KNOWING THE BETTER WAY TO LIVE ALONE (p. 86)
The Transcendent Understanding- a store of precious virtues,
mother of all the Buddhas.
1. Bodhisattvas who in this life
Would remove all the obstacles and the afflictions and
Give rise to a mind pacified, and confident, dwelling in
the awakened calm.
All should rely on the Transcendent Understanding.
2. All the rivers in the Roseapple
Making beautiful the healing herbs, flowers and fruits
All derive from the power of the Naga king
Who dwells in the cool Manasarowara lake!
3. Just so if the hearer disciples of the Buddha
Use skilful means to teach dharma and help people
Experience joy, have the fruit of happiness, practice the
All that is due to the sacred power of the Tathagata.
4. The Buddha transmits the eye of the
His disciples by training according to it,
Practice it, realise it and teach it to others
All that is due to the power and strength of Buddha.
5. The incomparable understanding is not to be grasped,
It is not an object of realisation, it is not the highest
If someone hears this and feels no terror
That person is a Bodhisattva who has understood the
6. Form, feelings, perception, formations, consciousness; all
The Bodhisattva is not the tiniest bit caught and does not
dwell in anything,
Does not abide in any dharma,
And realises the awakening which cannot be grasped.
7. When the Bodhisattva desires to live the homeless life
Shines his insight on the five skandhas as having no true
Knowing that, he does not seek the peace of nirvana,
That is to realise the wisdom of a Bodhisattva.
8. What is the object realised by this understanding?
It is to throw the light of insight and see that all is
When there is this insight, there is no terror,
The Bodhisattva awakens herself and awakens others.
9. Acting as if the five skandhas are
Is not to understand their true nature,
The Bodhisattva sees the skandhas all empty,
And acts accordingly to the signless not expressible.
10. The five skandhas are empty,
He does not act caught in them so his action is called
When there is action there is not the highest
He does not achieve the signless, the peaceful samadhi.
11. If he can practice the silent awakening like this
All the past Buddhas have entrusted their power to him
He knows the fundamental nature, causes and conditions of
Suffering and delight cannot touch
12. If when practicing he does not see an object of his
Then he practices according to the wisdom of the Sugata,
If he is able to practice with no object of the practice
Then only is it the highest practice of understanding.
13. This practice which has no object cannot be conceived,
The foolish people are caught in the sign "is" and "is not",
Both "is" and "is not" fail to express the truth.
The Bodhisattva of awakened understanding goes beyond them
14. The Bodhisattva who knows that the five skandhas
Are all a magic show,
He is free of all signs, his practice is silent awakening
Which is called the highest practice of understanding.
15. If good teachers and spiritual friends tell them
They are not afraid of hearing the Mother of Buddhas' sutra,
But if bad teachers and friends take them on the wrong
They are like a clay water pot which has not been fired.
16. Who is it that we call
He is no longer caught in practicing to fulfil desire.
He aspires to the fruit of awakening without being caught in
And thus is called Bodhisattva.
17. Who is it that we call Mahasattva?
They are people who arrive at the "highest meaning"
And are able to destroy mankind's wrong views
That is why they are called great beings.
18. Great generosity, wisdom and virtuous power
He sits on the highest vehicle of the Buddhas
Gives rise to the Awakened Mind to save beings
And is therefore called Mahasattva.
19. Just like a magician at the
Gives rise to an illusory crowd and cuts off their heads,
All the worlds are equally illusory
Knowing this the Bodhisattva feels no fear.
20. All five skandhas are fetters which
Knowing that they are not real he needs nothing further,
Practices Awakened Mind which is not caught (in objects)
That is called the highest
21. Who is it we call a Bodhisattva
Riding on the great vehicle to help all beings
The great vehicle is as extensive as space
On it all ride in joy, safety and
22. The Great Vehicle cannot be
It goes to Nirvana, but Nirvana is everywhere else.
We cannot see where Nirvana is: it is like a fire which has
That is what we mean when we say "enters Nirvana"
23. The object of a Bodhisattva's practice cannot be
It cannot be found in any of the three times, it is
Purified, calmed, fearless, without reasoning
But it is practice of the highest understanding.
24. When a Bodhisattva engages in the action of great
And gives rise to great love and compassion to help beings
Never does he think in terms of "sentient beings".
That is the highest understanding in action.
25. When a Bodhisattva gives rise to the notion of "living
And practices austerities caught in the sign "suffering"
Because he is caught in the signs "I" and "living beings"
It is not the highest understanding in action.
26. When he knows clearly his own nature and that of other
And knows that all dharmas too are of that nature,
Birth and death are not in duality, not to be distinguished
from birthless and deathless,
Then it is the highest understanding in action.
27. Abandoning all names and words
For things which are born and die in the world,
When there is this deathless wisdom incomparable,
Then there is the highest understanding in action.
28. When the Bodhisattva has a practice like this,
Knows what skilful means to use and does not need anything,
Knows that these means have no independent existence,
Then there is the practice of the highest understanding.
29. If he is not established in form and feelings,
In perceptions, formations and consciousness,
Only dwells in the place of perfect teachings,
Then there is the practice of the highest understanding.
30. Permanent and impermanent, suffering and joy,
Self and selfless, all are empty.
He is not established in a world of compounded or
He is established in a signless practice as the Buddha
31. If you want to aspire to the hearer, or pratyekabuddha
Or to the Buddha enlightenment
If you do not have endurance to practice as above, you cannot
It is going over a great river of which you cannot see the
(If you cannot accept these teachings on emptiness you will
not have the strength to arrive)
32. If you hear these teachings and determine to realise
To realise the highest awakening, be a witness to awakened
And you see that the nature of all things is your own
That is the great wisdom of which the Tathagata spoke.
The practitioner should be established in the four pudgalas
(pudgalas are human beings) and they can be said to practice the great wisdom.
One is when objects of the mind are wholesome and seen as they are. Two is
when the mind cannot be reversed. Three is the arahat who has abandoned
defilements, has no afflictions and no needs. Four is the good friend who goes
on the same path with those that he helps.
33. A Bodhisattva who practices like this the great wisdom
Does not train as a hearer or pratyekabuddha trains,
He only trains in the sarvajnata of the Tathagata.
True learning is the learning of no learning.
34. He trains in the non-increase and non-decrease of forms
He does not train to acquire them as objects of mind
His only joy is to train according to sarvajnata
The same is true of feelings, perceptions, formations and
35. Form is not wisdom, it is not absence of wisdom,
Feelings, perceptions and so on are also like that,
The nature of form is like empty space
Sameness, non-duality, non-discrimination.
36. The basic nature of wrong perception is also emptiness
As is the basic nature of all living beings
The nature of space is without obstructions
So the wisdom of those who understand the world is
37. Wisdom is not form, the Buddha has
When all clinging to perceptions is given up, Nirvana is
Whoever has given up clinging to perceptions
That person's mind is said to dwell in suchness.
38. For as many lifetimes as grains of sand in the Ganga's
The person who does not hear the Buddha utter "Living Beings"
Born beings are birthless, from the beginning pure and
Practices the highest
39. Since all the words I ever uttered
All contained the meaning of the highest understanding,
The last Buddha transmitted to me the prediction
That I would witness awakening in a future life.
40. If anyone constantly receives and practices this
His action is none other than the action of Buddhas.
Sword, poison, fire and water
And all the sorts of Mara can do him no harm.
WE ARE TRULY PRESENT
(Gatha to be read before beginning Kinh Hanh)
We are truly present our hearts established in mindfulness
For sitting meditation, kinh hanh and reciting the sutras
May the three jewels and the holy nagas
Support this meditation centre with its four sanghas
Protecting them from the eight misfortunes and the three paths
May the four sounds and the three worlds be permeated by the
May there be no place in the world at war
May the winds be favourable, the rain seasonable and the
people’s hearts at peace
May the practice of the sangha be steady and diligent
Ascending the ten bhumis without hardship
May the Sanghakaya live in peace, joy and newness
The refuges and the precepts bringing happiness and wisdom
The wisdom of the Awakened mind shines out like the full
The body of the Awakened One is as pure and clear as lapis
The Awakened One in the world never ceases to save beings from
Nowhere is there Awakened mind which lacks love and
Please sisters establish your mindfulness to recite the name of
Namo Sakyamunaye Buddhaya
(stand up and practise circumambulation while recollecting the
Teaching and living the way of awareness in the very midst of
suffering and confusion, Sakyamuni Buddha the Awakened One, to whom we bow in
Seed of awakening and loving kindness in children, sprouts and
all beings, Maitreya, the Buddha to be born, to whom we bow in gratitude.
Cutting through ignorance, awakening our hearts and our minds,
Manjusri the bodhisattva of great understanding to whom we bow in gratitude.
Working mindfully, working joyfully for the sake of all beings,
Samantabhadra the bodhisattva of great action, to whom we bow in gratitude.
Seeing the Buddha in everyone, Sadaparibhuta, the bodhisattva
of constant respect, to whom we bow in gratitude. (B)
Showing the way fearlessly and compassionately the stream of
all our ancestral teachers, to whom we bow in gratitude. (BB)
THE REFUGE CHANT p. 126
I take refuge in the Buddha, the one who shows me the way in
I take refuge in the Dharma, the way of understanding and love.
I take refuge in the Sangha, the community which lives in
harmony and awareness. (B)
Since I have taken refuge in Buddha,
I see clearly a path of beauty in the world.
Since I have taken refuge in Dharma,
I am learning and practising ways of transformation.
Since I have taken refuge in Sangha
I have the Sangha to shine light on my practice
And support me on the path of practice.(B)
Taking refuge in the Buddha in myself,
I aspire that all people
May recognise the awakened nature
And quickly realise bodhicitta
Taking refuge in the Dharma in myself,
I aspire that all people
Can grasp firmly the ways of practice
and together go on the path of transformation.
Taking refuge in the Sangha in myself
I aspire that all people
May build four-part sanghas to transform
The suffering of numerous people. (BBB)