Clear and Clean Mind
Many people are unable to enter into the state of tranquillity in practice and they go everywhere to look for qigong masters and ask: Ah, teacher, why can I not enter into the state of tranquillity in practice? Once being settled down, I am thinking about everything and giving way to foolish fancies. That is something like a roaring sea in which everything is turning up and I cannot be tranquil at all. Why cannot you be tranquil? Some people do not understand this and think there should be a secret of success to it. And so he is looking for the well-known master and say to him: Please tell me something like a secret of success so that I can enter the state of tranquillity. In my opinion, you are looking for outside help. If you want to improve yourself, you should search inside yourself and concentrate your efforts on upgrading your mind. Only in this way can you truly improve yourself and attain the state of tranquillity during the sitting practice. Being able to enter the state of tranquillity means cultivation energy. The depth of the power of Ding () is the manifestation of your attainment level.
Can an ordinary person enter into the state of tranquillity at will? He can not do it at all unless he has very good inborn qualities. That is to say, the fundamental cause that you can not enter into the state of tranquillity is not an issue of what method you should use, and not an issue of having a secret of success, but it is that your mind and your heart are not clean. As you live in the society of ordinary people and face person-to-person conflicts, you compete and contend with others for personal interests as well as out of seven motions and six desires and all kinds of attachments. You can not put down all these things, nor can you care less about them. If you want to attain the state of tranquillity, how can you do it easily? Someone says while practising there: I just do not believe it, and I've got to enter into the state of tranquillity and stop thinking nonsense. Right after saying this, all turns out again. It is because your mind is not clean that you cannot have a mind of tranquillity.
Some people may disagree with my point of view: Don't some qigong masters teach others to adopt some methods? One may focus on only one thing, visualize it, think about Dantian only, look at Dantian inside the body, chant the name of Buddha, etc.. It is a method, but not simply a method. It is a kind of manifestation of Gongfu, which thus has direct relationship with Xinxing of our cultivation and the ascension of our attainment level. Besides, this is not the only one method one may use to be able to enter into the state of tranquillity. You may have a try if you do not believe it. As your desires and attachments of all kinds are too strong and you can not give them up, you may try and see whether you can enter into the state of tranquillity. Someone says it is useful to chant the name of Buddha. Can you attain the state of tranquillity by chanting the name of Buddha? Someone says it is easy to practise the school of Amitabha by just chanting the name of Buddha. Would you try it? I shall say that is Gongfu, and you say it is easy but I say it is not easy. None of the cultivation ways is easy.
It is known that Sakyamuni taught "Ding". What did he say before teaching "Ding"? He taught "morality": To get rid of all desires and habits and with nothing in mind, you can come to Ding. Is that so? "Ding" is also a kind of Gongfu. When you can not attain a total morality, and as you slowly give up all the bad things, your power of Ding will develop from the elementary to the profound. Chanting the name of Buddha should be done with concentration and single-mindedly in order to empty one's mind of all thoughts. And one chants so hard until the other parts of his brain become numb and know nothing, with one thought in mind replacing ten thousands of thoughts. And every word of Amitabha will be able to display before one's eyes. Isn't this Gongfu? Can one do this from the very beginning? No. If he is unable to do so, he cannot enter into the state of tranquillity. If you do not believe it, you may try it. While chanting the name of Amitabha again and again, one keeps thinking about everything: How come our work unit chief looks down upon me in every way? They gave me so little bonus this month? The more he thinks, the angrier he becomes. So he feels really infuriated while his mouth is still chanting the name of Amitabha. Would you say he can practise qigong? Isn't it an issue of Gongfu? Isn't it the problem that your mind is not clear? Some people's Celestial Eyes are open and they can look at Dantian in their bodies. The Dan (elixir) accumulated in the position of one's lower abdomen is getting brighter with more pure energy matter. And it is getting darker and more black when it is less pure. Can you enter into the state of tranquillity by looking into your Dantian? Being unable to enter into tranquillity is not due to the method itself and the key point is that one's mind and intention are not in the state of tranquillity. When you look into Dantian and see the elixir is very good and very bright like a crystal, it changes in a short while and turns into a house. "This room is for my son's marriage, that for my daughter, and we, the old couple, live in here and the room in the middle serves as a living room. That is wonderful. Can this house be allocated to me and I must try to figure out some way to get it. What shall I do?" When one is so attached to such things, could you say that one is able to enter into the state of tranquillity? Some people say: I have come down to the society of ordinary people just like living in a hotel for a few days, and I will go away in a hurry. Some people have simply become attached to this place here and have forgotten their own homes.
Genuine cultivation requires cultivating one's mind, cultivating inside oneself and searching inside oneself but not outside oneself. A certain school says, Buddha is right in one's mind and it has some truth in saying so. Someone misunderstood this. It seems to him that "Buddha in one's mind" means that he himself seems the Buddha or a Buddha seems to be in his mind. Isn't he wrong to understand it in such a way? It can not be understood like that. Genuine cultivation means that you can attain perfection only by cultivating your mind. This is simply the truth. How can there be a Buddha in your body? Only through your cultivation can you make it.
The reason why you are unable to enter into the state of tranquillity is that your mind is not empty, and that your attainment level is not so high. And tranquillity is achieved from the shallow to the deep in accordance with the ascension of your attainment level. If you rid yourself of the attachments, your level will be raised and your capability of Ding will be strengthened. You want to use a certain way or method to make yourself enter into the state of tranquillity, I would say you are seeking help from the outside. It is just what is meant by seeking help from the outside in cultivation, which causes you to go astray and leads you to an evil way. Especially in Buddhism they would say you are going into the world of demons if you try to seek help from the outside. Genuine cultivation requires cultivating that mind of yours, and only when you improve your Xinxing can you attain tranquillity and active non-action () in mind. Only when you improve your Xinxing can you assimilate yourself to the cosmic qualities and get rid of all human desires and attachments and bad things, and can you empty your mind of all bad stuff of yours and thus ascend. Without the constraint of the cosmic qualities, your De, a kind of matter, can be transformed into cultivation energy. Don't they complement each other? This is such a truth.
This is the subjective cause of preventing oneself from meeting the requirements of a practitioner's standard, which makes one unable to enter into the state of tranquillity. Objectively, now there exists a situation which severely interferes with cultivation towards the high dimension, and severely affects the practitioner. It is known that with the policy of reform and opening up, economic development gets more flexible and policies relax restrictions. Many new science and technology have been introduced and the living standards of the people have also improved. And those ordinary people regard these as good things. However, it should be viewed dialectically from both sides. Some unhealthy things of a wide variety have been brought in as well with the reform and opening up. Literary works have to be written with some pornography in them, otherwise the books seem to be difficult to sell, because it involves the issue of sales volume. In films and TV programs, it seems that no one would like to watch them if there are no shots of on-bed love affairs for there is the viewer-rating issue. Who could tell whether it is genuine art or whether it is something else of some other intentions in works of art? There are no such things in our ancient traditional Chinese arts. And the tradition of our Chinese nation is not invented and created by anyone. In my lecture on the pre-historical culture, I mentioned that everything has its origin. Human moral standards have been distorted and have changed as well. The criteria by which good and bad are judged have changed. And that is a matter of ordinary people. The cosmic qualities of Zhen Shan Ren are the sole criterion by which a good person and a bad person are judged, and it will never change. As a practitioner, if you want to jump out of ordinary people, you must use this criterion to measure yourself, and you can not use the criterion of ordinary people for measurement. So objectively there is also such an interference. And now there is more than that. There crops up a mess of what is known as homosexual, sexual liberation, drug-taking, etc..
Human society has developed to the current level as such. Just think what would it be like if it developed further in this way? Can it be allowed to go on like this forever? The Heaven will do something about it if mankind does not. When a catastrophe strikes mankind, such a situation prevails. I have given so many lessons but I have not touched upon the issue of the great human catastrophes. It is a hot topic much talked about by religions as well as by many people. I am raising such a question to everyone. Just think about it. In our society of ordinary people, human moral standard has taken such a change! The tension of person-to-person relationship has gone to such an extent! Don't you think it has come to such an extremely dangerous situation? So now this existing objective environment is severely interfering with our practitioners' cultivation to the high dimension. The paintings of the nude are placed high right in the middle of the road and you can see them as soon as you raise your head.
Lao Zi once made such a statement: When a person of good quality for cultivation hears of Tao, he practises it diligently. This person of good quality for cultivation hears of Tao thinks that it is not easy to get the Orthodox Law. If he does not cultivate it today, when should he? I think a complicated environment will turn out to be a good thing. The more complicated the environment is, the more accomplished cultivators there will be. Those who have cultivated here and revealed themselves above the environment have indeed laid a solid foundation for cultivation.
For a truly determined practitioner, I should say it will turn out to be a good thing. If there is no contradiction cropping up for you, there will be no chance for you to improve your Xinxing, and you can not go up. If you are good and I am also good, how could you cultivate? For an average practitioner, "a person of average quality for cultivation hears of Tao", he may practise or he may not. Such a person might not make it in his cultivation. Some people are now attending my lectures here, feeling they are sound and reasonable, but, after they go back to the society of ordinary people, they may feel that practical and immediate interests are indeed more realistic. They are indeed realistic. To say nothing of you, but there are many millionaires and billionaires in the West, who find nothing left after their death, as material wealth can not be brought with birth, nor can be taken along with death. They feel lost. Why, however, is cultivation energy so precious? Because it is directly carried by your True Spirit, who comes with your birth and goes with your death. We say that the True Spirit will never die, and this is not superstition. Although the cells of our physical bodies have been removed, much smaller molecular components existing in another physical space have not been extinct. They have only taken off their shells.
What I have just said all belongs to the issue of one's Xinxing. Sakyamuni once said the following words and so did Dharmer: China, the East land, is a place where people of great virtues have emerged. So, many monks through Chinese history as well as many Chinese people are feeling very proud. They understand that they can attain high cultivation energy. Thus many Chinese feel happy and oversatisfied: It is only our Chinese who are great and it is China that is the place where people well grounded in all virtues as well as people of great virtues emerge. In fact, many people do not understand what its true meaning is. Why can people of great virtues come out in China, and why can they attain high cultivation energy? Many people neither know the true meaning of what the people of the high hierarchy said, nor the realm of awareness and the mentality that the people of the high hierarchy and the high realm of awareness belong to. Of course, we have said that we do not have to make it clear. Everyone, just think. It means that it is only among the most complicated group of people and in the most complicated environment that highly accomplished cultivators can come into being.