My most dear, most kind, most precious, wish-fulfilling ones,
My thanks, first of all, that you have taken a human rebirth, from many lifetimes of practice, praying and dedicating to receive a human body and especially a perfect human body, and now you are able to practice the Dharma and meet the Mahayana teachings. From that, any practice you do always begins with bodhicitta.
The main purpose of our life is to free the numberless sentient beings in each realm from the oceans of samsara suffering and bring them to buddhahood—the peerless happiness. Therefore we need to achieve buddhahood in order to be able to do the perfect works for the sentient beings, without the slightest mistake.
Any Mahayana practice that we do begins with bodhicitta, to benefit all the sentient beings in the six realms. That means any practice we do with this motivation is helping the numberless sentient beings in every realm—every single hell being, hungry ghost, animal, human, sura, and asura in the numberless universes, so all the numberless sentient beings, everyone.
Your center is not only helping people by giving them the opportunity to come to the center, but also by coming there they find out about all the meditation subjects and the path to enlightenment.
By meeting Buddhism and finding out about meditation and the path to enlightenment, this is what helps them to purify past negative karma and stop rebirth in the lower realms, by practicing morality, charity and so forth. This creates the cause for higher rebirths in future lives, not even just for one lifetime. By practicing morality, keeping even one precept, and by practicing charity, this helps for many hundreds and thousands of lifetimes. So the results are amazing, amazing.
In the Arya Sanghata Sutra the Buddha said, “The result of making charity to sentient beings, even the size of a single strand of hair, will be unbelievable wealth for eighty eons.”
Therefore in everyday life, practice charity with a healthy mind. I am saying this in a Western way for those who don’t believe in reincarnation and karma, so I say “a healthy mind, a positive mind.” Practicing charity with a mind without attachment—this is a peaceful mind. A mind with attachment is a disturbed mind, a contaminated mind, contaminated with suffering. Therefore, practice charity with a mind without attachment. Whether it is big or small charity, it is always helping, especially if it is for those in need. Giving anything, whatever you can give, is the most important thing, and this is creating a healthy life. From charity comes wealth and success in this life and next lives.
Pure morality leads to a good rebirth, being able to meet Dharma and practice Dharma. Not only that, the next thing is be to free from samsara by practicing the three higher trainings—the higher training of morality, the higher training of concentration and the higher training of wisdom.
So now you can see that by coming to the center people learn how to be free from the oceans of samsara suffering. Not just for a few hours or a few days, but forever. Can you imagine?
No matter how hard it is, it is so worthwhile because you are creating the cause for them to be free from death, free from suffering, free from birth, old age, sickness, and so forth, to be free from the suffering of depression and dissatisfaction. Even the dissatisfaction of billionaires and zillionaires is worse than the suffering in the hell realms.
There are three kinds of suffering. There is the suffering of pain. Then, the suffering of change—which refers to all the samsaric pleasures, such as the pleasures of music, surfing, jumping out of an airplane with a parachute, sex, drugs, alcohol and so forth. All the samsara pleasures are in reality in the nature of suffering, but they appear as pleasure to begin with. This is what is called the suffering of change. The third suffering, pervasive compounding suffering, means being under the [control of] the contaminated seed of delusion and karma. So it is pervaded by karma, the seed. There is no worse suffering than pervasive compounding suffering.
We can be free from all of this forever by learning Buddhism, meditation, the three higher trainings, the five paths to liberation, and so forth. It is from this that we can know how to be free from samsara forever.
Not only that, [people coming to the center] meet the Mahayana teachings, learn bodhicitta on the basis of generating compassion for all sentient beings, practice the six paramitas, the sutra five paths and ten bhumis, and then they are able to meet Mahayana tantra. And by practicing Mahayana tantra, they are able to achieve enlightenment in one brief lifetime of degenerate time.
By practicing the eight Mahayana precepts, the eight pratimoksha precepts, the five lay vows, or even less than five, like four, three, two or one, even just for one day, this helps for five hundred lifetimes to have a human or deva rebirth and so forth.
Practicing charity brings the success of wealth and so forth, all the enjoyments, for many hundreds or even thousands of lifetimes. This can come from giving charity just one time. This is the real cause of success in our life.
Practicing the good heart is the most important thing and the best cause of success in our life. However many times we are born in samsara—until we achieve the ultimate wisdom directly perceiving emptiness that ceases delusion and karma, which are the causes of the oceans of suffering in samsara—practicing the good heart is the real cause of happiness. Then there is no nonvirtue, only virtue. The good heart is the best way to create virtue.
Of course, people think that it is from education, but there are so many uneducated people in the world, in less developed countries, who are very happy, whose wishes get fulfilled, who have wealth and all their wishes succeed, but they have no education. Education can help, but it is not the main cause; it is the condition. Many times, if you have education but don’t have a good heart, then having education causes problems such as ego, pride, nonvirtuous thought, the thought to harm others and destroy the world, and so forth.
Some people have high degrees and very good education, but still they cannot find jobs or it takes a long time. Of course if the person’s mind is open then I would suggest reading the Arya Sanghata Sutra and Golden Light Sutra in order to collect unbelievable merits and the causes of success. Also my general advice is every day to help insects, people, animals, and especially those who have problems, to help them in any way possible.
The ultimate conclusion is to practice the good heart. This is the best Dharma. With the good heart everything happens, especially enlightenment—the total cessation of all the obscurations and completion of all the realizations—not only to achieve enlightenment, but to free the numberless sentient beings from the oceans of samsara sufferings and bring them to enlightenment.
So this is what you are doing and what the center does. All of you who are helping the center and working at the center, you are helping every sentient being, every animal, every ant in the different universes, every mosquito, all the different kinds of fish, every slug, every mouse, every maggot and every tiny flea.
Thank you very much. Please enjoy life with the good heart. That is the best way to enjoy your life. With a good heart, this causes inner happiness that goes up to enlightenment.
Thank you very much, see you soon.
With much love and prayers