What is the Diamond Sutra mainly about? What is Six Perfections? What is "emptiness"? In this lecture, Supreme Master Ching Hai explains to the public the Diamond Sutra. Diamond Sutra talks about the method and purpose of our spiritual practice. The most important is to practice giving, discipline, tolerance, diligence, meditation and wisdom. A practitioner should understand and practice these six perfections. We cannot practice spiritually without practicing the six perfections.
Buddha said giving is the highest practice. But meanwhile he also said that he never thought that he gave anything, he never saved any sentient beings and no sentient beings were saved, because he did not have the ego. Similarly, Maste taught us to always think of Master when doing anything and let the Master do it instead of thinking that "I" am doing. It’s not that Master is so arrogant, but to make us avoid being wrapped by the dangerous ego. If we always think Master’s power is doing, it will be faster, gentler, lighter, simpler and more beautiful. After getting rid of the ego, we can do anything. If we have a child-like faith, we can fly in the void. We have many obstacles because we do not 100% believe, so even if you can fly, you would still fall down. Many people know that we all have Buddha nature and were originally the Buddha, but still many beings went to hell and are trapped in the cycle of life and death, because they cannot believe they are free, their ego is too big so they cannot go up. That’s why Buddha said that if we give without thinking that we are giving, this merit is limitless.
1. Till what level of spiritual practice can we talk about "emptiness"? Since it is the best to do everything in "emptiness", because "emptiness" has neither good fortune nor karma, is it the same in doing good things and bad things?
2. After Master became famous, why is it not simple and very dangerous when helping Master, and if we are not careful, it may even obstruct our spiritual practice?
3. What is alm giving ? What kind of giving brings the most merit? Buddha said that if a person gives a lot life after life, he earns great merit. But if a disciple explains Diamond Sutra to people, he earns even greater merit than alm giving.
4. Spreading the Dharma is the highest giving, but who would have blessings through explaining scriptures? Master says that only a Buddha's disciples who explain the scriptures have blessing, because they were already connected with the limitless blessings. Not anyone who explains scriptures would have blessing.
5. Why did Master say it was the sentient beings who delivered Sakyamuni Buddha, not that Sakyamuni Buddha saved the sentient beings? Do you want to know why Master has forsaken her rich worldly life and a happy marriage, travelled to India and went through many hardships to search for the truth?
6. Why did Buddha say that do not seek for worldly fortune or merit when doing anything, and Jesus also tells us not to let your left hand know what the right hand is doing? Master explained that if we do things for worldly merit, then we have to come back to this world to enjoy it. But while enjoying the physical merit we also create karma instantly. Therefore, the physical merit is not good. If we do any merit, we’d better not think about merit. The best is to give others as if giving ourselves. When we wash our own hands, we would not think that we are so good and are helping washing our own hands; when we eat, we would not think that I am so good and I am helping my head to eat. It is the same when helping others. This way we have neither merit nor karma, and we would not reincarnate in the cycle of life and death.
7. What is the precept of selflessness? What is real offering? Buddha said that if a disciple never has the concept of “I” and “he/she” in his mind, then whatever he offers is good. Offering is not just about material things; it is the offering of heart, real offering is a good heart and love put together. If a disciple still thinks that I am giving and he is receiving when offering, it is still not real offering.
8. Buddha said we should do anything naturally and selflessly. Is this the same as Laotzu’s saying of doing without doing?
9. Buddha said that if a disciple gives a lot, giving out his treasures as big as Mount Sumeru, then this is a great merit. However, if another disciple learns the Diamond Sutra, practices the six perfections and explains the Diamond Sutra to the others with love and compassion, then the latter has a lot more merit than the former. Why?
10. It is said that if a Buddha, a Bodhisattva, or a Master thinks he/she has saved so many sentient beings, then he/she is not a true Buddha and still not up to that high level yet. Why?
11. Why doesn’t a great Bodhisattva consider her blessing power merits as her personal property? If a Bodhisattva still likes to earn merit, does it mean he/she is not a Bodhisattva?
12. Why does Master say that if we follow a spiritual master, knowing that the method of practice is good and do not tell other people, do not encourage people to practice, then our blessing is still very small?