Our spiritual nature is the same; if you know how to use it, then the bright light of wisdom will manifest. If you don't know how to use it, then it is like a tree which is used for firewood by people who don't understand its usefulness; that's why we are born and die. Buddhism is different from other religions because the Buddha is a wise, enlightened one who teaches us how to develop our wisdom. When our wisdom opens up, we can become Buddhas. Other religions do not agree.
How can one become a Buddha? To become a Buddha involves not fighting, not being greedy, not seeking, not being selfish, not pursuing personal advantage, and not lying. You say, "Is it that simple?" Yes! It's that simple! If you can put the six guiding principles into practice, then that is Buddhahood. But it is not easy to carry out these six principles. You may say, "I will not fight," but when you get into a disagreement, you still fight. You may say, "I will not be greedy," but when things reach a crucial point, you are still greedy. The same goes for not seeking, not being selfish, and not pursuing personal advantage. When you are in trying circumstances, you still selfishly seek personal gain. You become attached and cannot let go of matters. On top of that, you lie. Everyone knows how to lie—you don't have to teach them. If you say that someone is lying, he will say that he is using expedient means. If he regards lying as being an expedient means, what can you do?
If you thoroughly understand these six guiding principles and really put them into practice, then you are not far from being a Buddha. Even though you can't instantly become a Buddha, you are not far from being a Buddha.
What is reverence for our own spiritual nature? How do we protect our own spiritual nature? We should carefully observe our own Buddha nature and not ruin it.
For example, this very valuable table could be used as an altar or an offering table, but if you burn it, then it will have no value. We should revere our own spiritual nature. The seventh cause and condition for resolving the mind upon Bodhi is reverence of our own spiritual nature. We should revere our own wisdom and not take it lightly.
It is right now in a single thought: this spiritual nature is the single thought right now. It is neither the past nor the future, but the present. In one true thought, I can directly be one with Shakyamuni Thus Come One without any difference at all. Our true mind is the same as the Buddha's true mind; they are not two. Shakyamuni used this spiritual nature and cultivated to become a Buddha, so there is no difference at all. Why is it then that the World Honored One realized Proper Enlightenment an infinite number of eons ago, yet we are still muddled, confused, and upside down—still only ordinary people?
The Buddha, the World Honored One, has also perfected infinite spiritual penetrations and wisdom. He has the six spiritual penetrations, which are: the Penetration of the Heavenly Eye, the Penetration of the Heavenly Ear, the Penetration of Others' Thoughts, the Penetration of Past Lives, the Penetration of the Exhaustion of Outflows, and the Penetration of the Complete Spirit.
The Buddha has Three Bodies: the Dharma Body, the transformation bodies, and the Reward Body. He also possesses the Four Wisdoms, which are: the wisdom of equality, the wisdom of wonderful contemplation, the wisdom of accomplishment, and the great perfect mirror wisdom.
He has Five Eyes: the Buddha eye, the Dharma eye, the wisdom eye, the heavenly eye, and the flesh eye.
These are the Five Eyes and the Six Penetrations. People with the penetration of the heavenly eye can know and see the movements of all the gods in the heavens.
People with the heavenly ear can hear and understand what the gods are talking about. Those with the penetration of others' thoughts are able to know what is on your mind as soon as you have a thought. Someone with the penetration of past lives is able to know whether you were a cow, a horse, a person, or a pig before, just by looking at you. He knows what you were in your last life or the lives before that. He knows how many times in your past lives you were a person, a horse, a mule, a bird, an ant, a fly, and so forth.
The adornments of merit and virtue: How did these people come to have the spiritual penetrations and wisdom? It is because they have merit and virtue. Once their merit and virtue are complete, their bodies are adorned by the myriad virtues.
To be continued