dharma doors.
I vow to realize the supreme Buddha Way.
You should make great vows to spread the Buddhadharma. Okay?
Of those who took refuge today, many are familiar to me and need not stand on ceremony. Go ahead and do a good job, okay?
To be continued