There are ten frames of mind that defy birth and death:
- One understands and believes in cause and effect;
- One has a sense of shame and is critical of oneself;
- One is fearful of the evil paths;
- One does not cover up one's flaws;
- One severs one's continuous thoughts;
- One makes the resolve for Bodhi;
- One cultivates merit to make up for mistakes;
- One rejoices in others' goodness;
- One is mindful of the Buddhas of the ten directions;
- One contemplates that the nature of offenses is empty.
When you recognize these lists and are able to turn the "adherences" into "defiances," then you can break the net of birth and death.
Besides the above contemplations, one should know that the origin of offenses is the three karmas of body, mouth, and mind and the six senses of eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, and mind. The Ceremony for the Dharma Flower Samadhi Repentance contains the Tiantai method of repentance: repenting of the offenses of the six senses. The adherences and defiances of birth and death are based on the Chapter of the Meritorious Virtues of the Light of the Thus Come One's Subsidiary Characteristics, which emphasizes one's thoughts while on the Bodhisattva path. Therefore, one makes the resolve for Bodhi, cultivates merit to make up for one's faults, guards the Proper Dharma, and cultivates various means to benefit others. However, the repentance according to the six sense organs is based on The Sutra of Universal Worthy's Contemplation, which is an abbreviation of the full title. The Sutra of Contemplating the Dharma of Universal Worthy Bodhisattva's Conduct. In this repentance, one gathers in the six senses, severs the continuous mind, and sees through ignorance, thereby attaining the capacity to contemplate the nature of offenses as empty.
Repenting of the Six Sense Organs
According to The Sutra of Universal Worthy's Contemplation, living beings since beginningless eons have created various offenses on the bases of the three karmas of body, mouth, and mind, and the six sense organs of eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, and mind. These offenses have become heavy though mass accumulation, preventing living beings from seeing the light of all Buddhas, going along with the flow of birth and death, and failing to recognize the pure and wonderful principle of egress.
The sea of all karmic obstructions began with false thoughts.
Those who wish to repent must sit upright and be mindful of the true mark.
The multitudes of offenses are just as frost and dew;
Wisdom' s sun can dissolve them.
Therefore, one should sincerely repent of the six organs of emotion.
Obstructive offenses are like illnesses. To eliminate one's illness, one must know the cause of one's illness and accept the cure of painful shots and treatments. Otherwise, regardless of how excellent the practice of repentance is, one only does it by rote and never eliminates any habits. People's habits are the greatest magnet for attracting offenses. For instance, addictions to drugs, to gambling, to alcohol, to stealing, to sex, to lying, etc. are habits that are the real enemy to eliminating karmic obstructions. To overcome their enemies, people must recognize them for what they really are. The following is a description according to The Sutra of Universal Worthy's Contemplation:
l.The Repentance of the Eyes For limitless eons, living beings have been greedy and attached to forms due to causes and conditions. Since they are greedy for and attached to forms, they become greedy and love the objects of form. Since they are greedy and love the objects of form, they have to undergo the retribution of being female. They are confused by the objects of form in every life. The objects of form ruin the purity of my eyes so that I am enslaved to love. Furthermore, I have to undergo the wheel of transmigration in the three realms. Although all the Buddhas throughout the ten directions are forever present and never vanish, my eyes have been tainted and dirtied so that I cannot see the bright Dharma body of all Buddhas.
If someone wonders why a female is specified here and whether that is condescension toward women, these are simply the facts. The Buddha has said, "Women have 84,000 enticing looks that seduce others. It is difficult for them to become Dharma vessels. As nuns, they are the seeds of thorns, ruining the looks of Dharma banners.
To be continued