Part Two: Dharma Discourses

Chapter Ten: Being Assiduous and Sincere


3. The Master continued: “Since you have already entered an order that is cultivating the Way, you must have a general sense of what is true and false. However, even while having that sense, if you do not check yourself well every moment of every day, you may still become easily enticed by external attractions before you even know it. In practice, too, if one has lots of scholarly knowledge, is able to write well, or can speak eloquently, then one may pride oneself on the advancement of one’s practice. Or, if one receives compliments or is well treated, one can easily become conceited and think that one has made a great achievement. However, true practice does not consist in language or writing; rather, it consists only in your spirit gaining the power of freedom and thereby possessing the ability to enjoy complete mastery with regard to the six rebirth destinies and the four modes of birth; in realizing the foundation of all human affairs and universal principles and thereby possessing an ability that is free from doubts or confusion regarding what is true or false and right or wrong; in acquiring the ability to keep all the precepts effortlessly by having all of your choice in action be in accord with the dharma and the regulations. Only then may you be called a person who has attained buddhahood. Therefore, in religious orders, regardless of how ignorant, lowly, or inarticulate a person may be, if that person’s faith is rooted in the dharma and he or she is making progress in mind practice, then that person will never be regarded lightly but will be expected to become a great dharma-vessel in the future.”