How I studied the Four Noble Truths
These are some of the practices of Myo-Yin's friends in their practice of the Four Teachings of the Buddha, and they are well worth learning from. In the world, it is not enough to understand, but it is crucial to practice and implement.
--------- Zhuge Changqing
I feel that the article was not well written and wasted everyone's precious time. After being pointed out by my fellow Taoists, I found that in fact, the practice of the Four Noble Sermons does not lie in how to struggle psychologically, but in how to put the Four Noble Sermons into concrete practice in life. This is the most important and central question. What is more questionable is how to do good deeds, how to make vows and how to maintain a state of mind when the fruits are not yet present. I am not actually a practitioner, but in order to discuss this with you, I have written down some of my practices over the past 10 years in the form of a running account for your guidance and reference. Please forgive me for any inappropriate points.
I. My first contact with the Four Noble Sermons.
It was in the spring of 1994, on a stormy night, that I came into contact with the Four Sermons. I was studying in the senior section of a major provincial high school at the time. I had been having frequent headaches for half a year, that is, I had hardly attended classes for the whole of my senior year. Before that, I had been 20th in my year in reading for the whole of my senior year and for the first half of my sophomore year. Because of the lack of classes, my grades were swinging at 160th in my year. It was a chance for me, a rural kid, to turn my life around, and a big turning point in my life. But my grades were not good enough, my health was not good enough, and I could not find anyone around me who could help me, including my own family, so I was desperate. My fragile mind could not withstand the hardship and the impact of the idea that I was not willing to be left behind, and I was often in tears. What to do? I was living in a women's temple, making a show of going to classes with people during the day and staying at the temple at night to read the sutras and get close to the Venerable Master.
In the spring of 1994, on a drizzly night, I returned to the temple from school, walked into the monks' dormitory and saw my master washing his face, I used to greet him, while he was washing his face, he turned to me and asked "x x, do you want to change your destiny?" I said, "Of course I do. I wondered why the master asked me such a question, did she have a trick to get me out of my predicament as quickly as possible to face the entrance exams and the difficulties of life. After a while, Master brought a cassette tape of Venerable Jingkong's narration of the Four Teachings of the Buddha (i.e. the method of cultivating blessings and building up one's life). I listened to two tapes that night, and my heart felt as if I already had a good understanding of the transformation of my destiny. Tomorrow I took time off work to listen to it at the temple, and after I had probably heard the study of establishing one's destiny and the study of reforming one's past, I stopped listening to it, and I felt then that I could transform my destiny (perhaps this book had a destiny with me). After that, I almost stopped going to classes because I felt after listening that I needed to cultivate my blessings. I kept thinking that at this point I would definitely not be able to catch up with my studies any more, and besides, I had a constant headache and it was still a question whether I would be able to pass the entrance exams, so I decided to hurry up and cultivate my blessings and accumulate the blessing sustenance in the shortest possible time. But at this point, for practising good deeds, financial giving was simply not possible for me, a high school student who sometimes had difficulty even paying for food. The only thing I could do was physical and fearless giving. Here are some of the things I have done during this period of less than six months to give physical and fearless alms and to keep a clear mind.
1. In terms of mindfulness, I knew that time was short and it would be difficult to achieve my wishes without using extraordinary practices. Therefore, I am very devout in doing good deeds or chanting sutras, and I even have to torture myself with very harsh practices to quiet my mind and try to get closer to the "one mind calling the name" spoken of in the Puranas, and to the standard of a good man and woman. In fact, this is also in line with the Four Sutras of the Buddha, which says, "All prayers to heaven must be made from a sense of thoughtlessness", but at that time I had not yet experienced the meaning of this phrase. For example, when I asked someone for directions, I would first bow with my palms together, and after asking for directions, I would bow with my palms together to thank them. This shows that I was in a more respectful and calm state of mind.
2. At that time, the temple was engaged in infrastructural work, and I thought that I could study less because I already had a certain foundation, but I had to cultivate my blessings, for without them I would not be able to pass the entrance examinations and get into a satisfactory university. So I often skipped classes, and during the day at the temple I helped dig stones, pick water, wash toilets, plant farm work and wash floors. At that time, I felt that I was using my physical strength to do more work for the temple to make up for the fact that I was eating and using the temple's food, and if there was anything left over, it was a kind of charity, so I worked very hard and did all the dirty, hard work.
3. In my life, I was a vegetarian for 49 days. It was difficult to be a vegetarian at school, but I persevered despite the difficulties because a great master said that vegetarianism was good for making the brain smart, and I felt that I had to be a vegetarian to improve my grades.
4. I took the eight precepts of fasting. It was difficult to be a vegetarian at school, but it was even more difficult to observe the Eight Noble Truths, especially when it was so difficult for a growing body and a student who was studying. But at that time, I always thought that time was short, so I had to start with the hardest part, and I heard that if I kept the Eight-Pass Fast for one day, I could eat and wear for six billion lifetimes without worrying. That's why I insist on observing the eight precepts on the ten days of fasting. I used the time when I woke up in the morning or during recess to run to a temple not far from the school to recite the precepts. And I was thinking, I won't get a hundred points, so I'll just ask for 60 points for holding the precepts, just a passing grade (this is what the Master told me).
5. Strive to do good deeds. At that time, I thought, "All sentient beings are bodhisattvas, but I am the only one who is a mortal", so I spoke very peacefully and stopped attacking people with my words. When I encountered good deeds, I tried to do them. For example, when the weather was hot, I made tea for everyone to drink. When I saw people in difficulty, I took the initiative to help them. I was most impressed by the fact that I was scared when I saw urine and faeces. But when I saw the old man with mobility problems who had a jug of urine to pour in the toilet, I went over to him, bowed and asked him, "Old man, let me help you pour it". Although the good deed was not done, my heart was pure at the time and I was so happy that I somehow felt I had made progress. When I saw a leaky tap at school, I would go and turn it off for him (don't look at this small thing, but I saved the public a lot of money on the water bill, which was a great financial gift for me as I had no money to give). When someone didn't flush after defecating in the school's public bathroom, I would carry water to flush, sometimes covering my nose. Before the college entrance exam, a female student at my desk was usually a good reader, but she was so nervous that she didn't know how to sharpen her pencil that day, so I took the initiative to help her sharpen her pencil. 。。。。。。 In school, although there are not many opportunities to do good deeds, but when there are, I do them, do not look at the school is small, a day, there are always a few good deeds into the account, the mind also become very calm because of doing good deeds.
6. Respectful chanting of scriptures. This is something I am proud of, and something that many Buddhist students cannot do, and also something I am now always trying to learn. Many fellow students say they have chanted the sutras, but it may be difficult for me to chant like this, and if I could do it, I am sure induction would be quick. In fact I can't do it now. In chanting the sutras, I highlight one key point, "respect", a state of mind, which is to let Guanyin know me as soon as possible (the teachings of Supreme Master Xuan Hua). So I went to a temple near my school every afternoon to recite the three Puranas, three Heart Sutras and seven Great Compassion Mantras. The content is not much, but the form is done very seriously. Before chanting, I have to take a bath and change into clean clothes. On the way to the temple, I did not touch any part of my body with my hands and had to wash my hands as soon as I did. It was very hot and I was afraid to use the fans in the temple, and I was chanting with my palms together on my knees. I was sweating all over my body, and after half an hour of chanting, I was soaked to the skin, and my trousers and blouse were all wet. During the chanting, I could not wipe the sweat away with my hands, because if I did, I would be disrespectful, and I dared not touch the sutras unless I washed my hands, but it was impossible for me to stop in the middle. When the sweat runs into my eyes, it is very uncomfortable, and I dare not move, I can only squint and bear the soreness of the sweat in my eyes; when it runs down my neck, the sweat becomes cold, and it is very itchy, so I have to bear the itchiness; when the sweat runs down my body and sticks to my clothes, it is very sticky and uncomfortable, so I have to bear the stickiness. If you kneel for half an hour, your knees will hurt and you will have to endure the pain. Every time I recited a sutra, I had to start all over again if I got just one word wrong, and sometimes I had to start all over again if I got one word wrong at the end of a sutra. Sometimes I have to recite the three Puranas five or six times because of a wrong word in the middle. Because I think we cannot cheat the Buddha and Bodhisattva, who are so compassionate, we cannot be sloppy in reciting the sutras in order to be worthy of him. When I finished reciting the sutra, I didn't dare to say it back to myself, but I recited it according to the verse in the sutra, and then asked the Buddha and Bodhisattva to bless me to get into XX school. During the whole lesson, I chanted with my hands on my knees, and to show my sincerity and my fear of getting dirty, I did not use a worship mat and worshipped directly on the floor. Since the monastery was next to the school, I was a bit worried that my classmates would see me, but I thought, "If you see me, you see me, and it's important to seek blessings, so I didn't care.
(Note: You should read this paragraph carefully, you will be inspired by it. Example 1: In the spring of '94, I met a person at the temple who said she was probably almost disabled from a traffic accident or work injury and could not move her feet, as if the doctor had ruled that she would be disabled. She didn't seem to know much about Buddhist theory either, but with her inexplicable faith in the Buddha and Bodhisattva, she was not working, helping out at the temple, chanting around the Buddha with the monk master, etc. She said how sincere she was in what she was doing, and from the tone of the conversation, I could sense her sincerity in worshipping the Buddha. As a result, when I met her, her foot was almost completely healed and no sign of a limp could be seen. Example 2: I am now unable to chant as sincerely as I would like, especially in the summer when the Buddha Hall is not air-conditioned and I often use the heat as an excuse for not chanting, but the Master told me a true story. There was a man who was suffering from an incurable disease, a dying man, so to speak. He went to the old Venerable Miaozhan at Nanputuo for enlightenment, and the old Venerable told him to recite the Pu-Men-Pin. He went home and chanted the sutra with almost the same respectful heart as I did. As a result, after a year or two, the incurable disease was inexplicably cured. (You must think about these three examples and how to recite the sutras in order to truly benefit from them.)
7. Pilgrimage to the mountain. This means worshipping mountains. Although there are many people who also worship mountains, I worshipped mountains at a time when I was not afraid of being seen, and sometimes felt that the more people saw the better, so that people could see that worshipping the Buddha could still be done in this way, so that when people saw someone worshipping the Buddha in this respectful way, they would have a sense of mystery about the Buddha's teachings and would not look down on them.
8. Keeping the precepts. The day before my interview at the university, my relative went with me to run the back door and took me to a KTV where there were many ladies and I had my first contact with a lady. The impulsiveness of a young man made me want to get into something, but soon my righteous thoughts came to me, and I knew that this was a kind of transgression against the practice of the Four Noble Truths, and it was a lot of transgressions. On the way back, I thought I would be able to get into that school because I had stood the test (as stated at the beginning of Chapter 2 of the Four Noble Truths). After that I got in without any problems.
This period was characterised by a mental race against time, doing as much good and reforming as I could in a very limited time! Sometimes I would get discouraged, but when I thought that I didn't have much time, what could I do if I didn't do it, I picked myself up again! As I had just started to study Buddhism, I was more devout and had few delusions of grandeur, and I had to get into the university of my choice within a limited period of time.
The main unbelievable sensations during this period were: 1. In the provincial examination, I did not study for nearly a year and I usually failed in the language examinations, but in the provincial examination, I got the first place in the class and the second place in the year, and the wrong answer in the answer was the correct answer. A peasant's kid, with no back door, no backers, and not tall enough, could get into the university I wanted! These were seemingly impossible hurdles to break through with normal logic, but I was able to pass them because I studied the Four Noble Truths and recited the Puranas diligently!
Secondly, I studied the Four Noble Sutras in the midst of mediocrity and with a grateful heart (September 94 to July 97). I was very grateful for getting into university, but my school was a bit of a political school, so it was not advisable to read Buddhist books or discuss Buddhism with others. During this period, I studied the Four Sutras of the Buddha, mainly physical Dharma giving, supplemented by doing good deeds.
Dharma giving is mainly.
1. Sharpening my lips, introducing my Master to the public, publicising the virtues of my Master, and bringing the public to my Master's side in the event that people wanted to see him. During this period, many people were drawn into the Buddha's door, and later these people became the local elite in the propagation of the Dhamma and continued to advocate good deeds in their hometowns.
2. Run errands diligently to make the circulation of sutras come alive. Personally, I don't think I have the money to print the sutras, but if you print them and leave them over there and no one circulates them, the sutras won't come alive and the people who help print them won't get the merit. So I use the benefit of my special mark at school, where I can hitchhike without money, to often run to big temples such as Guanghua Temple to ask for sutras and then take them to smaller temples or give them to myself. (I always thought that by doing this I was not only giving physical alms, but also financial alms and Dharma alms.) And when some monks asked for sutras, I would be very active in asking for them. I could travel more than 100 kilometres to ask for a copy of the Lankan Sutra during my working hours at lunchtime, and then run back again to catch up with my afternoon work. And inviting sutras is regardless of the heat and rain, mainly because we think we have nothing to give and only this little physical strength to give, so don't be stingy!
3、Practice offering, if a fellow monk comes to my master's side, I will respectfully invite him to my home for a meal.
4. I often go to the reading room of the temple to tidy up the Buddhist books and clean the environment so that the readers have a good environment and more Buddhist books to read.
5. When I went to Guanhua Temple, I saw an open-air Goddess of Mercy, which was very solemn. But from time to time there were dirty things stuck to it, so I made a vow to go and wash it once a year. Personally, I don't have the money to build the statue, but I use my own physical strength to clean it, which in no way prolongs the life of the statue, and in fact I also give financial charity.
Fearlessness in giving alms: At that time I had a practice of qigong and often used it to heal people. During this time, I encountered several times when people fainted on the road, and I cooperated with 110 to take them to the hospital.
Grasping the Dharma: At that time, I was still unclear about the Dharma, there was no system for studying Buddhism, and I was very confused about the choice of Dharma. During this period I often communicated with fellow students, got close to good knowledge and read Buddhist books, so as to build up my own philosophy of practice. During my university years, I had a crush on a female classmate and was so attached that I experienced strange phenomena such as having dreams every night. When I was in a troubled mood, I went to the temple to pay homage to the mountain, I would not say that I was seeking for marriage to become a reality, but I would pay homage to the Buddha and Bodhisattva to give me courage and confidence to see through and let go (this is something that I hope people who are addicted to impossible relationships can refer to, I think this is according to the Dharma. You should be no more obsessed with relationships than I was at the time, but I am still sober). During this period I encountered the indiscriminate use of the Four Noble Truths, that is, making a wish to do many, many good deeds and seeking to marry someone, which resulted in a lot of trouble and karmic difficulties (see the topic of seeking a wife in the Life of the Self).
Doing good deeds in daily life: there are not many of these, but mainly trivial things such as turning off the tap or helping a classmate.
Doing good deeds with the blessing of Buddha and Bodhisattvas: If you do good deeds, you must be sincere, and no one will help you, but the Buddha and Bodhisattvas will! Sometimes the sutras and other Dharma objects weighed over a hundred pounds and I almost always dragged them along. Sometimes I would wonder how I could lift such heavy sutras, and sometimes I felt that the Buddha and Bodhisattvas were being blessed! On another occasion, I delivered sutras to Guanghua Temple and came back with 12.5 yuan left in my pocket, and the accommodation fee was 10 yuan. But once I paid the 10 yuan, I had to walk home. I could get a ride without paying for the long distance, but I had to pay for the 7 kilometres to home, and I had to pay for the ride from Guanghua Temple to the junction. Do I have to pay for the accommodation later or do I have to pay for it now if I want to walk home? I thought, "I can't owe the Three Jewels any more money, even if I am here for Dharma charity. So I paid the accommodation fee of 10 RMB and then planned to walk home. I ended up seeing 1 yuan on the ground as I was walking out of the main courtyard of Guanghua Temple. I felt at the time that the Buddha had given it to me, as my fare to home was 3.5 yuan. So I walked more than 1 kilometre to the junction to hitchhike, then took a long distance van (our special status did not require money at that time) to my hometown, and took a bus for 3 yuan to my home. In fact I really felt that the Buddha and Bodhisattvas were all around us, examining us.
Mountain worship: I was very bold in worshipping mountains in these days, daring to wear special logo clothes to worship the Buddha and pagodas, and I chose to do so when there were many people, because I wanted people to see that we people of a certain status were so respectful of the Buddha and pagodas, and that we should be respectful too. --This is something I will never be able to do again!
Financial giving: this is the best time to practice giving when you are still in school and don't have much money. In '97, I went to Nanputuo to hang out a list and met a master who was very solemn. Although I didn't have much money in my pocket at that time (I borrowed it), I thought that it was not easy to meet such a master and I couldn't miss the good opportunity to cultivate blessings. It was a small amount of money, but that was over 60% of the money in my pocket.
Helping the orphanage: this was not easy to do. The orphanage in my area at the time was in a very poor state, a hell on earth, with children dying all the time and poor care (because no one cared). A university student went to write an interview and as a result the orphanage never let outsiders in! Under my Master's teaching, I approached it with a sincere heart. The orphanage has two elderly people who take care of the children, and because no one cares, no one knows about good or bad deeds, and the elderly become inert. I used my special status and a special reason to make the old people not wary of me and agree to my going. I first praised the two old people for their hard work and for taking good care of the children, which brought me closer to them! Then I went to see the children regularly. As a result, when I went there later, the children were clean (which reduced the mortality rate from illness) and I guess the old people were afraid that I would see the children dirty, so they were more committed to their work! Then a funny thing happened. My excuse was that there was a child I wanted to give special attention to - that was only the excuse I had to go to the orphanage, and it turned out that there were so many people who wanted that child, but the two old people refused because they were afraid that I wouldn't visit them if they were taken away, lol, but then I convinced them! With me doing the work, they stopped. (This word is not written) children and not to create big sins! One of the old people, according to her later, because no. Also afraid. Quit the job. (Note that the orphanage has now become very good)
Psychological analysis: During this period, the main thing is to repay the kindness of the Buddha and the kindness of all sentient beings. There is no specific request for anything, and the mind is pure, but no more so than in the above stage. The chanting of sutras, in particular, does not reach the same level of respect as above! But the worship of the mountain is good! One of the characteristics is that I dare to ask for anything, big or small, as long as I feel it is difficult to do, I will ask the Bodhisattva of Guanyin, including writing essays, examinations, illness, etc. In the process of asking, I have formed a deep affection for the Bodhisattva of Guanyin and experienced the presence of the Buddha.
Help with career: I was able to get into the profession I wanted (for details of the induction, see the examination and job search topic on the Destiny Self-Li website) and was able to choose the unit I wanted. (I will write more about this later, but it is as if it is all in the Buddha's plan)
What are the acts of abstaining from killing and releasing
1. Do not kill a living being with your own hands.
2. Do not abet others to kill.
3. Do not help others to kill.
4. Abstain from eating meat.
5. Do not engage in trades related to killing.
6、Whenever there is worship, regardless of what is being worshipped, use vegetarian dishes, flowers and fruit, not animal gifts.
7. If you see someone killing a human being, you should discourage them or buy the animal to be slaughtered with money and release it. If this does not work, or if the person does not sell the animal, then you should have compassion for the slaughtered animal, and even better if you can recite the Buddha's name or mantra for it.
8. Do not abuse the animal.
9、Other actions that are contrary to killing.
10. Abstain from killing and releasing animals yourself, and advise others to do the same.
(This article is an original article by Zhuge Changqing, and the pictures are selected from the Internet. Welcome to forward it, and please indicate the source for forwarding)
Introduction to Zhuge Changqing: Zhuge Changqing, the inheritor and promoter of traditional Chinese culture, is willing to "learn from sages, promote virtue, revitalize China and benefit the world" together with people with the same ideals in the world.
(Zhuge Changqing: email@example.com ）
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Zhuge Changqing's Chinese Dream
Learn from sages and carry forward virtue
Revitalizing China for the benefit of the world
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Selected Articles in Previous Periods
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1The wisdom of traditional Chinese culture changes the destiny: filial piety to parents+five in one+self-improvement
2Zhuge Changqing's Three Golden Keys to Changing Destiny
3Zhuge Changqing's Greeting Ritual (15 Steps Concise Version)
3 诸葛长青施食仪轨 （十五步简洁版）
4How to repent: the ritual of repentance and the method of repentance (full version)
5How to read the Dizang Sutra: Methods for reciting Dizang Sutra (complete version)
6How to release? The ritual of releasing life
7Zhuge Changqing's Repentance Culture: A Case Study of Repentance Methods for Changing Destiny
8Free Life Culture: Free Life Culture in Ancient China
9Shocking photo of feeding: Buddha, Bodhisattva and Dharma Protector come to the scene
10Feeding Rite Return: the return is changed to simple return