Part I - 2

The text continues:
"Verifying reality,
There are no people or dharmas."

Verifying or certifying reality means when we know ourselves, and when we know the world as-it-is. Really being clear. Clear about ourselves. And clear about the world in which we live. Then we will know liberation from people and dharmas. (The word dharmas mean things.) We will be liberated from attachment to people and things. Attachments that may cause ourselves troubles and difficulties in life. Liberated we can know some peace of mind.

The text continues:
"The karma of the Avici Hell is extinguished in an instant."

The Avici Hell is translated as the uninterrupted hell, (or the never-ending hell). It is considered to be the lowest or the worst hell in Buddhism. Perhaps some people here may have experienced the hell, this condition of pain or suffering that seems to continue, uninterrupted. It does happen in life that we may meet with long years of pain or suffering. And in fact, this is neither a good thing, nor is it a bad thing. The important point is, as the text states, that we get out of this condition of hell. The karma of the Avici Hell is extinguished in an instant. Earnestly practicing the Way, it is possible to get out of this difficult condition of pain. Surely, this is possible, and we must get out.

The text continues:
"If I were deceiving living beings with false words, I would invite upon myself the ripping out of tongues for countless aeons."

These words are saying that the teachings of Buddhism, the words of Shakyamuni Buddha, and the successive Ancestors of the Way are not false words. They are not deception. For human beings, it is not just an easy or simple matter to exist in the world. In the course of life, people may meet with hardship or adversity. People may meet with some confusion or suffering. Thankfully, there are the teachings and practice of Buddhism so that people may find some relief from the sufferings of existence.

The text continues:
"With the sudden enlightened understanding of the Ch 'an of the Tathagata,
The six perfections and the ten thousands practices are embodied, complete. "

These words are referring to knowing oneself and attaining the Way. The word Ch'an (or Zen) comes from the Sanskrit word Dhyana, which refers to meditation practice or a life without separation. The word Tathagata is another name of the Buddha.

If we practice meditation, if we practice the way, we can know ourselves. Knowing ourselves, attaining the Way, the six perfections and ten thousand practices are embodied, complete. The six perfections are also known as the six Paramitas or the six ways. The six perfections are:

1. The Way of Offering. Offering means to give ourselves in our daily life, in our work, our occupation or our studies. And some self-sacrifice is important in order to be the person we would like to be in life. Offering also refers to giving. Appropriately giving or charity, rather than being selfish or unreasonably attached to greed.

2. The Way of Precepts. In Buddhism there are the precepts to help show us the Right Way, or the Middle Way. The precepts can serve as a reference or a guideline for our life. So that we will be free from error, and not cause ourselves unnecessary troubles in life. For example, there is the precept "Do not indulge in intoxicating substances." In our own society pitifully and unfortunately there is the confusion of illegal drugs. Not knowing the Buddhist precepts, not knowing the Right Way, there is the problem of drug use. There are also reports of related crime, sickness, and poverty. Rather than mistaken habits, much better to follow the Way, to know some well-being in life.

3. The Way of Forbearance. In the course of human life, it is common that some things may not turn out just as we had hoped or expected. Apart from our ideas, different from our opinions. These are the terms in which we live. For this reason, forbearance is an important virtue in life. At times we practice forbearance. And perseverance is also important.

4. The Way of Diligent Progress. This is to be diligent in our life. Making effort in a right direction. It is to use our time well. We live in a world of cause and effect. Cause, condition, and effect. Past cause has created our present condition, our present result. Present cause, that is, what we do now in the present, will condition the future. Accordingly, we should be diligent, living wisely in the present, not wasting time. In Buddhism we explain that each person may make their world. Slowly, little by little, as life is slow, and steadily. We should not be negligent.

5. The Way of Meditation (or Samadhi). Meditation is quiet practice. Sitting quietly in meditation. Becoming familiar with oneself, and really fostering quietness. Like this, a person can be efficient and proficient in daily life. And meditation refers to practice in activity. Really working. Really studying. Really doing things. Carefully, quietly, and diligently.

6. The Way of Wisdom. In Buddhism we teach that people should always try to live wisely. Doing our best and not being carried away by delusion or foolishness. We should try to live in the Right Way to know some well-being in life. And we can learn from our life. All things in life can teach us.

These are the six ways or six Paramitas (the six perfections) by which we are able to know some relief from the sufferings of existence.

"The ten thousand practices are embodied, complete." means that our daily life is the Way. Practice is not something that exists apart from our daily life. Each person clarifying the Way, can know this for oneself. Our daily life is the Way.


Read Part I - 1
(To be continued)