Life is full of obstacles, and so is the journey of self-cultivation. But we have a beautiful chance to rise above, and we should treasure this extraordinary opportunity to study Buddhadharma and persist in self-cultivation.

In this lesson, Grandmaster JinBodhi reminds us to cherish this precious chance for spiritual growth and reveals some advanced-level dharma and the mantra to liberate us of all sufferings.

【You will learn】

  • The most important things in self-cultivation practice
  • What karmic debt is
  • The meaning of the opening verse of The Diamond Sutra and the preciousness of the chance to learn Buddhadharma
  • The truth about stress and worries in life
  • The story behind Grandmaster JinBodhi’s Golden Words
  • The courage to shoulder responsibilities
  • How enlightenment is only possible after overcoming worries and obstacles in life

【Featured aphorisms】

  • Reverence and sincerity are the most important qualities in self-cultivation practice.
  • Before our state of mind reaches the top level, it is okay to have an obsession – an obsession with reverence.
  • Be reverent not for the purpose of fulfilling selfish desires such as wanting to achieve enlightenment, but for the aim of giving and offering every part of yourself to the buddhas and bodhisattvas.
  • The intention to help all sentient beings leave sufferings and attain happiness is what pushes us to achieve immediate enlightenment.
  • To be enlightened is to see through all our afflictions; without afflictions, there will be no enlightenment.
  • Sufferings exist, and that is the ultimate truth; only by transforming our sufferings, using them well and thus triumphing over them can we cease to be troubled by them.
  • Being spiritually wealthy is being truly wealthy.


How are you? (Good, Master.) Please be seated. (Thank you, Master.) Whenever we used our utmost genuine heart with venerated respect and devoted sincerity to recite the names of the Buddhas and the bodhisattvas or their mantras, the effect of our practice was greater. There are various Buddhist recitations, but the most important, critical secret is venerated respect and genuine sincerity.

Previously, I repeatedly spoke about genuine faith and heart. Today I added two more words: venerated respect. The reason for this is the concept of cause and effect. If there were no venerated respect, where would genuine sincerity come from? If you treated someone with sincerity, why did you do that?

I want to treat every ordinary person with sincerity, as I don’t have defilement in my heart, and no intention of defrauding anyone. Loving sentient beings is similar to loving one’s family. It can’t be exactly the same, but similar; thus, I don’t have a heart of deceit. When we don’t have ill thoughts toward others, we peacefully treat others with sincerity. However, that is not the depth of venerated respect.

When we wish to have higher energy, more wisdom, greater powers, the most perfect accomplishment, it is not enough to rely on our own capabilities. That is far from adequate. The reason is very simple. Why is it that if we wish to change our life with our own aspirations and efforts, they are not enough? The answer is simple: Humans, since time immemorial in many past lifetimes, have committed negative actions and enacted harmful deeds.

We may forget our past lives. No problem. How many good deeds have you done in the present life? Some may be able to list them. I helped a senior citizen when he fell. Yes, that was a kind act. But what about those deeds, intentional or not, that brought us personal gain but hurt someone else? Many of us have hurt others without being aware of it.

The most disturbing thing about being an ordinary person is causing harm to others but being unaware of it. This is the real ignorance. It is stupidity. Such occurrences, however, are common to every one of us. I apologize for saying this. This is my belief even if you disagree. This lack of awareness is true of me, so I believe other beings are similar. I don’t mean to be. This is my research about sentient beings.

The greatest ignorance is doing wrong or causing harm to others but being oblivious to it. We may even view those harms as good deeds. Thus, in many of our past lives, our wrongs, and all negativity which we accumulated; may seem impactless if only a few; but if there were a lot, it is a problem.

For example, in our society today, we throw plastic bags away. After eating benton in Taiwan or a rice box in China, whether the container was made of plastic, wood or paper we thoughtlessly throw it away. When the wind blows, these white boxes and bags, etc., fly with the wind. You burn coal at home or burn coal in a factory; the toxins from burning coal, the toxins from big, powerful cars all result in pollution.

Why? Because everybody loves pollution? Everyone loves colors or desires. Women have the most attachment to colors. Look at the colorful hairstyles of our practitioners here and their painted nails. Everyone wants to run from pollution, yet they actively seek pollution. Isn’t coloring hair a form of pollution? “It is just hair dye, I am not polluting, I am just dyeing my hair my special color.” But you are just seeking a customized form of pollution.

Yes, we have been accumulating external forms of pollution. Look at my homeland, the northern area. From Beijing to Nanjing, there is no clear sky. This is due to what is known as haze. From north to south, there isn’t a single space of clear sky. In photographs, the sky looks like fish-tank water: cloudy and murky. When I saw movies made in Beijing, I felt very depressed. There was no clear air; colors in photos and movies were all cloudy and murky.

We didn’t realize that polluting the environment would result in today’s negative consequences. Whatever pollution accumulated became haze. Further accumulation would mean that every one of us would contract all types of infectious disease. Where would anyone be able to find a clean windpipe? Would our lungs and their cells show up as clear and clean in an X-ray? Would we have a healthy breathing system?

If our respiratory system is polluted, what would the impact be? Would our kidneys be affected? Would our heart be affected? Would we suffer from asthma? All types of illness would manifest. Would our brain suffer from lack of oxygen? Would our brain suffer minor or serious effects of poisoning? Would there be unexplained flu epidemics? Would our children become intellectually stunted? I feel that these things are possible.

When I breathe in fresh air, it is full of oxygen. How about the polluted air? It is mostly poisonous chemicals. When the brain is flooded with these toxins, how could one not be confused? When each of us contributes a little bit of pollution, the whole Universe is eventually polluted.

Therefore, since we have many lives, let’s say that in one life we killed people and several cows and thousands of sheep. If such killings were accumulated 100 lifetimes, and you laid out the corpses on this big Earth, they would cover the whole of Taiwan. These corpses were all killed by you! So you killed them and also brought pain, fear, harm and suffering to their kids. Are these crimes small matters?

You have committed big crimes. If a life for a life, with every killing avenged by execution, either firing squad or beheading, if it was all settled this way then 100,000 executions of you would be fair. You have indeed accumulated very heavy negative karma. So you rely on your own efforts and recite the Buddhas’ names once a day and make some offerings, or even donate $100,000, and then question why your sickness remains.

You wonder why this teacher, or that tulku or dharma king did not praise you. That other person who didn’t make offerings, looks ugly and is also poor, why is the teacher always praising him? Why have I never been praised? Each person’s cause and effect are different; the extent of their negativities differs.

However extensive our aspirations are, if measured and compared with our accumulated negativities, we have not cleared one percent of our million negativities. We haven’t simultaneously cleared them all. We haven’t evened things out. Our aspirations don’t equal our negativities. We have mental tendencies toward negativity. Even when we are trying to eradicate our crimes, we are still influenced by our karmic energy and our pride, jealousy, etc., which once again lead us to commit crimes.

Thus, we attempt to practice Buddhadharma, especially The Diamond Sutra. Today I brought The Diamond Sutra text. Let us read the first four verses. The first four verses are very appropriate for an unrefined person like me. My understanding isn’t thorough, but let me read it out to everyone. My mind… I am a person without mind and thoughts. Whatever arises in my mind, I say it. It is fine if you can’t stand who I am. It is your karma to meet me. If you didn’t have bad karma, you would meet Amitabha Buddha.

The opening verse goes like this: “The unsurpassed, profound, subtle Buddhadharma is difficult to find in hundreds, thousands, millions of eons. I now get to see and hear, receive and uphold it. May I fathom the Tathagata’s true meaning.”

After we read the sutras repeatedly, they don’t register in us at all. It is like when we were young and had to memorize and recite the Chairman’s speeches. Even after memorizing, we didn’t understand. We didn’t care; we did what the teachers wanted. When we were in primary school we were required to memorize and recite about serving the people. Who were these people? We didn’t know, so we paid lip service. Those who recite sutras may understand them, or they may merely be paying lip service.

This morning, I casually grabbed this sutra. Okay, that sounded a bit disrespectful. I gently took out the sutra with my hand. The first verse I saw was the opening one: “The unsurpassed, profound, subtle Buddhadharma”.

Unsurpassed means that the benefits to us and the support given to us are really very precious. The preciousness can’t be explained; it is unsurpassed. Unsurpassed doesn’t mean there is no up direction. It means really supreme. So we use the word unsurpassed. Profound, really deep and fathomless. This Buddhadharma is the dharma of liberation. Subtle means hard to conceive of; it is not easy to comprehend.

Even if I explained till my tongue was twisted, you may not be able to understand and would feel like you are shrouded by clouds. Some people may already be at a loss after hearing the first verse. If we are not careful, we might end up confused. I hope those who are depressed after listening to this class will not develop mental issues. I hope they will be ordinary normal people who see mountains as mountains and water as water; people who eat if they are hungry and sleep if they are sleepy. Alright?

This Buddhadharma is so profound from the very first verse. The first verse represents the unsurpassed, supremely rare, very precious and valuable. “Profound, subtle Buddhadharma.” This verse is clear: It speaks of the inconceivable, difficult to comprehend. Maybe if it were easy everyone would be enlightened. Concepts deemed to be beyond philosophy are not easy to understand. Given this, we tend to focus on the words and work on them. We fix our mind and eyes to these words and work on their mutual connections.

“Difficult to find in hundreds of millions of eons.” That is straightforward language. It isn’t Sanskrit. Does everyone understand the meaning? Saying: Encountering Buddhadharma is a rare opportunity. For example, in my case, I met the Buddhadharma because I was ill. It was that simple. It was such a simple encounter of opportunity. It was illness that led me to hear the Buddhadharma. Is this similar to your experience?

Some people learn Buddhadharma to find a good job. Some people laud the sages who were able to summon the wind and the rain and easily cure those who were ill. They wish to have such a job, thus they are here. Could this be considered a sort of predestined encounter? Is this predestined meeting positive or negative? (Positive.) Thus, I welcome people to come and develop such abilities. Do people think about such things? Or have I guessed wrong? Are there any of you who wish for such a job? Please raise your hand! Wow, there are. They really are not afraid of death.

“I get to see and hear, receive and uphold it.” What do receiving and upholding mean? Perhaps you all understand better than me. Today I have seen the sutra. Now that I have heard and received the Buddhadharma, whether I have understood the meaning or not, the true and accurate meaning, by hearing it, you received the Buddhadharma. By making offerings, one would become more enlightened. This is the concept. It is fine if you don’t understand; but you should be aware.

 Once your affinity leads you to Buddhadharma, put aside some time to read the scriptures or bow and pay your respects, or behold the sutra as an image of the Buddha. Buddhist scriptures are comparable to images of Buddha, as Buddha images are often consecrated by putting scriptures inside the images. Prostrating to the Buddhist scriptures is like prostrating to Buddha images.

Regardless of our ability to understand the truth within the sutra, as long as we come into contact with it, are able to recite it, are able to see it, we are able to benefit from it. Because they are the scriptures of the Buddhas, a gift from the Buddhas to awaken sentient beings. The inconceivable part is that as long as you are sincere, even if you can’t understand, Buddha’s scriptures can help you understand.

Do you understand what I am saying? In other words, even if you are stupid or don’t understand a word, so long as you are sincere, you will comprehend the scriptures. Thus, each time we hold the scriptures, or venerate or recite the sutras, we benefit from them. This is what receiving and upholding mean.

“May I fathom the Tathagata’s true meaning.” This is an aspiration. If you were to continuously bask in the Buddha’s lights through upholding your faith in the scriptures, your mind may give rise to a new thought; it may be a thought of aspiration. If not, that is alright too. Hearing this Buddhadharma, you wish to receive the Buddha’s supreme wisdom, the innermost essence which enables you to awaken.

Only with such an aspiration, you will receive what Buddha wants to give you, the special powers that grant enlightenment and cause you to resonate with great wisdom. If you have such wishes, the Buddha will grant your wishes. In The Sutra of the Universal Door of Guanyin Bodhisattva, the Bodhisattva vowed that if a person is suffering or in danger, etc., at time of need the Bodhisattva will be there. Thus, when you wish for enlightenment, then probably the necessary wisdom will naturally come into your life.

When we want to practice Buddhadharma, the most important thing is treasuring that chance. We need to treasure that opportunity as it is precious and hard to find: “It is difficult to find in millions of eons.” Why? I am also very stubborn. When I read these verses this morning, I got stuck on the second phrase: “hundreds thousands millions of eons.”

What if a person pays no heed to Buddhadharma? He may think: Why should I believe? Or: I need to work; I want to date. These are normal things people want to do. Understandable. If I miss this opportunity, does it mean I won’t have another chance? Does it mean that the next chance will appear eons from now? In fact, a hundred thousand million eons.

According to Buddhist teachings, how many years equals an eon? Anybody knows? If my example isn’t exact, just understand it from the broad perspective. If an eon is a million years, then a hundred thousand million eons would mean many billions of years before you get your next chance to practice. Are we saying this to show the preciousness of awakening and enlightenment? The Buddha does not lie.

I wonder why do we say a hundred thousand million eons? If we were to break down our body, we would find it is composed of numerous elements found on this planet. So let’s say I have this chance and lose it, then after I die, my body will decompose. Whether it is burned by fire into vapors and leaves behind residues of ash and fertilizers, or buried in the ground to decompose naturally, if 10 percent of it transforms into vapors and floats in the sky, it will become clouds, mist and water. The pigs, dogs, cows and goats will drink that water. Thus, a 10,000th of a molecule may go into Zhang’s body, or the milk of an old cow, or the teeth of an evil ghost, or the fruit of a small tree. The elements have disintegrated until there is no image of a person. One cannot find any trace. Too tiny to be seen with the naked eye.

This is what Buddha taught in the Buddhist scriptures. The beings of this Universe are composed of the four elements: earth, water, fire, wind. Today, they form a human body, in the next life they form a cow, and in the next a pig, and in the next a small tree or a fruit on the tree. We decompose and are reborn, until in one lifetime we become a human and come into contact with Buddhadharma. A hundred thousand million eons is reasonable. When you come back, Earth may not be the Earth you know. Maybe we will meet on Mars. We will look like Martians, with skinny necks, big heads, short legs and three or four tails. Good-looking, right?

Thus, we say this opportunity is hard to come by. Because it is hard to come by, it is precious. It is a chance to leave suffering and find happiness. A person in her lifetime, particularly an adult… If you reflect on the journey thus far, do you have more suffering or more happiness? You must seriously review this. If you feel you have more happiness than suffering, please raise your hand. Please raise it higher.

Today in Taipei, at this center, three to four honorable ones raised their hands. Why do I say honorable ones? Because their happiness exceeds suffering. They are of a noble class, not ordinary folks. Those who didn’t raise their hands may be experiencing more suffering than happiness. During these few days, I have reminded everyone that the sufferings in our lives, all sorts of sufferings, come mainly from pressure and stress.

Emerging from our mother’s womb is the beginning of stress. The stress of being born. That is a physical reality. When a baby emerges from the womb, the momentum of being born is stressful. Doctors have debated whether it is healthier to be born by C-section or by natural means. Some doctors said a natural birth, for the mother’s body and with the pressure of coming out, may be healthier. This is the first experienced stress. During the first 6 months of life, a baby is weak and subject to danger. At this time, if the mother doesn’t take care of the baby, or due to poverty, or lack of milk or malnutrition, then the infant may die or become disabled.

Next comes the stress of nurturing and teaching. The child doesn’t know anything. The parents start to teach the language and appropriate behaviors that are needed for living. After that comes the knowledge needed to make a living. From elementary school, to high school or university, to becoming a PhD, etc., these steps are mainly about acquiring knowledge of society and how to make a living. We need to make a living so we undergo the pressures of studying. That is the overall perspective.

When children go to school, do they pressure each other? Unattractive kids have the stress of that. They may be picked on by others. When I was young, there was a child uglier than me. The students beat him up and the reason was because he was ugly. So being ugly is a stress; he had no friends. The child had great stress. He could not study because of the kids around him. This is also karma. He couldn’t go to school. Even when his parents brought him to school, he got beat up after his parents left. Eventually, he couldn’t attend school.

Other than their studies or bodily conditions, a child’s social life at school and also their looks can be sources of stress. Their stresses are not lesser than adults’. Adults’ stresses are supporting one’s family, paying for the mortgage and the car. The pressures on a child at school are also great. To you, that sort of stress doesn’t seem great, but to a child, that is his world, and so it is important.

Besides, there is the pressure of exams. We believe that attending a good university enables one to find a job after graduation. In Taiwan, what are the well-known colleges? Which ones? National Taiwan University! If you are not studying there, you may feel a loss of face. You may consider studying at a university that ranks a bit lower. The pressure is intense on kids who are dim-witted. They may have great wisdom, but can’t study. This is terrible. They may not qualify for an eighth-ranked school. So what should they do?

Whatever career they manage to secure, there are other pressures to overcome, such as the challenge of finding a right partner. Finding a job is difficult. But without a life partner, one may not be happy. Without a job, one cannot stay alive. They wouldn’t have enough to feed themselves, not to mention care for our parents. Not being able to support our family is indeed a great stress. Whether you did well at school or not, if you are not competent in your work with poor performance, you will get fired. Work life is stressful.

You grow up despite all the challenges and create a family; women manage to find a husband; men manage to bring home a wife. Buying a house becomes the next challenge. Right after the happiness that brings smiles comes the challenge that brings frowns. Housing, housing. A growing child playing every day thinks his parents’ mortgage is a mundane thing. A house is enough to make you grit your teeth. After marriage, the pressures of housing may even stress you to death. Real estate brokers drive up the cost of housing till it is sky-high.

Putting aside judgment, that is reality. You just have to accept it. You wouldn’t want to sleep in a wooden barrel. I even thought about doing that. At night, I would find myself a big oil barrel and make two openings at the top to look out. Wouldn’t it be great to sit in there? It would be like a metal Mongolian tent. You don’t need a car to travel around; just roll yourself. Rolling is like driving a car, but it is hard to brake. Our life is like sitting inside a barrel; we’re unable to brake, no solution for that.

Whether it is stress or going with the flow, we are like a rolling water barrel, unable to stop. One stress cycle after another, nowhere to escape to, right? With difficulty, you got a house and a wife. Then, you wanted her to get pregnant. When she didn’t have a child, you blame her. But when a child is born, the parents will be in trouble.

Nowadays, raising a child is costlier than raising 10 wolfhounds and more expensive than having four wives. Do you agree? You spend money to buy milk; there is a risk of buying poisonous or fake milk. You might even wonder: if my child drinks this milk, what will happen to him? That is very dangerous.  I won’t go into detail here. If you were to go into detail about all of life, there would be a lot of fears and worries. That is life. Life is not easy.

In Taiwan, there are many elderly people who drive taxis. They are senior citizens, yet they are still driving taxis. They do not own a home. They lament their lack of house. Alas! Therefore, why do we stress that learning Buddhadharma is a very rare opportunity? Those who really practice Buddhadharma are filled with gratitude: My life is so precious; I am blessed with learning Buddhadharma. The hardships of life are challenging.

There are people who say they are rich and so their lives are without suffering. They have houses, etc. I won’t go into the details. The rich have their kinds of suffering. Those who are unattractive have their pains. And the good-looking encounter a different kind of suffering too. Different types of people face different types of suffering.

Are we saying that this world is depressing? Yes, it is. But, if we are able to triumph over suffering, then we are heroes. How many such heroes are here? For those who raised their hands just now, we have to call them “honorable ones”. Very noble people. My God. Others are spinning inside the barrel. Is that suffering? No! Simply a matter of no house, so you live in a barrel. It is just like that; people are numb to their sufferings. They cannot feel the hardship.

There was once a mother who had two disabled children. One child was lame and the other blind. It was so painful for her, she couldn’t even cry. She smiled to everyone. When asked if she was suffering, she said no. That was how she felt. Her suffering had reached an ultimate peak, to the point that she considered it joy. She did not cry; whenever she smiled, I would cry. Had she cried, we would have consoled her: “Don’t cry, this is a small matter, and we will help you.” We cheer people on. The journey of life is not easy.

I remember my parents, who represent those who did not have good days and didn’t have good meals. They never wore a piece of good clothing, never had a pair of good-fitting shoes. They never received praise. The most pitiful thing is that I never gave them a single word of praise. I did not have the habit of praising people. I respected and honored them in my heart, but I did not praise them.

In her lifetime, my mother took on tasks of physical strength 10 times harder than men in Taiwan do nowadays. She was not so foolish as to not know suffering. She did it out of love for her children. It is not as great as you are imagining. You think my parents smiled for all sentient beings. They worked and lived for the sake of their kids. That was the reality. Not as great as what you are imagining. In my heart, I feel my mother is great. She had endurance and strength; that is real love. Your parents would do the same, right?

We also have elderly practitioners who have bravely lived for the sake of their kids. You need to pass down this courage; tell your children about it, especially those who are experiencing hardship and setbacks right now. Tell them tomorrow will be better. Tell them to work hard. Right. That is the way. It is about changing the scene to stop the pain. Are you in pain now? Yes? Never mind, let’s go to a movie. Let me tell you a joke. This is changing the scene to stop the pain. When facing the stresses of life, we are helpless.

Some practitioners found the answer about small eons. Eons relate to the issue of time. About 160 million years. Who said that?  There is no point of reference. It is just a concept of thousands of billions of years to illustrate the difficulty of finding Buddha’s scriptures.

Life is definitely pressurizing and full of pain. When we are able to recognize such opportunity to learn and practice, to face these pressures even within the Buddhadharma, at the highest state… This is the ultimate purpose of Buddhadharma. The aim is to enable us to not suffer in the future. This is very great. It is not a matter of taking a painkiller to stop a headache. Or taking a tranquilizer. Or antihistamine – to stop your symptoms. You don’t feel pain, though the cause of the pain is still within.

Learning Buddhadharma is not like taking a sedative. It is not an instant painkiller. The ultimate goal of learning Buddhadharma is eternal freedom from suffering. It is attaining the state of complete perfection. This state of perfection is beyond the six realms of samsaric experience. Can we say it is beyond this solar system? When humans transform into spirits or when we have a thought… Does anyone understand the nature of thoughts? Mental thoughts are a specific view.

Let’s test this. You have a thought that the sun is on your right side. Do you get it? Right; that is a thought. Actually, once your thought arises, your mental spirit is already at the side of the sun. Some people are more geographically inclined; moving out of the six realms of samsara is like moving out of the solar system. Can humans do it at great speed and in a short time? Your concept is taking an airplane whereas mine is a thought.

There is a saying in Chinese Kung fu, at the highest level: “Where the thought is focused, energy arises with strength.” But in leaping beyond this life form, beyond this speed and space, when my thought arises, my life has also arrived. This is why reciting with a sincere heart is most effective, whether the recitation is made to Buddha or the divine. It is similar to going beyond the Universe and life.

 The fastest speed, the greatest shortcut is through mindful thought, not via the modern tools. In the past, it was horse-drawn carts, then trains, then it was rockets and lasers. These are physical things. My concept is hyperphysical. What do I mean by hyperphysical? First it is a thought.

Learning Buddhadharma is a rare opportunity, very hard to come by. With such a rare opportunity, if we continue to be faithless and insincere, full of doubt and skepticism, perhaps in this life you feel you have already learned Buddhadharma, some people only graze by and leave. Even if you intuitively responded to it, the benefits received are superficial. If you have a million debts or sins, maybe you have only cleared one percent. If you practice another two years, maybe you will clear 50 percent. A total of one million sins, 50 percent cleared, so then you can achieve more freedom in the future.

If you continue to practice, when you clear 80 percent of your debts, you can migrate to your next life and be liberated from this mundane world. In the other world your true body has already appeared. In many cases, once the physical body is destroyed, a person may go to the world of evil spirits. However, we are not going there. Our mental spirit will not sink to the hell below. Gross air sinks, but pure air rises.

What is pure? This relates to our practice, so I will talk about it. Purity means the mental spirit free of defilement and guilt. Without the baggage of karma, you are lightened especially by accumulating merits through cultivation. Initially, we are greedy and grasping. Now those things we should not cling to we have let go. At the same time, to those who are greedily grasping we said to let go. We are no longer grasping; we have put down our burdens.

Maybe there are still uncleared debts. However, there is a better method of liberation and that is to share our wisdom and communicate our understanding by telling 10 people, 100 people, and so on. Until such time as others also put down their burdens. Some wise students may let go more than you. When their negative karma is eliminated, your merits from promoting Buddhadharma arise.

For example, if you teach someone and he clears 50% of his karma, 50% of your negative karma will vanish. He clears 50% and so do you. If you were to teach 100 people, your merits would accumulate as each person clears 50%. You would be accumulating eight million merits. If you don’t ascend, then who would?

You accumulated so many merits, so you are at ease and blissful, like sunshine, full of positive energy. You will gain wisdom in this mundane world, good concentration and perspective on problems. You will use appropriate and powerful words to advise those who have been troubled for years. You will solve their problems with a few words. They will realize that things can be so simple. They will exclaim, “I have really awakened.” You have amassed merits and qualities. This can happen easily in our human world.

There will come a day when you have to let go of your physical body. Your body will grow old and decay, just like a rusted car. We are actually transcending, rising. When that happens, sincere practitioners are able to see the Buddhas and bodhisattvas guiding them. If they don’t appear, you will still rise. You are pure energy, rising energy. You are blazing luminous energy, more beautiful than the sun’s brilliance. You definitely rise upwards.

The heavier your burden, the more hatred, anger and pain you have, the more you will manifest pain and burdens. If, in your pocket, you have heavy objects, you will be weighed down. If everyone carries a backpack, and yours is the heaviest, then you are dragged down. If I do kind things and practice self-cultivation, then I move upwards. Why? I am not greedy, not pursuing things that bring negative karma and burdens to my life.

What I am doing is bright like sunshine, positive things. They are lighter than air, more radiant than light. That is why I am ascending. With a big bag, yours is filled with helium and floats you to the sky. Those who are greedy and commit bad deeds, those who can’t tell right from wrong, they think they have wealth and happiness but in fact they have burdens.

For those who are descending, what can they do? You won’t know if you will descend in the future. You have to take out all the greed and harm from the pocket of your heart. Clear out all greed and covetousness. Whatever you need I will give to you. Whatever you pursue, I will give you. Whoever obtains by way of greed will descend. Thus, the more burdens I remove, the clearer will be my energy, and such energy will propel me upwards.

The states of self-cultivation are subtle and profound. Buddhadharma is deeply profound. It is organized into different stages; each stage has its method of practice. We are at the foundational stage where the practice cultivates a sincere heart. Just now I mentioned 4 words: Venerated respect. What is venerated respect? Some say it means no attachment at all. That is also correct. There are different stages of realization. When we are not at the highest peak of realization, there is still a need to have certain attachments. What do you need to fixate on? Fixate on venerated respect.

Some people say that The Diamond Sutra says we need to let go of even Buddhadharma. We can let go of everything. Due to this, many stop practicing. This understanding is wrong. We should practice non-attachment as part of our self-cultivation. But don’t fixate on attaining Buddhahood. I fixate on venerated respect. Whatever non-attachment is found therein, there is still an element of attachment. If there were none, we would be in the state of death, a state without any feeling of existence.

If a person were alive but without attachment, what does that mean? It means: No further attachment when the greed arises including no grasping for Buddhahood and enlightenment. Say you are practicing prostration and repeatedly say, “I want enlightenment”, or as another example you focus all your brainpower on “awaken” as though awakening can be manifested like a bag that contains everything. This behavior doesn’t help you to awaken.

I want to remind everyone: venerated respect; praise. The thought of respect and praise can be boundless and immeasurable. Such boundless thoughts arise from our heart, emanating from our every cell. The radiance of reverence and compassion are offered to the Buddhas and bodhisattvas. So no thoughts of “I” or of wanting enlightenment, which are selfish and narrow-minded. We need to go beyond “I” and make best use of “I”.

The process of cultivation is making best use of “I”. It does not mean: There is no “I”, so I do not use “I”. If you don’t use “I”, then who do you use in your cultivation? It is still you who is practicing. Just don’t be grasping. Do we have a purpose? Yes, I want to be totally enlightened with boundless merits and qualities, whatever you can visualize. But you cannot constantly think of that.

However, you should constantly cultivate. Stop thinking, just practice it. “I want enlightenment and Buddhahood.” Don’t think this way. If you do, the part of the brain that processes these thoughts gets stuck due to selfishness. Can Buddhahood be achieved just by thinking? The thought: May all sentient beings be freed from suffering and achieve happiness, is the fastest method to accomplishment.

If we don’t have that state of mind, what then? We need to focus on an object that helps you enter enlightenment. How can we penetrate into it? Through the images of the Buddhas; through the eyes of the Buddhas; through the representatives of the Buddhas; I have no other example except that of myself. Use representatives of Buddha such as your master. Use these shortcuts to help you enter the state of enlightenment. Your mind and life can then enter another world.

What I mean is: In self-cultivation, don’t focus on yourself. First cultivate venerated respect. That is why I started with chanting. Venerated respect and praise. Some people translated Manjushri’s teaching in a particular way: “If a practitioner were to please me, I will shower him with the brilliance of wisdom.” Saying this today, it sounds not humble. So let’s put it differently. If this practitioner lets me feel happy and at ease, I will bestow upon him the brilliance of Buddhas.

If he opens his heart with reverence, respect and sincerity, I will give him whatever there is. If he opens the door to his heart, but his heart has two doors and only one is open, then my light cannot fully enter. It will take a long time before all my light can fully enter. So I wish to remind everyone… My dear disciples, I had written a list but can’t find the paper. I should not prepare any documents. That is fate. Now: Great aspirations bring great awakening. Put another way: Great aspirations lead to great enlightenment, great wisdom, great energy, big-heartedness and great accomplishment.

Some people like to argue: What if I have no wishes? If there are no goals, there is no road to success. Having no aspirations is ignorance. A person without aspirations is like a stone. But a wrong aspiration leads to the wrong path. If your aspiration and all that you are pursuing are wrong, then all your paths and all your actions are wrong. All that happens in life is connected.

Men are afraid of going into the wrong vocation. If you take on a wrong vocation, for example, say you are a butcher so then your whole life involves killing. My vocation is related to education, to teaching, so what I do is nurture and teach. If you aspire to become a Buddha, a bodhisattva, then that means all your actions would be compassionate. You would emanate loving-kindness and compassion and shine Buddha’s light on those you have affinity with. If your goal is incorrect, then all your actions would be wrong. If your aspiration is wrong, it means that your actions are wrong.

If your aspiration is positive and great, then you can achieve wisdom and abilities at inconceivable speed. When your aspiration is great and correct, be absolutely sincere too. Practice is the critical thing determining the speed of your accomplishment. Why am I still not able to understand? I heard some dharma teachers’ talks. They say you practice for your next life. That sounded gentle and compassionate, but what are the implications? It means you won’t enlighten in this lifetime.

Isn’t that the meaning? It means you are not going to achieve it. Next life, perhaps. Just now we talked about the next life; in how many eons will that be? Why do we push things we could do this life to next life? Present tasks should be done presently. Being a Buddhist practitioner or a student or a disciple, what needs to be done today shouldn’t wait till future, not even tomorrow.

Let me tell you a story about a flood. There was a monastery at the foot of a mountain. One day there was a heavy downpour. The monastery was in a ravine. I don’t know why it was located there. This monastery had its back to the mountain; it sat in a gully. When it rained, water would flow into unstable areas. Due to the terrain, the ground was steep in the back and low in front. In order to have a flat base, the builders used stones to reinforce the front of the temple and built walls.

There was no rain for several days and then suddenly a heavy downpour came. They sealed the gates and the cracks and then collected some water to drink. They dug a trench in the front yard. The downpour got heavier, and their trench filled. Water filled the front yard. Soon the water rose up the high walls. Monks had to climb on the roof. Those on the roof started to feel the swaying of the temple. The abbot climbed on the roof of a nearby building. Someone asked the abbot: “Why is our roof swaying?”

A monk who had studied The Sutra by the Sixth Patriarch said: “It is not the temple but your mind that is swaying.” Upon hearing this, the monks believed they were enlightened and began to meditate. One monk jumped down from the roof and kicked the door open. Water gushed out. The temple stopped swaying. “So is your heart still swaying?” the monk asked. “No, not anymore”, answered the rest. Those on the roof clapped and said, “Our concentration power let out the water!” The abbot smiled.

I think faith, aspiration and practice must be genuine and practical enough to face reality. Aspiration must be followed by practice. Less talk and more practice, less dwelling on impractical so-called Zen verses and thinking we have become enlightened, which is like building a pavilion in the sky, a foolish dream. Buddhadharma is to bring sentient beings out of suffering and into happiness. You, in your pursuit of happiness, are already mired in the agenda of trying to get rid of “real suffering”. However, this persistent chasing of a so-called supernatural phenomenon is questionable.

Whatever could save the temple today, be it good or bad water, once it is too much the building collapses and people die. Everything would be gone. Take real action, less frivolous talk and more practice. Aspiration means getting to the tasks, not fake things. This is a world of causes and conditions. When we practice, we practice on the basic elements: people, defilements and objects. The objects of practice are the obstacles you are facing. How do we recognize this obstacle, and how do we resolve this obstacle?

The building is collapsing and everything is perishing. Those people on the brink of death weren’t looking at reality. They were under the delusion that they had become enlightened. They didn’t realize they were going under. Face up to reality with genuine motivations, real actions. Today, whether practice meditation or do good deeds, I do it to teach the Buddhadharma or help people to pacify disasters or solve their problems or enlighten their thinking, as well as building places of teaching and practice. I do it all to liberate sentient beings. Down to earth.

Do not fixate on things that are delusions. Enlightenment is built upon reality. Humans need emotional afflictions, for without defilements, there would be no realization. I want to remind our disciples that without defilements, there is no possibility of enlightenment. Where there are real defilements, there is real enlightenment. False defilements lead to false enlightenment.

From the view of mundane society, we use right knowledge to address emotional afflictions, setbacks and disasters. After realization, we will have the confidence, methods and wisdom to resolve problems. We will live with confidence and greater energy. We will have more confidence to face problems. Many are stressed to death by these problems. Everyone will encounter problems, whether you practice Buddhadharma or not.

Those who practice will definitely feel this. A practitioner who genuinely aspires to attain Buddhahood swiftly will encounter greater emotional challenges and setbacks. This is because in your past lifetimes, which could total more than 100,000, the sins you accumulated were so numerous that you could be sentenced to prison for eons. Today you want to be liberated and not be a prisoner anymore. You want to be freed from suffering and wrongdoing in this world, to be liberated. But your karmic enemies and creditors and the Lord Yama want to imprison you here, to prevent you from being enlightened.

This Buddhadharma is so precious. When you wish to swiftly attain Buddhahood, and when you have such an opportunity, you will experience hardships. A person in his journey of rebirth will have to first experience the process of being put to death. Death and then rebirth. A great breakdown and then rebuilding. No breakdown, no rebuilding. It is like when we suffered a boil as a child. When the boil appeared, you felt itchiness. But you couldn’t break it. Some doctors said it wasn’t ready for treatment. When it is ready, a boil breaks open and oozes; then it is ready to be healed.

Likewise, when you are ready, you will experience death and rebirth. If the concept of death and rebirth is the birth of enlightenment, if this awakening is a new birth enabling you to let go of your greed and fixation, then it is known as the nirvana of the phoenix. To put it in a common way, it is the process of a caterpillar transforming into a butterfly. Your past life was as a silkworm; by practicing well you will penetrate through the silk cocoon.

The silk cocoon has many layers of silk which wrap you within it. When you are able to bite through the layers and free yourself, you turn into a butterfly. You are a phoenix. Of course, before that you were a crow, a burnt chicken, not a phoenix. You need to practice until transformation. I wish for people to transform from greedy and evil to an enlightened Buddha. You need to die once or go through many deaths, like the experiences of Xuanzhang on his journey west.

Even though he wasn’t killed, he endured 81 terrifying brushes with death before he became enlightened. Some weren’t frightened to death, they were tormented to death. The journey could be torturous, like demons who tormented people by wanting to eat them. If you faced such challenges in your life, would you overcome them? Many people do not have such endurance. Many, when faced with the stress of living with all kinds of threats, dangers, poverty, pain, etc., choose to end their own life.

Many who commit suicide think that there is no avenue of liberation. Very pitiful. Yesterday or the previous day was the 10-year anniversary of the death of Hong Kong actor Leslie Cheung. A lot of his fans from Hong Kong commemorated him. There were performances by singers and actors. It was a moving scene. I have not heard his songs, but I have seen his movies. He was handsome and a good actor. I am sure everyone liked him.

He looked so good, was so famous, and much wealthier than ordinary working folks, so why would he choose suicide? His manager had a vision of the actor, at the moment he fell from the building, saying that he was too tired and wanted to have a good sleep. What does this imply? He had great fame and a source of income far surpassing that of many people. From his manager, we heard the actor suffered loss of appetite and insomnia. While others slept, he was awake and troubled.

What was troubling him? Only he knew. His stress arose from the thought that there was no way out of his situation, and it caused him to choose the path of sleeping forever. The manager said this beautifully like in a poem, it sounds like he was a breeze in spring. A living being took the path of death. How could that be wondrous? A person reached his ultimate threshold of pain. In that state, he stepped onto the plank seeking his last salvation. But that plank of salvation broke, and he plunged down.

We need to learn to take on courageous feats, but not be showy about them. We must have a genuine diamond-like heart to face all types of pain and torment. This is why, without fear of death, I put together the “JinBodhi Golden Words”. Recite them like a babbling fool: I am not afraid of suffering, my singing is beautiful, I am good-looking, etc.

An intelligent person wrote to me, that this is a sutra for weaklings and fools. Yes, I believe that I am weak. I also represent many people in this world who can’t handle the setbacks and stress of life. By shouting these affirmations, and studying in-depth what I have taught, a certain confidence and momentous thought could bring about a turnaround in a life. It just needs a single thought.

Leslie Cheung’s last thought was: “I have no way out. Heaven, Earth, Buddhas and Gods, my father and mother, I am sorry I have let you down. I am going”, and then he jumped. His heart had so much pain. Did his parents suffer, seeing him in that state? The fans who loved him, do they grieve? That is suffering. Someone said: “Master, if Leslie Cheung had known you, and recited your foolish “JinBodhi Golden Words”, maybe he would still be singing and acting for everyone.”

Life and death are only a thought apart. If you feel you can live, then you will. I am the strongest person in this world. I am a warrior in this world of suffering. You will continue to live and live well, and support your family. You are a man and a father whom your children look upon as their pillar of support. If they lose you, the family will disintegrate and collapse. We must be responsible. Being a man, a father, you cannot choose suicide.

Perhaps at present, as a father, you are unable to provide children with a luxurious lifestyle, not able to give them a big house, but as long as there is a father to call upon, your home is your children’s heaven. It gives them motivating lifeforce. Parents can’t take the path of no death. They cannot select death. This is because you are your children’s lifeblood. You are your children’s Guanyin Bodhisattva. If they don’t have your daily care, your love and compassion, then your children can only choose one road, and that is to follow you to death.

Therefore, because of love, and to reduce the pain in this world, those who are parents must gather their most resilient heart in order to face all the pain of life. If you don’t have enough energy, please recite the foolish “JinBodhi Golden Words”. I believe that after reciting once, you won’t choose to end this life.

I also experienced, at a young age, a lot of pain and pressure. The first time I felt what the Buddha meant when he roared, “I am Supreme in Heaven and Earth.” I felt that when he declared that, he was under tremendous pressure. What he meant was I am not afraid of suffering, I continue to be alive and well, I am number one. This is not arrogance, it is the will to live with courage and strength.

We need these words to support our life. Because of Buddha’s words, myself and many others who were on the brink managed to step into a Vajra-like world. Those words gave me the courage to ask myself and all those who have affinity with me to shout the words out loud and to share them with all of you. All who have affinity with me, please recite: I am Supreme in Heaven and Earth. Let’s repeat it. I am Supreme in Heaven and Earth.

I hope whenever you lose your courage, when you are hit by setbacks, when you lose your job, and for those fathers who are out of a job and feel ashamed to face their kids, please shout this line to yourself. As long as you dare to shout this, you are a great father. Whatever problems you may be facing, due to this mantra of life, like a flash of Buddha light, they have been resolved. In that instant, your journey is laid out for you.

This is the mantra of my life bestowed upon me by the Buddha. Today I pass it on to everyone.

I am a mundane person. However, my thoughts are very different. When I was young, during my practice, I would look at the world from Heaven. My thoughts were godlike and my abilities were godlike. Later, when I interacted with more people, my thoughts became more mundane. Whatever obstacles there are, when we come across them we must not be afraid.

There are so many types of sufferings in this world. I discovered a law about sufferings: Being in the mundane world is suffering, then what is the point of being afraid? Don’t be afraid. Suffering is the truth of this world. Therefore, I must change suffering. You may consider life suffering, but I don’t. I must challenge these sufferings. I must make the best of these sufferings.

If you were dim-witted and without knowledge and you lead an organization to bankruptcy, people would criticize and beat you. While you are being beaten and criticized, you should wake up. Oh, it is because I lack the necessary knowledge; I don’t know how to manage a business; I don’t have leadership capabilities; I don’t have the charisma of a leader; I am not big-hearted; I am dim-witted; I am not magnanimous.

Defilements are a mirror that reflects you. The mirror is not meant for reflecting others; it reflects you. This mirror is your defilements. Why do people criticize or beat me up? It is because I am lacking in a certain area. I did not do well in this; I was useless. So what should I do? We cannot just say we are stupid and useless and stop there; people would continue to put you down. You must find a way out of it.

I must increase my knowledge, replenish my energy, open my heart. I must learn the art of attraction, learn to plan and organize and lead everyone to make a living. The next time you take the lead of your people to make a living, everyone will have a job and your business will grow continuously, supporting many families. At such time, who would not adore you? When you are beyond the need to work on the ability to plan or attract, then your charisma is real. Are not those qualities key to accomplishment?

Emotional afflictions are created by us, not by someone else. We created them ourselves. I have come across practitioners who have lost jobs. “Master, I am jobless, what should I do?” I usually advise them to light incense and ask Buddha for blessings. I also ask if they are free. “I don’t have anything except free time.”

All right! Please sit before Buddha to reflect: Why have you lost your job? Your boss doesn’t like you? Did your company close down? No? You were the only one asked to leave. Now reflect on your boss’s viewpoint. If you were him, who would you fire? Some people were straightforward. After reflecting for 5 hours, they told me: “Master, if I were a boss, I would fire me.” “Do you know why you were fired?” “Yes, I know why: I talked a lot but never took actions. If I were my boss, I would fire those who are like me.”

That is right. Losing your job teaches you to never lose your job again. You will earnestly do your work. You felt you were working for your boss, but really you were working for yourself. You were working for your loved ones. Whatever you contribute in terms of your life, the torments, the tiredness and pressure, etc., are trials you willingly shoulder out of love for your parents, family and yourself. Thus, when we assume the responsibility of love, we will never be jobless, never let our boss down. I dare not and I would not.

My mother was never jobless. The tough work she did at a construction site, transporting building materials, could tire a person to death. She was injured at work. Though she worked very hard, the company still dismissed her. After being dismissed, she found another job. She got a broken cart and picked up scraps to sell. How could she be jobless? Her responsibility for her loved ones would never allow her to be jobless.

I am only using jobless as an example to show that the troubles we face are not the fault of others. Don’t blame others. Everything around us is a manifestation of our inner being. If you cannot find a reason, then the final answer is karma. Only by being better and better, being more responsible, being wiser, having more endurance, more loving-kindness, more ability to assume responsibility, more resilience, would you be able to be a better father, a better son, a better employee, a better boss, artist, and disciple of the Buddha.

Some think that Buddhadharma means we must renounce the three realms of existence, transcend the five elements, retreat into the mountains, etc. That is not Buddhadharma. These are simply cultivation processes. We can’t keep on learning but not applying. Likewise, Taiwan University is good, but you don’t want to stay there forever, unless you become a teacher there. You can’t stay there as a student forever.

You can’t remain in Level 1 for years without advancing to Level 2. Or not graduate after 50 years at a university. If that is the case, by the time you get to Level 2 you would be at the end of your life. Your lifetime result would be merely Level 2. This is brainless; it is irresponsible and foolish, and lacks wisdom. A person who only hides away and studies, will never graduate. Those who are unable to graduate lack confidence.

For someone like me who has never been to school, I am cheeky enough to keep going. I live by motivating myself. I am Supreme in Heaven and Earth. Life is indeed filled with suffering. I too feel this suffering occasionally, but I do not pursue this suffering; neither do I pursue happiness. Our perception is different. There are many levels in Buddhadharma, and many stages of realization. Don’t pursue happiness, because when we do, suffering arises.

Thus, I don’t pursue suffering or happiness. There are times when trouble arises and we suffer. Regard suffering as eating a bitter gourd or chili. That may make you feel better. Through having some negative feelings, you learn to cherish those peaceful moments when you are not being burned by chili. When it is peaceful, you may argue with someone. You need to experience peace to know its happiness.

In the end, you will realize that the peace you have longed for is not what you will pursue. Just go out there and give what you have. In the time that I am still alive and breathing, I want to give more people who are in pain and under pressure the courage to live on. It is that momentary thought that makes the difference. I found out that it is this thought that separates the yang from the yin, the sky from the Earth, and Heaven from Hell.

The Supreme Teacher I worship, my most Supreme Teacher, Sakyamuni Buddha, is the teacher who truly bestowed on me the teachings. During my journey of practice, the Buddhadharma I realized was bestowed by Sakyamuni Buddha. I am not drunk, nor am I possessed by some being. If there is any being, it is me, JinBodhi. Whatever is in my body is just me. This is my real feeling. Sakyamuni Buddha is my Venerated Teacher. My Great Teacher throughout my lives.

The Buddha said: One flower, one Universe; one thought, one Bodhi. This is the truth. This applies to the crucial point in our life. If you feel crushed and like you are dying, then you will die. You must think: “I am resilient and strong.” If one time isn’t enough, repeat it 108 times. You will be very strong. Now you have a method. This is a special mantra.

As long as you recite it, at most 108 times, the illuminated path of the Buddha is laid out before you. The door to hell, the demons with sharp teeth, vanish in a flash like bubbles. You find before your eyes the radiance of the sun and the open road of life. It is this difference in thought and my foolish “JinBodhi Golden Words” that aim to achieve this. This is not my wisdom. It is the great wisdom of the Buddha, which was taught to me and is now spoken in my words.

Some people told me that I am very daring to call some nonsensical sayings of mine holy scriptures. These are the Buddha’s words of wisdom. The Buddha saved me and I want to save you, so I tell you. A momentary dark thought has destroyed so many people.

I have told this story before. One day a young student, who was at the end of 2nd Level Retreat, wanted to express her gratitude to me. She wanted to perform a dance. Her dance was splendid and magnificent. I enjoyed her performance; it was beautiful. Afterwards, we had a chat. I asked her why she had wanted to dance for me as a gesture of gratitude. She said that she had been having depression for 10 years. Her depression had been imprinted by a teacher when she was young.

At that time, she was plump; plump kids are cute. She wasn’t good at certain dance steps. The teacher told her, “Don’t dance anymore, don’t come tomorrow, you look like a pig.” That remark was a big setback for that child. She didn’t want to go to school, hated her teacher and didn’t want to see her classmates. She could barely manage her life. One comment was the cause of depression. As an adult, she refused relationships. She felt that she was ugly, and she never danced.

Her illness became serious. A friend introduced her to Bodhi. She told me one of my teachings enlightened her. So she set herself a difficult task. She had not danced for some time. She wanted to find again that beautiful feeling of dancing, and offer it to me. She felt my words had enlightened her and given her the confidence to live on and live well. Her confidence was very simple: I am a disciple of Master JinBodhi. I am the best because my surname is Jin (Gold), and I am rich and beautiful.

She is actually not rich. But I teach that wealth and nobility is in the heart. You may be a multimillionaire, with many houses to rent out; if, however, you feel poor in your heart, then because of that your life is that of a beggar. A life of wealth and high status comes from the richness of our mental state. Richness in mind is true wealth and nobility.

Can the riches in our mental world be manifested in the material world? Yes. If you are a genuine student of mine, you would not only have riches of the mundane world, you would also have whatever you wish for, as long as they aren’t delusions. Wealth and nobility; wisdom; intelligence; good health; charisma; abilities. These are all achievable.  (Got it.) This may sound like JinBodhi is speaking nonsense to delude people. But this is not corrupt; if it were, then we should burn The Diamond Sutra as these ideas came from that sutra.

You want to have no phenomena of the mind. Until you reach the state of no mind, no phenomena, no dharma and no Heaven, it is difficult to understand. It is a state of nonexistence and existence, non-duality. This nothingness is about letting go, letting go all our fixations and greed. Whatever you wish for you can easily have it; wanting wealth or wisdom is that easy, like taking something from our bag. It can be even easier than that; things just appear when you need.

The sky looks empty because your eyes are blurred. There is no god in this world because there is no god in your mind. We have a primordial spirit but you are not able to see it. It is like wearing glasses while searching for them. Kids don’t fear losing money, haven’t never lost any. And because they don’t earn money. Money is from their father’s hard work; they don’t feel the pain. This lack of fear is a lack of knowledge.

How do you achieve all you wish for? 4 words, first 2 are: Venerated respect. After venerated respect is: Genuine sincerity. What is the purpose of reverent respect and genuine sincerity? Of all the various methods of practice, when I do The Meditation of Greater Illumination, I do it with reverent respect and genuine sincerity. When I recite the names of the Buddhas or bodhisattvas, or the mantras of the Buddhas, I think of Master with reverent respect and genuine sincerity. We need to observe the intensity of our sincerity.

When you have the affinity to hear this teaching and do as you were taught, then your cultivation speed is fast. If your method and motive are wrong, your speed is near zero. After practicing 1,000 days and covering a mile, you are still on the wrong path. Even if you are on the right path, if your aspiration is inadequate your progress would be near zero. If your aspiration is right, positive and immense, your progress is fast. Being fast means one day of practice can leap beyond time and space.

Whatever you wish to achieve is within the secret of those 4 words. So I ask those who have affinity with me to read Buddhist Robes carefully. The secret methods are all included. Some people said they have read it several times. I ask them what they have understood. This is a mysterious book. When you can see and touch the book, you receive protection from it, and inspiration and care from various Gods. These methods are within the book, not outside the book.

Also includes the teachings of The Diamond Sutra; this is a Supreme Jewel. Readers of The Diamond Sutra would have to cultivate for a few years before they could understand the teachings. This sutra is not for beginners; it would be poison to them. A practitioner needs to cultivate to a certain level, before they can study this sutra. The teachings of this sutra are equivalent to practicing post-doctoral material. It is not meant for beginners; it’s also hard for mid-level practitioners to grasp.

The Vajra is of no image or phenomena, like Bodhisattva Guanyin. The Bodhisattva can manifest in female form and possess the attributes of the feminine such as gentleness, fragility, light, etc. The Bodhisattva also symbolizes the state of great ease. In The Heart Sutra, the Bodhisattva is at ease, which is the state of gentleness, boneless fragility. In what state can we find the Vajra? There are no steel muscles or iron skin, not even a thin sheet of plastic cover.

Then what is that? The Bodhisattva’s resilient heart of compassion offered for the liberation of all beings; that is the Vajra Diamond. This kind of Vajra is like air transforming, liquid transforming and yielding. When the Bodhisattva’s element of air or liquid transforms, or the female form. There are many messages here.

The first is for female practitioners, when the motivation and practice are correct, Buddhahood is attainable in this life. The second refers to attaining Buddhahood. If you aren’t on the path of the Bodhisattva, your merits, qualities, energy will be inadequate. So how could you attain Buddhahood? You need to practice a path that benefits all beings. It is a way of accumulating merits and qualities; wisdom arises through liberating sentient beings. This is the highest state of cultivation in the entire process. Only then can you attain the ultimate right view and understanding, and the ultimate state of great ease.

This way of benefiting sentient beings, in my opinion, is truly one of great ease. If I were home doing nothing and thinking that I am at ease, it is actually the opposite. Those with right aspirations will feel this way. Sometimes due to ignorance and negative karma, people get frustrated about working, but when given a week’s leave, After a week, they start to suffer; a month, deep depression sets in. Because you made a vow in front of Buddha, you have to work.

Aspiration must be followed by work. How many would make this vow to Buddha: Dear Buddha, please bless me with stupidity. Are there any such people? Most would ask: Dear Buddha, please give me great strength, wisdom, energy. What would you do with great energy? When you fuel up a car, it is meant to run. When you fuel up a plane, it is meant to fly. When you add fuel to a missile, it is also meant to fly. So if fuel is given to you, you are meant to work. If, one day, you have no more fuel, it means you are finished.

It is all a matter of a difference in thought. When we work, we feel tired; when there is no work, we panic. When people are too free they get sick. You believe that wealth is good, right? There are few poor people who suffer depression or mental illness. They are under so much daily pressure that their eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, mind are focused on how to make money. Every cell is focused on how to make money. They don’t suffer depression due to a clear objective: Making money to support their family. Young people want a spouse and a house so there is no depression. Make money, get married, buy a house, and so on.

If there were no goals, then people get depression. Depression arises when our mind is stagnant. Practitioners could also become depressed when they are stuck at a certain point. If you cling to a certain level thinking it is the Pure Land, and hover there, and don’t do any proper work, and think in circles on the same spot for 50 rounds without any direction, any practitioner would fall into depression. They think they have reached enlightenment. They are clutching a straw, thinking it is a pillar.

When we are on the practice path, we can’t stop. Practicing is action-based. It should not be halted; if it is, illness arises. Everyone please remember this. Artists depict sitting meditators. That is wrong; they should depict them walking, or busy doing their practice. Meditation is something we need to do every day, for at least an hour. As a true disciple of JinBodhi, every day you should practice my teachings for an hour at least.

If you have to travel or are in a hospital, etc. such that you cannot meditate, then make it up within 7 days. So the next day or day after, add an hour. At least one hour daily, otherwise we will lack energy. If you don’t practice, I don’t punish you. We are not a secret society. There is no punishment by someone else; it is self-punishment from our karma and heredity.

If our energy is inadequate, we have to practice. Only then can our energy increase. If we increase the length of practice, our energy can awaken our wisdom. Our drive then becomes very strong, like fueling up a car. If we reduce our practice, our energy decreases. For example, today I practiced for an hour, and my work today consumed only half the energy generated by my practice. Due to that extra half hour of practice, I have accumulated energy.

Why are there many Buddhas and bodhisattvas whose bodies, after death, are transformed into relics? This is because of their energy, their practice, wisdom, merits and qualities. These things, when they are put together, change the structure of lives. How do I transform from the seed of a man to the seed of a Buddha? You may think I am joking, but it is really like that.

How did Buddha’s mind have such wisdom? His aspirations and practice over the course of many lives. He had great merits and qualities. When we look at Buddha, Sakyamuni especially, we see a human being. However, he is not a human being. He is a Buddha, a very special, rare life form. He is a composite of great compassion, aspiration and great energy manifested in a form. If we practice well, we too evolve and transform in that direction. On the path to Buddhahood, we acquire health and wisdom. Those things come about in this way.

Those who spread the Buddhadharma in order to liberate sentient beings, those who transmit Buddhadharma to people, their merits are immeasurable. Those who broadcast Buddhist Robes and read it often, printing and sharing it with others, they also have immeasurable merits. Those who sponsor the printing of 1,000 copies will never fall to hell, and their karma from past lives will be purified, so they will get auspiciousness and ease in future lives.

All those who vow to promote, donate, build, print… whatever this Bodhi organization does to help people, from building dharma centers to erecting Buddha images to promoting the Buddhadharma through our books, DVDs, websites, etc. those people will receive the blessings and protection of all Gods, allowing them out of difficulties and into auspiciousness. (Got it.) I believe it is like that. Thank you, everyone. (Thank you, Master.)

All those with the affinity to hear this teaching will not fall into hell. (Got it. Thank you, Master.) May all of you be able to purify your bad karma. Buddha will help you eliminate it. (Got it.) You will accomplish all your good wishes. (Got it.) You will be healthy and at ease. (Got it.) Those who broadcast today’s recording or this DVD, may they be forever wealthy, happy, auspicious. (Got it.) Thank you, everyone. (Thank you, Master.)