If not for so many of my personal encounters, visions and experiences of miracles related to Avalokitesvara and Tara, I might not have believed so firmly in the powers of Buddha and Bodhisattvas. But it is not just myself, countless others had miraculous encounters.

Ven Hui Lu also describes the realisation of anatman, no self, dependent origination and emptiness in his commentary to the text on Guan Yin.


Previously I posted by own translation of some excerpts from this talk at https://www.awakeningtoreality.com/2020/02/spiritual-encounters-and-responses-with.html

Zen Master Hui Lü is another master from Taiwan that has very deep and clear insights.

Scroll all the way down for another article: How Kwan Yin Came To My Wife’s Assistance: By Greg Goode, Ph.D.


If you identify any areas for improvement in the translation or have suggestions, please visit the contact page to share your feedback: Contact Us


Soh:

Hello, I have a lengthy Chinese text that I need translated into English. I'd like the translation to be done paragraph by paragraph, with each original Chinese paragraph followed by its English translation. Here's the text:

[long text snipped, original Chinese speech: http://www.fodizi.net/huilvfashi/7447.html , the talk in Chinese is also available in youtube: https://youtube.com/watch?v=MkEN2k1EAKw ]


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Here is the translation of the provided text, paragraph by paragraph:


Title: Master Hui Lu's "Spiritual Inspiration of Avalokitesvara"

Master Hui Lu (Soh: Speech is given in 2005)


Homage to our original teacher, Shakyamuni Buddha! Homage to our original teacher, Shakyamuni Buddha! Homage to our original teacher, Shakyamuni Buddha!


Please, put your palms together.


Master, fellow lay Buddhists, volunteers, greetings to all in Amitabha Buddha!


Since the establishment of this lecture hall in 1989 until today, 2005, our annual October 25th Water and Land Dharma Assembly, the regular Eight Precepts, the Three Thousand Buddhas during the Lunar New Year, and the Liang Huang Dharma Assembly have all been greatly supported by our protective lay Buddhists and volunteers. Your compassionate Bodhisattva hearts have greatly aided our lecture hall. On behalf of the Three Jewels, I thank everyone deeply!


Our volunteers have sacrificed their time and youth, dedicating their strength and everything to the lecture hall. Those who foster a Bodhisattva heart will surely attain Buddhahood. As a master, since you are doing all the work, all I can do is offer the Dharma to everyone.


The Dharma is our true life. Our current life is fleeting; however, the life of the Dharma body and wisdom is eternal. Therefore, it's crucial to understand that possessing Prajna means possessing everything. Without the thoughts and wisdom of Prajna, what we have is all illusion, not reality.


Today, on September 24, 2005, we are having a volunteer meeting. The topic of my talk today is the spiritual inspiration of Avalokitesvara.


Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva is familiar to everyone. In Mahayana Buddhism everywhere, there is a close connection to Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva. Reciting the "Universal Gate Chapter" relates to Avalokitesvara; the Great Six-Syllable Mantra relates to Avalokitesvara; the Great Compassion Mantra relates to Avalokitesvara. Even when conducting a seven-day Buddhist ritual, we still recite Avalokitesvara's name. In China, since ancient times, countless millions have been inspired by chanting the name of Avalokitesvara, including myself, who has also received the compassionate blessing of Avalokitesvara.


For example, ten years ago, when I was in Singapore at the Kim Tian Sports Stadium, the response from chanting Avalokitesvara's name was extremely strong. The organizing committee had prepared for half a year and spent a lot of money. Before the speech, the sky was covered with dark clouds, thunder, and lightning. I thought to myself: This is going to be a problem! It's an open-air event with tens of thousands of people. What if it starts pouring rain? At that moment, I prayed and chanted Namo Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, visualizing Avalokitesvara holding an umbrella over the entire field. Incredibly, as we spoke... we didn't notice any rain – not a single drop. When we finished, and the tour bus left, there were puddles outside, but there was no rain at the Kim Tian Sports Stadium. The rest of Singapore was raining and even flooding. This shows that sincere and earnest prayer can move Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. However, your intentions must not be selfish.


Another significant response was at the Zhonghe Stadium, also an open-air venue, previously organized by Master Wukong. That day, it rained heavily, pouring throughout Taipei city from morning to afternoon, non-stop. I thought to myself: This is a big problem, such heavy rain! Someone called in the afternoon: Master Hui Lu, it's raining so heavily, are we still holding the event? I said: Of course, we are! Right? Diamond is unbreakable, only the will is firm. We hold it! Chanting Avalokitesvara, of course, we had no other choice, how could we mortals manage? The sky was full of dark clouds, it was impossible for the rain to stop. But, as 7:30 approached, there were tens of thousands on the field, what to do? Everyone still held their umbrellas, rain or shine! When it was time, I arrived by car. As soon as I stepped out of the car, the rain stopped, just like that. As 7:30 approached, I went on stage and spoke. After speaking, making dedications, and a strike of my ritual mallet, it poured heavily again. There was no rain during the lecture, but it poured heavily afterward. How could you calculate such precision? I also received the compassionate help of Avalokitesvara.


Another time, at the university, the response was incredible! Once, after reading "The Essence Collection of Master Yin Guang" at the library, I hurried to the Tzu Guang Library in Taichung to listen to a lecture by Elder Li Bingnan. At that time, I was only a sophomore, very devoutly chanting Buddha's name. I hurried over, and while listening to the lecture, nothing was amiss. After the lecture, taking the bus back, disaster struck. All those keys, a whole bunch of them, I had on me were gone. This was a big problem! I worked at the Department of Hydraulic Engineering at Feng Chia University because my family was poor and my grades were good. The keys to the laboratory, the hydrological observation room, were gone. Also, my room keys, a whole bunch of keys, some with access to professor's restrooms, all gone. After listening to the lecture at Tzu Guang Library, it was already 9:30 pm. Feng Chia University is so big, where would I find a bunch of keys? Suddenly, I thought: Isn't Avalokitesvara known for being responsive? What to do without these keys? I can't even enter, and the hydrological observation room is also inaccessible. Everything's halted, what a mess! So, I just chanted: Namo Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva... Then, taking the bus back to Feng Chia University, I kept thinking: Where could those keys have fallen? I thought: Maybe around that area. But I couldn't be sure because I had forgotten where I lost them. Did I circle around Buddha and then jump... How did it fall? I had an idea. Alright, there was no other way. I kept chanting Namo Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva on the way back, hoping for the Bodhisattva's compassionate protection. Because at that time, I had no money at all. Avalokitesvara, you know I'm very poor, I really don't have money. I've lost my keys, I don't know what to do? I can't go to work tomorrow, what should I do? I didn't even know where to rest that night! I had no keys and couldn't get in! So, I kept chanting Namo Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, thinking: Maybe around where? Feng Chia University, near the medical room, there's a small grass patch, maybe around there. I probably did a somersault there, played around a bit, maybe it's there. Chanting Avalokitesvara, chanting... when I got there, I thought: Maybe here, one or two steps, walked over, stepped in, reached out my hand, and grabbed the keys. Not a single step was wrong, not even 0.1 centimeters off! From then on, my response to Avalokitesvara... was very strong.


Another response, not a very good one. In my freshman year, this lay Buddhist from Feng Chia University's Architecture Department, riding a scooter from Feng Chia University to Shan Gong's place. It was my first time learning Buddhism, my first time meeting Shan Gong, and I knelt and bowed to him. I didn't know much about Buddhism, just starting out. Shan Gong said: Yi Qian! When you have time, always chant Buddha's name. You lay Buddhists at home, chant Avalokitesvara's name more, understand? Shan Gong was speaking, and we were too embarrassed to say no! Alright! Then we went down the mountain. We had classes on Monday, so we went down the mountain, down to Shuili (a township in Nantou County, Taiwan). Shuili back then was not like the Shuili now, transportation wasn't very convenient. Going down the mountain, riding a scooter, the mountains were very high and steep, the roads were very winding, not very big. Now the roads in Shuili are so wide, not like before. Crossing mountains and valleys, riding this scooter, carrying... halfway through, I thought about Shan Gong's words: Yi Qian, you lay Buddhists at home, always chant Namo Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva when you have time, understand? Very responsive, oh! Riding down, the lay Buddhist carrying me. You know me, I'm quite weird, very arrogant in my freshman year: Is this possible? Avalokitesvara, who has seen it? I don't believe in such things! Avalokitesvara, if you really exist, show me a sign! Riding the scooter, halfway through, then thinking: Right! I don't know how to ask the Bodhisattva for a sign. Right? You don't know how to ask for a sign, nobody said anything! Then I thought: Otherwise, a simple accident would be a sign, right! Avalokitesvara... just a thought, I didn't tell the lay Buddhist, an accident would be a sign! Suddenly, the scooter broke down, flew out, just


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like that, in a second, as soon as I had that thought. The scooter crashed! A few meters away was a deep pit. As we tumbled, I thought: Oh! It's a sign, it's a sign, okay, stop here, stop here, if we go further, someone will die. It's a sign, no need to go further. I say this response of Avalokitesvara, this isn't a very good sign. I know the Bodhisattva wouldn't do this; I know it was the Dharma protectors punishing me for my lack of faith in the Bodhisattva. Avalokitesvara would never cause an accident; he is the Great Compassionate Avalokitesvara. The Dharma protectors were unhappy with my thoughts: to give me a lesson. It was an immediate response.


Alright, having talked about Avalokitesvara, the spiritually responsive Avalokitesvara, let's start with a few examples. In the scriptures, sometimes it's translated as "Observing the Sounds of the World," sometimes as "Avalokitesvara," translating to Observing the Sounds of the World means helping others, listening to the world's sounds to seek and save those in suffering, called Avalokitesvara.


To see the emptiness of the five aggregates, it is translated as Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, observing the emptiness of the five aggregates, observing self-liberation. Because it's a matter of perspective, from the perspective of self-benefit, it's called Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva. Our "Heart Sutra" goes: Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, when practicing the deep Prajna Paramita, perceives that the five aggregates are empty. Form is emptiness, feelings are emptiness, perceptions are emptiness, mental formations are emptiness, consciousness is emptiness, feelings, perceptions, mental formations, consciousness are all empty, perceives the emptiness of the five aggregates, attains great self-liberation, this is called Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva.


From the perspective of helping others, saving the world, it's translated as Observing the Sounds of the World, observing the sounds of the world, seeking sounds to save those in suffering, called Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva. Besides the great compassionate vows of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, we should set an example, urging our Buddhist disciples, everyone, to learn the spirit of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, this is the key. Learning the Bodhisattva mind, transforming our thoughts into helping others. As a Buddhist disciple, one must have the right knowledge and view, thinking: It's better for everyone at Manjushri Lecture Hall to be well than just myself, Master Hui Lu. It's better for the whole Buddhist community to be well than just Manjushri Lecture Hall. It's better for the peace and well-being of the whole world than just the entire Buddhist community. A Bodhisattva's heart should be infinitely expanded, selfless, without any selfishness or self-benefit. As a Buddhist disciple, simply put: Never do anything that harms the Sangha, the masters, or the Three Jewels, because we are disciples of the Buddha. As long as it benefits others, is charitable, saves and helps others, and upholds the Dharma, we should devote all our efforts. This change of thought is most important. When our hearts gradually change this thought, it's actually for our own good.


Once, I visited Master Guang Qin, and he asked: What are you doing? I said: I'm studying at the South Putuo Buddhist Academy. What are you doing at the Buddhist Academy? Master Guang Qin asked: What are you doing at the Buddhist Academy? I told him: To do some work for Buddhism in the future! Master Guang Qin scoffed: What are you talking about? I said: To do some work for Buddhism, for the Buddha in the future! Master Guang Qin scolded: Does the Buddha need you to work? Don't you know the Buddha is the most idle person in the world? Idle people are not ordinary people. The Tathagata, the Thus Come One, the World Honored One is the person in the world who never has disputes or grudges. What does Shakyamuni Buddha need you to do? I suddenly realized, Master Guang Qin said: Master Hui Lu, everything you're doing now is all for yourself.


Everyone present! Master Guang Qin enlightened me like this, and I also want to tell you: Everything you do today at Manjushri Lecture Hall, all the intentions you have for helping and supporting the Three Jewels, everyone, all the good karma is yours, all yours. Master Guang Qin said: Does the Buddha need your help? The Buddha is already enlightened, what else is there to help? Help yourself. Oh! We suddenly realize, everything we do and act for today, whether it's charity, chanting Buddha's name, worshipping the Buddha, it's all for ourselves. Right? To develop our pure nature, to achieve supreme Bodhi, it's all for ourselves. So, everyone, being selfless, learning Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, who benefits? You yourself benefit.


Furthermore, chanting Buddha's and Bodhisattva's names, there are two kinds of responses: one is called manifest response, obvious response; the second is called hidden response, hidden response, like the hidden world of Hades, Pluto's hidden, one Yin, one Yang, right? We talk about the Yang world, the hidden world, right? The hidden world of the hidden. Manifest response, and hidden response, two types of responses. Simply put: Some people chant Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva and feel a very strong response.


There was a lay Buddhist woman who chanted the "Universal Gate Chapter" and the "Great Compassion Mantra" every day, chanting Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva's holy name. She had a little girl who saw her mother chanting the "Universal Gate Chapter" every day, always chanting scriptures. The little girl, only five or six years old, could walk but didn't understand, hadn't gone to school yet. Her mother was chanting the "Universal Gate Chapter," chanting Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, and the little girl, not very steady on her feet, walked... wandered to a nearby pond to play and accidentally fell into the pond. It's all rural areas, she fell into the pond. Just as she was about to drown, someone saved her. The pond was a bit deep, and a five-year-old girl, it's impossible, she was completely wet, and even had water on her. The little girl was in shock, crying on one side, wuu... crying and slowly walking back to find her mother. She knew her mother was chanting the "Universal Gate Chapter" in the living room. Of course, the little girl didn't know what her mother was chanting. She slowly walked... kept crying, her mother was startled by her loud crying: What happened? She came out: Why are you all wet? Soaking wet? Don't cry, sister, what happened? She said: I went to play by the nearby pond and accidentally fell into the pond! How did you climb up? An auntie saved me, wearing white clothes. An auntie? Have you seen her before? No! An aunt from a nearby village? She said: Never seen her! Her mother took her hand and brought her to the living room. The little sister, five years old, saw a white Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva in the middle of the living room. Mom, that auntie saved me. That five-year-old girl wouldn't lie: That auntie saved me. This is a manifest response, because of sincere and earnest prayer.


There was a lay Buddhist woman in her fifties, very devout, who chanted the "Universal Gate Chapter" and Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva every day. Once, a fire broke out next door, and she was focused on chanting Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, chanting the "Universal Gate Chapter." It's incredible because she had been chanting the "Universal Gate Chapter" and the "Great Compassion Mantra" for many years, creating a very good magnetic field in her room, a magnetic field – the power of the mind's thoughts and response with the Bodhisattva. As a result, the fire, the flames burned... burned next door, the fire jumped over her house to the next one, her house in the middle! Logically, it's impossible to escape, because she was very sincerely and devoutly praying, the flames jumped over, and the next door was burned to the ground, her house was not burned. The walls were black, just like that, this is a response.


So, why does chanting Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva have such a great response? This requires understanding the law of dependent origination. Simply put: Wholeheartedly benefiting sentient beings makes it easier to respond to Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, Amitabha Buddha. Remember! People who are reborn in the Pure Land have no selfishness; people who are reborn in the Pure Land have no disputes. If you want to be reborn in the Pure Land, a pure heart makes a pure land. Therefore, if you want to chant Buddha or Bodhisattva and feel a response, remember! Your heart must learn the Bodhisattva's compassion, forgive evil sentient beings, and chanting Buddha is easy to respond to.


Furthermore, what are the types of dependent origination? This must be memorized by Buddhist disciples. Dependent origination – the dependent origination of the Mahayana and Theravada has a total of five types: 1. Karma-dependent origination,


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Alaya-dependent origination, 3. Tathagatagarbha-dependent origination, 4. Suchness-dependent origination, 5. Dharmadhatu-dependent origination.

Let's explain each one briefly, as our time is limited.


First, what is karma-dependent origination? Dear attendees! Karma-dependent origination is a theory from the Agama Sutras, about the power of karma - you create good karma, you receive good dependent origination; you create bad karma, you receive bad dependent origination, depending on what karma you create. So, karma-dependent origination means the power of karma will cause a corresponding dependent origination. In other words, dear attendees and volunteers, if each of you creates good karma with others, you see someone, some volunteer, indeed, has some habits, but you can forgive them; some volunteers have an attitude that's not so good, but you can overlook it. Simply put: even if there's no affinity, don't create bad karma, always create good karma with all beings. I tell you! Incredible things will happen. You uphold a very important concept today: even if there's no affinity, we don't want to create bad karma, always create good karma with all beings. I tell you: your current karma, planting good causes, you never know when you'll encounter difficulties, maybe in this life, maybe in the next life, maybe in life after life, you will respond to good things appearing at your most difficult times, someone will help you; when you are suffering from illness, someone will introduce a good doctor to you; when you are out of money... of course, it's impossible for someone to give you money, but you will find a good boss, a good job; when you are robbed, the police will automatically find it for you, solve the case, return the property to its owner - because you haven't created the evil karma of stealing. So, our first karma-dependent origination is a very important idea. Later, slowly, it evolved, the Mahayana thought concept and theory became clearer. These patriarchs brought this Agama thought to China, and China became consciousness-only. Consciousness-only was already very prevalent in India and was even more thoroughly discussed after being brought to China.


Second, alaya-dependent origination. Alaya-dependent origination discusses the issue of seeds. The so-called seeds refer to the seeds of the eighteen realms - six roots, six dusts, six consciousnesses, each with their seeds. Alaya, like a storehouse, is what we call the eighth consciousness. This alaya consciousness stores all seeds, like a computer's database, your good and bad karma, all stored as seeds. Remember! One day it will manifest, manifesting is dependent origination. So, everyone sitting here today, listening to the lecture, it's definitely not the good roots planted in one lifetime, it's impossible! Everyone here has cultivated countless eons of good roots and conditions, so they can sit here, because the alaya good roots matured, and they come to listen to the Dharma again, this dependent origination is good, this dependent origination is good. Bad friends can't drag you away; these Buddhist friends, these lotus friends, these good and kind lay Buddhists from the lecture hall, forcefully pull you in, your good karma is complete, evil karma can't drag you away, good karma pulls you in, this is your past seeds, consciousness-only school talks about alaya-dependent origination.


Third, Tathagatagarbha-dependent origination. This Tathagatagarbha-dependent origination, divided into stained and pure, Tathagatagarbha-dependent origination, is a theory proposed in the later period of Mahayana Buddhism. Like the "Awakening of Faith in the Mahayana" talks about Tathagatagarbha-dependent origination - empty Tathagatagarbha, not empty Tathagatagarbha, empty and not empty Tathagatagarbha. Like the "Shurangama Sutra" also talks about the idea of Tathagatagarbha, so Tathagatagarbha-dependent origination is a thought developed in the later period of Mahayana Buddhism, and there are scholars who specifically discuss the Tathagatagarbha thought. This Tathagatagarbha is divided into stained and pure. If you are a tainted Tathagatagarbha, you transform into the six ordinary beings, the six realms of samsara - heaven, human, hell, hungry ghost, animal, asura. You encounter pure causes and conditions, pure causes and conditions, and you transform into the four saints - arhat, pratyekabuddha, bodhisattva, buddha. Pure - four saints, tainted is called six ordinary beings, four saints plus six ordinary beings, collectively called the ten


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Dharma realms. All ten Dharma realms operate within the Tathagatagarbha-dependent origination. In other words, all dependent origination cannot be separated from Tathagatagarbha, and all Tathagatagarbha manifests in dependent origination. Therefore, Tathagatagarbha-dependent origination is also called suchness-dependent origination. Suchness-dependent origination means that all dependent origination dharmas (phenomena) are manifestations of true suchness. In other words, those who have seen their nature, who have realized true suchness, all dependent origination dharmas (phenomena) are manifestations of suchness to them. In other words, all actions of walking, standing, sitting, lying down, and all physical, verbal, and mental activities, to those who have seen their nature, are all expressions of utmost truth, goodness, and beauty, mere manifestations, performing a play for sentient beings, called suchness-dependent origination. It means: Dependent origination cannot be separated from true suchness, and true suchness transforms and operates within dependent origination. However, when true suchness is tainted, it becomes the six ordinary beings; when true suchness is purified, it becomes the four saints. The four saints and six ordinary beings together make up the ten Dharma realms.


Fifth, the "Avatamsaka Sutra" talks about dharmadhatu-dependent origination. Dharmadhatu is like empty space, and empty space cannot be separated from dependent origination. All dependent origination dharmas (phenomena) cannot be separated from the empty space right here. Dear attendees, today's dependent origination in the lecture hall, the lecture is dependent origination. Can dependent origination be separated from empty space? Impossible. The nature of empty space is the nature of the Dharmadhatu, the nature of the Dharmadhatu is Buddha-nature. Because Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva has realized the perfection of the Dharmadhatu, because he has practiced the perfection of the ear-root, attaining great purity and perfection, he can appear wherever he is prayed for. Why can Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva appear wherever he is prayed for? Because empty space is the nature of the Dharmadhatu, the nature of the Dharmadhatu is Buddha-nature. Where is the Buddha's home? The Dharmadhatu is the Buddha, wherever there is dependent origination, there he appears. Today, if you go to the Himalayas and kneel and chant Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, you will feel a response in the Himalayas because you create dependent origination. The Bodhisattva is always in the Dharmadhatu, never arising or ceasing. Whenever you create dependent origination, he appears. Just like a moon reflected in a thousand rivers, a thousand rivers with water, a thousand moons. The Bodhisattva never comes or goes; however, wherever there is dependent origination, there he appears. You go to America, you chant Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva in America, you feel a response. Today in Taiwan, whether it's Alishan, Sun Moon Lake, whether it's Taitung, including if you go to Japan, remember! Sincerely and earnestly chant Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, you will feel a response in Japan. No matter what time, no matter what space, as long as you sincerely and earnestly pray to Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva will descend, some with very obvious responses, some with hidden responses. So, sincerely and earnestly chant Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, and then what? It depends on your merit and conditions.


There was a pair of brothers, reported in the news today, who went to steal and rob from others, robbing a woman's necklace, handbag, and everything. Why? They needed drugs every day, costing tens of thousands, and if they had no money, they robbed, both brothers together. After robbing a woman's handbag, which contained a "Heart Sutra," they felt guilty after robbing, so for every robbery, they copied the "Heart Sutra" once, anyway, it's only 260 characters. After robbing, feeling guilty, they copied the "Heart Sutra" again. As a result, they felt a response, today the police caught them, they were arrested and sentenced! Is this how you treat a Bodhisattva? Copying the "Heart Sutra" is meant to make you practice the Bodhisattva path, not to rob people! Right? People who chant the Bodhisattva cannot do bad things.


Yesterday I watched TV, the day before yesterday Li Ao went to Peking University to give a lecture, yesterday he went to Tsinghua University, both Peking University and Tsinghua University are in the north. If I were to


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go to Peking University today, what would be my first words? Guess what, if I were to lecture at Peking University today, what would I say first? Guess what, my first sentence would be to tell them: I'm not here to preach or to make you believe in Buddhism. I am here at Peking University to lecture, to tell you to know yourself, to recognize yourself. This is what I would tell them on my first day, my first lecture at Peking University. I'm not here to preach or make you believe in Buddhism. I'm here to lecture to tell you to know yourself. If you can't recognize yourself, how are you going to live the second half of your life? You just keep studying... what are you going to do in the end? Make money? Find a wife? Do great things? There have been so many people before, even becoming emperors! Right? Isn't that just a common mortal? If I were to give a lecture at Tsinghua University, what would be my first sentence? Tsinghua University is full of very smart, well-educated people. Right? Right! The first thing I would ask Tsinghua University: Who are you? Tell me.


We often say: fight for freedom, democracy, equality. I tell you: only by entering Buddhism can you understand the true meaning of freedom, democracy, and equality. Those scholars keep saying on TV: We are not free, better dead than alive. Philosophers say: If you are not free, you might as well die. Everyone says that. The freedom, equality, and democracy of Buddhism are fundamentally different from what worldly people talk about. What do worldly people mean by freedom? Freedom means my actions are very convenient, I can go anywhere I want, take a train or plane, as long as I don't break the law, I am free everywhere. Worldly people call this freedom. I ask you: Is this freedom? I tell you: The person who says he is very free, you go up to him, slap! Give him a slap for no reason, freedom is ease, right? I tell you: He will immediately be uncomfortable, immediately jump up. So-called freedom is the freedom of the physical body; I tell you: The minds of ordinary people are not free at all, not at all! Worldly people don't understand what true freedom is, just shouting slogans. Then, talking about democracy, Shakyamuni Buddha is the most democratic. What is democracy according to Shakyamuni Buddha? Democracy is respect, democracy is respect, from what perspective? All beings in the world have Buddha-nature, you must respect them. Everyone present! I dare not look down on any of you because you are future Buddhas, you must be absolutely respected, absolutely rejoiced, absolutely praised. Which thinker or great philosopher can speak about democracy like the Buddha? America talks about democracy, how many wars has America had in the past? America used to be like this, people protesting, focusing on important government places, not dispersing, America still shoots, America also opens fire, America used to have such incidents, challenging the government, opening fire. Right?


America is considered a very democratic country, is it really democratic? If America was truly democratic, would there be an Iraq war? Right? Of course, they have their reasons! American imperialism, American-style democracy, does not necessarily suit our Chinese democracy. It's not necessarily. You know? Because of different times and spaces, American-style democracy may not adapt to Europe and America; American-style democracy may not suit Russia, Russia. Everyone in the world is talking about democracy, I tell you: they haven't touched the door, haven't touched the door. Democracy, everyone's way of democracy is different, Iraq, I also say: I am very democratic. America, I also say: I am very democratic! Two different concepts of democracy, what to do? Just fight, is that democracy? Buddhism doesn't say that. Buddhism: accommodating the existence of others to achieve your own greatness, changing others is not as good as changing yourself. Therefore, giving respect to those with different opinions is absolute. But, this world is very complicated, many things are indeed difficult to apply democratically, like building a dam, Meinong wants to build a dam, if the government wants to build it, people protest. Where to build a garbage incinerator, smelly, smelly to the sky, the government wants to build it, people oppose it, who is right and who is wrong, it's hard to say! So I believe, the theories established by thinkers and philosophers are actually well-intentioned; however, later human factors turned them into various misunderstandings, distortions, or narrow-mindedness, becoming a tool for selfishness, turning out like this.


So, dharmadhatu-dependent origination is ultimately empty. Dear attendees, if you realize that it is ultimately empty, your heart is free and at ease. If you understand the dependent origination of the ultimately empty Dharmadhatu, you will understand what democracy is. If you realize that everyone has Buddha-nature, you will know that all Dharma is equal. Therefore, only by entering Buddhism can you truly understand freedom, democracy, and equality.


So, we must chant Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, we must let our hearts and souls be completely liberated.


Alright, time is limited, let's look at:


The Song of Spiritual Response to Avalokitesvara


This is not difficult, let's recite these lyrics first:


[Namo Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, with a heart of great compassion, the merit of practice is as deep as the ocean. Steering the compassionate boat, crossing the sea of ignorance, influencing those with affinity. These words are simple. Fourteen kinds of fearlessness, the explanation behind this, number 1 has an explanation. Fourteen kinds of fearlessness, everyone, be sure to understand, it's not that Avalokitesvara has fourteen kinds of fearlessness, it's not this meaning. It means there are fourteen situations, if you sincerely chant Namo Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, Avalokitesvara will make sentient beings' hearts fearless, make your heart fearless. For example, a woman who can't have children, not loved by her in-laws, she becomes fearful, scared, sincerely chanting Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, reciting the "Universal Gate Chapter," praying for a son, she will have a son, praying for a daughter, she will have a daughter, letting these good men and women have children, having sons and daughters, then their hearts are fearless, "fearless" means this.]


[Thirty-two transformations] refer to the various forms Avalokitesvara can manifest in to save beings. [Manifesting as a Buddha's body for those who need to be saved by a Buddha, speaking Dharma in the form of a Buddha; manifesting as a Bodhisattva for those who need to be saved by a Bodhisattva; manifesting as a boy or girl for those who need to be saved by them. Thirty-two transformations, explained in annotation 2.]


[Thousand hands and thousand eyes, subduing the demon army. Great compassion and great mercy, saving from suffering and difficulty, spiritually responsive Avalokitesvara. Lotus seat emits compassionate clouds, appearing everywhere with a golden body, willow branch water, sprinkling the mundane world, sweet dew nourishes all beings. Nourishing, nourish. Because in our Singapore... this Avalokitesvara Spiritual Response Song, in Taiwan, it has been around for twenty or thirty years, based on the song "Su Wu the Shepherd," just changed the lyrics, the tune is the same, the lyrics are changed. In Taiwan, many adults sing it very solemnly. Our version is provided by the Loud and Clear Company in Singapore, Loud and Clear Distribution Center, children sing it lively, cute, and lively. Adults sing it very solemnly, children sing it, very good, very lively, very solemn, the music is well matched, well matched. Because everyone likes different things, so see everyone's appreciation, I think the Singapore Children's Choir sings very well!]


[Morning chant Avalokitesvara, evening chant Avalokitesvara, every thought arises from the heart, never leaving the heart when chanting Buddha, forever free from the eight difficulties,] eight difficulties are disasters, eight places, if you are born in those places, you cannot hear the Dharma, it's called eight difficulties. There's no Dharma in those places, it's a kind of disaster, why? Can't be liberated! Those who hear the Dharma have a chance to be liberated, those who don't hear it, how can they have a chance? So, the scriptures say: the so-called eight difficulties are eight places, it's a disaster because there's no Dharma. [All disasters, suffering, and difficulties turn into dust.]


Okay, let's briefly explain:


[Fourteen Fearlessnesses: According to the "Shurangama Sutra" Volume Six: Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, with the uncontrived marvelous power of the Vajra Samadhi,] What is Vajra Samadhi? It actually refers to the unarisen and unceased Nirvana because Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva has fully realized the wonderful mind of Nirvana, called Vajra Samadhi, which is the self-nature at work. Uncontrived marvelous power, uncontrived means not using the conscious mind. It means Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva is a Tathagata, a past Buddha who has returned, a past Buddha who has returned, the Right Dharma Bright Tathagata returned. "Uncontrived" means it naturally manifests, uncontrived marvelous power, [with the

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same compassion as all Buddhas in the ten directions and three times, and all beings in the six realms, Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva bestows fourteen kinds of fearlessness upon suffering sentient beings.] Remember! Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva grants the merit of fearlessness to sentient beings. So, this fearless giving is very important.


In the past, when we went to see Master Chan Gong, after two or three years of studying Buddhism, I would guide some freshmen from Feng Chia University to meet Master Chan Gong and participate in the fasting and learning assembly at Lianyin Temple. One person, a freshman, upon entering, because the dining hall at Master Chan Gong's place had a statue of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva with "Fearless Giving" written above it, the freshman, a Taiwanese, entered and saw: Fearless Giving? He said: Hey! Yi Qian, what does this mean? Are you not afraid of people eating? Otherwise, why is it called Fearless Giving? Aren't you not afraid of giving, so it's called Fearless Giving? I said: No, no! Fearless Giving means Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva's compassion, not letting sentient beings feel fear, that's Fearless Giving. You know? Letting sentient beings' hearts be fearless, that's Fearless Giving, not being unafraid of giving. Wow! The difference is too big!


Next, the first, [bestowing fourteen kinds of fearlessness upon sentient beings, includes: 1. Not observing sound to observe observed.] Because Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva practiced the perfection of the ear-root. Not observing sound means not taking this sound... to observe observers, the first "observe" is the act of observing, "observed" are the objects of observation. Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva does not take this external sound and turn it into an observer and the observed, because the sound is a manifestation of the pure self-nature, without duality, the phenomenon of the sound is the manifestation of suchness. So, not observing sound to observe observeds, Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva does not take this external sound and turn it into an observer and the observed. Sentient beings are like this; when they hear a pleasant sound, their mind wanders off, an observer and the observed, and the mind wanders off, getting lost and confused. Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva knows that sound is illusory and ephemeral, an illusory manifestation of the reality, dependent origination is suchness. [Helping suffering sentient beings to attain liberation, this is fearlessness.]


[Knowing and seeing revolve back,] we usually call it establishing knowing upon seeing, revolving back is returning to the wonderful mind of Nirvana, revolving back is turning around and reflecting, turning back means revolving back. So, knowing and seeing revolve back, sentient beings have knowing and seeing, Buddha has no knowing, no seeing, that is, not establishing knowing and seeing, called knowing and seeing revolve back. Sentient beings' knowing and seeing run outward; Buddhas and Bodhisattvas' knowing and seeing all turn into nothingness. So, knowing and seeing revolve back, that is, not knowing and not seeing, that is, the wonderful mind of Nirvana. Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva has realized not knowing and not seeing, not establishing any knowing and seeing, has realized the Vajra Samadhi, can manifest uncontrived marvelous power. [Can make sentient beings, if caught in fire, not be burned by fire, this is fearlessness.] Dear attendees! Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, we must understand clearly, when you encounter a fire, if you are in the city, remember! First dial 119, call the fire department, then chant Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, this concept is very important, not just chanting Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva and forgetting to call the fire department, remember! Second, if you are in the wilderness. A farmer, he was burning straw in the wilderness, once he set the fire, it was uncontrollable, uncontrollably spreading to the next field, suddenly remembered what I said, to chant Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, started sincerely chanting Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva: Namo Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva... because it was about to burn to the next field, he would be beaten up by others, or fined, what to do? Other people's crops were fine, you're burning here, burning to the next one. Chanting... then others saw a lot of smoke, what to do? Others called 119 for him, asking the fire department to come, chanting... kept chanting: Namo Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva... chanting the "Great Compassion Mantra"; he even had greater power, also chanted the "Great Compassion Mantra", kept burning, kept chanting the "Great Compassion Mantra". Several fire trucks, wooi... came, just one chanting the "Great Compassion Mantra", it was extinguished! Water, not a drop of water sprayed, extinguished! Right? Unbelievable, so remember!

[3. Hearing, perfumed, pure, and clear, shining everywhere in the Dharmadhatu, sentient beings, although approached by Yakshas and other dark beings, the Bodhisattva's pure and clear light makes the Yakshas' eyes blinded by the light,] let me explain: hearing, perfumed, pure, and clear means practicing with the self-nature, practicing with the nature of hearing, practicing for a long time, everything becomes the self-nature. Remember! Practice with the unarisen and unceased pure mind, do not fall into the realm of consciousness, do not fall into language, do not fall into text. Perfumed hearing, pure hearing, means practicing the nature of hearing, becoming the pure self-nature, [the six roots return,] the six roots refer to the realm of consciousness, all these realms of consciousness turn into nothingness. [Equal to the Sravaka,] that is, equal to the sound-hearing, true suchness is the self-nature, true suchness is the six roots, true suchness is in the six dusts, no need to search, it is non-dual, the dust itself is born and ceases, the self-nature does not move. [Can make sentient beings who are to be harmed, the blade that strikes, section by section broken, this is fearlessness.]


[4. Ceasing delusional thoughts, the mind does not harm,] Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva has ceased delusional thoughts, naturally the mind will not harm sentient beings, we must learn from the Bodhisattva, not to harm sentient beings, [can make sentient beings entering the land of Rakshasa ghosts, the ghosts themselves cease evil, this is fearlessness.]


[Perfumed hearing, bright, illuminating the Dharmadhatu, sentient beings, although approached by dark beings with tridents, the Bodhisattva's brightness blinds their eyes,] they cannot see, blinded by the Bodhisattva's light, Yakshas can't see, can't harm sentient beings, [themselves unable to see, this is fearlessness.] So, remember! Chant Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, lay Buddhists, monastics, I advocate: chant ten thousand Amitabha Buddha, chant five thousand Namo Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, it's better to chant like this.

[6. Hearing, perfumed, returning,] What does hearing, perfumed mean? It's about practicing, hearing, this hearing nature, constantly practicing, turning into the pure self-nature, [can make all sentient beings who are to be harmed, not be touched, this is fearlessness.] Sentient beings who are bound, trapped, sincerely chant Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva. If your marriage is unhappy, very unhappy, your husband beats you every day, and you really hope to end a relationship, remember! Sincerely chant Namo Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva. Suppose, of course, the Bodhisattva doesn't advocate divorce, but the Bodhisattva will have arrangements, will have arrangements. Beaten every day, morning, afternoon, evening, and even called up for a midnight snack, really terrible, it's very troublesome!


[7. Ceasing dust, revolving light,] Ceasing external dust, returning to the bright pure self-nature, revolving back, turning back, realizing the pure self-nature. [Can make all sentient beings of lustful nature not generate desire, this is fearlessness.]


[8. Pure hearing without dust, the root and realm are harmonious,] Pure hearing, the sound is a manifestation of nature, the sound is a manifestation of the pure self-nature. Like when Shakyamuni Buddha preached, Shakyamuni Buddha was preaching, right? That sound, the sound is a manifestation of Shakyamuni Buddha's pure self-nature. Pure hearing without dust, root and realm harmonious, [can make all sentient beings with anger and hatred not generate anger, this is fearlessness.]


[9. Perfumed hearing, free from dust, color cannot harm,] Perfuming the pure self-nature, the pure self-nature, dust cannot stick to you. Color cannot harm, that is, female beauty will not harm your pure heart. [Can make all sentient beings with lustful nature not generate lust, this is fearlessness.]


[10. Pure sound, no dust, root and realm harmonious,] In the middle, a period, pure sound, no dust. A "." Root and realm harmonious.


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Pure sound, no dust, means the sound is a manifestation of the pure self-nature. Harmonizing the root and realm refers to the unity of the internal self-nature and the external phenomena. [Can make all those who harbor grudges not generate anger, this is fearlessness.]


[11. Dissolving dust and revolving light,] Dissolving external dust, returning to the light of pure self-nature, 'revolving' means turning back. Dissolving external dust, turning back to realize the light of pure self-nature. [Can make all dull and unvirtuous people stay away from ignorance, this is fearlessness.] So, those who often chant Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva will develop wisdom.


[12. Integrating form and returning to hearing,] 'Form' refers to the external, integrating external 'form', including color, sound, scent, taste, touch, and dharmas. Integrating the external form, returning to pure self-nature, 'hearing' refers to the nature of hearing. Although 'form' specifically refers to sound here, it actually means the six dusts. Integrating external six dusts, returning to pure self-nature. [With this fearlessness, giving to all childless beings,] those without children. [Those who wish for a son,] who want to have a son, [will be granted a son.]


[13. Six roots fully penetrating, illuminating without duality,] The six roots – eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, and mind – fully penetrate the pure self-nature. Non-duality refers to the non-duality of root and dust, nature and form, principle and phenomena, mind and environment. Non-duality is true suchness, all dharmas are such. The dust itself arises and ceases, the self-nature remains unmoved. [With this fearlessness, giving to all childless beings, those who wish for a daughter,] who want a daughter, [will be granted a daughter.]


[14. My one name is equal to the merits of sixty-two Ganges River sands names,] Why? Chanting my name, Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, has such great merit, equal to chanting the names of countless Bodhisattvas of sixty-two Ganges River sands. Of course, we just chant one, to save the trouble. Right? So, today we have to sing this "Namo Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva," one is to chant Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, the other is to praise, to praise Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva. So, when we sing later, we need to do it with feeling, with emotion. Isn't the song well written? [Those who seek blessings and chant my name will, compared to those who chant innumerable Bodhisattvas' names, gain equal and indistinguishable merits, this is fearlessness.]


The following section is relatively simple.


[2. Thirty-two Manifestations: From the "Shurangama Sutra," Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, in countless Ganges River sands eons ago, there was a Buddha named Avalokitesvara.] It refers to a time when Avalokitesvara had not yet become a Buddha, and there was another Avalokitesvara Buddha. Taught by that Buddha, who is Avalokitesvara Buddha, not the current Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva. The past Buddha who taught Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva is called Avalokitesvara Buddha. [Taught the practice of the Vajra Samadhi of illusory hearing,] What is 'illusory'? It means all phenomena are ungraspable. What is 'illusory'? To explain thoroughly, it means the body and mind, the world is ungraspable, all phenomena are dependent origination, so the body, mind, and world are all like illusions. We think they exist now, but actually, everything is illusory, nothing is substantial because they are impermanent moment by moment, seeking their substance, ultimately ungraspable, where does it come from? Where does it go? Where does it increase? Where does it decrease? Isn't it? Just like our lay Buddhist Chen, my classmate from Feng Chia University, during the 921 earthquake, he told his son and daughter: Come! Kneel before the Buddha quickly. Because the earthquake was shaking violently, shaking violently, the whole family chanted: Namo Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva... His youngest daughter didn't chant, he said: Chant! His little daughter, while others chanted: Namo Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva. She chanted: Where is Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva. Just one word difference, but a huge difference. A child doesn't understand.


Below, practicing the Vajra Samadhi of illusory hearing, this Vajra Samadhi is actually referring to the Buddha's Samadhi, the great Samadhi of the Shurangama, the Samadhi of our Buddha-nature. Great enlightenment, always in Samadhi, is called Vajra Samadhi. [Equally compassionate as the Buddha, relieving suffering and bringing joy, manifested in thirty-two forms, entering various realms, transforming all sentient beings.] Dear attendees, if you have a compassionate heart, if you distribute my VCDs, DVDs, Buddhist books, I tell you: you are also Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva. Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva with affairs, Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva with principles. The form of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva means: in the Pure Land, there is indeed a Pure Land, indeed there is an Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva saving the world. In terms of principle, all sentient beings' Buddha-nature is equal, our heart and the Bodhisattva's heart are equal, as long as you have a compassionate heart, you are a Bodhisattva. So, spread the Dharma, the right Dharma, and you are Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva. Below, entering various realms, transforming all sentient beings. [(Voice teaching practiced, hence called perfumed hearing; hearing and practicing, hence called hearing practice;] So, if you achieve the Vajra Samadhi, you will have the same compassion as the Buddha, you will be able to relieve suffering, bring joy, manifest in thirty-two forms, enter various realms, transform all sentient beings. So, the so-called voice teaching practiced, hence called perfumed hearing, hearing and practicing, called hearing practice. [Vajra has the ability to be strong and unyielding,] the toughest. [Symbolizing the power of the three flavors,] able to destroy all, not destroyed by anything, called Vajra. In Sanskrit, it's called Samadhi, [Chinese, it's called proper meditation). The so-called thirty-two manifestations are listed as follows:]


Manifesting as a Buddha's body for those who need to be saved by a Buddha, [1. Buddha Body Manifestation.] Manifesting as a Buddha's body to preach the Dharma.


Manifesting as a Pratyekabuddha, [2. Pratyekabuddha Manifestation... emerging in a world without a Buddha, self-realizing without a teacher, hence named Pratyekabuddha.]


[3. Pratyekabuddha Manifestation... refers to those who attained enlightenment by hearing the twelve links of dependent origination when the Buddha was in the world.]


[4. Sravaka Manifestation... refers to those who attained the four fruits by hearing the Four Noble Truths during the Buddha's time.]


[5. Brahma King Manifestation... the lord of the first meditative heaven in the form realm.]


[6. Indra Manifestation... the king of the Trayastrimsa Heaven.] Trayastrimsa, also known as the thirty-three heavens, because the realm of Indra is divided into thirty-two regions, hence also called the Trayastrimsa Heaven, not thirty-three layers of heaven. It's Indra's realm that's divided into thirty-two regions, called Trayastrimsa Heaven. There are innumerable Trayastrimsa Heavens, not just one, the concept needs to be corrected. Simply put: Indra, King of the Gods, has countless realms, not just one we're familiar with on Earth. Trayastrimsa Heaven has boundless, infinite realms, not just our Earth's version. [7. Isvara Heaven Manifestation... the fifth heaven in the desire realm.]


[8. Great Isvara Heaven Manifestation... the sixth heaven in the desire realm.] So, it's not just us humans who chant Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, this name of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva is very renowned, all beings, heavenly lords, all chant Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, not just us humans. [9. Heavenly General Manifestation... the great general of the Trayastrimsa Heaven.]


[10. Four Heavenly Kings Manifestation.] At the waist of Mount Sumeru, the Four Heavenly Kings. [11. Four Heavenly Kings' Sons Manifestation. 12. Human King Manifestation. 13. Elder Manifestation. 14. Lay Buddhist Manifestation. 15. Official Manifestation. 16. Brahmin Manifestation. 17. Bhiksu (monk) Manifestation. 18. Bhiksuni (nun) Manifestation. 19. Upasaka (male lay follower) Manifestation. 20. Upasika (female lay follower) Manifestation.] Upasaka, everyone knows: male lay follower; Upasika is a female lay


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follower, a female devotee.


[21. Female Master Manifestation.] Referring to all female beings.


[22. Young Boy Manifestation.]


[23. Young Girl Manifestation.] For younger individuals, young boys and girls.


[24. Heavenly Being Manifestation.] Referring to the heavenly realms, part of the celestial assembly.


[25. Dragon Manifestation.]


[26. Yaksha Manifestation... This term is Sanskrit: also known as Yasha, in Chinese it means 'fierce and vigorous'.] Representing vigorous and fast-moving beings.


[27. Gandharva Manifestation... In Chinese, this refers to 'fragrant spirits,' also known as the music gods of Indra.] They do not eat food; they are satiated by smelling fragrances, hence called 'fragrant spirits'. You light incense, and Gandharvas are present. Indra's music gods, unfortunately, we can't hear the music they play, they play music to serve the Buddha. So, I have always hoped to integrate Buddhist music into the Dharma, so today singing the "Avalokitesvara Spiritual Response Song" is just like that.


[28. Asura Manifestation.] Asura, not Arhat, be clear. A lay Buddhist once misunderstood Asura; he wrote a letter saying he often gets angry, "I am truly an Arhat!" I crossed it out, an Arhat would never get angry, you're not an Arhat, you're a true Asura. Isn't it?


[29. Kinnara Manifestation... In Chinese, this means 'doubtful spirits,' also known as 'neither human nor non-human.' Because they have horns on their heads, resembling humans but not humans.]


[30. Mahoraga Manifestation... In Chinese, this means 'great snake-like creature,'] with a large belly and a small head, moving with its belly, called 'great snake-like creature.' On the left side is a 'worm,' some people have a 'moon,' great belly movement. Snakes don't have hands, legs, or feet, right? They move their entire body like this... [referring to a large python.]


[31. Human Manifestation.]


[32. Non-human Manifestation... Non-human refers to ghosts, animals, and the like.]


[3. Eight Difficulties: Referring to the eight hindrances of not encountering the Buddha,] not meeting the Buddha, [not hearing the correct Dharma. Dear attendees! Those who have not heard the Dharma in this life are very unfortunate. I repeat: those who have not heard the correct Dharma in this life are a great misfortune, not just an ordinary misfortune. They don't know what life is, nor how to arrange their lives, only knowing to eat, drink, play, and enjoy daily. Right? Like today's news report in Taiwan: the 'bird man,' making a lot of big tools to become a bird, wearing them, and then running... falling into the water. You've seen it on TV: falling into the water, then making a car, a bird, a butterfly, messing around, just falling into the water, seeing who can fly a bit farther, doing this every day. Making that pizza, so many trucks making a pizza; making sausage, that huge sausage, what's the point? What's the point of all this? After all that, isn't it just cut up and eaten, then excreted? Why bother so much? Why do people live so boringly? So much time? Why not sincerely chant Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva? I tell you: sentient beings who don't understand the Dharma will do this, they have to do something to pass the time! Below, we are born in eight places, which is very troublesome!


[1. Hell Difficulty.] This is pronounced as 'difficulty' (nàn), not 'difficulty' (nán), it should be pronounced as 'Hell Difficulty' (nàn), the eight difficulties (nàn). In hell, hell is constantly suffering, how can you listen to the Dharma? Right? You can't listen to the Dharma.


[2. Hungry Ghost Difficulty.]


[3. Animal Difficulty.] If you are reborn in the three evil paths, it's over! You can't listen to the Dharma in hell; hungry ghosts are constantly in pain, animals, big animals have to eat small animals, you simply have no time, talking about the Dharma, you don't understand.


[4. Longevity Heaven Difficulty.] So, I tell you: never be reborn as a celestial being. If you are reborn as a celestial being, you should not be happy, but cry, you will cry miserably. What is 'Longevity Heaven Difficulty'? It means your lifespan is very long, for a very, very long time, you want to die but can't, you can't die. Speaking in Taiwanese: How come I live so long and still haven't died? I want to die quickly, be reborn and become a human, diligently study Buddhism, become a Buddha, go to the Pure Land; but no way! Suddenly you are born in the Longevity Heaven, you are in big trouble, wanting to die but you can't, going through thousands of eons, dying and then reincarnating as a human, reincarnating as a human, the Buddha is already gone, no one preaches the Dharma.


[5. Barbarian Borderland Difficulty... Barbarian Borderland translates to 'superior place,'] If you are not born in a superior place, [where people live in a blessed environment,] Economic, cultural, with the Dharma. A mainlander wrote a letter after hearing the Dharma, very thankful to me, but he misunderstood the Buddhist term, he wrote: Oh! It's hard to be born in China. Meaning: I was born in China, so lucky, and heard the Dharma. It means: being born in other countries, nothing great, America is also good to be born in, Europe is also good to be born in, but it's hard to be born in China. Wrote a letter, I corrected him with a cross, "China" (Middle Kingdom) doesn't mean that, China (Middle Kingdom)  refers to the center of culture, economy, Dharma, not the China of mainland China, Buddhist terms are not for your own interpretation. The so-called hard to be born in China means the center of culture, economy, the center of the right Dharma, hard to be born, hard to encounter. Below, in the Barbarian Borderland Difficulty: Barbarian Borderland translates to 'superior place,' those born here, their lifespan is a thousand years, life without untimely death, [attached to pleasures and unwilling to be taught, hence the sages do not appear among them,] Europe, America, where the material conditions are good, there is no Dharma, Europe, America are like this, too indulgent! [Not seeing the Buddha, not hearing the Dharma.]


[6. Blindness, Deafness, Muteness Difficulty.] For example: blind, can't see, ears deaf, mute, these are difficulties, can't see, can't hear, some are both deaf and mute, then it's very difficult to learn, unlike all of you here, right? Can listen to the Dharma, can see the Buddha's statue.


[7. Worldly Intelligence, Eloquence Difficulty.] Written above are three words: Cognitive Obstructions. It refers to worldly people who think highly of themselves, these politicians, scholars, who think they are great, no one can disagree with them. Cognitive Obstructions, the knowledge they know becomes an obstacle to Bodhi. Once again: the so-called cognitive obstructions, the knowledge of consciousness, various languages, texts, concepts, some articles are well written, some are good at speaking, some have good writings, these are worldly dharmas, and these worldly dharmas, thinking highly of themselves, the knowledge they know becomes an obstacle to the mind of Bodhi, thinking they are capable. So, the Dharma is not about academic qualifications, the Dharma is not about text, enlightenment brings liberation. The Dharma is not related to academic qualifications, the Dharma is not related to text, the Dharma is not related to these languages.


[8. Born before or after the Buddha Difficulty.] Born before the Buddha. [After the Buddha Difficulty.] Before the Buddha, born before the Buddha's appearance, didn't encounter the Buddha; after the Buddha, after the Buddha's nirvana, we today are the eighth difficulty of the Eight Difficulties: after the Buddha. But today, our greatest fortune, another Hui Lu Master appeared, not bad. (Applause from the audience) Thank you! It's necessary to encourage me a bit, thank you!


Now we take a fifteen-minute break, need to go to the bathroom, wash hands, use the restroom, then, we'll sing twice. Being a Buddhist disciple, you can't run away, if you run away, I'll call Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva not to bless you, try it. Alright, everyone, rest for fifteen minutes, then we come to sing the "Avalokitesvara Spiritual Response Song." It's raining so heavily! Telling you can't leave, means you can't leave, the Bodhisattva immediately shows a response for you to see. This song takes 13 minutes to sing, tomorrow is Sunday, a holiday! No need to hurry! Don't keep looking at your watch, it's not easy for me to get healthy, for me to be able to give a talk, right? It's not easy for everyone to gather together, to sing a song, it's precious! Don't be in such a hurry, right?


Everyone sings once for 13 minutes


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for 13 minutes, the second time we sing, we'll stand up to show our devotion. The first time we sing, sit down; the second time, stand up, because it's only 13 minutes each time. Singing the "Avalokitesvara Spiritual Response Song," we should learn the spirit of the Bodhisattva, not be like worldly people with all kinds of calculations, disputes, ego-clinging, and views. We should learn from Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, serve sentient beings with the spirit of the Bodhisattva, work for the monastery without any complaints or grumbling, do our utmost, gain merits, cultivate our minds and natures, and learn the spirit of the Bodhisattva.


Alright! Please join palms, play the music. "Avalokitesvara Spiritual Response Song."


Dear attendees! Please stand up to show our devotion to the Bodhisattva. Next, let's sing with all our might from the diaphragm for the remaining 13 minutes. While praising Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, chanting the holy name of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, and learning at the same time, remember to transform. Alright! Play the music. Join palms, stand up. When standing, join palms.


Dedication of merit, follow me in chanting: May the merits from chanting Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, praising Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, and reciting the "Avalokitesvara Spiritual Response Song," dispel disasters for all attendees, volunteers, and compassionate Bodhisattvas here.


Report the fourfold gratitude, relieve suffering in the three paths. If there are those who see or hear this, may they all generate the mind of Bodhicitta. Use up this retribution body, be born together in the Land of Ultimate Bliss.


May we be born in the Pure Land of the West, with lotus flowers as our parents. Upon the flower's opening, see the Buddha and understand non-birth, never regressing, accompanied by Bodhisattvas.


Prostrate to the Buddha once, twice, three times.


It's 10:30 now, I've delayed everyone a bit, may everyone dispel disasters and difficulties, always think of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva. May everyone have no obstacles at the end of life, be reborn in the Pure Land. I wish everyone well, thank you. Amitabha! Amitabha!




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https://luthar.com/2003/08/15/how-kwan-yin-came-to-my-wifes-assistance-by-greg-goode-phd/

How Kwan Yin Came To My Wife’s Assistance: By Greg Goode, Ph.D.

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May is my wife — beautiful, kind, humorous, intelligent and wise, graced with a strong and generous character. She’s from Jiangsu, China, and not yet a permanent resident in the U.S. We were married in July.

They took her away in August.

When the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization (INS) comes to incarcerate you, they don’t tell you where you’re going or how long you’ll be there. Being married to a U.S. citizen isn’t enough to keep you out of their clutches. They often don’t let you call a lawyer or family member.

For some reason they did call me after coming to our home and removing her. I was at work. They merely stated that May’s visa had expired, that she was going down to the local office and should be home that evening. But she was sent to the Hudson County Correctional Facility (New Jersey), with INS detainees on the 4th Floor and the felons on the 5th.

Some of her co-detainees had been behind bars for over 18 months and many were shipped directly back to their home countries.

Since the INS doesn’t tell you how long you’ll be there or when your next hearing is, you just wait. And wait. May did have lots of free time, and between bouts of worrying about me and her teenage son, she was able to make collect phone calls (at $5 per minute).

During that month I ran up close to $1000 in phone charges!

May was gone one month. Getting her out before she was deported to China was a combination of persistence, good friends, sound advice, compassionate employers (both May’s employer, and mine), an honest, hard-working lawyer, several hearings with an INS judge, lots of cash – all this and Kwan Yin!

Yes, Kwan Yin, the Buddhist Bodhisattva of Compassion, “She Who Hears the Cries of Sentient Beings.” For the first two weeks, May just worried and lost weight. But at the end of the second week, a new INS arrival brought in some Chinese Buddhist materials.

May took a look at the teachings and prayers, and saw a chant to Kwan Yin. It was a 36-line chant, invoking the name and blessings of Kwan Yin and other Bodhisattvas. The chant was accompanied by a printed form with 1000 checkboxes, to tick off each time you complete the chant. Although May was not a practicing Buddhist at the time, Buddhism had been in the air when she was growing up near Shanghai. So she felt the resonance and took up the chant.

After she’d chanted and ticked off all the checkboxes but didn’t have a photocopier, she just kept on going without the printed form. She began to chant 10, 14, 16, 18 hours each day. When they were let into the yard for their daily exercise and sunlight, she would chant outside.

Not having incense, she would roll napkins into joss sticks and burn them, seated cross-legged in the yard. She chanted more and more and more, until she was chanting virtually the entire time she wasn’t eating or putting in rack time. Several other Chinese ladies began to chant along with her. And for two weeks, there could be heard the soft melodic Chinese chanting of KWAN-YIN-PU-SA (Kwan Yin Bodhisattva). When May was released, her colleagues carried on with the chant. If it worked for her, it could work for them too!

When May returned home, she looked focused, calm, and glad to be out! She said that Kwan Yin had showered blessings upon her and her family.

She said that the chanting had kept her sane and prevented the worry she had felt the first two weeks. Now she continues the chanting and devotions to Kwan Yin. In addition to offerings at our home altar, May goes to the Buddhist temple next door to her work. Each day, she goes to say Thank You, to do an incense offering, and to pray for her family.

I can feel the umbrella of blessings from her practice, and wish the blessings upon all.

May all sentient beings be free of pain and suffering!

Greg GoodeGreg Goode works at a law firm, studied psychology and philosophy at the University of California, University of Cologne (Germany), and University of Rochester. A student of deep inquiry for decades until his search came to a peaceful and blissful conclusion, Greg has written about consciousness, culture, nondualism, psychology, yoga, meditation, Buddhism, and Advaita Vedanta. He is a contributor to the HarshaSatsangh, Nonduality Salon, MahaMudra and Dharma-Direct internet lists, as well as a co-moderator of the Advaitin list. He teaches Advaita and Madhyamika philosophy in New York City, and has a set of web pages on the Nonduality.com website called Presence.


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Also, do watch this youtube video! 



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