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Grand Master Lu`s Dharma talk (summary) on September 26, 2009 (after Saturday Group Practice)

2009-09-26 Ling Shen Ching Tze Temple, Redmond, WA


Grand Master Lu`s Dharma Talk at Ling Shen Ching Tze Temple, Redmond, Washington on September 26, 2009

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Translated by: TBTT
Summarized by Karen Szu, Proofread by Angela Yeh, Edited by Morgan Chiu

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The inherent Prajna wisdom is no different from those of superior wisdom. Why upon hearing the dharma canít they awaken? Because of the burdensome hindrance of heretical beliefs and the deep roots of stress. As great clouds covering the sun, without wind blowing, the sun will not show.

The Prajna wisdom is the wisdom of Tathagata. Buddha`s wisdom is frankly not too different from those people with superior wisdom. But why can`t they awaken when they hear the dharma? It is because they have heretical views. The corrupt views cause severe hindrances. And their stress is deep-rooted. These hindrances are like clouds hiding the sun. Without the wind chasing away the clouds, the sun won`t appear. We all have stress. Everyone thinks if they can take care of the trouble and worries in life, then they are free. But they don`t realize they would have stress today and will have stress tomorrow. We stress over things every single day. Because we dwell on the stress, stress is never ending.

Take myself for example. My father fell a few days ago. I was worried because we are here in the States, but he is in Taiwan. I prayed for him everyday. Finally, we learned that he was ok. He just needs some rest now. I finally felt relieved. But just then, I received another urgent fax saying my uncle passed away. He lived in Kao Hsiung so we contacted disciples there and asked for help. We also got help from the Taiwan Lai Tsang Temple. We found out he wanted his ashes to be kept in a columbarium in Yuan Heng Temple, so I asked Shimu to hurry and get a niche for him.

Had I been in Taiwan, I wouldíve gone to see him one last time. We were close. He used to give me rides on his scooter to the disco club and teach me dancing. We feel we should go back to Taiwan but we have many things to handle here, including the homa on Sunday. So just this week, I have so many things happening unexpectedly. See, these are deep rooted stress.

Referring to what Reverend Lian Hsiang said, I am always honest and tell everything including those that should not be discussed such as my earlier days when I went to the dancing hall with my uncle. But this is a fact and this is when I was twenty years old, and long before my renunciation. I want to go back to Taiwan, but if I go, I wonít be able to perform the homa tomorrow. There are still many students whoíve been staying in Redmond since the fall ceremony. So I told Shimu that many things are hard to take care of and it is very difficult to predict what will happen tomorrow.

Another story. I told my son, Fo Chi, to get a repair estimate for my car, and the shop asked how I was going to pay. I thought I could pay through insurance because the deductible is $1000 and the insurance will cover the rest. So the shop said the job should take about a week. But the problem is that the insurance company sent an adjuster out. He said since they are a reputable insurance company and my car is an exotic car, they wanted to replace the whole body panel and repaint with the factory paint. But they would need to order the paint from the car maker in Europe because my car is the only one in that color in the United States. So initially, it would only take a week to fix the car, now itíll take six months! So this problem gives me stress.

So the point is that we all have stress. Both full-time (monks) and part-time practitioners have stress. Thatís why the Sixth Patriarch said how deep-rooted stress can disrupt your concentration on Buddhism. When you are bound by these worries, you canít focus on your practice, and itíll be even harder to reach enlightenment. So I say, just let the stress be. For those things we are able to manage, such as interpersonal, administrative, and cultivation-related issues, we do our best to resolve them. For those we canít sort out, we just let them be. If you can treat the stress as nonexistence, you are able to awaken speedily.

All human beings have heretical views. Sometimes you believe things that you hear, even though they are not true. You believe what you see, even though they are not real. So when you believe those things, you are ill-influenced and incline to develop heretical beliefs. These would naturally obstruct you from entering enlightenment.

What the Sixth Patriarch says makes perfect sense. You have to be a person of right views, thoroughly grasping the Prajna wisdom, and not dwelling on the superficiality. When you awaken, you wonít care for the fame of being an Acharya and you wonít care whether or not you have a lineage robe because you know possessing something is the same as not possessing it.

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