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A Collection of the Venerable Master's Rules:You Should Follow Instructions Even at Branch Temples

*宣公上人開示 Talks by the Venerable Master Hua
*微風 英譯 English translation by Breeze








People who live at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas should bring forth the resolve to cultivate the Way. To have the intent for cultivation means that you follow the schedule. It shouldn't be that after you have left home for quite some time, you become lazier than a pig and know only how to eat and sleep, but do not do any community work. If you are like that, you will gain limitless offenses instead of merit at this Way-place. When you eat "a grain of rice from donors, which is as heavy as Mount Sumeru, and fail to cultivate the Way after consuming it, you will have to repay the debt by being reborn as an animal." This is not a fun proposition! Leaving the home-life is the noblest deed in the world, but one should be willing to benefit the community. You cannot just look out for yourself, be lazy, and indulge in luxury. It is not permissible to behave casually in the Great Assembly; if you do, you are not allowed to live in the community.  

Do not think that you can be casual after you have left home for a long time. The longer you have left home, the better model you should be. If you cannot be a good example, you should return to lay-life immediately. Do not stay here and pass your time in vain. That's one thing.
When you go to another temple, you may not go as a crowd. When a lot of people go to a branch temple together, they tend to be lazy, going shopping and buying whatever they want without restriction. You think no one can discipline you after you leave home? You have to heed your teacher and the rules even after you leave home. If you do not abide by the rules of the Great Assembly, you cannot be considered a monastic. On the contrary, you are "a horse that troubles the whole herd" and "a thief among the virtuous." You should go somewhere else if you want to be "a thief among the virtuous." I cannot tolerate such disciples, people who put on airs all the time, in the Wayplace.

When someone asks you, "Why aren't you attending ceremonies?" you reply, "Huh? Attend ceremonies? I can be casual since I've been a monk/nun for such a long time!" No one may be casual. Even after you have left the home life for eight hundred years, you still have to follow instructions.   If you need to attend to temple business, you should do so when the time allows. You cannot be special. You should not be different and say, "I don't need to participate; I can take a break!" There is no convenience here. You are not qualified to be a senior, and even if you were, you still may not be casual! Seniors should be good models. I welcome people who want to cultivate. However, you should return to lay-life immediately if you don't wish to cultivate. Whether you are a man or a woman, you must return to lay-life if you don't cultivate. I cannot allow people to pass the time idly at the Wayplace.   In particular, when you go to another branch temple, you cannot put on airs and disregard instructions even if you have been a monastic for eight hundred years. You will be asked to leave whenever and wherever you do not follow instructions. After you have been expelled three times, you will not be allowed to return. Someone who has been expelled once may still come back if he/she can reform. But after three expulsions, that person may not return. I will never accept that kind of people here. If you leave of your own will, you may always come back. However, you may not return after having been expelled three times.

Venerable Master's Dharma Words
To always introspect and see your true self, and to constantly produce prajna wisdom, is merit. To dynamically apply infinite forms of that prajna wisdom to all situations, without becoming attached or doing anything impure, is virtue.


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