(Samadhi means the experience of Oneness with the Universe. )
By Master Gao Li and his Team
I repent to all those hurt by my wrong conducts, wrong words, and wrong thoughts; whether in the past, at present, or in the future. I repent to all for the sufferings or hardships brought upon by my wrong conducts, wrong words, and wrong thoughts; whether physically or psychologically.
I am willing to accept the Law of Cause-Consequences; I am deeply ashamed and I repent sincerely.
Because of lack of enlightenment and ignorance of Four Truths, we have been hurting each other for eons, taking revenges, and wallowing miserably in the Six Realms of Beings, with no way out.
We all long to be free.
I pray that all those hurt by me will never experience pain, whether psychologically or physically.
I pray that all those ghosts and non-human sentient beings related to me will hear Dharma, be reborn in a benign form, and become free eventually.
I pray that all the humans and non-human sentient beings will share my virtue benefits and chant: “Good. Good. Good.”
By Virtuous-Man Master Fengyi Wang
Master Fengyi Wang (1864 - 1937) was a farm worker. He had no schooling; he sincerely practiced dutifulness and filial piety and attained enlightenment. At the age of 35, he was on his way to rescue his friend Bo Yang; while half way there, a light bulb went on in his head, “bright daylight at night”, and he attained the Way. At the age of 38, his father passed away; Master Wang stationed himself at his father’s grave. 100 days passed and he attained complete enlightenment, developed the remedy based on temperament; he started to explain the roots of diseases, enlighten men, and save men from wrongdoings.
When Virtuous-Man Master Wang preached, his language was simple but the meanings were far-reaching. The words all came from his Innate-Nature, not confined by any dogmas; they were fitting for the circumstances, lively and natural. They were not only rules of the thumb but also Heaven's Way. The goal was to educate men to follow the Way of dutifulness and filial piety so as to mend their temperament and develop good Karma; thus, men could practice “eliminating habits, mending temperament, and ensuring Innate-Nature”; men could “end Fate-from-Birth, understand Dark-Fate, and nurture Fate-from-Heaven.” Virtuous-Man Master Wang used to say, “ Your temperament determines your fate. Wood temperament attracts mishaps, Fire temperament attracts sufferings, Earth temperament attracts hardships, Gold temperament attracts poverty, and Water temperament attracts bullying.” (These are five types of temperament.) He also said, “The body-inclined are mostly lowly, the heart-inclined are mostly poor, the mind-inclined are mostly rich, and the Ideal-inclined are mostly noble.” This shows that one’s richness, poverty, sickness, health, misery, and joy are all in one’s own hands.
(Translator’s note: Venerable Master Hua, the founder of Ten Thousand Buddhas in Ukiah, CA, used to attend the Way & Virtue Congregations where Virtuous-Man Master Wang preached before Master Hua forwent home-life. On the Dharma Certificate signed by Venerable Master Hua while in China, Master Wang’s verse was quoted for over ten years: Compassion touches all, believers are saved and they attain enlightenment; deities inspire in passing; worshippers are blessed and achieve eternity.”)
Part 1 No Resentments
1. I have often contemplated and concluded that resentments are endless sufferings. The more you resent others, the more sufferings you will experience; you will fall sick or attract disasters. What is this but endless sufferings?
Trying to control others is Hell; you exercise one notch of control, and others hate you one notch; you exercise ten notches of control, others hate you ten notches. What is this but Hell? You must turn it the other way around. Only by setting a good example can you clear your debts and fulfill your obligations as a man. You are Deity if you can bring one to the Way; you are Buddha if you can help one attain the Way.
2. A virtuous man seeks inward; a lesser man seeks outward. A virtuous man blames himself for lack of virtues; a lesser man resents others for his wrongdoings. Even when he is not speaking out his resentments, he is harboring them in his heart. The more resentments a man has, the more vexation he has. Resentments are poisonous; harbored in the heart, they cause miseries and sickness. This is the same as drinking poison. If a man can reflect on his own conducts and find faults in himself, he won’t resent others. If you are competent, you don’t resent those who are not; if you are capable, you don’t resent those who are not; if you see others’ ways, you won’t resent them anymore.
3. Nowadays, men feel unhappy when others look down upon them. As for me, I don’t care how others think of me; virtues are virtues and evils are evils. Simply through no resentments, you can attain Buddha-hood. Cunning men are habitually calculative; calculation brings either regrets or complaints. How can this avoid sickness?
4. “No resentments” is great! “No resentments” means Land of Yin-Yang balance.
Part 2 No Anger, no Heat
5. I have often contemplated and found that heat causes coughing up blood and anger causes throwing up food. If you can follow the Way and understand the Way, then your anger and heat will be gone.
6. Heat is “the whimpering of a dragon”; anger is “the roaring of a tiger”. Only when you keep your anger and heat in check can you attain the Way.
If someone troubles you, you should not get angry; anger travels downward in your body and becomes coldness. If an issue is pressing you, you should not get anxious; anxiety travels upward in your body and becomes heat. Coldness and heat can both hurt you. Buddhists should not be overjoyed in the face of good things and should not be worried in the face of bad things. This way, anger and heat will not rise; this is “subduing a dragon and a tiger”. If you can subdue a dragon and a tiger, they will benefit you; if you can’t, they will hurt you like monsters.
7. If you act according to your temperament (anger, hatred, resentment, irritation, vexation), you are controlled by a ghost. When you are angry, heat causes sickness, and you are beaten by a ghost. A right thought occurs, and Deities arrive. An evil thought occurs, and ghosts arrive. It is a shame that men would rather be ghosts than Deities!
Heat comes from the heart; when your heart is disturbed, heat arises. When you are anxious, heat goes up; when your heart is disturbed, heat spreads out. If you can control your heart, heat will do down. If you are not dutiful and become greedy, heat will go out of control. If you can relax and avoid worrying about others, then you will cause no heat. How delightful that is!
9. Losing temper is heat; bottling up irritation is real anger. Buddha says “Seven Heart-Lights”; I say strangling the heart longings. When the heart longings are dead, the Way-mind is born; when the heart longings are born, the Way-mind is dead, and rivalry and greed follow. Rivalry brings anger; greed brings heat. Anger and heat attack the heart, and you are vexed all the time. Even if you are rich and honored, you are not joyful. Therefore, our ancestors treated the cultivation of the heart the same way as treating diseases. So I say strangling the heart longings. How great it is!
Part 3 Finding Merits and Making Apologies
10. Many men do good deeds, but few are rewarded. Why is this? It is because your heart is harboring others’ wrongs. How can you expect rewards?
11. Finding merits is “collecting sunshine”; finding faults is “collecting garbage”. “Collecting sunshine” is storing sunlight, warming your heart, and nurturing your heart; “Collecting garbage” is storing Dark energy, darkening your heart, and hurting your body. Everyone has merits; even a bad man has merits. If you can’t find any from the positive perspective, find some from the negative-lesson perspective. Therefore, I say, merits-finding is a heart-warming pill; you will find good connections everywhere and you will have no vexation.
12. Merits-finding is real gold; it must be rooted in the Ideal; you must find real merits where there is seemingly none at all. When you can bear what seems unbearable, it is “virtue reaching the sky”.
13. Apologies bring water of wisdom; water can enhance five flavors, mix five colors, and fit a square or a circle. If you can cultivate your temperament to be like water, you have attained the Way. This is why our ancestors say, “The utmost virtue is like water.”
14. Humans and Heaven are one and the same; all the things in the world are our responsibilities. If the world is not well, how can it not be our faults? Faults are everywhere, whether you look down or up, whether you close your eyes or open your eyes. If you find faults in your wife, it is faults-finding while looking down; if you find faults in your elders, it is faults-finding while looking up; if you find faults in others, it is faults-finding while having your eyes open; if you harbor others’ faults, it is faults-finding while having your eyes closed. In my opinion, not understanding the Way or having inappropriate conducts are all faults. If a man recognizes one’s own duties, then he will know about faults. If a man loses Heaven's Way, confuses virtues, or lacks proper rites, he won’t apologize. (Admitting one’s faults is apologizing.)
15. If you sincerely apologize, then you will be refreshed and find peace.
16. Making apologizes brings wisdom water; finding merits brings shiny gold.
17. Finding merits opens the way to Heaven; making apologies closes the door to Hell.
18. Making apologies is better than taking “cooling capsules; finding merits is better than taking “heart-warming pills”.
Part 4. Five Elements and Temperaments
19. The Five Elements are Wood, Fire, Earth, Gold, and Water; they refer to the same things as the Buddhist Five Precepts, the Taoist Five Fundamentals, and the Confucian Five Basics.
20. Men’s sufferings are all rooted in their temperaments! Stubbornness comes from Dark-Wood, contentiousness from Dark-Fire, resentment from Dark-Earth, argumentativeness from Dark-Gold, and irritation from Dark-Water.
21. Wood temperament attracts mishaps, Fire temperament attracts sufferings, Earth temperament attracts hardships, Gold temperament attracts poverty, and Water temperament attracts bullying.” It is like a magic jewelry bowl; what is in it attracts more of it. The Taoism Grand Master Lao-Jun says, “Disasters and blessings know no doors; they go to those who bring upon themselves”. This is so true. Therefore, I say that good things and bad things are all brought upon by a man’s temperament.
22. Most men’s temperaments are imbalanced. The Fire-inclined fight with others, the Earth-inclined bully others, the Gold-inclined hurt others, the Water-inclined dislike others, and the Wood-inclined argue with others. If you can correct the imbalance, you will attain the Way.
23. The Dark-Wood-inclined resist the superiors, are not respectful, and often lose their temper. Losing temper hurts the liver, which causes dizziness, numbness in the arms, bloating, ringing ears, toothaches, and strokes.
The Dark-Fire-inclined have a quick temper, are contentious, desire vanity, love to look good, and tend to hate others. Hatred hurts the heart, which causes palpitation, insomnia, craziness, coarse voice, and ulcers.
The Dark-Earth-inclined are awkward, stupid, arrogant, suspicious, and resentful. Resentment hurts the spleen, which causes bloating, stomachache, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, and short breath.
The Dark-Gold-inclined are cruel, jealous, fake, argumentative, and resentful; resentment hurts the lungs, which causes coughs, boils, and blood coughing.
The Dark-Water-inclined are stupid, rude, slow, anxious, and resentful; resentment hurts the kidney, back pain, night ejaculation and impotence. Therefore, a certain temperament leads to certain diseases.
24. The Five Elements I am talking about are the same as the Buddhist Five Precepts. Getting angry (Wood) is killing; wanting to wear good clothes to look good (Fire) is sexing up; short-changing by even one cent (Gold) is stealing; wanting to eat good food (Water) is drinking; lying even one word (Earth) is lying.
25. Bright-Wood is the root of Buddha. Bright-Wood men have their independent ideas, can endure and establish all things. Bright-Fire is the root of Deities. Fire is in charge of reasoning, understanding the circumstances, and mending things without being confined. Bright-Earth is the root of the Way; it believes in cause-consequences; it can endure, mend, and bring forth all things. If someone is bad, that’s his cause-consequences; you don’t need to resent him or worry for him. Bright-Gold is the root of Deities; those of Bright-Wood temperament can find merits in others, which can bring shiny gold; they can build good relationships with all sorts of men, uphold brotherhood, make firm decisions, resolve problems, and bring forth all things. Bright-Water is the root of Saints. Saints can admit being wrong, which can bring water of wisdom; they have even temperament, and they can nurture all things. If a man does not possess Bright-Five-Elements and only acts at the whim of his temperament, he will die from the Five Elements!
26. You can tell about your previous life from your temperament in this life. Current Fire temperament comes from being an official in the previous life; current Water temperament comes from being a business man in the previous life; current Wood temperament comes from being a worker in the previous life; current Earth temperament comes from being a farmer in the previous life; current Gold temperament comes from being a scholar in the previous life.
27. Those who killed a lot in the previous life tilt towards Fire temperament; those who resisted the superiors in the previous life tilt toward Wood temperament; those who lied a lot in the previous life tilt towards Gold temperament; those who resented a lot tilt towards Earth temperament.
28. Harmony with Heaven circumstances is Bright-Fire; belief in cause-consequences is Bright-Earth; merits-finding is Bright Gold; admission of wrongdoings is Bright-Water; endurance is Bright-Wood. These are the five Bright-Elements.
29.Nowadays,everyone’s temperament has Fire. Those of Fire temperament are greedy and contentious; thus, there is endless rivalry, greed, and wars. Void of rivalry and greed is Virtuous Bright-Fire; nothing else but this can attain Heaven circumstances.
Part 5 Three Roots
30. Men come from three roots: Innate-Nature from Heaven, fate from Earth, body from parents. Therefore, the three roots are the origins of men. Only through keeping temperament in accordance with Heaven's Way, keeping a clear conscience, and following proper rites can we return to our original Innate-Nature. Many only know about the Body-Me, but not the Heaven-Me or Earth-Me. Once the temperament is mended, the Heaven-Me gains honor with Heaven; once Virtue is understood, the Earth-Me gains honor among men. Therefore, everyone has three Me’s, but pitifully men don’t know!
31. The “keeping temperament in accordance with Heaven's Way, keeping a clear conscience, and following proper rites” I talk about are the same as the Buddhist Three Precepts, the Taoist “Three Basics” and Confucian “Three Fundamentals”.
32. Buddhist “Three Precepts” refer to the temperament, heart, and body. keeping temperament in accordance with Heaven's Way is taking refuge in Buddha; keeping a clear conscience is taking refuge in Dharma, and following proper rites is taking refuge in Sangha.
33. The Taoist “Three Basics” refer to the temperament, heart, and body. Blossoming of the temperament is ensuring Heaven’s Way; blossoming of the heart is having a clear conscience; blossoming of the body is following proper rites.
34. Confucian “Three Fundamentals” refer to the temperament, heart, and body. Keeping temperament in accordance with Heaven's Way leads to benevolence, having a clear conscience leads to wisdom, and following proper rites lead to bravery.
35. The three roots are three religions. Confucianism starts with securing one’s fate, Taoism with fostering one’s body, and Buddhism with cultivating one’s temperament.
36. When your temperament is in accordance with Heaven’s Way, you should be tender; when you have a clear conscience, you should be peaceful; when you act properly, you should be friendly.
37. Your temperament must be amicable; otherwise, it will hurt your temperament. Your heart must be loving; otherwise, it will hurt your heart. Your body must be relenting; otherwise, it will hurt your body.
38. There has been no peace in temperament, heart, and body because there are three thieves: temperament (anger, hatred, resentment, irritation, vexation), selfishness, and bad habits. To ensure peace in the world, you must catch the thief in the temperament by Heaven’s Way, catch the thief in the heart by virtue , and catch the thief in the body by proper rites.
39. The three Emperors refer to Emperor Heaven, Emperor Earth, and Emperor Humans, the so-called Three Ancient Emperors. I say Emperor Heaven is the highest-ranking Emperor and is in charge of a man’s temperament; if he loses his temper, Emperor Heaven will inflict disasters. Emperor Earth is Emperor Hell and is in charge of a man’s life and death; if he has no conscience and acts immorally, Emperor Hell will inflict sickness. Emperor Humans is Emperor of men and is in charge of a man’s body; if he commits a crime, the national law will punish him. The Three Emperors are in charge of a man’s temperament, heart, and body, with the goal of ensuring a man’s right conducts.
40. It is a mind disease if you harbor others’ faults; it is a temperament disease if you often lose your temper. Mind diseases will surely lead to temperament diseases; temperament diseases will surely lead to physical diseases. It will be fine if reversed.
41. A good temperament has no temper, a clean heart has no selfishness, and a clean body has no bad habits. A bad temperament has no blessings, a dirty mind has no wealth, and a dirty body has no longevity. Therefore, it is important to clean the three parts.
42. I can treat the diseases in all the three parts; they must be separated and cleaned. Your body will have no disease if it does not have bad habits; Your heart will have no trouble if it has no selfishness, and your temperament will be well if you do not have a bad temper. A mind disease can’t be cured by medication but by the Way. It is a shame that men don’t know.
43. If men are greedy, rivalrous, and disturbing, they owe others. If they are greedy, it is a shortage of Heaven’s Way and they owe Heaven; if they are rivalrous, it is a shortage of conscience and they owe humans; if they are disturbing, it is a shortage of proper rites and they owe Hell. If they are all of these, they owe all the three; how can they expect blessings? Greed is a fault, rivalry is a crime, and disturbance is an evil.
44. Complaints hurt your heart; no complaints save your energy and your life. Regrets hurt your temperament; no regrets save your temperament and ensure you blessings. Resentments hurt your body; no resentments save your body and ensure you longevity. If men can be free of complaints, regrets, and resentments, there will be no harm in the three parts.
45. I also have three reflections. The first reflection is on my temper. If someone ruffles my feathers, how do I feel? The second reflection is on my contentedness. Am I selfish? How do I feel if someone takes advantage of me? The third reflection is on my conducts. What can I really do? These are my three reflections.
46. I also have three fundamental principles: keeping my temperament in accordance with Heaven’s Way, keeping a clear conscience, and following proper rites. Besides, I have eight rules: no greed, no rivalry, no complaints, no regrets, no resentments, no worries, no heat, and no anger. If you can do all this, you save money and labor; you can attain the Way and become Buddha.
47. A man has three jewels: temperament, heart, and body. Temperament has the same nature as Water, the heart has the same nature as Fire, and the body has the same nature as Earth. Water is a man’s essence, Earth is a man’s energy, and Fire is a man’s spirit. Rich essence brings wisdom, rich energy brings growth, and rich spirit brings liveliness. Take brick-making for example. A brick is first molded with mud, then baked, finally watered over; only this way can it be sturdy. We talk about temperament, heart, and body; the number of times we talk abut them is like the number of times a brick is baked. When the “three jewels” are understood, it is better than the collective wealth from a hundred officials.
48. Endurance is the liberation of the temperament, contentedness is the liberation of the heart, and hard work is the liberation of the body. This is all liberation. Where there is no liberation, there is no well-being.
Part 6 Three Attributes
49. A man has three attributes: Innate-Nature, temperament, and habits. Innate-Nature is pure good, which is the same as defined by Mencius. Temperament is pure bad, which is the same as defined by Xun-zi. Habits can be good and bad, which is the same as what Gao-zi states “Who keeps company with the wolf will learn to howl.”
50. If you act according to Innate-Nature, you will find merits in others; if you act according to your temperament, you will surely find faults in others. This is the law of attraction.
51. Innate-Nature has its origin, and temperament has its roots. Your habits from your previous life lead to your temperament in this current life. If you can mend your temperament (eliminating worry, hatred, resentment, irritation, vexation), then your Innate-Nature is fulfilled. If you can’t mend your temperament and explode at every trigger, it is like you are possessed by ghosts; therefore, it is called “Five Ghosts”, which keep your household in turmoil. They are also called “Five Poisons”, and they can cause sickness and death. Their roots are deep and hard to pull up. If you can’t control them, it is hard for you to be a virtuous person. Buddha says, “Your Dark-Karma is on you, and it causes crazy moves and ignorance”; it is hard to attain Dharma.
52. Habits revolve around greed; temperament is the human vexation. When you volunteer at a religious place, your body is free. When you act like a man is supposed to, you rise above the heart sphere. When you perfect your temperament, you rise above the temperament sphere. Otherwise, how can you “rise above the three spheres”?
53. Vigor is Virtue, and it is joy. Joy can mend temperament. When your temperament is mended completely, your cycle of cause-consequences will end itself.
54. Eliminate your habits, mend your temperament, and fulfill your Innate-Nature.
Part 7 Three Fates
55. A man has three fates: Fate-from-Heaven, Fate-from-Birth, and Dark-Fate. Innate-Nature is the oneness with Fate-from-Heaven; the Way is Fate-from-Heaven. Heart is the oneness with the Fate-from-Birth; knowledge, skills, and wealth are all Fate-from-Birth. Body is the one oneness with Dark-Fate; anger, hatred, resentment, irritation, and vexation are all Dark-Fate. You need to understand the three Fates very well. If you cultivate a good fate, you will have a good fate. Whether good or bad is all in your own hands. What is the point of seeing a fortune-teller?
56. “You can’t be a virtuous man if you don’t know about Fate-from-Heaven”; you can’t “reach the other side” (nirvana) if you don’t know about men. Knowing others’ merits is knowing Fate-from-Heaven; knowing others’ contribution is knowing Fate-from-Birth; knowing others’ temperament is knowing Dark-Fate. Only he who knows about fates is a virtuous man. Losing temper shortens Fate-from-Heaven, resentment shortens Fate-from-Birth, and free-loading lengthens Dark-Fate. If your Fate-from-Heaven is small, you need to know how to grow it; if your Fate-from-Birth is small, you need to know how to increase it; if your Dark-Fate is long, you need to know how to shorten it. When you know how to grow a small fate and shorten a long fate, you are “in control of your fate”.
57. When someone comes to see me, I first ask about his trade, and I can tell how big his Fate-from-Heaven is. Then I ask about his wealth and situations, and I can tell how big his Fate-from-Birth is. Then I judge his temperament, and I can tell whether his Dark-Fate is big or small. The three fates are in accordance with the three spheres; the three spheres are connected. How can it be hard to tell?
58. Men don’t want to benefit others; they are always selfish. That’s why things are bad. The reason why I am a virtuous man is that I have laid off my selfishness; that’s to say I have strangled my Fate-from-Birth. Fate-from-Birth is endless; how can there be a way out?
59. Mencius says, “If you practice being a Heaven knight, then men knights will follow your footsteps.” However, once one gets to be a man knight, he stops practicing being a Heaven knight! Cultivating virtues is lengthening Fate-from-Heaven; studying skills and accumulating wealth are lengthening Fate-from-Birth. He who knows how to use his Fate-from-Birth is content and can shorten Dark-Fate; otherwise, he lengthens it. Only by lengthening Fate-from-Heaven can he clear up his Dark-Fate. Nowadays, men only act according to Dark-Fate and emphasize Fate-from-Birth, but they don’t lengthen their Fate-from-Heaven. How can they understand Heaven’s Way?
60. You lengthen your Fate-from-Heaven if you use your Fate-from-Birth for the public benefits; you lengthen your Dark-Fate if you use it for your own benefits. Therefore, you rise above the three realms if you know how to spend your money correctly; you can’t escape from your bad Karma if you don’t know how to spend your money correctly.
61. A sweet melon grows fastest when it is bitter; Fate-from-Heaven grows fastest when it is bitter.
62. You shorten your Dark-Fate if you don’t talk about others’ faults; only through endurance can you shorten your Dark-Fate. You will shorten your Dark-Fate if you can endure a big insult.
63. If your Fate-from-Heaven is big, your Fate-from-Birth is big, too; if your Fate-from-Birth is big, your Dark-Fate can’t end. Therefore, it is important to stop Fate-from-Birth, end Dark-Fate, and grow Fate-from-Heaven.
Part 8 Temperament
64. Temperament is a man’s root. When I find my root as a man, I find my root of the Way. The root of the Way is a man’s temperament; a man’s root is a man’s fate. Your fate will be good if your root is good. Therefore, whether a man has a good fate or a bad fate depends on his temperament. So I urge men to improve their temperament; they will attain the Way if they can mend their temperament.
65. Temperament is the root of fates. A virtuous man is sure to have a good temperament. A good temperament has a good fate. Everyone is supposed to have a good fate, but their bad temperament spoils their fate!
66. Temperament is the root and fate is the fruit; only deep roots can produce good fruit. If you can’t stabilize your temperament, your roots are not deep. If you don’t accept fates, you won’t have fruits; it is like a male flower. A Way-aspirant first needs to mend his temperament and then accepts fates. After mending his temperament, he does not lose temper; he will accept losses. Accepting losses is profiting. Accepting fates is no resenting others; he will endure hardships, and then he can live in comfort. It is a shame that men don’t know about this; they think too little of temperament and too much of fame and benefits!
67. Our ancestors say, “If you don’t work on mending your temperament when working on improving your fate, it is the first mistake. If you don’t work on improving your fate when working on mending your temperament, it is a little beneficial but not really useful.” This points out very clearly the importance of working on both!
Part 9 Four Realms
68. The four Realms are Ideal, virtue, heart, and body. Superstitious men say: the bridge to the other world has three paths: a “Gold” path, a “Silver” path, and a “Nether” path. I say it is “Gold” if you act according to the Ideal; it is “Silver” if you act according to virtue; it is “Nether” if you act according to your heart and body.
69. I often say that a man must distinguish the four Realms. How? If you can maintain firmly the Innate-Nature (being steadfast in the face of swearing, beating, or killing), raise up all the ignorant men and enlighten them, then you are in the Ideal Realm, the Pure Land Realm. If your heart has not attachments, remain worry-free and blissful, you are in the Virtue Realm, the Heaven Realm. If you are greedy, insatiable, worrisome, then you are in the Heart Realm, the Sufferings Sea Realm. If you are aggressive for the sake of fame and profits, over-partying, addicted, audacious, combative, and cruel, then you are in the the Body Realm, the Hell Realm. Therefore, the Ideal Realm is Pure Land, the Virtue Realm is Heaven, the Heart Realm is the Sufferings Sea, and the Body Realm is Hell.
A man in the Ideal Realm doesn’t criticize (Everything is fine.); a man in the Virtue Realm is content; a man in the Heart Realm is greedy; a man in the Body Realm is combative. A non-criticizing man is unbiased; a content man is virtuous; a greedy man is burdened; a combative man is bad. A bad man is a ghost; a burdened man is a human; a virtuous man is Deity; an unbiased man is Buddha.
71. A Body-Realm man only thinks of himself, with no consideration of others; he is unreasonable and he wants to grab for himself when they see good things; he gets mad and fights if he can’t take advantage of others; therefore, he is a ghost. A Heart-Realm man is greedy and insatiable; he is full of fantasy thoughts and he is constantly calculating; therefore, he is a lesser man. A Virtue-Realm man is content, and contentedness is “Deity”. An Ideal-Realm man is non-criticizing; he sees through cause-consequences; he does not seek recycling; no-criticism is “Buddha”. If a man wants to rise above the mundane world and enter the Saint World, he needs to learn to change Realms.
72. The Body-Realm men point a finger at each others’ shortcomings, the Heart-Realm men debate with each other, the Virtue-Realm men concede to each other, and the Ideal-Realm men thank each other.
73. An Ideal-Realm man gets what he wants without thinking about it; A Virtue-Realm man gets it when he thinks about it; a (heart) Monster-Realm man gets it when he “seeks” it; a (body) Ghost-Realm man gets it when he “fights” for it.
74. An Ideal-Realm man has his character: he does nothing and does everything. A Virtue-Realm man has his character: he is trusting and willing to yield to others in the face of good things. A Heart-Realm man has his character: he is greedy and insatiable; he is selfish and always wants to take advantage of others. A Body-Realm man has his character: he is destructive; he doesn’t repent even when he hurts himself and others. Therefore, it does not work to let the heart and the body take charge; they must be controlled.
75. Sutra masters say: men fall into the Six Realms of Beings upon death. I say the Six Realms are all on our bodies. Why do we look outward? It is the the Buddha Realm if a man acts according to the Ideal; it is the Deity Realm if he acts according to virtue; it is the Human Realm if he acts according to the heart; it is the Animal Realm if he grabs for himself immorally; it is the Monster Realm if he always gets anxious; it is the Ghost Realm if he often gets angry. These Six Realms are all upon us; what is the point of waiting until death?
76. Buddha says there are astronomical realms; I say there are four. Those who are enlightened can tell right away which realm a man is from. If he acts according to his body, he is a loser, no matter how hard he tries. If he acts according to his heart, he is a worrier, no matter how capable he is. If he acts according to virtue, he is a cheerful man, no matter how busy he is. If he acts according to the Ideal, his temperament does not falter, no matter how challenging his circumstances are; then he is Buddha.
77. The Ideal falls if you worry about something; virtue falls if you fear something; your heart is crooked if you desire something; your body is crooked if you are mad at something.
78. Utmost sufferings lead to ideals, and utmost joy leads to virtues. Real letting-go is Buddha; fake letting-go is Demon. Sickness is Hell; greed is the Sufferings Sea.
79. For a man of ideals, the more adversities, the more joyful. For a man of virtues, his virtue equals his determination.
80. You feel tired because you are destined to be tired, and you will have tiring issues.
81. Getting irritated is beginning to scheme. Virtue is like a balloon; it begins to deflate even if it has a pin hole. Temperament is the essence, and virtue is the root, the root of all things. A root is like the rain; the rain is impartial; when it rains on a tart pear, the pear is sure to be tart; when it rains on sweet grass, the grass is sure to be sweet. The Ideal is around us; it is like the rain.
82. Only through strangulation of the heart’s longings can a man mend his temperament; mending temperament achieves virtue; virtue achieves the Ideal. This is certain.
83. Mended temperament is virtue. We improve the world either through virtue or the Ideal. If we can act according to the Ideal, all our wrongdoings Karma from thousands of our previous life will be cleared. You must remain steadfast if a demon comes; a slight faltering sows the seed.
84. See through all fake (superficial) things, and you attain Truth. There are no bad men in Paradise, no good men in Hell, no enlightened men in the Sufferings Sea, and no fake men in Pure Land.
85. A man who acts according to the Ideal is non-criticizing and non-faltering. You benefit me even if you bully me or swear at me. You benefit me even if you pretend or cheat. You benefit me even if you kill me.
86. A man is a virtuous man if he acts according to the Ideal. If his daughter-in-law swears at him, he should be resolved to say, “If your swear can disturb me, then I am not worthy of being your father-in-law!” If a man can be steadfast like this, he is Buddha; he is protected by Deities. Acting according to virtue is joy; joy is Deity.
87. All the saints in each religion invariably act according to virtue. I hear that when Confucius was starving in the Kingdom of Chen, he was still at ease and did not pause his singing. I also hear that Jesus was crucified, but he rose three days later to save the world. When Gautama Buddha was Endurance Master, he was sliced by Kalinga-Raja; still, Buddha said, “I will save you first when I become Buddha!” Don’t they all have the same essence? Therefore, all religions have the same essence even though they have different forms; thus, it is wrong to have parochial views.
88. In our world, all the Deities and Buddhas are around us, but they are not in the human form. Whoever you aspire to emulate, his spiritual energy arrives. If you aspire to emulate a Deity, his spiritual energy arrives. If you aspire to emulate a saint, his spiritual energy arrives. Act the way a past saint acted in the same circumstances. It is like picking a flower; pick one, and you get one. Mencius says, “Everyone can be “Yao Shun” (Two Saints in ancient China); this is to teach men to emulate ideals. An ordinary man remains an ordinary man if he does not emulate past saints’ ideals.
89. When you reach Ideal Realm, you have no trace of anger; all that remains is bliss!
Part 10 Practicing the Way
90. Everyone is fond of loftiness and ease. They don’t know everything fails at loftiness and ease. How can there be the Way at loftiness or at ease? Men misunderstand the Way because they are not enlightened! Do what others don’t want to do; pick up what others throw away; this is virtue; this is the Way. Take water for example. It flows downward and raises all things; all things yield to it; this is called underpinning. It is a shame that everyone fights to go to the top and no one wants to go to the bottom; therefore, it is departing far from the Way!
91. Men are all fearful of deep water and hot fires; they are afraid of dying in them. They don’t know that they die in fame if they love fame; they die in profits if they love profits. They are living in deep water and hot fires, but they don’t realize it! I say not seeking fame is “not burning even in fires”; not seeking money is “not drowning even in water” .
92. I practice the Way and I first learn about losses and poverty. Others learn about loftiness and preaching, so they lag behind me.
93. Only by being content can a man start from the ground up. Only by being content can a man attain the Way. This is the key.
94. The Way is Heaven’s Way, and everyone has it; it is never away from anyone. When don’t men secure it? Take a pea seed for example. When it (germinates and) grows a stem, it must carry water upward, until pea pods are complete. Men have roots. If you constantly think of your roots and pray sincerely for three months, you will attain the Way. This is how I attained the Way.
95. Love of loftiness is greed; fear of failure is stickiness; love of ease is wrongdoing; dislike of lesser good is lack of virtue; negligence of duties is loss of Fate-from-Heaven.
96. A simple word “love” is the pitfall of all outstanding heroes!
Part 11 Securing Fate
97. Men all want to enjoy life, but why are there more men who suffer than those who enjoy life? It is because men are insatiable and don’t accept fates. If they know the Way, they know how to enjoy life; they know how to find joy even when they don’t have it.
98. Belittling oneself is cheating on oneself; it is also insatiability; a man like this is sure to suffer. A content man has a long Fate-from-Heaven; proper rites grows conscience; a clear conscience grows Heaven’ Way; this saves hard work. If a man thinks of another matter while working on one matter, this is deflation. It is like a balloon; it flattens if it is deflated; it is also like steaming buns; the buns are half cooked if they are deflated. Therefore, a virtuous man does not mind working on a small issue; he gives it his 70%; he is relaxed and delighted, like a cheerful Immortal Being. Once greed starts, a man falls into the Sufferings Sea; he has no joy, no matter how rich or honored.
99. Fate is a man’s duty. Fulfilling one’s duty is securing one’s Fate-from-Heaven. If his Fate-from-Heaven is long, his fame will grow. He who knows how to fulfill the duties of several roles will attain the ways of those roles. If he does not fulfill his duty, does not make efforts, loves vanity, is perfunctory, and is unworthy of his role, he can’t secure his fate.
100. The Way is to be followed; virtue is to be actualized. There is no Way if it is not followed; there is no virtue if it is not actualized. Heaven bestows roles according to Heaven’s Way; men need to fulfill their duties; this is in harmony with Heaven’s Way. An act in accordance with Heaven’s Way is Heaven’s Virtue; it is achieving without thinking.
A man following the Way must fulfill his duty; neglecting his duty not only gains no credits but incurs debts. What is one’s duty? It is the duty of a Man; “acting according to your duty” can attain the Way.
102. If a man “acts according to his duty”, works accordingly, talks accordingly, and thinks accordingly, he will attain Truth right in this life. If someone was born a woman but is jealous of a man, if a poor man fantasizes being rich, if someone thinks of another matter while working on one matter, all this is departing from one’s duty; how can this attain the Way? A pear has to grow on a pear tree, not on an apricot tree.
103. Eight virtues are eight doors, all leading to Pure Land. However, everyone has the right door for him; everyone enters through his own door; this is the meaning of “fulfilling one’s duty”. I entered through the door of dutifulness and filial piety; I was dutiful when I herded cattle or worked for others; I was filial to elders; I am sure of all this.
104. “Fates are in accordance with the duty fulfillment of a man ‘s roles”. If a man deserves the titles of his roles, his fate is good. When his fate is good, his temperament is mended. Therefore, the most important thing is to teach men about temperaments and fates.
Part 12. Mending Temperaments
105. If you see a man struggling in the Sufferings Sea and you jump in to save him even though you don’t know how to swim, you will drown. Therefore, I am determined to save a man’s temperament. Saving a man’s life is temporary, and he is still in the cycle of cause-consequences. Saving a man’s temperament works forever, it is eternal, and it forever stops the cause-consequences cycle. Therefore, saving a man’s life is visible and temporary; saving a man’s temperament is invisible and eternal. Saving a man’s temperament is like saving him from the Sufferings Sea; it is like reaching across the sea, and there will never be any downfall.
106. Men are confused by things, so they take the fake (superficial) as being true. This is not seeing through; thus, they criticize others and get mad at others. As a matter of fact, it is because they don’t see through things. If they can see through things, they will surely smile; how can they get mad and fight with others? I used to see no single good man in the whole world, and I used to get mad; as a result, I had tuberculous ulcers for 12 years and I almost died from anger. When I heard the teachings of virtue books in the first month of the lunar calendar at the age of 35, I realized that it was wrong to get mad; so I repented to Heaven, and my ulcers were cured overnight; I came out of Hell.
107. Those who compliment me are actually harming me; those who insult me are actually benefiting me. When the fake (superficial) things (wealth, sex, honor, and insults) come, you must see through them and know that they are tests from Heaven; enduring insults and sufferings is reducing disasters and hardships.
108. You can only know about a man by knowing his temperament; you can only utilize an object if you know its temperament. This is to connect with Heaven. A man of a certain temperament thinks accordingly, speaks accordingly, and acts accordingly. If you find faults in him, it is because you don’t know his temperament and you don’t know his way, so you will surely get mad at him. A dung beetle pushes dung, a weasel enjoys little chicks, and a greedy man wants to take advantage of others. A man of a certain Realm acts accordingly. Therefore, all is correct.
109. I received all sorts of blows, and I was resolved not to get angry or get heated. Someone laughs at me, but I don’t get angry. Anger and heat are two “grim reapers”; if you can control them, turn heat into “a golden boy” and turn anger into “a golden girl” instead of being controlled by them, you are Buddha!
110. An adversity is a blessing; men must realize this. If you suffer a loss, you shouldn’t complain; you must have owed that person; when other men complain on your behalf, it lengthens your life. If you are bullied and beaten up for no reason, it is still your fault; you endure it, and then the debt is paid off; you should thank him. If I am not beaten by him, how can I ever clear my bad Karma? So I say a lesser man has merits; he bullies others and compels them to be good; he benefits others from a negative angle.
111. Endure it, and it ends. Endure hardships, and you end hardships; endure sufferings, and you end sufferings. If not for your guilt, you won’t be called names; if not for your offence, you won’t be beaten. When a man causes you an adversity, he is sending you blessings; you not only need to endure it but also thank him for it.
Everything is in the cycle of cause-consequences. When an adversity comes, you endure it with a smile and take it as an obligation; this way it ends. If you can’t take it and you get resentful, more adversities will come even when the first one passes; it is because you took it but did not end it.
113. All that comes your way is destined to come; therefore, you must endure it when you come across undesirable things or unpleasant men. When Confucius was starving in the Kingdom of Chen, when Jesus was crucified, when Buddha was sliced, none of them was resentful; that was accepting fates. Only by accepting fates can you attain the Way.
114. Men cheat, but Heaven does not cheat. When Heaven bestows blessings, it comes in the form of an adversity. If you cannot remain steadfast in the face of an adversity, then it is downfall halfway.
115. Diamonds are the hardest; a man should forge the mind of a diamond. When an ignorant man is insulted or yelled at, he does not find this a blessing but gets mad; this is a diamond cracking! When a reasonable man gets mad at an ignorant man, it is a diamond breaking into pieces! Only no cracking or breaking can a man forge the mind of a diamond.
116. “Mending your temperament among men is learning”. A man needs to mend his temperament while interacting with the relatives. After he has mended his temperament, he will not be afraid of blows. Similarly, a brick is sturdy after it has been baked well; if it has not been baked well, it is still brick clay and will fall apart immediately in water!
117. If a man wants to actualize virtues, he must mend his temperament. If he wants to mend his temperament, he must surrender his heart (longings). If he can live like a dead man, his temperament is mended.
Surrendering money is not as good as surrendering your body; surrendering your body is not as good as surrendering your heart; surrendering your heart is not as good as surrendering your temperament. If a man can surrender his temperament, he has attained the Way. Therefore, I educate men to mend their temperament. This is the Eternal Panacea; spiritual essence is never gone.
This book, or parts thereof, may not be altered in any form without permission.
Downloading is welcome and allowed for free circulation only.