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Grand Master Lu`s Dharma talk (summary) after Saturday Group Practice on March 20, 2010

2010-03-20 Seattle Lei Zang Temple, Redmond, Washington


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Translated by: TBTT.

Summarized by Vicky Tseng, edited by Morgan Chiu, proofread by Angela Yeh


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欲擬化他人 自須有方便
勿令彼有疑 即是自性現
佛法在世間 不離世間覺
離世覓菩提 恰如求兔角

To liberate others,
Calls for expedient means,
Let them have no doubt,
Makes self nature show,
Buddha dharma lives in this world,
Enlightenment inseparable from the mundane,
Depart this world to seek Bodhi,
Is foraging for rabbit horns.

You should be skilled in using expedient means to transform people. Only when people are completely free of all doubts, their buddha nature will emerge. Buddha dharma and enlightenment are integral to this world, as human realm is the only place that can facilitate cultivation. To search the Bodhi path outside this world is like hunting for rabbit horns.

Sr. Reverend Bi-Tzeng said that buddha nature is invisible and formless and can’t be spoken directly; therefore, whatever has been rendered is seen as convenient ways to manifest the buddha nature. Everything in this world stands for convenient existence. Through these expedient means, the buddha nature reveals. Without them, the buddha nature will not show. This is the gist of the Six Patriach`s passage.

Shakyamuni Buddha ultimately attained the buddhahood after five hundred rebirths in this world, as told in the Jataka Sutra. During those past lives, he also used expedient means to transform sentient beings. Buddha finally reached enlightenment in his last life. Buddha said that we shouldn’t search for Bodhi separate from the human realm, a place consisted of half happiness and half suffering, thereby giving inspiration for spiritual cultivation and enlightenment. The heaven realm offers too much happiness, while the three miserable realms give nothing but torment. The thought of cultivation would not enter the mind in either place.

We need to care less about all the papers we pursue in life - from a diploma, to a professional certificate, to a marriage license. And interestingly, we all end up with the same piece of paper - the death certificate. We can only lead a meaning life if we can skillfully utilize appropriate ways to cultivate and realize our self nature. Sr. Reverend Bi-Tzeng said when you have spiritual response with your personal deity, your body, speech, and mind epitomize your personal deity’s buddha body, buddha dharma, and buddha nature respectively.

People may say to you, \`Why does your guru always tell jokes during his dharma talks?\` You know, the jokes I tell are exactly expedient means. If I don`t plug a joke here and there, the sermon would be bland as water, as Acharya De-Huei put it earlier.

As both Acharyas De-Huei and Sr. Reverend Bi-Tzeng pointed out, it is essential to have pure faith in your lineage guru. As he has attained spiritual response and corroborated his buddha nature, you should develop the same strengths he has, and accept and obey guru`s dharma teachings. Acharya De-Huei said, the ideal enlightenment is the \`Flawless Perfection in Awareness and Deed\` - the compliance of your mind and conduct according to your buddha nature. As a cultivator, you can reach this stage when your practice and conduct match your theory of enlightenment.
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