Related Article: Statement From the World Peace Prize Awarding Council
Related Article: Statement From the World Peace Prize Awarding Council
I’m 72 years old this year and have been learning Buddhism for 23 years. On the surface, I appeared to be a ‘senior’ Buddhist disciple. As a matter of fact, I was spending those years aimlessly pursuing the formality of Buddhism and carelessly allowed time to elapse until 6 years ago when I realized what authentic Buddhism was by participating in an event of chanting sutras for the deceased.
I used to consider myself as a Buddhist practitioner who recites the holy name of Buddha. I managed to play common dharma instruments and chant the verses of praise despite the fact that I was illiterate. I became a leader of the laypeople. I did my best in making charitable contributions to Buddhist temples. I jumped on every opportunity to follow dharma teachers to participate in Buddhist affairs and help others together with a group of laypeople. While I thought I accumulated merits from what I did, I benefitted little from my Buddhist practices.
There came a karmic affinity when I was invited to do chanting for a Buddhist brother who passed away. Buddhist brothers and sisters from various areas gathered together to do the chanting continuously day and night for the deceased. However, their chanting was quite different from mine. What was it? I wondered. Then, I witnessed an auspicious feat where relics were found after the cremation. I have helped in many chanting occasions for deceased practitioners and yet, have never seen anything like this before. After contemplating on the feat, I came to realize that the relics were manifestations of the achievements of the deceased Buddhist brother. Who was his master? I wanted to learn from him as well!
The thought stayed in my mind even after the event. I found out by asking around that the Buddhist brother listened to the prerecorded dharma discourses expounded by H. H. Dorje Chang Buddha III. He accumulated great merits and achieved accomplishment by practicing the dharma in accordance with the teachings. I couldn’t wait to visit a center to participate in listening respectfully to the Buddha Dharma expounded by H. H. Dorje Chang Buddha III. The Buddha expounded the Dharma comprehensively and thoroughly, which really fascinated me. I embraced myself with the teachings of the Dharma, which quenched my thirst, satisfied my hunger, and seemingly created a sea of Buddha Dharma for me to dive in. I gained great joy from listening to the dharma. Therefore, I called and invited my younger brothers and sisters to visit the center. They listened to the Dharma expounded by H. H. Dorje Chang Buddha III with my assistance. My two younger sisters, two sisters-in-law, and I all passed the exam and became Masters of Dharma-Listening Sessions. Together as a family, we learned Buddha Dharma and cultivated ourselves to benefit living beings.
The teachings from Namo H. H. Dorje Chang Buddha III allowed me to understand the relation between the cause and the effect and how if there was a cause, there would be always its effect. In the past, I didn’t understand the true meaning of the Dharma and thought self-cultivation meant chanting sutras. Cultivating oneself means that practitioners take the Buddha as their role model and mind their physical, verbal and mental karma by following those of the Buddha’s to modify their own words and actions and to correct their habitual behaviors. I benefitted a lot from listening to the Buddha Dharma. I not only practiced it but also promoted it. With the collaboration among a lot of people over the years, more than twenty Buddhist centers of various sizes were established. There were more than twenty group cultivation sessions held each month. I was grateful for the empowerment from Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, which caused the positive karmic affinities of the living beings to come together so the Bodhi seeds were planted and waited to blossom one day.
Life is impermanent and time awaits no one. I respectfully listen to the Buddha Dharma every day. I oblige myself in leading everyone to the Buddha Dharma listening sessions and to learn from precious books such as the ‘The Supreme and Unsurpassable Mahamudra of Liberation” and ‘Learning from the Buddha” regardless of inclement weather conditions such as heavy rain or snow. It requires determination and persistence on the path of self-cultivation. There were times that some Buddhist brothers and sisters dissipated, regressed, or strayed away from following the Dharma. I would bring it to their attention and advise them on that. Together with other Buddhist brothers and sisters, we did our best in chanting sutras for the deceased whenever we got the chance to participate. We donated the proceeds from those events to releasing living beings.
I also advocated at home the practices of no-kill and releasing living beings.
There was a time that a friend bought us a box of crabs. My husband was happy and ready to indulge himself in having a meal of those crabs. I asked him nicely to release them back to the wild when I sensed that they were about to suffer but he refused. Every living being was my family. How could I not do anything when they were about to be cooked?
My husband asked me to make dinner around dinner time. I laid in bed crying with my limbs moving randomly in the air. My husband was in shock and asked me what happened. I rolled myself around in bed even more and told him that countless crabs were asking me to save them and how they pinched me when I didn’t agree to it, which hurt very bad. I asked him to release those crabs to save me for the sake of me being his wife. He agreed reluctantly to release them after he saw how much I suffered. My “sufferings’ were instantly alleviated. It was my way of improvising a rescue plan for those crabs. It was also a result of listening respectfully to the Buddha Dharma that I started to have benevolence and compassion, refraining myself from killing lives and protecting them.
Time flies. The result over the past six years of learning Buddha Dharma and cultivating myself has surpassed that of the past sixty years of dream-like lifestyle. In comparison with the haze of confusion in the past, the goal of my cultivation has great clarity, which is to benefit living beings and end the cycle of birth and death. I’m thankful for the opportunity of learning orthodox Buddha Dharma. I’m determined to diligently cultivate myself to achieve liberation to benefit myself and others. It would be very foolish of me not to take advantage of this great opportunity to learn the Buddha Dharma and cultivate myself, wouldn’t it?
This article describes a small matter which occurred several decades ago among average people. It can cause people to ponder deeply. It gives a serious caution to people in the world.
Inconceivable True Examples of Causality—-Telling Lies
Thirty years ago, the life of average people in Taiwan was still very poor and hard. Many people who were doing business had to go door to door to sell their goods.
Once, a merchant selling fabrics brought his goods to a place and showed them to a group of women. After making comments and appraisals, none of them wanted to buy. The merchant had to take the goods back. After counting, he found that one roll of fabrics was missing. Every one of the women present said that she had not taken it. Among them, one not only said that she had not taken it, but also swore, “Had I taken it, I would be hit and killed by an automobile.”
No one could have imagined that after this woman had returned to Kinmen, she was killed in a strange and peculiar auto accident, validating her oath that carried a fatal consequence.
What happened that day was when she was at her home. She was hit and killed by a big truck that broke through the front wall and crashed into the living room due to the malfunction of the steering wheel.
After the news was spread, many people talked about it and gave their opinions. They felt that such occurrence of causal retribution is truly inconceivable.
This woman’s tragic death gives people a shocking awakening. The retribution of telling lies is very horrible. I advise everyone to take this understanding as a precept, not to speak falsely, not to give rise to greed and coveting, and actively do good deeds to accumulate merit. Only then can one have good health, happiness, joy, and auspiciousness!
The above content is only the understanding and views of the writer as a result of learning Buddhism. We should, however, rely on the Dharma expounded by the Buddha as the standard.
May all living beings in the world believe in Causality.
Practice compassion and commit to no killing.
May they experience health, peace, and happiness!
Inconceivable True Examples of Causality—-Telling Lies
#Causality #peace #Lie #greed
Many people say they have faith in Buddhism and therefore naturally regard themselves as Buddhists. However, these numerous Buddhists who regard themselves as having faith in Buddhism are at many levels and a mixture of true Buddhists and false ones and have all kinds of people in them. Among them, there are people who truly believe in Buddhism and have the correct faith, there are people who regard themselves as having the faith but really do not have the correct faith, some falsely claim to have the faith, and there are descendants of Mara Pipiyan who infiltrated into Buddhism to do damages. That is why the Buddhist world is full of chaos in this dharma-ending era. This situation requires true Buddhists and Buddhist disciples with the correct faith to open up their eyes to clearly distinguish what is true and what is false and determine what is right and what is wrong, in order to advance on the correct Bodhi path toward liberation and accomplishment without deviating aside.
There is only one way to achieve that goal. That is, taking the dharmas of the Contemplating the Magnificence of Perfect Prerequisite Oceanic Mind Essence and the Most Magnificent Bodhi Dakini Oceanic Mind Essence in the Supreme and Unsurpassable Mahamudra of Liberation and What Is Cultivation expounded by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III as the guiding compass for absolutely correct cultivation, earnestly learning from and studying the dharma Expounding the Absolute Truth through the Heart Sutra expounded by H.H.Dorje Chang Buddha III, and diligently listening to the recorded supreme dharma lessons expounded by H.H.Dorje ChangBuddha III.
Buddhist is a noun with broad meanings. Within the scope of this concept embodying a wide range of meanings, quite many people are really just “followers” or even “visitors paying the respect of burning incense.” Their knowledge about Buddhas and Bodhisattvas is just knowing the concept. They only have the so-called faith in Buddhism but have not taken refuge or made deep study or investigation. Basically, they are still invaded and corroded by the three poisons in their daily life, do things based on their own opinions, and do not cultivate or practice in accord with the Buddha’s teachings and warnings. When they go into temples to burn incense and pay respect, they beseech only rewards of good fortune in the current lifetime such as making big money in business, getting promotion or advancing to a position of power, happiness and harmony in family life, good health, and so on. Some of them cannot even tell the difference between Buddhism and Daoism and pay respect to deities and ghosts as well. That is absolutely a false faith in Buddhism without any understanding. Therefore, strictly speaking, such “Buddhist followers” really cannot be regarded as Buddhists.
There are also quite some Buddhists who, though having taken refuge in Buddhism, have not become clear about the approach of learning the absolute truth of Buddha-dharma and practice Buddha-dharma selectively as worldly ways. Some of them even have incorrect or evil knowledge and views. Their cultivation falls into superficiality and becomes a futile effort. They think that believing in Buddha’s existence and having taken refuge in Buddhism are the entirety of a Buddhist’s faith. Their faith in Buddhism is not a pure faith and is not an indestructibly firm faith. Their faith is a “faith that can be overpowered,” which can be easily shaken, overpowered, and abandoned. Their faith is an “intermittent faith.” They sometimes have faith and sometimes have doubt. A slight disturbance can cause them to generate doubt, enter into delusion, and lose confidence. Their faith has reversals and impediment and is not always clear and pure. This type of cause from such impure and contaminated faith definitely cannot bear wonderful fruit of accomplishment and liberation. This kind of faith has an extremely weak foundation and of course is not a true faith. Therefore, the refuge ceremony they have taken is just a formality and cannot represent a true faith in Buddhism.
One who does not have a true faith of course will not have a correct understanding and will not put the faith into action. Therefore, these people will not clearly believe in cause and effect and will not truly know impermanence, much less fear impermanence. Rather, they have deep and severe attachment to the self and always treat things related to them as important and having a higher priority than Buddhist work. They may even list conditions and offer deals to Buddhas and Bodhisattvas to ask Buddhas and Bodhisattvas to give them what they want first before doing Buddhist work. How can such cultivation and conduct receive protection and empowerment from Buddhas and Bodhisattvas? How can there be benefits and rewards from learning Buddhism to speak of? Thus, in today’s world, although countless people claim they have faith in Buddhism and cultivators of Buddhism are numerous and everywhere, very few of them can truly receive beneficial rewards. Instances of ending the cycle of birth and death are even rarer. Shouldn’t this situation cause the attention and vigilance of Buddhist disciples learning Buddhism?
The goal of believing in and learning Buddhism is for attaining liberation and accomplishment and becoming a holy one. Therefore, Buddhists questing for liberation and accomplishment should strive to plant and grow the cause of true faith to get the wonderful fruit of liberation and accomplishment and let themselves become veritable disciples of Buddhism with true faith and correct faith. Then, where does true and correct faith come from? Of course it comes from piously cultivating Buddhism through concrete steps. Buddhists with true and correct faith should believe in not only the Buddha’s real existence but also the Buddha’s teachings and precepts, develop strong power of vow from the inner mind to uphold, follow, and carry out the Buddha’s teaching, develop the power of determined faith to regard the principle of Buddha-dharma as the sole standard of selection and the guiding principle of conduct, and strictly and firmly act in accord with the teaching to generate the power of true faith from the inner mind. With such premise, we can establish the determination to cultivate Buddhism, clearly believe in cause and effect, diligently practice the ten actions of goodness and the four limited states of mind, and broadly cultivate the six paramitas through all acts. On the other hand, a person who is deeply plagued by heavy attachment to the self and only superficially obey Buddhas’ and Bodhisattvas’ teachings and precepts will never step onto the path of Bodhi toward liberation and accomplishment even after reading the Tripitaka exhaustively.
Therefore, disciples of Buddhism who truly intend to cultivate Buddhism to attain liberation and accomplishment have to become Buddhist disciples in the holy sense with true faith and real cultivation. Buddhist disciples in the holy sense are in true correspondence with the Buddha’s teaching and the purpose of learning Buddha-dharma and can thoroughly see the true such-ness of mind nature. Such is the meaning of the holy sense. To possess the status of the holy sense, Buddhist disciples must concurrently pursue progress in all three aspects of Buddhism. Only by advancing in all three aspects coherently as a whole can one be regarded as a Buddhist disciple in the holy sense. These three aspects are: the teaching of Buddhism, the study of Buddhism, and Buddha-dharma. Moreover, the three aspects must be combined perfectly to comprise one entity.
The teaching of Buddhism includes the Buddha’s teaching that has been transmitted through the time and historical facts about Buddhism. Among them, there are true events of the Buddha, historical backgrounds, records of the origin and propagation of Buddha-dharma, karmic conditions related to expounding specific dharmas, references and publications of the dharma expounded by the Buddha, rules of Buddhism, and so on. The study of Buddhism refers to Buddhist scriptures, the origin, development, and timeline of Buddhist sects and schools, and the principles and philosophy within Buddha-dharma; all are investigated theoretically using the method of academic research. Buddha-dharma is the special dharma gates transmitted from the Buddha that can enable cultivators transcend the mundane world and enter holiness, methods to lead one into the practice toward liberation and to break away from mundane attachments, including mantras, visualization, mudras, mandala, dharma instrument, the three secret practices of body, speech, and mind, and utilization of the power of siddhi (accomplishment) within the dharma sphere.
It is true that becoming a Buddhist disciple in the holy sense is not easy. However, that is the goal that every Buddhist disciple must pursue and also the only path of cultivating Buddhism toward liberation and accomplishment. Moreover, achieving that goal requires a pious devotion toward the Buddha, focusing the mind on goodness, and pure cultivation of one’s body, speech, and mind.
Due to our rewards of good fortune accumulated through many lifetimes and eons, we live in this era with H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III’s presence. Additionally, we also have the magnificent karmic conditions that allow us to closely follow H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III in learning Buddhism. We can listen with our own ears the recorded dharma lessons expounded by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III and respectfully beseech the treasure books with dharmas expounded by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III. Moreover, many Buddhist disciples among us have personally received initiations transmitted by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III in person. How lucky and fortunate we are! What reason do we have for not diligently learning Buddhism and cultivating ourselves! We must make our vow to become a one-hundred-percent Buddhist cultivator with true faith and correct faith and strive to be Buddhist disciple in the holy sense with clear and pure cultivation. We must attain liberation and accomplishment in the current lifetime! Amitabha!
by Zhengfa Hong
#DorjeChangBuddhaIII #HHDorjeChangBuddhaIII #DorjeChangBuddha #Buddhism
In the first week in October I noticed some kind of growth inside my left nostril. It looked like a pink skin tag that is about one eighth inch long. About two weeks later I noticed the growth had grown and was hanging out of my nostril. Not only was it unattractive, but I didn’t know what it was. Cancer runs in my family and I started worrying that it was a malignant growth. Since I didn’t have insurance I started to look for a low cost clinic to go to. I didn’t have much luck finding a clinic, or doctor that was cost effective and trust worthy.
I talked to Ningbu Rinpoche (The Abbess of Hua Zang Si–Great Dharma Master Ruo Hui) about my dilemma. In our conversation she told me about the mediation class the Sunday before, which I missed because I was working overtime. She told me about the story that Qupei Rinpoche (The Abbess of Hua Zang Si–Great Dharma Master Ruo Hui) related in class about a man chanting the six syllable heart mantra, which had a powerful effect on me. Here is a summation of the story Qupei Rinpoche told.
Reciting the sixth syllable heart mantra brings great merit. You don’t have to be a Buddhist to receive the empowerment of Quan Yin Bodhisattva. Many people chant it and gain good results from it. Today I will tell you about a story of an ordinary man. This man was working with a friend who was a Buddhist. His friend told him about the sixth syllable heart mantra and how beneficial it is to chant. He began reciting it 1000 times a day. He experienced tranquility and a great joy in his heart. Since he liked doing it so much he began to increase chanting the mantra ten thousand times a day.
One day he was invited to a diligent practice event. When he went to the retreat he increased chanting the six syllable mantra to thirty thousand times a day. Several days after the retreat began he saw Quan Yin Bodhisattva appear before him. Quan Yin Bodhisattva’s appearance was very solemn and she was imposingly large and tall. Since he saw Quan Yin Bodhisattva appear before him, he decided to increase his chanting to sixty thousand times a day.
After half a month Quan Yin appeared before him again. This time she took him to the Western Paradise where he saw his own white lotus flower that was the size of a car wheel. The white lotus flower looked very beautiful and pure. It dawned on him that reciting Amithaba Buddha’s name, or the six syllable heart mantra, will help one be reborn in the Western Paradise. Seeing the Western Paradise state strengthened his faith and he now began to recite the six syllable heart mantra seventy thousand times a day. After a period of time he had another visitation of Quan Yin Bodhisattva. She again took him to see his lotus flower. Now he can see the center of the flower. Right in the middle of it is a seat he can sit upon. After this experience he chants even more diligently.
As the retreat is about to conclude he now sees Amitabha Buddha appear before him. The Buddha was as tall as a skyscraper and emitted a bright golden light. Amitabha Buddha was very solemn as he descended from the sky and stood on his lotus flower to speak dharma. The man looked up at the sky and saw Quan Yin Bodhisattva and Mahashamaprapta Bodhisattva standing together. Their image is identical to a picture he had seen depicting them. They were both several dozen floors tall.
Amitabha Buddha began to speak to him. He told him that he would be born in the Western Paradise in the future. Now I will transmit you a high dharma. You must focus on this practice. This will guarantee your rebirth in the Western Paradise. When it is time in the future I will personally come to retrieve you. The Buddha told him to write down all his experiences to help strengthen Buddhist cultivator’s faith and encourage them to practice better. He wrote down his story and that is why we can listen to it today.
After I heard the story it motivated me to sit down to do some serious chanting that night. Before I went to bed I chanted the six syllable heart mantra over seven hundred times. I went to sleep and woke up at around 1:30 AM. I couldn’t get back to sleep so I decided to do meditation for about 45 minutes, which helped increase my energy. Then, ironically, my body was too energized to get back to sleep, so I decided to take a walk in the neighborhood. This was at around 2 AM in the morning. When I got back I decided to chant the one hundred syllable bright mantra. When I chanted this about one hundred and sixty times I felt something wet around my nose. I dabbed my nose with a tissue and found blood on it. I was able to stop the bleeding in a short time. I went into the bathroom to check on it. When I looked at the reflection of my left nostril in the mirror, I discovered that the growth had disappeared. At the place where the growth had been now had fresh healthy looking skin covering the area. I was overjoyed and couldn’t wait to report this to Master. To me this is concrete proof that the dharma is real and beneficial for our life. It has motivated me to put more energy into my practice and when I get spare time I utilize the time to chant.
#DorjeChangBuddhaIII #DorjeChangBuddha #Buddha #Miracle #Buddhism #Buddhist #Chanting #Cultivation #empowerment