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Wondrous Dharma

March, 15, 2011


Volume 1, Issue 12
©

Activities at the Wondrous Dharma is the newsletter© on the dharma events at the premise
International of the International Translation Institute, 1777 Murchison Drive, Burlingame,
Translation CA 94010 Tel. (650) 692-5912 E-mail wondrousdharma@gmail.com; website
Institute, www wondrousdharma.org©
Burlingame ;
open to the In praise of equal practice of Wisdom and Stillness
public and free
of charge: The Wonderful Dharma only practice hear the dharma of
Lotus Flower Sutra concentration or emptiness and rejoice
• Vajra (Diamond) says, “Although they stillness? Here is what within their minds,
Sutra lectures grow from the same the Buddha says, emitting countless
Fridays 7:45pm
to 8:45pm
ground and are “Those who seek the lights crossing over
moistened by the same place of the World all beings, they are
Repentance/ rain, still, all the Honored One, saying, called the large
Buddha recitation grasses and trees are “We will become trees.”
Saturdays 1pm to
different.” This line Buddhas,” vigorously
2pm ‘Rejoice within their
describes in analogy practicing
minds’ is to hold the
• Meditation for that those with little concentration, these
beginners teaching of emptiness
roots in Buddhadharma are the superior
Saturdays 2pm in mind. Here the
to 3pm
are like small herbs herbs.” Sutra gives praise to
whereas those with But herbs cannot the equal practice of
Informal deeper roots are like compare with trees. wisdom and stillness.
discussion on trees.
Buddhism Large trees are “those
Saturdays 3:00 How does the Buddha who dwell in Ch’an
pm to 4:00pm perceive those who (stillness) attaining
Individual spiritual powers, who
Highlights:

Interpreting the Vajra


Why do we need to know about Reality?
Understanding is, there was nothing at abide in Reality. The
Sutra……………. 2
Reality is to see the all. From within that aim of every Buddhist
Buddha teaches true character of nothing everything ultimately is to be the
Reality …..………..2 everything fully. It comes about. Buddha and he is one
requires It was all appearances who fully abides in
Meditation simplified
understanding the of the mind which living Reality.
lesson 9…………... 3 concept of the ‘empty’ beings fail to see and The entire Vajra Sutra
Buddhism made easy world, the ‘not empty’
understand and succinctly explains
world and the ‘empty
lesson 10 …………..3 therefore causes them how to return home.
and yet not empty
Think prajna ….….. 4 to be confused in this The Vajra lectures on
world.’ Though these
‘not empty’ world. Fridays explain these
The Six practices in are three types of
concepts and apply
perspective on life, With an understanding
the Vajra Sutra……4
of Reality, we can then them in our everyday
yet the three is ‘one life.
true appearance’, that begin the journey to
©
Wondrous Dharma Page 2 of 4

Interpreting the principles of the Vajra Sutra ©


Four-line verses in the Vajra Principles on Reality All three Vehicles is the One
Sutra are vesrses on Reality Buddha Vehicle
S 3 Subhuti, if a Bodhisattva has Discriminating thoughts From amidst equality comes the notion
an appearance of self, others, produce conditioned of self and others; the cause of
living beings or a life, he is not a dharmas (existence) suffering is attachment to self.
Bodhisattva
S 5 All appearances are empty Conditioned dharmas are Because of suffering, the Buddha first
and false. If one sees all fundamentally Empty. taught the Two Vehicles to help living
appearances as no appearances beings get out of the ‘burning house’
then one sees the Thus Come of birth and rebirth.
One.
S 26 One who looks for me in Conditioned dharmas are The Buddha then introduces
forms, or seeks me in sounds, ‘not empty’. (not totally Bodhisattva Vehicle having
practices a deviant path and will empty) compassion for others still suffering in
never see the Thus Come One the ‘not empty’ world. The false came
from the true mind and it is not totally
empty. (s30)

S 32 All conditioned dharmas Therefore conditioned To be able to teach and transform


(everything) are like a dream, an dharma is ‘empty and yet living beings without getting attached
illusion, a bubble or a shadow, not empty’. to the ‘not empty’ world, know,
like dew or like a lightning flash, perceive, believe and understand and
contemplate them thus. not set up appearances of dharmas. (s
31) Therefore contemplate everything
according to s 32 and not grasp
appearance and be unmoving.

The Buddha came to this world to teach us Reality


Here is a verse from the the Buddha were to start this world is suffering and
Wonderful Dharma Lotus teaching ‘Great teaches the Two
Flower Sutra: assembly, the truth of Vehicles to get out of the
…from within ‘true the matter is that there is ‘burning house’ of the six
“The Buddha in the same
emptiness’ the false basically nothing at all. It destinies by teaching on
way, just like a great
world of existence was all appearances emptiness.
cloud covering over
comes about and so he created from your false
everything, having come For those who
began teaching the thinking mind and
into the world, for the understood emptiness,
equality of the true and grasping mind.’ Not
sake of living beings, he the Buddha then proceed
the false. many people will be able
discriminates and to teach ‘true emptiness’
to comprehend Reality
expounds, the Reality of where from within ‘true
as they cling to the
dharmas.” emptiness’ the false
fallacy that the self and
world of existence comes
‘The Appearance of this world exists and
about and so he began
Reality is without real. Hence the Buddha
teaching the equality of
appearance’ (s14) and if began to teach living
the true and the false.
beings to recognize that
Page 3 of 4 ©Wondrous Dharma

Meditation simplified – lesson 9 – the mind


The mind before, that the thoughts lessons. If the practitioner
during and after sitting originate from our minds wants to know the details,
meditation attending to these he can self read the
desires. As the saying Shurangama Sutra first.
We will continue to
goes, we cannot have This Sutra is an essential
touch on the pre-
the cake and still eat it. It reading.
requisite of the mind if
is either you make
we want to meditate Practitioners of Figure 1 Lessening desire will
progress in quieting the
before we explain the meditation know that the uncover eternal peace and
mind and be able to
method to meditate. bliss of quieting the mind happiness
release your inherent
far exceeds the pursuit of
The mind of the wisdom or to continue to
the five desires. Yet they
practitioner is the mind be confused and indulge
are still not attached to
of recognizing the in desire.
the bliss of quieting the
impediments desire will
Let the practitioner be mind because they
bring about. Desire is
aware that when we realize that this bliss is a
classified as the desire
continue to indulge in distraction to true eternal
for wealth, fame, sleep,
wanton desire, the little stillness. The wonderful
food and lust. The
stillness of the mind is news is that every living
purpose of Chan
deviant and brings about being has this ability to
meditation is to quiet the
grave consequences in turnaround confusion into
mind yet when we
the future. We will true eternal peace and
examine our false
explain the negative happiness. The choice is
thinking during
consequences in future yours to make.
meditation, you will find
Buddhism made easy – lesson 10
Lessons 5 onwards thinking. Hence so as to enable the
explain what cultivation is about cultivator to recognize
cultivation is. When removing the the true mind thereby
we cultivate, do we defilement and thereby see the self nature.
search outside for releasing the inherent
There are many The key lies in the
answers or do we look wisdom. The key lies in
expedients to aid the minds of the
within ourselves? the minds of the
cultivator to recognize individuals because
individuals because
The teaching of the the true mind. For thoughts of
thoughts of
Buddha is the example moral attachments and false
attachments and false
teaching of ‘nothing prohibitions are for the thoughts originate in
thoughts originate in
attained.’ Every living purpose of the the minds.
the minds.
being has the inherent cultivator to abide in
Buddha nature which There are various the true mind.
is perfect and methods in cultivation Recitation of the names
complete but are to enable the of Buddhas and
unable to realize it practitioner to Bodhisattvas and of
because it has been recognize his or her Buddhist texts and
covered up by true mind. The most mantras are also
thoughts of direct method teaches expedients to purify the
attachment to us to understand the minds of cultivators.
phenomena and false false and the true mind
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Wondrous Dharma Page 4 of 4

Think and accord with prajna wisdom at all times


The Wonderful Dharma myriads of millions of The answer by
Lotus Flower Sutra nayutas of eons, the Venerable Master
says, “If a good man or merit and virtue he or Hsuan Hua is “Prajna
good woman, for the she would derive if wisdom is the mother
sake of compared with that of of all the Buddhas. If
anuttarasamyaksambodhi, the previous person’s you have prajna
were to practice the five (who believe in the wisdom you have the
paramitas – giving long life span of a opportunity to realize
paramita, morality Buddha) would not Buddhahood.
paramita, patience come to a hundredth Implicitly this teaching
paramita, vigor part, nor a thousandth tells us to think and
paramita, stillness part…” accord with prajna
paramita – all except Question: Why is wisdom in everything
prajna wisdom paramita prajna wisdom we do every day.
– throughout eighty paramita excluded?

The six paramitas in the Vajra Sutra


Here are examples of When we uphold does not rely on
the six practices of a morality, we uphold anything.” This is vigor
Bodhisattva being without any thought in mind. There is
practiced in accord with that we are upholding neither an expectation
prajna wisdom. it. Nothing is obtained nor lingering thoughts
1. Giving in the practice of pure in any thing we do.
conduct because it is
There is neither an S 4 says, “…the 5. Stillness
expectation nor blessings and virtues of just a name and our
6. Wisdom
lingering thoughts in a Bodhisattva who does self nature is already
any thing we do not rely on appearances perfect and complete. S 32 says, “How
when giving, are just as 3. Patience should this Sutra be
inconceivable and explained for others?
S 14 says, “When I
immeasurable.” When By not grasping at
was cut limb from limb, appearances (wisdom)
we give, we should not
if I had an appearance and being in unmoving
have the notion of a
of a self, an thusness. (stillness)”. It
giver, a recipient and a
appearance of others, means neither being
gift and there should not
an appearance of attached nor afflicted
be strings attached in living beings or an
any sense. internally and by
appearance of a life, I
externalities.
2. Morality would have been
outraged.” There is not The Vajra Sutra
S 9 says, “Since Subhuti
even a thought that I teaches us to
actually does not
cultivate patience. ‘understand and not
practice anything, he is set up appearances of
called , ‘Subhuti who 4. Vigor dharmas.’ (s31) Cease
delights in practicing S 10 says, “He should the discriminating mind
Aranya (pure conduct)” produce a mind which