V 1-1: Learn the Perfect Wisdom of the Buddha-Dharma
Disclaimer from the translator: My translations are not official nor endorsed by 2OR, so please just treat it as a ‘fan-based’ translation based on my personal understanding of his teachings. The Buddha-Dharma is profound. No matter how you convey it, it won't be completely perfect. Because the Buddha-Dharma is an experience, it’s an awakening 【佛法深奥无比，怎么写， 都不会是究竟圆满。佛法是一种悟】. I am not an enlightened being like Master Lu, but I will treat his teachings with my utmost respect and do my best to convey and translate it to the best of my (limited) abilities for my friends and people who can’t read Chinese. Please enjoy and I hope it serves as a good filler until the official English version comes out.
Firstly, let me tell you, the aim of learning and practising Buddhism is to recover our inherent wisdom and virtues. You must understand that self-cultivation is not a simple task:
· You must be sincere and practise what you’ve learnt in order to cultivate.
· You must learn to gradually remove any bad habits and inappropriate behaviour from your conduct.
· You must learn to gradually remove any selfish thoughts and other distracting thoughts.
· You must learn to correct all prejudiced, biased and incorrect views of life and the world.
To cultivate the mind is to cultivate a peaceful mind. A peaceful mind is more important than anything else. Once the mind is at peace, all the distracting thoughts, obsessions, deviated opinions and deviated intentions are eliminated. A peaceful mind grows wisdom and also allows the body to recover back to a healthy state. Once both mind and body are at peace, the state of mind will gradually ascend to a ‘higher-class’ thought process.
【境界】 For this term, I have chosen to interpret and translate it as a ‘thought process’. It is a way of how we see the outside world and process that information to reach a kind of awareness. There is also a classification to this thought process.
For example, a non-Buddhist may have the view that wearing luxury clothing and accessories to package themselves is highly important because society today emphasises superficial beauty and success. Because this viewpoint or thought process is considered egotistic and materialistic in nature, we call this a ‘low-class’ thought process 【低境界】.
Whereas a Buddhist may have the view that a kind and virtuous mind is what’s deemed to be most valuable, and what’s superficial is impermanent and does not bring permanent happiness and contentment. At the same time, they may take the view that luxury goods are just a ‘tool’ and are neutral in nature. The nature of it is dependent on the mind of the person wielding it, whether it is for an egotistical or altruistic purpose. If the intention of wearing luxury clothing and accessories to package themselves, is for the facilitation of propagating Buddhism and show how practising Buddhism has helped improve their lives and financial circumstances, then in this example, although the person is wielding a worldly, luxury item, they are using it for a non-materialistic purpose for the benefit of others (of course, moderation is key here). If a viewpoint or thought process is considered mainly non-materialistic and altruistic in nature, then we call this a ‘high-class’ thought process 【高境界】.
Just imagine the human thought process as somewhere in the middle between an animal’s thought process and a Bodhisattva’s thought process. The closer your thought process is to an animal (characterised as selfish, materialistic, competitive/ the law of the jungle type nature, acts on impulse etc.), then the lower the class. The closer your thought process is to a Bodhisattva (characterised as selfless, merciful, wise and think about the consequences of their actions before they do), then the higher the class.
Everybody is equal 【人人平等】: Where this equality is founded upon is essential. There’s no such thing as absolute equality in this world. From the surface, it is very difficult for everybody to be equal. However, in reality, equality should be founded upon our inherent conscience, and we should use our sincerity to find the balance. Our sense of equality is derived from our mind, so we must use what we learn from Buddha’s wisdom to resolve our inner conflicts and obstructions. For example, on a larger scale, upon adulthood and integrating with society, some people are fortunate while others are unfortunate. On a smaller scale, within a family, the effort that the husband or wife put into the household is different. These are all trials to our sense of equality.
Be filial to parents and be respectful to masters 【孝亲尊师】: There’s a saying in traditional Chinese culture that ‘A day as your master is a father for a lifetime’ 【一日为师，终身为父】. You must understand the principle as to why this is so, and the connection between father and master. You must understand that Master must use my energy and spirit to oversee you and use my aura to help and protect you all. This is not an easy task. There are things that not even your parents can do or make happen, but Master can. Although our parents have raised us, Master is the one who’s leading us on to the path of Buddhism to save our spirit and the rest of our lives. Many people suffer from spiritual illnesses that their parents might not be able to save, but the master can, like how Guan Yin Bodhisattva is saving sentient beings far and wide. The term ‘Master’ here does not just indicate me, Jun Hong Lu, but indicates to all the masters and sages of Buddhism, past and present, who guide us on to the right path of enlightenment.
Filial Piety【孝敬】is a virtue. Only virtues can bring our mind closer to our inherent nature. Respect for the master was taught by Buddha, and this respect is founded upon filial piety. Everybody must have respect for the master and adhere to their teachings. It is only by doing so that we can achieve greater things. To reconcile is to first establish a mutual understanding. Everybody must get along with each other sincerely with no deluded thoughts. That’s because these thoughts cause you to change constantly. Only sincerity enables you to realise reconciliation.
You must learn to let go of your prejudice and obsession. For example, there are two students debating about something, each with their differing opinions and standpoints. Then how should we establish a mutual understanding between the two? You must use Buddha’s wisdom to resolve their differences. If you’re able to do so, then no matter where you go, you’ll be able to resolve all kinds of conflicts. This is a profound science. Only by establishing a mutual understanding, can reconciliation be realised. Here, I would like to emphasise that we aim to resolve something harmoniously, and not by oppression.
To be able to resolve anything harmoniously is considered the highest thought process, not by subduing or oppressing. Enduring is not considered the highest-class thought process because it is temporary. The Chinese character for ‘endure’ 【忍】is written as a blade 【刃】 positioned on top of the heart 【心】 which indicates that one day, the blade will cut through our own heart. When everybody has different opinions, we must learn how to resolve it harmoniously. We can all express our standpoint and opinions first, and then use wisdom to resolve the conflicts of interest.
Now let me explain in detail regards to ‘resolving something harmoniously’. Many people may interpret it as desiring the outcome to be harmonious, but I want to emphasise that our intention of resolving the situation must also be pure and harmonious. By doing so, many things will be able to be resolved naturally with little effort. Only harmony can put our thoughts and understanding into practice in our everyday lives.
The Buddha-Dharma is difficult to encounter 【佛法难闻】: It can also be said that a good master is difficult to encounter, and the right practice is difficult to encounter. In this period of Dharma decline, many people worship Bodhisattvas, offer incenses and form a disciple relationship with masters. But have you researched how many Buddhists there are in this world and how many Buddhists in this world who actually know how to recite mantras? You may know that there are many people who proclaim that they believe in Bodhisattvas and have faith in Buddhism etc. But you may have heard from me in the past, that if you worship Bodhisattvas and Buddhas but don’t recite their mantras and sutras, it’s the same as not worshipping them. If you don’t even know their name nor understand anything about them, how can you receive their help? Let me illustrate this using an example: You really like and admire Cambridge University, but you don’t read any of their preliminary books nor do any research about it, how can you enter into it? You must understand this principle.
In this period of Dharma decline, if you want to understand the truth from the Bodhisattvas and receive the blessings of Guan Yin Bodhisattva, then you must encounter the right practice of Buddhism. It is already very difficult to learn to become like a Bodhisattva, not to mention about becoming like a Buddha. The goal to be a Bodhisattva is about manifestations of awakenings of our inherent wisdom, whereas to be a Buddha is to reach perfect enlightenment in all aspects.
Many people think that just by paying respects and reading a few books meant that they had encountered the Buddha-Dharma. May I ask what books you have read? And what kind of practice have you encountered? You must understand the principle behind this. I’ve said this before, when Gautama Buddha was propagating Buddhism in India, he frequently asked his disciples to stay by his side and asked each person to bring a bowl with them. He would then tell them to knock on every door in the neighbourhood and ask for alms to cultivate a Buddhist mind.
The reasons are as follows:
1） Allow others the opportunity to give offerings so that they develop compassion. When the door is knocked, “Oh, a monk is here, Amitabha, offer something to the monk.” This is to cultivate a charitable mind.
2） Many of the monks who followed Gautama Buddha were royalties and wealthy businessmen. Because they had awakened, they decided to cut off their hair and donned a monk’s robe (kasaya). Gautama wanted to cultivate their compassion, allow them to let go of their ego, let go of their arrogance, and let them feel that they are just normal folks and are equal to all other sentient beings.
Nowadays, do you still see monastic monks go around asking for alms? We shouldn’t just blindly follow teachings that an old venerable had once taught in the past, or blindly cultivate ourselves using a method that an old master once used before. In actual fact, cultivation is simply the process of rediscovering our inherent nature and realise that into our everyday conduct, speech and thoughts.
In Buddhist philosophy, our inherent nature and also the inherent nature of all other sentient beings are of a Buddha-nature 【一切众生皆有佛性】. But it’s due to us being in samsara 【六道轮回】for too long and intoxicated by the three poisons: greed, aversion and delusion 【贪嗔痴】, that we become susceptible to the influences of sensory desires and worldly defilements 【五欲六尘】. By practising Buddhism and using its methods of observing precepts, subduing fluctuations of the mind and awakening wisdom 【戒定慧】, we counter and neutralise the three poisons within us and brings our state of mind closer to our inherent ‘Buddha’ nature. Master Lu will touch on this in a later chapter.
How we cultivate our mind using Buddha’s wisdom in recent years will be different to how it was done in the past, although the Buddha-Dharma is left unchanged. We must be sincere to cultivate successfully. In the period of Dharma decline, we must learn Mahayana Buddhism 【大乘佛法】in order to rescue other people.
Here, ‘rescuing’ doesn’t literally mean saving someone from imminent physical danger or harm, but it’s a concept of rescuing someone on a spiritual and mental level. The concept of a spiritual level is maybe new to western readers, so some elaboration is needed. Everybody has a physical life【生命】which in Buddhist philosophy is considered as temporary and impermanent, because when there is life, there is death. But there’s also a spiritual life, which is permanent and undying. But instead of superficially defining it as a ‘spirit’ 【灵性】, it is written as ‘wisdom-life’ in Chinese【慧命】. That is because it’s wisdom that determines the quality of our spirit and how high it can ascend in the afterlife. Hence learning from Buddha’s wisdom improves our spiritual well-being, and that manifests into an improvement to our mental well-being which gradually filters out as an improvement to our physical well-being. This concept will be touched again in a later chapter.
Only when rescuing others, can we attain true wisdom and light the energy within us. Why is it that I’m able to rescue so many people in such a short space of time after I was granted the ability of Totem reading?
To understand what ‘Totem reading’ is, please watch the videos available here which are translated and subtitled by me. There are over 200 videos (that are subbed, and there are hundreds more that are not subbed yet available in other Youtube channels) to watch of Master Lu Totem readings at Dharma conventions around the world.
You also can click here for "Totem Reading" cases with English subtitles.
Why was Master granted with such power? It’s all due to the cultivation that Master did in my previous lifetimes and also granted to me by Guan Yin Bodhisattva. Please sincerely preach to others and save others. Share Guan Yin Citta’s method of cultivation to others; the Bodhisattvas will grant you energy in many folds. In the period of Dharma decline, Guan Yin Bodhisattva’s power will manifest itself in different forms in order to save as many people as possible. Right now, Master is also rescuing my listeners, and make them recite mantras so that their family conditions take on a fortunate turn, so they feel empowered to spread the Dharma far and wide and rescue other sentient beings.
The wisdom of attaining perfect enlightenment is wisdom to becoming a Buddha and Bodhisattva. What Master is teaching you in Guan Yin Citta, is to learn from this wisdom of attaining perfect enlightenment, which is the ‘highest-class’ thought process. Guan Yin Bodhisattva frequently communicates with me and teach me how to save others at the radio station. A lot of other practices and knowledge are esoteric and shared in an obscure manner. What I’m doing now is to openly share this knowledge to every one of you, and let you all witness how Guan Yin Bodhisattva saves all sentient beings. If a flood happens on an island, and a helicopter and an aircraft carrier went there, do you think that they will only rescue a handful of people? Or would they do their best to rescue every single person? But, during the rescue mission, there will be many problems that arise. For example, people are who old, frail or sick may accidentally fall into the water. Some of them may suffer a heart attack etc. These people are categorised as pitiful sentient beings who don’t have karmic affinity, like those people who haven’t encountered the Buddha-Dharma.
In Buddhist philosophy, karma is a fundamental and essential concept. If there’s a cause, there must be consequences, and this creates new karma. Karma is something that persists over three lifetimes. So the positive or negative affinity that you have with others or certain subjects like faith, history, sport, hobby etc. in the present lifetime, is a consequence of something that happened between you and that subject in one of your previous lifetimes.
If you sincerely want to save others, then you’ll be open and transparent about it and openly share the Buddha-Dharma with others. Think about it, do old Buddhist monks save others in an obscure manner? No, they rescue sentient beings far and wide in an open and transparent manner.
Please take note, in the period of Dharma decline, only something that is ‘right’ can withstand the trials of time. Like my Totem Reading, it is 100% accurate every single time over so many years. That’s why you must propagate Buddhism. If you have the power to assimilate its teachings, then you’ll be able to understand it. If you don’t have this power, you won’t be able to understand it. Even if I share it with you in an esoteric manner, it’s still no use. The difference in capabilities is due to a difference in cultivation in the previous lifetimes, so the power that you’re able to receive is different. In the period of Dharma decline, we must use the most rightful path, the most practical path and the path that’s most able to resolve the problems we face. If during this period of Dharma decline, there’s a person who’s unwilling to let Guan Yin Bodhisattva protect and save them, and not willing their fortune to take on a positive turn, I could only say that this person is most pitiful.
Perfect wisdom is to become absolutely clear of the absolute truth of life and the universe without a shred of delusion. In layman terms, if we’re able to think and analyse calmly, and able to resolve something harmoniously perfectly, then this is deemed as perfect wisdom. If wisdom is imperfect, then the effect and results would be subpar. If perfect wisdom is utilised, then the result of an action will always be successful.
Please take note, whether it’s treating your child well or treating your seniors well, or if you are filial to your seniors, or pay respects to the old and treat children with love, then in the future, your children will also be filial towards you. This is called karmic reward. Many people think that karmic rewards only happen after death, but in fact, you are already experiencing your karmic rewards when you’re still alive. For example, just take a look at the people who suffer from financial problems because they overspend or people who suffer from obesity because they overeat. Isn’t this considered as a karmic reward? You must know that during the period of Dharma decline, karmic rewards happen very quickly and reap what you sowed in the exact form. Anything you do that goes over the limit will come back in the form of present-lifetime karmic reward. If you committed bad deeds within the limit, then your negative karmic reward will be delivered to you in the next lifetime. If you committed bad deeds over the limit, then your negative karmic reward will be delivered to you earlier in the present lifetime. That’s why moderation is key. Otherwise, calamity awaits.
I would just like to add that this works in the same way for good deeds. As mentioned by Master Lu, during periods of Dharma decline, karmic rewards happen very quickly. That’s not just for bad deeds but also good deeds. So if you’re diligent, sincere and willing to do that little bit extra on a benevolent deed, then you’ll also receive positive karmic rewards earlier in the present lifetime, and only a bright future filled with hope awaits ahead of you.
There are many people who are very sincere and possess a good conscience, and they pay their respects to the Bodhisattvas at the temples they visit. If they do not encounter a good master in their present lifetime and do not have a goal, then they are merely Buddhist believers (not Buddhist practitioners). For example, if you pay your respects to Guan Yin Bodhisattva every day, but you don’t have the correct understanding towards Guan Yin Bodhisattva, and do not know how to learn from Guan Yin Bodhisattva’s wisdom and accept Guan Yin Bodhisattva’s aura to cultivate and train themselves, then they will never understand anything. They will suffer hardships every day like other people. There are also many people who only pay respects to Buddha when a calamity befalls on them or at times of emergency. If you don’t encounter with a good master nor encounter the right goal, how can you resolve the problems that you face?
The answer lies in cultivation. You must cultivate both blessings and wisdom. Wisdom isn’t something that can be cultivated normally; this is the crucial point. Once you have wisdom, you can resolve anything harmoniously. If you want to awaken your wisdom, you could only do so by reciting mantras and accumulating merits.
In Buddhist philosophy, merits are defined as the persistent sincere and selfless act (that abide by the principles of Buddhism and rules and regulations of their own country) that you do for the sake of rescuing other sentient beings using without a shred of desire for reciprocation or future gains. It can be accumulated in various ways such as reciting mantras, propagation of Buddhism, make donations to finance the running of the system of Buddhism propagation, donations to print Buddhist scriptures and Buddhist educational literature, and volunteer work at Buddhist-Dharma conventions etc. If you only did something because you possess a desire that the other person will reciprocate you in the future, that doesn’t count as merit because it’s not done selflessly nor sincerely. Or if you did something out of an act of kindness, because it was just a momentary act not a persistent one, it doesn't count as a merit. Only merits can save you from negative karma and calamities.
Only by observing precepts, are you able to subdue your fluctuating mind and make it still. When your mind is still, then your wisdom will awaken. In Buddhism, there are five precepts: Abstain from killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying and intoxication. Don’t think that only Buddhists should observe these precepts; even a normal person should refrain from recklessly killing, behaving lecherously and stealing from others etc. I hope you can understand the principle behind this. Why do Bodhisattvas discourage drinking alcohol? It’s because it brings us great harm, it will make us lose our self-control and interferes with our rational mind, and demoralises us. Many government departments put up a notice: It’s a crime to drink alcohol and cause trouble here. This illustrates that Buddhism is right. Why is Buddhism able to penetrate the hearts of so many people and able for them to understand? It’s because only the right thing will be well supported and cherished by the masses.
Break free from the illusion to awaken wisdom 【破迷开悟】: What is illusion? It encompasses fame, gains, intoxication, form, wealth, emotion, greed, aversion, delusion. When a person is greedy, their desires will never be satisfied. When desire is excess, it will lead their mental state to experience similar levels of suffering as the Hungry Ghost realm.
In Buddhism, knowledge of samsara is essential. It is the beginningless cycle of repeated birth, mundane existence and repeated deaths. Rebirths occur within one of the six realms of samsara, three of which are considered the good realms: Heaven realm, Asura realm and Human realm. The other three that are considered as bad realms to be in are the Animal realm, Hungry Ghost realm and Hell realm. Where we will be reborn into after death depends on our conduct and accumulation of merits in the present lifetime. The objective of practising Buddhism is to completely liberate ourselves from samsara and transcend to the Higher realms that are the Four Sagely realms. This can be achieved by cultivating our mind by following the guidance of Buddha’s wisdom and practising the three Golden Buddhist practices of Guan Yin Citta: mantra recitation, perform life liberation and making vows.
Greed is the root of all evil. When you can’t attain the thing that you desire, you give birth to hatred which creates frustrations and afflictions. In the end, this path leads to the Hell realm. If a deluded person only knows how to earn money and harm others in the process, and unwilling to help others, they will be reborn as an animal. Animals are obsessed with their form, and they will continue to be reborn in the Animal realm (until their karma is reduced so they meet the bare minimum qualifications to return to the Human realm, but starting with poor living conditions and intellect). People who are delusional means that they lack wisdom. What I’m teaching you is the right practice, the right path, the right faith, the right intentions at this right moment of time (during the period of Dharma decline). All for you to break free from illusion and awaken wisdom, and learn to liberate yourself from suffering and find true happiness.
My disciples convey their deepest sincere gratitude:
“A good master is hard to encounter. Today, to be able to encounter Master Jun Hong Lu is the greatest blessing in this present lifetime, and it is the consequence of the accumulation of merits, virtues and other good deeds over many lifetimes for this opportunity to happen. That’s why we must cherish this karmic affinity, and diligently cultivate ourselves. We must learn from Master’s mercy and compassion, detach ourselves from afflictions and propagate to all sentient beings far and wide so that everybody is filled with Dharma bliss so that everybody can achieve something that truly matters.”