Learning how to face situations as they come will require a very calm mind. To attain this, spend more time on meditation. Start from the acute awareness of breathing and then moving on to the awareness of the aggregates.
It is time for disciples to seriously begin meditational practices so that practice will become more meaningful and fulfilling. Prayers may be wonderful, but the nature of the mind is to seek for more and more to grasp, more attraction and more changes. The next six months should be spent on simple methods so that the calm and happy mind can be felt.
Repeat the exercises with them often enough so that there is no need for anyone to memorise the procedures. In the past, they have received great satisfaction arising from mantra development, but they have gotten used to the results and their interest is waning. In the beginning they will find meditation too great a discipline and that is why they have been directed to the easiest of methods. Progress must be there and it is time that they move on to the next stage of development - the watching of the mind. It is another beginning, and those who strive hard will feel the wonderful result of what meditation can do for them. It is a discipline which they have entered unwittingly all these years while they were learning to merge with their specific mantras.
Once they are able to sit with ease to reach a calm state of mind, they will move on with the least of urging. To get to the state of having felt meditative bliss they will have to exert great energy which will eventually produce the desired results, and then each who has succeeded will experience another great change in their views towards life, they will become very useful beings on earth. Accept the simple directions and pursue this great path unhurriedly but with persistence.
The guidance from Kuan Shih Yin is best suited to all who are here. There may be many other methods, but these are unlikely to suit your temperament. It does not mean that what you have been practising so far is less effective than others nor more effective. With a simple heart many things can manifest and there are more who have attained their goals with simplicity of mind than those who enjoyed great reputations for their knowledge and practices.
Whatever you do, make sure there is an interest to benefit others in one way or another. If your mind is not tensed, not too expecting, but gentle and faith-filled, Kuan Yin’s energy will flow through you very easily. There is no need to strive to be good, to be in a state of prayers the whole day through, to forsake the world and live by yourself. Many who have become ascetics have not experienced any divine experiences and the only satisfaction that they have felt is the feeling that they are holier than others, that they are nearer to Truth. But those who practise the highest methods have no interest whatsoever in striving to be good and wise, do not have to cut all ties with the world or spend the whole day through in prayers and trying to perceive the Truth, they live naturally and harmoniously with others, feeling happy with other’s happiness, concerned with the miseries of the world so that they are ever ready to lend a helping hand. Such are the ones who have developed the Bodhisattva nature, and Kuan Shih Yin will be with them.
What kind of nature do you have? This one must find out and the best way to do so is to meditate on oneself. Knowing oneself is much more important than knowing all about the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. Realising one’s own nature and taking steps to improve oneself with the intention of removing all evil tendencies and habits is better than knowing the meanings of Sutras and spiritual teachings. Having a warm-heart towards others is as good as practising the highest of teachings.
Be simple, be relaxed, be kind and understanding when dealing with others. Know what you want, know your hopes and remind yourself that others too share the same thoughts. Dharma may be practised simply and effectively or otherwise, but you can be sure that those who find faults with others, who complain about the difficulties of adhering to right practices, even though they show a spiritual front, the spirit of Kuan Yin cannot enter their hearts, they are not true to themselves!
Thursday, 20th February 1986
1st Moon, 12th Day