Grandmaster JinBodhi says that there is a four-word secret key to the process of self-cultivation which can solve suffering and is are crucial to success if implemented in your self-cultivation. If you don’t, it will be difficult to obtain true enlightenment no matter how many Buddhist scriptures you read or how much Buddhist knowledge you have.

These four words sound simple, but the vast majority of people have failed due to time and ego; only two types of people successfully persevere. What is this secret key? What are the two types of people who persist?

In this video, Grandmaster JinBodhi reveals the life-changing secret key to self-cultivation and shares his cultivation experience as a child. We hope you will be inspired to maintain your original aspirations and continue self-cultivating.

【You will learn】

  • The four-word secret key to self-cultivation
  • Grandmaster JinBodhi’s experience of practicing dharma as a child

【Featured aphorisms】

  • Sincerity and respect are the secret keys to self-cultivation.
  • In order to change your fate from an ordinary person to a Buddha, you must do what’s difficult to do, tolerate what’s difficult to tolerate and keep your word.


In our practice, simply put, I should not teach you Buddhist rules and rituals, or talk about different schools so as to show off my knowledge of Buddhadharma. You can read all that in a book. Flipping through sutras, the Tripitaka, you’ll find many Buddhist schools and their heirs clearly listed. But these have nothing to do with us reaching enlightenment. They only increase unnecessary barriers and burdens.

Simply put, we have ways to tackle human sufferings. A simple, special way, which I just taught, is the 2 words. Let’s review. (Reverence and sincerity.) Yes, reverence and sincerity. Some disciples will ask: Do they only apply to chanting? What about prostrating, practicing Greater Illumination, or offering incense? What about when facing others or Master? In fact, these 2 words are dharma treasures for all practices. So we can remember them easily. Reverence and sincerity.

Practicing them well solves many problems. This is the first part. The second is how we practice them. After practicing awhile, some decide to volunteer here while others just practice a lot; many give back in ways which are not glamorous. Many of us have family issues that keep coming up, and our urgent work also presses on us. You want to volunteer at the center, but there are many issues at home, so what do you do? The initial happiness, ease and reverence slowly fade. Your aspiration also fades. So does your reverence.

What happens next? Nothing looks right to you. Now Buddha is not like Buddha; both Master and dharma aren’t as they should be. Fellow practitioners are like devils. If the school’s master is full of faults, dharma brothers have bad habits, and other practitioners don’t seem like good people, how can we have reverence for those people? But there is one kind of people who practice very sincerely. They usually keep practicing for a year. Do you know who they are?

Some say they are those with reverence. Reverence will not last that long. What else? The power of vows. There are 2 types who can last. The first has a life-threatening illness. Every city I visit, I go to the parks and venues where people practice. In the early morning, seniors are often practicing while walking. I have said to them, “You are very diligent.” They responded, “We have to, in order to live longer.” That is true.

In the morning, everyone really wants to sleep in, right? The alarm clocks of working people keep ringing. I saw an online video. The internet is like TV, very convenient. An American invented an alarm-clock bed: Say, at 6am, if the alarm can’t wake him up then the bed shakes. He is still asleep. The bed shaking doesn’t work. What then? The second trick is that in 5 minutes, water will pour down. This way works. The inventor put a bucket of water above his bed; after 5 minutes, it pours water on him. But he put a tent over his bed. He had a solution and a countermeasure. His fiancée filmed the whole thing and put it on the internet. It went viral; some wanted to buy the patent.

Kids love to sleep. Who doesn’t? Some say they get up very early; it is really that they can’t fall asleep, which isn’t natural. They need sleeping pills to fall asleep. If they take fewer pills, they can’t sleep. An hour of sleep requires 2 pills. It is unhealthy. So these people practice due to health issues. There is another type of people. Those with aspirations. Vows remind them daily. So they create a daily routine.

Let me share my experience. When I practiced as a teenager I didn’t want to get up either. My health wasn’t good. When my health was good, I wasn’t lazy. I was stubborn and slow-witted. I liked to challenge myself. I thought it was impossible for me to practice Buddhadharma. If a person like me could learn it, a donkey could become a dragon. So I practiced to change myself. I tried all kinds of ways to challenge myself. Say, I liked to yell at people, so I tried my best not to yell. I monitored how long I went without yelling.

Also, because I didn’t like to get up early, I set a time at which I would be sleeping soundly and get up then to practice. If I couldn’t get up at the set time, then when I awoke I would use a hammer to hit my nails, making my fingers bleed. I put a hammer near my bed. If I got up late, I would hit myself. At first, I was reluctant to hit hard. I hit softly, but it still hurt. The effect lasted a week. Then I had to hit myself again. I hit myself hard twice, and I changed for life. I never wake up late. So a dumb person uses a dumb method, but it works, eh? I am honest, but the hammer is more honest. The hammer really worked.

This is a small issue. Many masters had bigger issues. How to fix them? By using one’s bones as pens and blood as ink to copy sutras. Some wrote sutras on their body. It is a reminder to oneself, a constant one. There are many reminders. It doesn’t have to be a whole essay, just set one thought: I want to achieve enlightenment. These words are too easily said. They mean you have to do what ordinary people can’t: Challenge yourself. We are not masochists, but we want to change our lives and turn from ordinary to godlike, a future buddha. You have to act the unactable, do the undoable, bear the unbearable and keep your promise.

Create a new life schedule, a practice schedule, and then you can change. In a month, you will get used to the schedule. Don’t aim for short-term results, for you want to achieve enlightenment. Don’t say: I practiced for a month, so is my skin better, are my legs better? Don’t aim for these goals. As I taught last time, it is like our goal is to obtain the luminous pearl in the case. But we are distracted by the case; as a result, we take the case. The luminous pearl is still with me. It should have been yours. Which is more valuable? The pearl is priceless, the box is $20. You got attached to the wrong thing. Your original goal is to get the pearl. Don’t seek small benefits, seek great ones.

Reverence and sincerity are dharma treasures for all practices. If we want to change our lives, we need to remind ourselves: I want to achieve enlightenment.