Key to Matching the Path

Yutang Lin

Generally speaking, Buddhists engaging in practices on the long path to enlightenment would gradually encounter situations of stagnancy, going astray or regress, while within groups of Dharma there would constantly erupt competition, conflict or division. If people could open-mindedly and carefully reflect on such problems, then they would realize that the root of the problems is that their intentions as well as activities were not purely for Bodhi, and hence they could not transcend the cell and pass of self-grasping.

If one's intentions were purely for Bodhi, i.e., purely for the attainment of ultimate and perfect awakening of all sentient beings, then at the juncture of high tides of self-centeredness one would naturally think of how to follow Dharma in getting rid of self-grasping, and use the opportunity for further cultivation of wisdom and compassion. Otherwise, in this complex and full-of-contamination world one would eventually fail to escape from setting self-imposed limitations and running into all sorts of entanglements. With pure intentions for Bodhi, no matter how worldly events would turn and twine, the practitioner's efforts would not be in vain but would naturally become spiritual stocks that would help mature one's Dharma practices; therefore, there will be no complaints and no regrets. As long as intentions and activities are in accordance with Bodhi, relationships become purely a matter of suitable conditions meeting or dispersing, and are free of sorrows arising from accounting of favors and grudges, measuring of merits and faults, and incessant entanglements. Buddhists that have comprehended all these points mentioned above and are sincere in helping sentient beings in the ultimate fashion should try to lead and convert all relationships gradually into Dharma connections and comrades.

In short, only by adopting activities that are born of Bodhi intentions would one match the great path of ultimate liberation. This is a point well known to Buddhists and yet also a high goal that most Buddhists could not actually accomplish. Even though the content of this short essay is a frequent subject of Buddhist teachings and yet I am not bothered by repetitions in reminding Buddhists of this important point once more. May sincere Buddhists obtain this key sooner so that they may climb up and enter the shrine of Buddhas, receive personal instructions, and attain realizations of enlightenment.

Written in Chinese and translated on May 14, 2004
El Cerrito, California

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