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慈悲行願 Compassionate Vows and Practices
1. 為善為惡在一念間，修福修慧于方寸中[g1] 。
To do good or evil hinges on one thought, to cultivate merits and wisdom start within the heart.
A spark of fire can burn down a forest; a small good wish can save the world.
Since heaven and earth have the grand virtue of nurturing all things, how can I not have the great vow of compassion and loving-kindness?
To deliver all sentient beings from sufferings is picking up, without attachment to such deliverance is letting go.
The secular dust filling up the sky shall not defile my heart; supported by a bamboo cane, I can traverse in[g2] this secular world of thistles and thorns.
Compassion should transform like the spring shower and breeze, wisdom should enlighten like the omnipresent sunlight[g3] .
Loving-kindness delivers us from sufferings, compassion grants us joy, the fire of wisdom extinguishes transgressions, and the diamond-like prajna[g4] wisdom severs delusions.
Attain great wisdom, make great vows, immeasurable merits and infinite lifespan[g5] .
If we can see the hidden[g6] Tathagata within our mind, the three realms, like an inferno, will transform into the red lotus pure land.
“Without attachment rises the (Bodhi) heart[g7] ” is the gate to compassion and loving-kindness.
In the mind’s pursuit of the Path (to Enlightenment) rests the charitable act of making all sentient beings fearless[g8] .
Let go of all concerns, shoulder all sentient beings[g9] .
Still[g10] one’s body, mind, and spirit, stabilize one’s family and career.
When the old pine tree on the south mountain is withering, the North Star is still young.
In the deep lake and great waters the supernatural dragon hides, on the steep cliffs and precipitous caves the ferocious tiger crouches.
There is nothing to Buddhism except one thing--to liberate all sentient beings through benefitting the self and others.
To have inner-peace, constantly chant the name of Guan Yin Bodhisattva; a peaceful mind leads to a peaceful life.
To cultivate through the pilgrimage practice can make your vows, prayers for blessings and wishes to eliminate misfortunes come true: listen to your chanting with a sincere heart, march forward by one genuflecting after walking every three steps; your body and mind will feel exhilarated with good responses (from the Triple Jewels), karma and obstructions vanquished, merits and wisdom increased.
19. 一钵乞食千家飯，孤僧杖竹萬里遊；隨緣應化莫擁有[g11] ，緣畢放身撒兩手。
One bowl with alms from one thousand families, a lone monk traveling ten-thousand miles with a bamboo cane; flow with the causal conditions and accept all offerings without ownership; when all the causal conditions extinguish, release the body and withdraw both hands.
Letting go is not quitting[g12] , it is to break the bondage, to take on new challenges/responsibilities; only after letting go can one pick up, a person who can let go and pick up smoothly (with savoir-faire) is free (at ease).
人間智慧 Secular Wisdom
Face everything with positive interpretation and reverse thinking (consider all angles); set the right goal[g13] and never give-up in order to accomplish something.
When hanging cliffs or steep ridges are on the road, walk past them; when fortuitously dropped in secular paradise, never linger.
Power and wealth belong to the public to be shared by all, the joy and sorrow brought by personal merit and misfortune belong to individual karma.
The lure of fame, fortune, and power shall not move[g14] the heart. Trapped in a troop of one thousand soldiers and ten thousand cavalries, the mind is without fear.
The heaven is not at fault, the earth is not at fault, it is the mind that is at fault. He has his reasons, you have your reasons, I am without any excuse.
Don’t complain about the meagerness of pious children or sagacious grandchildren, but ask how to teach and nurture children.
The bounds of knowledge hinges on research, the expansiveness of experiences depends on implementation.
The dark lonely nights, if dreamless, makes the springtime short; the immense sea of bitterness, with a boat, makes the shore near.
Relying on the of Prajna pestle, all obstructions can be crushed, moving the axe[g15] of merits, secular paradise can be constructed.
Steer the Prajna boat to help all sentient beings to cross the sea of sufferings, climb the nirvana mountain with a heart unperturbed.
The mountain and river are still there, but the sceneries alongside have changed; the sun and moon are still orbiting, however, everything underneath is already history.
Paradise in heaven[g16] or sufferings on earth, all are created from our mind and for us to experience individually and alone.
The verdant mountains and azure waters are the magnificent tongue (speech) of the Buddha, the singing birds and fragrant flowers all speak the profundity of Dharma.
Education should be a grand enterprise that lasts for thousands of years to come; the sages should be paradigms for hundreds of generations to follow.
35. 水深千丈終見底，山高萬里海中昇[g17] 。
The bottom of the sea, even with a depth of a thousand kilometers, can still be reached, mountains, as high as ten-thousand feet, rises above the sea.
Everyday is a good day in the monastery, every step of cultivation is like walking on the fragrant grass.
Originally, there is no purity or impurity in the world, their ascension is caused by the differentiating mind.
The sun rising in the East is approaching dusk, the sun setting in the West will be seen tomorrow.
The audience, mesmerized by the show, forgot it is a show, the dreamer, deep in the dream, forgot it is a dream.
40. 雨露霜雪本無主，風雲雷電應時現[g18] 。
Rain, dew, frost, and snow have no masters; wind, cloud, thunder, and lightning respond seasonally, timely???
Turn a disaster into an opportunity; find a way through the dead-end.
Paradise or hell is created in the mind, to become a buddha or a patriarch is not outside the mind, either.
Awakened to one’s attachment is near an epiphany, knowing one’s delusions without repentance[g19] is doubling the mistakes.
Everyone can say “life is like a dream,” but why not awaken from a lifetime of dreaming?
We can busily plan everything[g20] our whole life, or we can let go of everything and have a future full of glory.
Digging a well when dying of thirst is too late to quench the need; but the study of Buddhism in desperation can provide immediate solutions.
Don’t worry when faced with life’s vissistudes; rather, be happy because of the ability to have no concerns.
The practice of Chan is the cultivation of the mind, all phenomena manifest or de-manifest from the mind.
Who awakens first from the long dream, distance[g21] from illusions and delusions.
There are always higher mountains, longer rivers, and men above other men.
Walking is a good exercise to make the body healthier as well as training the mind; a brisk walk dispels false emotions/thoughts, and a slow walk awakes the (innate) wisdom and stills the mind.
The Moon is forever bright, whether waning, waxing, clear, dim, or totally blocked by a raining windy night.
In the secular stage: body like an evergreen tree facing the wind, mind like a placid lake reflecting the autumn moon.
In the cultivation stage: body like the Bodhi tree, mind like a clean mirror with a mounting.
The enlightened stage: Bodhi is without any tree; clear mirror is not the mounting.
Phenomena, no phenomenon, with or without phenomenon, true emptiness, illusory emptiness, true and illusory emptiness.
Make friends with those who are straightforward, tolerant, and erudite; have faith in the Buddha not the supernatural powers and deities; learn Buddhism but avoid a myriad of practices from different sects; respect the Shanga without the idolatry of any individual monks.
感恩培福The Cultivation of Gratitude and Merits
Merits, whether more or less, should be cultivated; the kindness of others, know them, remember them, and must repay them.
A compassionate heart dissolves animosity, the sagacious mind dispels afflictions.
With a reverent heart uphold the Triple Jewels; with a pure mind propagate the Dharma to benefit all sentient beings.
Experience life gratefully, actualize life zealously.
Remorse enriches merits, repentance annihilates transgressions.
Drink the water without forgetting its source, the spring will never dry out; be grateful and repay other’s kindness, such kindness will never end.
The relentless mind can overcome adversity easily; a visionary mind can accomplish great things.
Your heart and my heart are one with[g22] the Buddha’s heart. Recognizing and appreciating our blessings, we should cultivate more blessings.
Repay the kindness of a sip of water with a fountain of water; repay the kindness of a bowl of rice with a lifetime.
Dig well, drink the water, and provide water to every one; receive kindness, thank the kindness, and repay the kindness by being kind.
Untie the knot of love and hatred; learn to have a mind that is compassionate, loving, joyful, and detached.
The loving-kindness of our parents is heavier than the merits of heaven and earth, the virtues of the Triple Jewels are more than the grains of sands along the Ganges River.
Recognizing and repaying other’s kindness is like drinking the water and remembering the source, the tangles of love and hatred will cause mutual harm.
A grateful mind is a blessing for a lifetime, a vindictive mind is an evil obstruction for countless lifetimes.
Without the skill to use fortunes to benefit the world is like a vainglorious person all dressed up but walking around alone in the dark.
73. 布施是經營財富的價值[g23] ，種福乃過手財富的原因。
The value of enterprises is in philanthropic work, the reason for the transient possession of fortunes is to cultivate merits.
A family fortune that can last for more than a hundred years is due to the accumulation of merits; a fortune or nobility (social status) that cannot last for more than three generations is due to selfishness.
Be ready to serve others at any time will result in a lifetime of happiness; it will be too late to regret if one fails to create good karmic conditions when able.
Plant the crops seasonally, pull weeds and fertilize the land, be grateful at harvest time, and pray for more good years to come.
The four wonderful things as a lifetime pursuit are: (1) to seek merits, first cultivate, nurture, and appreciate merits; (2) to seek fortunes, widely create good karmic conditions first; (3) to seek longevity, maintain health first; and (4) to seek joy, smile at people first.
To introspect oneself with shame and regret; constantly have a sense of insufficiency in one’s efforts in self-actualization and benefiting others, and the lack of contribution.
Contemplate one’s behavior with a sense of remorse and shame. Without introspection and the scrutiny of right and wrong, one is constantly in danger of going astray.
See everything in the world with gratitude. A[g24] person, contributing to the world without a grateful mind in order to repay others’ kindnesses, will dry out his resources.
Maintain a relationship over a lifetime[g25] with mutual respect and gratitude, learn from each other’s strength, forgive each other’s shortcomings, love, care, and support each other.
積德修福 Accumulate Merits, Cultivate Virtues
Sincerity invokes response, vigilance accomplishes everything.
Rather be ordinary and diligent than smart but dilatory.
Disciplining oneself strictly will not make one lacking; treating everyone with leniency will bring great benefits.
Aiming to be rich while poor, one should be frugal and diligent; amidst chaos and wishing to be safe, one should keep a still mind[g26] .
Delight in the refreshing vegetarian meals and the warmth of cotton clothing, diligence, health, and frugality will enrich one’s[g27] life.
It may be romantic to enjoy life while one can, but cultivating merits wherever possible is accumulating the true blessings of virtue.
There is always someone more capable, just do one’s best without envy.
Truth is hard to swallow, just as the best medicine tastes bitter.
Pray for timely rain in drought; vow to be the person who brings shelter to people suffering in the bitter cold of winter.
The phoenix, a symbol of royalty[g28] , loves to perch on the house of the rich and noble; the white crane, a symbol of longevity, loves to alight the home of the fortunate and the elderly.
Keep the mind without any thought of lost or gain; always be the person free from any concerns in this secular world.
Be the sage with both talents and virtue, don’t be the black sheep (rogue) with talents but no morals.
It is no longer a shame if one rectifies the mistake immediately once known; when the butcher puts down his knife, simultaneously, he is enlightened.
Be warned riches and nobilities cannot last for more than three generations; be careful of power as it makes one corrupt.
Historically, generals and prime ministers came from poor families; sacrifice oneself for the equality of all to bring world peace.
Less attachment to the right or wrong of mine and others, more words and actions that help others succeed.
If one wishes to keep riches and social status forever, it is crucial to cultivate merits. Riches and social status usually comes from the accumulation of merits.
Constantly chant the name of Guan Yin Bodhisattva will result in the benefits of immeasurable and boundless merits and virtues.
Eat often from the bowl of modesty, reverence, mercifulness, tolerance, and forbearance, drink more from the soup of honesty, sincerity, courtesy, diligence, and frugality.
Become rich overnight is transient fortune, become famous overnight is ephemeral fame. Transient fortune that comes suddenly is hard to keep; ephemeral fame is flitting and troublesome.
It is normal that soul mates are hard to find, don’t be unsociable because of loneliness; less worries and afflictions result in long-lasting blessings, the more considerations and calculations, the more obstructions and obstacles.
A sensitive and defensive person easily encounters the devil; those who know themselves and others will have benefactors (in time of need); be charitable whether rich or poor, noble or lowly; benefit oneself, others, and all sentient beings.
Aspire to “achieve[g31] ” four things in life: born at the right place, be blessed at old age, recover always from illness, and die at the right time. All blessings are in those four things.
The rich and noble families may last for more than three generations, the sages do not always come from poor families; the rich and noble should accumulate virtues, the poor should be diligent.
Do good deeds unconditionally.
Treasure life, cheer yourself up!
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