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Appearance Doesn't Always Reflect Inner Attainment, Part 4 of 10

2024-04-13
Lecture Language:Chinese (中文)
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Our appearance does not necessarily express the inner state we have attained. The most important thing is to make sure that our mind is unwavering and clean. That’s what’s important. Yes? (Yes.) That’s why Lao Tzu says here that when one thing is too white, it’d look kind of blurred; when a person is too good in morality, it’d seem as if he has shortcomings. So, we may not be able to identify a virtuous person. Sometimes overdoing is also not good. […]

In countries where I lack that freedom (to move around), people cherish me very much, just like you Taiwanese (Formosans) or some other people. It’s the same everywhere. When you go back to Âu Lạc (Vietnam), if they know that you’re my disciple, with your ID card or something to prove your identity, and that you’ve seen me once – I don’t need to have seen you – if you have seen me once, people would worship you. Since they can’t see me, it’s also nice to worship the copy. That’s how it is. […]

That’s why we’ve heard before, like when Shakyamuni Buddha was alive, or soon after He passed away, people treasured so much the copies of His lectures about Dharma or any story about Him. Thus, everyone gathered together to transcribe His previous talks. “Thus I’ve heard.” Understand? Until now it’s still like that. Do you know that? Always “thus I’ve heard,” but never getting it right. Everyone just “hears” it but doesn’t know how it tastes. Likewise, sometimes when an enlightened Master is alive, if we don’t understand Him/Her well, or if it’s too easy to see Him/Her, we won’t cherish Him/Her that much. After He/She’s gone or passed away, or for some reason, people cannot see Him/Her, then people will cherish Him/Her more. But it’s also good this way. That’s why initiates in mainland China and Âu Lạc (Vietnam) have good visions that they can never finish talking about. It’s alright for them not to see me. They often see the inner Master with them.

Like my mother, she hadn’t seen me for a very long time. That’s before. Do you remember? She hadn’t seen me for 25 or 20 some years, but she still often, every day saw the inner Master. Now she also wants to see me in person. She has seen me several times, but still wants more. Over there she’s somehow become a kind of “little master.” Well, not that little, actually very big. Everyone came to worship her, terrible. I said, “You’d better hide from them and don’t talk anymore.” I moved her somewhere else. But I don’t know if fellow initiates can still “smell” where she is. People just can’t keep their mouths closed. Before, my home was in another place. Every day, people were like holding meetings there. Like an ashram. Wow, initiates or non-initiates, or would-be-initiates, went there every day, turning it into like a hotel. My aged parents had difficulty receiving them. So I moved them to another place. I wonder if they know how to protect themselves now, or still like to be “master.” I’m afraid that, at such an old age, they still need to entertain guests every day and give lectures to them. Then, how could they be liberated?

When we begin to practice spiritually, inevitably, many people will worship us. Inevitably, we’d forget our original goal and lose ourselves in their praises, and get lost in the small fame and gain. Then our spiritual practice will become very poor, and we will have the collective karma, the karmic hindrance. Just like yesterday. Yesterday or the day before. The day before? Didn’t I tell you the story that Tong told? Even breathing can be contaminating. When we stand near someone who’s been contaminated, we’ll also be contaminated by his breathing. It is scientifically proven. Have I told you before? If you didn’t hear it, then… (Can buy audio or video tapes to take home.) I don’t know if there is video tape. Because I only told it sneakily the other day. (Yes.) Yes? Maybe not… OK. I’m going to tell it again. There’s a man… Because it was not a formal lecture that day. I walked around and was surrounded by many people. So I just said a few words casually.

There’s a man who used scientific technology to prove it. He’s been experimenting for a long time. Every time, he looked for those, for example, those who were miserable, sad, about to commit suicide, he grabbed this kind of people for an experiment. Of course, they were all volunteers. He didn’t really grab anyone. He collected the air that those people exhaled in a bottle. With a tube, he extracted and collected the air. Later, the experiment revealed that those kinds of air were all black. No, kind of dark. Kind of gray and dark, not clean. Then he went to find those who were smiling, happy, optimistic, and positive, and conducted experiments on them. He collected the air that they exhaled in a bottle, and then did some experiments. Ah, those were white, white and clean. Then, he went to find those who were often angry, often lose temper, etc., for testing. It turned out to be dark yellow, almost red.

Then, he went to find those who are specialized in cursing people, like witches, or those who always wished bad things to others, to give troubles to others, or send bad wishes to others, like cursing someone to die. Understand? He extracted the air they exhaled and did some experiments. Those were all very dark, dark brown at the best. He injected those air, those black or dark brown air into a mouse-person, and the mouse-person died immediately. Because it’s too poisonous. Those mice-people injected with other kinds of air did not die. Other air did not kill the mice-people. But the one injected with the black air immediately required others to recite Amitabha to liberate him. Ko-ko-ko.

Therefore, if our actions, speech, and mind are not pure, we’ll affect others. That’s why I taught you to keep the Precepts and recite the Buddha’s Names, the Five Holy Names as much as possible, in order to protect our magnetic field and also others. If we can do that all the time, anyone who comes near us will be able to absorb the good atmosphere, good air, and feel very comfortable. If we’re poisonous, whoever comes near us will have troubles, will get sick, have a headache, or stomachache suddenly, without knowing why. We ourselves will also poison ourselves. So, you see some people, when they’re angry, sometimes their face turns pale, as if they have no blood, or their mouth turns dark, their lips turn dark or purple. It’s very poisonous, like being poisoned. Sometimes getting poisoned is like that, with one’s face turning dark or purple. The poisonous air inside will poison oneself first, and then affect others. Just like smoking. You first absorb the nicotine and harm yourself, and the one next to you breathes in the second-hand fumes, thus also gets affected.

So, when we go out, we must first protect ourselves. In case there’s someone with dark air nearby, we have to protect ourselves. Be focused and pray for protection from the inner Master Power, and recite the Five Holy Names. Then it’s OK. Also, you yourself have to protect your actions, speech, and mind, so as not to pollute others.

When you go to the ashram, it’s even more important. We sit together, sometimes very close, with people all around. So, it’s even more necessary for us to keep our actions, speech, and mind pure, to protect ourselves and others. Otherwise, the ashram was originally very clean, yet we’ve brought so much garbage, it’s not good.

I’m not saying that when you come here, you have to walk upright, looking only at your nose, to look like a good spiritual practitioner. Our appearance does not necessarily express the inner state we have attained. The most important thing is to make sure that our mind is unwavering and clean. That’s what’s important. Yes? (Yes.) That’s why Lao Tzu says here that when one thing is too white, it’d look kind of blurred; when a person is too good in morality, it’d seem as if he has shortcomings. So, we may not be able to identify a virtuous person. Sometimes overdoing is also not good.

Like in ancient times, there were many people, for their loyalty to their kings and love for their countries, in the wrong way, they’d suffer or even lose their precious lives. Or, if they valued their reputation too much, the reputation of being honest and upright, and valued too much… the reputation of being very virtuous, very pure and clean, sometimes they’d become radical and harm themselves, without benefitting their countries or societies. Take Bo Yi and Shu Qi for instance. They both died of starvation. Because of what? (Refused to be contaminated.) To protect their pure reputation. And Qu Yuan. Why did he jump into the sea? (To show loyalty.) In order to show a foolish ruler his loyalty. If the king was intelligent, it’s OK to be loyal to him. You have to protect and support him. You have to be his advisor and be loyal to him. But to a foolish king, a fool, if you’re still loyal to him, then you are also a fool. The loyalty of a fool, or a loyal fool. More or less the same.

So we, as spiritual practitioners, can’t be too radical or rigid. We have to be flexible and act depending on the situation. Use our wisdom to judge what we should do. Sometimes if we love our reputation too much, just hanging on to some moral aspects or a certain kind of lifestyle, it’s also not the way of a spiritual practitioner, not the way of a wise person. Understand what I mean? (Yes.) For example, any rules, reputation, or morality, are there to protect people, not for people to protect the reputation. Do you understand what I mean? (Understand.) So you understand. It’s still not explained clearly. I’ll think about it later.

Many people praise those who’re loyal to their kings, those who’re patriotic, like Bo Yi, Shu Qi, Qu Yuan and others. I don’t think they’re good enough. They’re not wise. They shouldn’t harm themselves when it’s not necessary. Because in a society, there is not only the king. The foolish king is not the only person in the whole country. We shouldn’t regard him as our goal in life. Perhaps because they thought too highly of themselves. If the foolish king doesn’t listen to us, then forget it and don’t follow him. Sometimes we can pretend… we can pretend to follow him to do the same thing, and then try to influence and correct him. Or do things quietly. Don’t show off to let others know you’re a virtuous person. Who can tolerate you? The king is notorious, while you’re admired. Will he like you? Will he listen to you? (No.) Will he forgive you? (No.) Even if he forgives you, he wouldn’t let you stay by his side. Even if he lets you stay, he’d not listen to you. Is it not so? (Yes.) Therefore, we should help the world, not issues. If you want to save the world, you shouldn’t be attached to certain aspects. Depending on the situation, we help whatever we can quietly. Yes?

Like Guan Zhong. Is it Guan Zhong? (Yes.) Which state did he belong to? Wei? Qi? (Qi State. He was the prime minister of Qi.) Guan Zhong of Qi. Do you know him? He was a famous prime minister, wasn’t he? (Yes.) He acted no differently from the foolish king of Qi. He did whatever the king did. When the king was foolish, he was also, even more. He didn’t want the king to smell his morality. He didn’t want the king to think that he’s better than him. However, because of that, he was able to govern the country and bring peace to the world. He was able to help that foolish king. He could even make use of the foolish king to help his citizens. Because only the citizens were important, not the king. If you can make use of him, do use him. If you kill him, it only brings you bad reputation. Instead, you stay beside him, play along with him, and then teach him how to do things. Because you’ve won his trust, (Right.) he’ll listen to you. He’ll treat you as his partner, because you two are exactly the same. Both of you are foolish. He doesn’t… (Can be called bosom buddies.) He regards you as his confidant, a bosom buddy. Yes. Birds of a feather.

Photo Caption: Greeting U, Wonder Sun!

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