Meditation Master JinBodhi’s Teaching An In-Depth Exploration of Meditation Series III: Four Immeasurables

The expansiveness of one’s mental state determines the state and quality of one’s life. How to achieve a higher state of life? Many people are searching for the answer to this question. In this teaching, Meditation Master JinBodhi reveals a very important four-word secret in meditation practice. If a profound meditation state can be maintained, he tells us, we can come to a state in which everything is achievable.

We hope that all who watch this video can deeply understand the four-word secret and obtain supreme dharma treasures of meditation practice.

【You willearn】

  • Understanding the benefits of meditation
  • Recognize the source of troubles
  • The macro-state of the four aspects of meditation and eight entrances of samadhi
  • Four-word secret to meditation practice
  • The auspicious energy blessing from Grandmaster JinBodhi

【Featured aphorism】

  • The most fundamental issue that bothers all sentient beings is desire.
  • Only with no greed or desire can you have peace of mind.
  • If you have no greed, nothing can restrain you.
  • Only when you keep your body and mind pure can your actions also become pure.
  • Today’s ups and downs may contribute to tomorrow’s happiness.
  • The height of one’s state determines their level and quality of life.


Meditation makes us relaxed, happy and healthier, helps ease pain and gives comfort. It makes our skin smoother. It makes us joyful, peaceful and smarter. All these arise naturally in our meditation practice. Nothing special. Keep practicing and you will experience them. Since ancient times, all meditators have experienced them.

Next, I will explain physical and mental experiences from meditation practice in my youth. The state of “light and calm” I mentioned yesterday is light and carefree; our mental pressures have inexplicably disappeared. The “disappearance” includes 2 cases: First, with practice and received blessing, our afflictions disappear. It is unimaginable. Second, it occurs after you understand truth. Like in yesterday’s teaching, I always stress “seeing through things”.

Attachment or dislike, might be unreliable information we attach to. Say, a guy gambled and won $20 million. Of course, he would be happy. His friends might praise him, and he would feel lucky. His wife claimed she attracted the fortune. However, this so-called fortune led to his big subsequent debt. Or, say, many Chinese girls want to get married. All prefer a rich man. No one wants to marry a beggar, right? All focus more on his wealth before marriage than his appearance. Money is more important.

Let’s put aside whether it is right or wrong. At least they are afraid of poverty, of scarcity and lack of food. However, there are many such stories, in China, India or the West, in which a lady married a rich man and he gradually went bankrupt. Eventually, they became paupers. They could do nothing. It was fate. He bought the wrong stocks.

In contrast, beautiful girls have married penniless young men. This is true of a few female disciples. But those poor men are very wealthy now. The girls who married them were beautiful, living in cities with government-official fathers. They were the only child in their family. But they married poor guys, mountain villagers who’d just come to the city. They did ordinary jobs for the lowest wages. I don’t know whether it is the girl’s blessing or she is charmed. Such an urban beauty married a poor country boy. But after their marriage, the young man became rich and prosperous. Today he is extremely rich.

So, the initial situation and subsequent result of many things can differ dramatically. At their wedding, the girl’s family was ashamed, too embarrassed to invite friends. So her wedding became secret. Secret weddings are named nicely “wedding travels” in China. It means the family is ashamed to invite friends and relatives to the wedding or disapproves of the spouse. Some families don’t have a choice; the couple return with a baby from the wedding trip. Such speed and efficiency. Very productive, indeed. Too eager.

Prior to the wedding, her family must have pressured her a lot. Someone might even threaten her with a knife and condemn, “Shame on you! You are a grownup now, control yourself! We have introduced many good guys to you. Each could make us proud of you. But you choose to marry such a poor guy. Though we can still support you, we are so embarrassed and without dignity.” Often, for a few or even 10 years, the parents of the bride would refuse to acknowledge this son-in-law.

Such stories are common. Some of you might have the same sad experience, right? Only after the son-in-law becomes rich will the in-laws be proud of him. The initial agony over their marriage differs from the happiness and pride arising from his later prosperity. So an initial judgment may be unreliable. A problem may be a blessing in disguise, or vice versa. Our mental liberation comes from wise judgment or wisdom that differ from street smarts. Quick response, good memory and people pleasing, like traitors, are all street smarts, not wisdom.

People pleasers are smart people, not wise ones. Girls who married poor guys that later became wealthy are wise. The key is that the blessed girls become wealthy ladies. It is fate. Admirable. So we need wisdom when judging. How does wisdom impact our judgment? It is hard to say. In life, today’s “good” happenings may be hidden troubles, or vice versa. The happy, relaxed feeling we have these days arises from our perception of matters. We don’t know if it is right or not. Learn to go with the flow.

At the end of yesterday’s teachings, I mentioned “go with the flow”. It describes practitioner’s high mental state. Such practitioners easily become one with their environment. The environment affects me; I also affect it. When our ability to perceive reaches a certain level, our wise rationality arises. How can we see through to the truth to have the best measure of things?

As I mentioned just now, today’s right could be wrong; today’s pain may be happiness in the future. How should we measure it? Or is it “right is wrong” and “wrong is right”? They are not absolute, but ambiguous. Sometimes today’s wrong is still wrong tomorrow; sometimes today’s wrong is tomorrow’s right. How can we know? How can we have such wisdom? Through the power of meditation. We must calm down.

(Through the power of meditation, calm down. Then we gain infinite wisdom.)

Meditation is divided into 4 stages or types. Generally, the purpose of all 4 is eliminating all obstacles in our mind, to the point of having no thought.

At the beginning we use our thought, or our visualization and our consciousness. Humans are very smart. We accept figures or deities, from a certain person or thing. Say, deities are helping people; Buddha is surely All-Compassionate. We visualize such a holy, great compassionate deity. When he helps us unconditionally, we are naturally grateful and reverent.

Then we still visualize. Why visualize? In our mind there are 2 big categories: one is vague impression or feeling; the other is pictorial perception. If I say “a yellow flower”, in our mind appears a yellow flower; we can imagine it. Have you thought about Jesus Christ’s image? We all can imagine Buddha’s image. These are the 2 ways of memorizing in our consciousness. We are talking about the image’s impression and memory. Still not clear to you, no problem.

Say, 2 people, Taiwanese, meet each other: “Hi, Mr. Chang, how are you?” He will answer: “I am OK, not bad.” Surely there wasn’t an image in your mind when you heard the answer. How can we perceive “I am OK”? What does this message mean? What we captured is a meaning, not an image. It differs from a yellow flower, images of Jesus and Buddha or a white horse. All these are images. So our memory has mainly 2 big sections. One is an image; the other is a vague conceptual thing, but not really pictorial.

Matters exist in our brain in vague concepts and visual thoughts. When we meditate, we go through such a process, making use of an image and our broader thoughts, vague images or concepts without images, taking advantage of our consciousness. Visualize “we are the sky, the sky is me, radiance and compassion”. We apply visualization to benefit our health and cultivate our wisdom.

If we repeat such visualization and practice over a period of time that is not definite — some may take 7 days, 10 days or even a month – we will naturally enter a special visualization and inexplicably get into a pure, calm state where there is no illumination that we visualize and no awareness of our practicing. There are neither images nor consciousness for visualization; we are at ease physically and mentally. We reach a state of purity, peace, comfort and joy.

With such a state, if you keep practicing correctly, you may really need my instruction. In the subsequent state, other sensations could arise: heat, cold, pain, soreness, numbness, movement, jumpiness, slipperiness and bitterness, that is about it. If categorized in detail, there are 32 kinds; roughly, 8. We summarize the 8 kinds as 8 sensations. All these could happen to us. Then slowly we are reaching an advanced level. If we keep practicing, these sensations will disappear; even the awareness of meditating is gone. We have entered a calmer state.

What is next? Maybe many will be disappointed. To meditate is to be free of life afflictions. So gradually we will come to a desireless state. A beautiful lady used to want to buy nice clothes, jewelry or high-heeled shoes. In fact, she was so beautiful that she looked pretty whatever she wore. But she lacked confidence and didn’t believe she was beautiful, so she always dressed herself up with nice clothes. If I tell you “Your outfit is beautiful” instead of saying “You are beautiful”, that may hurt you if you are smart.

So when we reach this level, we start reducing such external desires and pursuits. Desire means the urge to get. Even the desire to be loved by others lessens or is gone. Our past desire to buy nice clothing starts weakening or fading. A sick mentality exists which causes bragging about one’s wealth. In fact, the person has no money. Such bragging mentality also disappears.

The meditator at this level even doesn’t want to talk because his spirituality is much greater than all external behavior. So even the desire to express disappears. His language ability doesn’t degenerate; there is just no need. Even the thought of obtaining enlightenment starts to lessen. We call this “Desire-Leaving Samadhi”. “Leaving” is to depart from desire. Some also call it “The Realm of Form”. “Form realm” means materials with form or existence, something visible, tangible and desired.

Desire is the origin of our illness and afflictions. Think about it: The single life is nice, but you want to find a partner. Afflictions arise from this desire. From the moment you think of finding one, you are being afflicted.

You want one but can’t find a suitable one. When you are still rational, your first date lets you down; the second, another disappointment; the tenth, the tenth disappointment. Just because of wanting to find a partner, afflictions and troubles arise in this process.

You can’t stand the loneliness of being single so you are looking for a partner, but no one meets your requirements. When such desire occurs, our new affliction arises. What makes it worse is that you earn little money, especially as a man. You lack a high income, but want a pretty, svelte girl who eats less and works more, and likes to save not spend. Also, it is better if her mother has passed away. Where to find such a girl? It is impossible to meet all your criteria.

So when we have desire, even before we act on it, from the moment this desire arises, troubles ensue. When you finally found your beauty and confessed to her, she said: “Oh please, my child is already 3 years old.” How disappointing! This is the “suffering of not getting what one wants”, or “suffering of fearing the loss of what one has”. What bothers all beings, the root cause, is desire.

In our process of practice, say, some start to have dharma power. Your desires arise. You. have let go of your mundane pursuits. “I wasn’t born good-looking or capable; if I can’t find a partner, I will let it be.” This is letting go, but other desires come. “Except for my energy discharge, I have nothing, but this brother has developed Divine Eye. I am so mad.” Your affliction starts.

Originally you are carefree and let go of the wish to find a wife; at that time you stay happy but then new affliction arises. “Why aren’t I as powerful as him?” And this fellow dharma brother doesn’t hide his sensations, saying: “Hey, why do I feel fire coming out of my palms?” How do you feel if you hear that? So let me remind you all: Don’t tell others about your good meditation sensations. Be careful of being killed!

Jealousy arises: “Fire? I will make you mad. “If I don’t put a few tacks under your seat, “that is being kind; I may put dynamite or ice cubes.” See, troubles come. Hearing this, the other party is afflicted. You don’t mean it, but your words still hurt. My grandfather used to say: “Don’t show off your wealth.” Don’t show off your good sensations. OK? It is too dangerous, for people easily get jealous.

Whenever we have desire, afflictions arise. Even our wish to obtain liberation could put us in agony. A story happened 1,000 years ago in China. Many Chinese have read the sutra The Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch. Raise a hand if you have read it. A few words count, too. Many have read it and can recite it fluently. It described clearly what happened when the 6th Patriarch Hui-neng succeeded the 5th one.

Hui-neng was fine originally, being a farmer from Canton. He all of a sudden went to An-hui looking to study meditation with the 5th Patriarch, who practiced authentic meditation. During examinations, he always gave the best answers which impressed his master very much. But others thought the director and advanced meditation master of Meditation Institute of the 5th Patriarch should be successor.

What was his name? Master Shenxiu. Shenxiu was a great master too. Based on a verse by Master Shenxiu, the 6th Patriarch Hui-neng produced his own verse that brought him more honor. But such enlightened wisdom put his life in danger. The 5th Patriarch was a great master. After deciding on his successor, he couldn’t ask Hui-neng to step on the dharma podium to accept his appointment. Instead, he said, “Escape immediately, otherwise you will lose your life!”

It is pathetic. It is not what we imagine as described in sutras. Not like those radiating golden light, saying: “Who dares mess around? In Heaven and on Earth, I am supreme.” It seemed just the opposite, not a moment to be proud of. He said, “You have to run for your life!” Hui-neng ran with the 2 things given by his master. During the escape, his dharma brothers chased after him and almost killed him.

This sutra was well-written, very different from those great masters from India. They were princes and princesses, suddenly becoming enlightened and reaching Buddhahood. This sutra was real and honest; after his enlightenment, he not only didn’t become a buddha, he almost got killed. It touched the truth of matters. It also reminds us: After coming to practice, do you become free of desire and jealousy? No. It depends on what matters.

Those murderers wouldn’t kill, nor even hurt, an ant. They were very compassionate; if they found a bug in their food, they would put it on a tree, such compassion. But when it comes to enlightenment…”OK, if my master gives the successor’s dharma seal to that guy, I will kill him. Or we won’t kill him, we will throw him down the gully. His fate will decide if he flies like a bird or falls and becomes a meat patty.” At that time, they mixed up harm and compassion.

So in the process of getting enlightened, our attachment surfaces again. So thoughts like “I feel great” or “I want to be awakened” should not be over-pursued. Then we can be serene and enter purity and calmness. Only by being desireless can we slowly reach the meditative state mentioned yesterday. What is it? Samadhi. It is the 4th meditative state. Only if we have entered or got close to this meditative state can our wisdom arise.

Why do we want to enter this meditative state? I often ask why about many things. Because such a state can eradicate our many illnesses and rapidly increase our wisdom.

(The Samadhi can eradicate illnesses and increase wisdom.)

Only after developing wisdom can we avoid troubles and commit fewer wrongs. The ultimate purpose is to eliminate many afflictions or be affliction-free. Being greedless and desireless is the only way to obtain peace. On the journey of meditation, only by having no desire and attachment can I avoid being jealous, slanderous, or attacking and destroying things.

This level of meditation is labeled “4”. Double 4 refers to more advanced meditation. Say, from the 1st level to the 4th, afflictions can be eliminated along with thoughts that are greedy and negative. These can be controlled, but not removed from our genes completely. Thus the first 4 levels of meditation are of utmost importance, where we experience the most in body and mind. In the future, I will explain minute details about meditation. Also, only actual practice can really benefit. Today I just gave you a broad overview.

When you enter Level 4, or are often in and out of it, you may feel time has stopped. If you start meditating at 10 p.m. and finish at 3 a.m., you may feel only an hour has passed. Over 2 hours seem empty to you. For sure, you’ve been in samadhi for over 2 hours. Is it true that entering it once makes us enlightened completely? No. At that time, the second 4 stages of meditation begin. Starting anew, you will have the genes and roots of all afflictions eradicated.

In such a deep meditative state, we will melt into Heaven, or Buddha, or compassion or a nameless state. It is divided into 4 levels. I have forgotten the names; Better not use the wrong ones. Level 4 has many names. In it, we have reached the core and origin of the boundless Universe or all things. Such an origin is really hard to describe. The state of my present recall is that you feel the origin, the core, and also the intersecting zero point of many complicated matters.

It is like the “Way”, as named by Lao Tzu. The beginning of the world is formless. This meditative state is the root of formless, the cause and source of Universal lives and major matters. It has various names given by many meditation masters. It is a samadhi of “Mindfulness of a Boundless Place”, or, as some Chinese have called it, “The Core of Universal Boundlessness” or “Sacred State of Thoughtlessness”. Words fail here because humans have never been to the state. It is inexplicable.

Only after entering the latter 4 stages of samadhi does one reach a state which has no hindrances. A person in this state has humans and Nature interconnecting with him; he is also still confined by the human environment, but at the same time he is transforming those close to him and this world. His wisdom and its energy is great enough to change the world. When reaching to a certain depth of samadhi or the unimaginable profound state of wisdom, this person is no longer a human.

Usually we call him a Divine being or a buddha. Very noble titles, not ordinary ones, because he is extremely capable. This capability doesn’t mean he can radiate light or energy, but his mind power can change our thoughts, mind and consciousness. He possesses many unimaginable capabilities. We can witness their appearance, but don’t know how they arise. It is a superman state. It is the state many practitioners expect to reach and enter, but it is not easy to achieve. It requires considerable effort and time to enter this state.

On the meditation journey of my youth, many things influenced me; 4 Chinese words impressed me deeply. I am still slowly waking up to their meaning. In fact, at every stage here are corresponding revelations. Do you want to know them? They are “loving-kindness, compassion, empathetic joy and giving”. It is easy to understand “loving-kindness and compassion”. What I don’t know is how we integrate “empathetic joy” and “giving” into the whole meditation and even enlightenment.

The 4 words are very important. Why do only 2 appear in my mind? In fact, they become 3 things: “Loving-kindness and compassion” are one: compassion. Then empathetic joy and giving become more important. To my present understanding, compassion should always be kept in our subconsciousness, an unending imperative and constant behavior we insist upon. That is the rule of compassion.

Empathetic joy is a little hard to explain clearly. My understanding is this: Whether you like or dislike something, you should treat it with joy. Even if a situation is bitter, if you are meant to endure it, then you do it with joy. Maybe after you have suffered, your illness will be gone. Transcending time-space, we should not be unhappy. Maybe we are suffering a lot today, which is unpleasant, yet it is a rare experience and we should accept it with joy.

I remember an enlightened man who was teaching in a faraway place. He was brought news of his father’s death. Upon hearing it, he wept. Then he started to applaud and smile. “Why are you smiling?” “Yay, finally he left”, he said to his friend who brought the news. Everybody was in shock. His father had passed away. He said this. “Yes, he had been suffering for so long, he was in great pain. Today he left, but not dead. He went to Heaven. He was freed from the pain-inflicting body. He is finally free! So I am happy, clapping and celebrating.”

He was enlightened; it’s hard for ordinary people to understand. If I were him, even if I didn’t cry, I would pretend. Otherwise, I would be misunderstood: “An uncaring son! Wishing your parents to die earlier?” This man was totally liberated. He didn’t care about his image at all. He spoke his mind. Everyone takes note: When friends or relatives pass, cry as much as you can. Otherwise, your friends will be gone.

Thus, sometimes liberation contradicts human ethics. In viewing matters and expressing emotions, an enlightened person contradicts ordinary people. You need to measure yourself. Today’s discussion is significantly related to eradicating your illness and gaining wisdom to face your life. I told you directly the little knowledge I have, but if you want to get to the state, you need to practice painstakingly. This is just a rough introduction.

An enlightened person can possibly see something that will happen next year or beyond. Ordinary people only see: “Wow, he passed away.” The first reaction is to cry, be upset and reluctant to let go. Enlightened people would say: “Oh, he passed away.” They know of life after death. Ordinary people will say that person is dead. Death means being extinguished. That is the difference. Firstly, their sense of time when viewing matters differs. Thus, reactions and expression of feelings also differ.

Even though Sakyamuni Buddha got enlightened, he couldn’t save his own country. The people in his birthplace were slaughtered by the enemy country. What does “city slaughter” mean? It means: If the small city didn’t surrender, it would be invaded and all citizens beheaded. This is “city slaughter.” A massacre of a whole city. It happened in many countries in history, in India, China and also Europe, not once but multiple times.

You may say Sakyamuni Buddha was enlightened, yet to him this was still the most painful, humiliating, biggest insult to human beings! “Aren’t you enlightened? Your own country was annihilated, how do you feel?” I don’t know how Buddha felt. It is causality. Whether his grandfather or father had destroyed other countries or not wasn’t recorded But we can understand why Buddha Sakyamuni said: “Well, it is causality! My dharma power doesn’t surpass causality.”

So whatever we do, we shouldn’t care about the immediate benefit. Don’t think: “If you can give me that, I will be happy; l will be upset if you don’t. If you don’t give me what I want, I won’t just be upset, I will hate you.” We need to think and see further. Remember causality. If you take something that isn’t yours, what will happen? If you already have some, but you still take more, what will happen? If you cheat on him, even if he doesn’t know, what will happen? Troublemakers often look at things from the view of a short time frame or narrow space.

Some real-estate investors, those living in cities, only focus on their city, not the neighboring city or province that may be having lower prices. If they buy at a low price, they reduce the risk. But housing prices in their own city have stayed the same for 10 years. And they have to pay to manage, maintain and repair. In contrast, a house was bought in the neighboring city for $300,000; 3 years later, it is valued at $1 million. That investor made money because they saw more broadly and further in time. That is time and space.

The difference between ordinary people, wiser ones, and those enlightened with higher mental states is about the scale of time and space. So isn’t causality a matter of time? Causality is a matter of time. Say, if you invest in stock trading, you buy in at $1, a month later it increases to $10, 3 months later it drops to $1, 3 years later it is $100. If one knows what will happen in 3 years, one won’t sell it before then. So transcend time-space whenever you do things or conduct yourself, or invest in business.

Do you see further in time and broader in space? The longer and broader view brings a higher chance of success. The enlightened one just sees further and longer in time-space. He can see not only your present life, but also your past and future lives, the ones that have not happened yet. This is a super telepathy that is out of our reach. We want to know, but have no ability. Some have the ability. Thus the saying “Fate is predestined” makes sense. But fate is not absolutely unchangeable; benevolent or wicked behavior can change the original life track.

The teachings of these 2 days are very important references to our reaching enlightenment. So it is not that after you practice, you can surely achieve enlightenment, not necessarily. Whenever your thought of greed arises, once your greed comes, your sin ensues. Your original light, pure and clean state will change right away once your greed arises. Your legs become heavy.

When people ask me to see a deceased person: “Master, my mother passed away a month ago, where is she now?” They want to know if she is in Heaven or hell. I will tell the truth about this. If you want to know where your mother has gone, maybe I will see she has gone down, even see that she was taken away by an animal. Others, wow, I see them fly to Heaven, as depicted in movies. So I will tell someone: “I saw her in Heaven.”

A light one goes up like air. A helium balloon will fly up instantly, right? If we fill a balloon with our breath, the air is filthy. What is filthy air? Polluted by water, rice, veggies, turnip, soup and anger. After we blew up the balloon, it couldn’t fly — it fell down immediately. Those with impurity will go to Hell. They feel heavy when they walk. Many people’s steps are heavy; they can’t lift their feet; their legs seem filled with lead. If you do more good deeds, meditate more and do more Energy Bagua, you can go to Heaven from hell. Energy Bagua will make your legs lighter.

The key is truly not having any spiritual debt. Debt is also called karma. If you have bad karma, though you practice Energy Bagua, with heavy greed, your soul is heavy, the body is light and you still will go to hell. Otherwise, high-jump athletes will surely go to Heaven after death. Definitely not. Flies that eat animals can still fly. Will they go to Heaven too after they die? We can’t use the external to determine spiritual states. We use metaphors to describe spirituality.

Our emotions and karma mainly manifest spiritually. Spiritually you are compassionate and do not kill; caring is true compassion. In fact, however great your practice is, when you reach a certain level, your greed arises and thus your sin has already occurred. How to put it? This energy will pollute us. It is like if the air here is a little dirty, will it pollute our health? Please answer me.

Don’t think spiritual pollution doesn’t exist. As mentioned, where is our spiritual pollution? When a thought of greed arises, your pollution starts. This pollution is not something obvious being tied to your body. It is like impurities in air. With impurities in air, our clothes, body and even respiratory system will be polluted. Right? In whichever country, once air is polluted and dirty, all the people and animals living in the area, their respiratory systems, will be affected.

If long-time miners don’t have a full protection system, almost all will contract an illness. Anyone know the name? You all are smart. “Pneumoconiosis (Black Lung)”. Why is it called Black Lung? The lungs are filled with dirt and dust from the air; the problem is it can’t be expelled. If it gets to the stomach and mixes with food, it might be excreted. But if it is in the lungs, it won’t be expelled. The specks of dust are very tiny and will get stuck inside air sacs, till finally the lungs lose their function.

I use this example to explain sinful karma. It divides light from heavy. When wrong thought or greed arises, we start having sin. When the thought is followed by action, then sin is inevitable. We start being polluted. However pure and white the lungs are, they are just like our white shirt — if 100 people blow on it, the affected area is no longer white.

It depends what those people eat. If it is curry, the area turns yellow; if it is garlic eaten by Shandongese, the area turns into a garlic patch. It is stained. Don’t think a wrong thought or desire isn’t sinful. Your thought of killing isn’t equal to a true crime, but the shadow of sin arises. This is how it works.

This part of the teaching guides us on how to achieve ultimate liberation, not just freedom. Some said: “What is meditation? Meditation is freedom.” This is also right. Then what is freedom? Not being bound. How not to be bound? If we go further, it is “don’t be greedy”. Without greed, we reduce many things binding us. “Everyone else is greedy but not me.” This may be the true start of awakening and enlightenment.

The practice path is not different from the worldly one where sins committed are equally serious. If you know something is a sin but still do it, what will happen? Sin doubles. On the practice path, many people commit sin halfway; when wealth, sex and interests arise, they are greedy. The sin doubles. They will sink to hell.

Thus a practitioner must always remind himself. However busy we are, we must practice. We must meditate to contemplate, purify and calm our body and mind. With a purified, calm mind and consciousness, we can have pure, calm action. If you want to achieve true behavioral purity and calmness, you must practice. It is horrible not to practice.

If you are a practitioner with leadership power who doesn’t practice, especially a great meditation master, you will harm people. Your mental state gets stuck at a low level; you won’t consider how to elevate. Before you have enough practice, your pride has arisen. Then it will be hard for you to learn and revere; you will deviate from the path and mislead people. In the organization, you will deceive superiors and delude subordinates.

It is like the story of 1,000 years ago, that of the 6th Patriarch Hui-neng. Those who went to kill him had surely not told his master. They were committing a crime. Why would they tell the master? Definitely not. These were his important disciples. When an important disciple doesn’t practice conscientiously and he can’t properly control his thoughts and mind, all with a practice foundation, he will still commit a killing. This caused Hui-neng to reflect: First, he dared not teach dharma for fear of being killed; second, his master reminded him, “You have insight, but aren’t enlightened yet.”

He wrote a poem that was based on Master Shenxiu’s verse: “Essentially, neither a Bodhi tree nor a clean mirror does exist. Originally there was nothing. Where would dust persist?” His concept is empty, with no existence or foundation. Master Shenxiu just expressed his practice progress. Immediately Hui-neng borrowed his words to fight back, embarrassing him. The 5th Patriarch approved his awakening, but there was still a long way to Supreme Enlightenment.

In Buddhist history, Hui-neng’s life experience became a laughingstock: Upon becoming the successor, he was chased and almost killed by his dharma brothers. Later he hid in his hometown mountain forest and became a hunter. Isn’t Buddhism promoting compassion? He couldn’t even go home and be a farmer; Fearing to be killed in the village, he could only hide in the mountain.

How could he earn a living in the mountain? He stayed with the hunters. Being with hunters, he couldn’t say, “I am chanting; you go hunting.” Impossible. Isn’t his experience contradictory to Buddhist teachings? It is because of his experience that Hui-neng achieved more perfect enlightenment and wisdom.

Though he was already compassionate, his circumstances made him realize that in this world the ignoble survival of humans relies on the sacrifice of many lives. The tiger’s existence relies on numerous cows and sheep. Cows and sheep are unwilling to be eaten by tigers, but they have no choice because they can’t beat them. This is Natural Law. Buddhadharma has to follow Natural Law while upholding All-Compassion. “Survival of the fittest” has to be followed. Within this fundamental law, we practice All-Compassion.

Has my talk bored you? What is this about? Good. Thank you very much! What I am talking about today will benefit those with some practice foundation. Originally, we were just meditating or practicing The G.I. and full prostration… For what? Health and happiness.

Maybe you haven’t practiced or have practiced for 3 years. It doesn’t matter. In the 4th year, maybe you will come and ask: “Oh Master, the old illnesses were all cured, why has a new one arisen?” This is one type. Another one: “Master, I have started practicing. Why is my family still against me?” Or “I’ve done so many good things. I’m still practicing. Why was I fired from my job? Why is my spouse still fighting with me all the time? I should become more auspicious through practicing!” If you ask me about these situations, I can’t give you a one-sentence answer.

After you practice diligently for 3 or 5 years, will those mentioned cases still happen? What do you think? Yes! Even if your marriage and your boss are fine, will your children be as nice as you wish? Not necessarily. Maybe they are like the Monkey King. Troublemakers for their parents! Only Buddha could capture and control the Monkey, putting him under the mountain, right? Afflictions still exist. What should we do? Practice hard and understand matters with wisdom. It takes time.

We haven’t truly eradicated our karma, past sins, our cravings and sins that may come at any time. Though you are lucky to have entered the 4th-level samadhi, “The Realm of Form” which is an empty, calm state where nothing exists. Does it mean all your karma has been eliminated? No. You still need to go deeper, to pass through another 4 levels of samadhi to eradicate all aforementioned problems. Then your mental state is steady, will not regress, sink or do wrong things. Of course all you do is correct, but may be perceived as wrong by sentient beings. But in the eyes of the Heavenly Way, you are absolutely correct. You won’t do wrong.

In history, meditation was divided into 4 or 8 levels. Why are 4 levels of samadhi also called 8 stages or 8 entrances of samadhi? Reaching the first 4 levels, we think we have got to the destination. Not yet. Continue practicing. From that high level, start again and proceed to the 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th level. After getting to the 8th level, all are pacified and calm. Your energy and wisdom will be beyond ordinary people’s comprehension.

The concept of going to hell or Heaven after death is of low level. The highest mental state far surpasses the realms of humans, demons, and the gravity of Earth. You have already gained an eternal life. Few lives in the solar system can compare with your energy. It is such a state. To all true practitioners: Don’t forget to practice; don’t forget the reminder from this teaching that it is greed from which many afflictions arise.

How to counteract greed? Greed can be in many forms. Spiritual greed and worldly greed. Greed for fame is more severe than greed for money. Use opposite actions to counteract it. In the Six Perfections, the first action is learn to give and then learn to tolerate. Not only are we not greedy for others’ things, we also give. I mentioned the 4 essentials: Loving-kindness, compassion, empathetic joy and giving. With these 4 compassionate behaviors, we can become peaceful.

How to be compassionate? First, learn to give, so we are not greedy. A giving person never wants your money because if he has money he will donate; whenever necessary, he will give it away. He won’t rob or steal from anyone, or get gains from corruption; that is impossible. Second, learn to tolerate. Wise people of high mental state understand this truth. There may be humiliations behind glory. Your present humiliation may become huge glory in future. So calmly face humiliations, glory, insults, reproaches and gossip.

Many staff or practitioners in our meditation centers may say: “Wow, life at this center is very complicated. Human relationships are too complex.” Or some say: “I start crying when I come here. I thought everyone here was Guanyin Bodhisattva, but after getting to know people, I see many aren’t virtuous.” For this reason, we come and practice. If we were virtuous, we would fly to Heaven. That is why we come to practice. Your expectations are too high.

Use your usual mind to accept insults, mocking or gossip. If you can’t pass this test, you still soak in the sea of suffering. Your mind will never be powerful or grow. You are narrow-minded. This narrow-mindedness is the root of fatal diseases. Our heart of jealousy, slander and destruction is created by narrow-mindedness. Be broadminded. Accept others’ gossip. We should accept others’ criticism. Accept with joy, then ponder if the criticism is right or not. If right, we correct ourselves.

If your negative karma is light, why would people complain about you? It could be you have hurt others, so people complain. Criticizing you is actually nice, for they take you as a dharma brother. Strangers may fight with you. But we just don’t understand this. We still feel annoyed at others’ criticism. We don’t repent; we feel annoyed. Isn’t this unwise? Your brain is for taking in information, which also causes afflictions.

(If we practice well, we can face afflictions with our usual mind.)

In our practice we must heed our experiences, obtained through our 5 sense organs and consciousness. Eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body and mind are for sensing– form, sound, smell, taste, touch and mind object. Each of the 5 sense organs has a function. Our tongue tastes: tasty, sour, sweet, bitter or spicy. Our eyes see: beautiful or ugly things or the way we want things to be. Our ears hear: praise, criticism or gossip. Our senses bring us such stimuli, which is a test in our life.

So we need to go through the 4 or 8 levels of samadhi, the deep meditative states. One state is a “thoughtless” state. Thoughtlessness or no thought. The original words are “samadhi of no thinking and no no thinking”. It is truly hard to understand. There is no consciousness of thinking, which is why I named it a “fake death” state. I only enter such a state without any thinking.

After such entrance, we can achieve greater wisdom. When I assess a matter, I will know the consequences. I won’t be greedy. If something looks beautiful, but it is actually bad. We can perceive it will become a poison. Once we reach that level, our wisdom will arise naturally; we can see the truth of matters and transcend time-space. Of course we will be pure, calm and at ease. The more we are in such a state, the wiser we are.

Some may worry since we are desireless, our lives will be plain and boring. Because we are desireless, should we just die? This indicates you haven’t practiced enough. If you have, you will influence the world. People who don’t practice are changed and influenced by the world. How many are willing to be directed, man or woman? Later on, we have to work for others. Working for others means working for the boss, right?

Many just wish to find a job to do; that is it. Such people exist. Many want to be prosperous so they can instruct others. But why did you have to work for others? Being the boss is not easy. The $20,000 your mother gave you became zero due to your wish to be the boss, so you had to work for others. So if you want to reach the state of wisdom and liberation, nonstop practice is a must.

The process of practicing is sometimes wonderful or boring. Be it wonderful or boring, if you reach the 4th level samadhi, what will happen? The first 4 levels train us to be free from afflictions; the latter 4 levels are to increase our ability, change our fate and the world. The first part is about changing ourselves; the latter is about collecting energy to change the world and develop wisdom.

What will happen to those reaching that level? I taught 3 sessions. In the first, I talked about a prophetic power called “Golden Mouth and Jade Words.” Guess what miracles it can create? Say, I want to have my favorite meal. Please do remember: Early on in your practice, you have no desire and crave nothing. One day you are enlightened. Will you be greedy? No more.

So in such a desireless state, whatever you hope for will manifest. This is a great practice state, called “turn nonexistence to existence”, or “practice for real from fake”. The final result is “Golden Mouth and Jade Words” you can do anything. Whatever you wish to achieve can be realized. To other people, it looks impossible, even more difficult than going up to the sky. Once you have such practice achievement, all becomes easy for you. Why can you change the world? Due to your practice achievement.

So practice is not this: “Since the state is desireless, I escape from the world and hide, free of greed, desire and pursuits.” Is this the end? No! Actually, we should be stronger and more powerful. Why? I want to corner myself and ask: “Why am I able to do anything?” Because we have the 4-word secret, right? Tell me which 4 words? (Loving-kindness, compassion, empathetic joy and giving.) You are my real students!

This is JinBodhi’s 4-word truth statement. Loving-kindness, compassion, empathetic joy and giving. Because our practice is based on compassion, always be compassionate. If we can’t change the world and are incapable of helping others, this “compassion” will be meaningless. It will be ridiculous. I will have been cheated.

Many practitioners think: “After practice, I will have a beautiful figure”, thus you would become more greedy, right? Once ladies become more beautiful, more men will pay attention to them. Many want to get a beautiful body. One day you realize that your 3 body measurements are equally high. You don’t have many admirers. You say: “I am still myself. Why did you abandon me?” Actually, your body hasn’t changed much. Your midsection has grown bigger; your facial muscles are weakening. You are abandoned in this way.

In fact, you are still pursuing something: You want to attract the opposite sex’s attention, or praise and envy from the same sex, right? Some say: “I dress myself up so others will be jealous.” A beautiful lady told me that she thought so. Why should you think so? You have had 4 surgeries to have double eyelids. Why are you so concerned about your eyelids? Half of her husband’s salary is spent on her face and skin.

Life is not easy. The most difficult thing is not how to make money, or find a spouse, but control our emotions. They are invisible, yet the hardest thing to control. Such restlessness is very difficult to control. You look peaceful, but inside you could be filled with a storm, fire, battles, feelings and rage. So it is easy to lose control.

Being a human is not easy. Thus, I give these teachings to those with some meditation foundation so they can be wiser and reach a more advanced life state. This doesn’t refer to becoming monks or nuns, divorcing, or having children but not wanting to raise them. Absolutely not. Rather, it refers to how we see further with wisdom, and see through ups and downs in life. Once you are enlightened, or even after you have heard my teaching, you will see and act differently.

Yesterday, before you heard my teaching, maybe you were in a rage, but after you heard me today, today’s anger could be tomorrow’s happiness. You may be smiling at your angry husband: “Are you done? Come on, I have made some fire-cooling soup to put out your fire.” Your husband may say: “You admit you are wrong?” You reply: “I have already repented a million times. That is why I have cooked the soup to put out your anger.”

I can guarantee his anger will be gone; he will be sleeping soundly after drinking your soup. You have subdued your husband. No more argument. Before, you were both like drunks after fighting. Love turns to hatred. Wise people avoid quarrels as much as possible, OK? Sometimes wise people quarrel when appropriate; they lose control, right? It is like when an educated person encounters a robber. Troublesome.

So when you find your spouse, you had better have common interests. I mean have similar mental states. Otherwise, you love fragrant, he likes stinky; quarrels and conflicts arise. Well-matched marriages not only refer to similar financial status, but having like upbringing. With like upbringing, they communicate well and have common language and interests with less conflict.

I try to give you some guidance on meditation and how to reach enlightenment. Your wisdom and vision are blocked by a layer of sky. After these 3 days of teachings, I have already opened a door in the layer of sky. Whether you can step through it depends on your fate. Whether you can enter and go further or not, it depends on your aim.

What is your aim? I hope all beings reach true liberation, no longer suppressed by afflictions, pains and blows in life, or constrained by worries and people around you. Instead, you are wiser, more sagacious to face life, and more self-controlled in your behavior and emotions. We must learn self-control. All this can be obtained through meditation. If you want to achieve greatness, practice.

Practicing doesn’t mean we give up our life and career. Even if you think you are incapable, if you keep practicing, after reaching the 4th meditation level, you start changing the world. I have known many such cases, including some Bodhi disciples. They thought they were incapable. They lacked confidence, capability, knowledge or stamina. After they practiced, they not only did well, but also achieved many things and did things to help others.

Of course this is not the final destination, it is only a small stop on our practice journey. There is still a long way to go. Our first-stage dharma teaches the most basic methods, benefiting us physically and mentally. Level 3 class teaches great dharma of compassion to benefit all beings and society. Such dharma helps us live a meaningful life. Then how can we quickly achieve that state? Diligent practice is the only route. We ascend to different altitudes of spirituality. As we climb, our views and visions on all matters in the human world will change naturally.

If we live on the 100th storey of a building or stand on a mountaintop of equal height and look down to the village or city we live in, the view will be entirely different, right? May I ask: Does the perspective expand infinitely? How about if we stand on a 20,000-meter mountaintop looking down at your town? The town would look like a map to you. You wouldn’t see your mother nagging, your father smoking or drinking, your grandmother playing mahjong, your neighbor giving you dirty looks or your boss criticizing you. You would feel like: “I have departed from this world!” You have transcended mundane life.

When one reaches that high level, one’s view is like this. What we see is no longer the stuff in our house or at the door, our little world. If it is 7 p.m. now, the sun has already set. But if we are up 20,000 feet, has the sun still set? It starts setting at 9:30 p.m. If you aren’t afraid of sunburn, keep standing up front; the sun will be shining on you for 250 hours without setting. It all depends on your height. Thus your mental state’s altitude determines your life’s status and quality.

If you have such elevated wisdom and vision in life, your life achievement will be much greater. Or, things could go this way: Reaching that level, you don’t want to do anything. There could be such people. But my 4 key words are always driving me. Let’s review them again. (Loving-kindness, compassion, empathetic joy and giving.) Compassion is the boss of my heart! Because of compassion, for sure, we will achieve enough wisdom and ability so as to do great things and dream so big in this life.

To counter our bad habits, start with minor things. I want to give a bit more of a hint. Where should we start in order to achieve? We just mentioned the Six Perfections. Let’s review again: Greed causes our biggest sins and afflictions. How should we cure it? By giving. We are still vain, so we must be tolerant. We often can’t accept others’ blaming, scolding, deriding or pointing out our faults; we are unhappy and can’t bear it. These actually aren’t real insults. Humiliation is illusionary.

Whether you believe it is true or not, do your mental states make others praise and respect you? If you have been humiliated, that means you aren’t good and perfect enough. So how do we conquer our vanity? We must be tolerant. Not easy. Whether it is your boss, parents, friends, classmates or family members who are expressing criticism, dissatisfaction, or different views, we should first learn to accept and be grateful as they are caring about and guiding us. Those who truly hate you would be happy if your mistakes get worse. They wouldn’t correct you. Think about it.

What is the third one? Keeping precepts is mainly about controlling our behavior. We discipline our behavior to change our consciousness. Anything related to greed, desire and hatred, we should learn to manage well. Less greed, harm and indulgence in desire are ways of keeping precepts. The most important part of keeping precepts is no harm. Do no harm. Instead we should love and protect all sentient beings with gratitude.

Also, we know sentient beings are living beings, right? Then what about this table, this cup? Are they not living beings? Will we love them? We love them! We should care for and respect everything, in the way we respect Nature. Normally we regard flowers and plants as living beings with a life cycle. This stone doesn’t seem alive as we aren’t wise enough to perceive its life. A piece of rock is also a living being. Wood that makes a table has a new life as a table, a new function. So we should respect, be grateful to and protect it.

For myself, I treat everything and all matters with reverence, even with awe, and love and protect them. The clothes I wear last a long time. Though I wash them frequently, my clothes and shoes don’t wear out quickly. To all we use, including what we consider beautiful, be respectful and grateful. Love and protect everything with awe. Don’t say “This is nothing.” Don’t kick the rock in your way because it is you who is hurt. Aren’t you silly? You would kick the table leg whenever you are unhappy. The table won’t feel the pain but you do. The leg of the table is still fine, but your toe may be fractured, right?

Some say: “When I am angry, I like to break things.” If you have such a person in your family, hand him the most valuable thing. I guess that will be the last time he breaks stuff in anger. Some who break stuff when angry buy cheap stuff. All the stuff in their house was on sale. A big pile is worth $10. Of course the loss is of possessions, but what you truly break is your loved ones’ hearts. We have to manage our negative, greedy and ignorant behavior, so we can become wiser and more perfect.

Now we are entering a world of no thought and no no thought: the starting point of the Universe. I want to help you expel all your illnesses and afflictions.

I remove your illnesses, afflictions and skin spots, and the stiffness created by physical and mental bad karma. Because of sinful karma, your body is stiff and heavy. After it is removed, you will feel relaxed, soft and light.

May you all be pure, calm and carefree! (Got it.) Auspicious and happy! (Got it.) Thank you, all! (Thank you, Master!) Thank all buddhas, all deities for their protection.

I hope all the karmic-bonded practitioners practice more diligently and vigorously. Thank you, all!