TALK GIVEN AT THE OPENING CEREMONY OF THE
DALLAS BUDDHIST ASSOCIATION

"It is difficult to obtain human life, and even more so to encounter, understand, and learn from the Buddha's Teachings.

“How fortunate we are to enjoy a happy life!  How lucky we are to be able to hear the great Teachings!  The most pre­cious of all is to have encountered the di­rect, complete, and wondrous teachings of the Pure Land School.

The peace and happiness which has ful­filled my life all sprang forth from practicing of the Pure Land Teachings.  Ever since I, Chin Kung, began studying the Buddha's Teachings, not a single day passed by in which I forget the kindness shown to me by my teachers.  The only way to express my sincere gratitude is to fully dedicate my time and energy into sharing the Teachings with Society.  As I enter old age, I feel an urgent need to carry out my responsi­bility of solely pro­moting and cultivating the Pure Land Teachings.  Today, I would like to share with everyone the same peace and happi­ness I have gained through the Teachings in this short introductory speech.  The six passages below are a compilement of the main points summarized from the entire Buddhist Treasury: 

1. Buddhism is the most pro-found and whole­some educa-tion di­rected by the Buddha towards all peo­ple.
2. The content in Shakyamuni Buddha's forty-nine years of teachings de­scribes the true face of life and the universe. Life refers to oneself;universe refers to our living envi­ron­ment. The Teachings directly relate to our own lives and sur­roundings.
3. Those who possess a com-plete and proper understand-ing of life and the universe are called Buddhas or Bod-hisattvas. Those who lack the un­der­standing are namely ‘worldly people’.
4.  Cultivation is chang­ing the way we think, speak, and act toward people and matters from an er­roneous way to a proper way.
5.  The guideline for cul­ti­va­tion is understanding, proper views, and purity. True un-derstanding is with­out delusion, proper view is without devia­tion, and purity is with-out de­filement.  This can be achieved by practicing the Three Learnings of self dis­cipline, concentra­tion, and wisdom.
6. The foundation of culti­vation and study are the Three Basic Conditions.When in­teracting with people, ac-cord with the Six Harmonies, and when dealing with soci-ety, prac­tice the Six Princi­ples.Follow the lessons taught by Universal Worthy Bodhi-sattva and dedicate one's mind to everlasting purity and brightness. These com-plete the pur­pose of the Buddha's Teachings.

The Sutra of Amitabha's Purity, Equal­ity, and Understanding states, ‘Wherever the Bud­dha's Teachings have been re­ceived, either in cities or countrysides, people would gain in­conceivable benefits.  The land and people would be enveloped in peace.  The sun and the moon would shine clear and bright.  Wind and rain would appear accordingly, and there will be no disasters.  Nations would be pros­perous and there will be no use for sol­diers and weap­ons.  People would abide by morality and ac­cord with laws. They would be courteous and humble. Every­one would be content.  There would be no injustices, thefts or violence. The strong would not dominate the weak and eve­ry­one will be settled at their proper place in the so­ci­ety.’ This passage of the Sutra clearly reveals the true benefits of Buddha's Teachings.

Mr. Kuang Shi Mei, one of the most fa­mous Buddhist scholars in China stated, ‘If we wish to propagate the Buddha's Teachings at this time and age, it is neces­sary to promote the Pure Land School.  To promote Pure Land, we must bring forth The Sutra of Amitabha's Purity, Equality, and Understanding.  If people would study and put the teachings of this Sutra into practice, they will come to understand the real­ity of cause and effect.  Naturally, the purity of their minds would bring about the health of their bodies, and their envi­ronment would be free from pollutions.  Hence, this period of corrup­tion would surely be overturned and peace will fol­low.’

Today's world is filled with extreme con­fusion, and everyone wishes to restore order.  To prevent the disasters upcoming right before our eyes, we must diligently and tirelessly per­suade people to bear a kind heart, perform kind deeds, speak kind words, and overall, be a de­cent per­son.  We plan to achieve the above goals (The Four Decencies) through under-standing the spirit behind different types of teachings (see Guidelines for Selection of Passages).


Members of the Pure Land Learning Cen­ter should without doubt follow the teachings of Purity, Equality, and Under­standing and be de­termined to reach the Pure Land.  I hope this new facility will be dedicated to the exclusive study and prac­tice of the Pure Land Teachings in this great land of America.

We should follow the footsteps of Teacher Yin Guang and truly bring our ideals (specified in the Introduction of the Pure Land Learning Center) to life.

We should often provide discussions and hold study sessions where Buddha Recitation would be practiced.  Buddha Recitation is the most effective way to pu­rify our mind.  In this way we would be cultivating according to what we learn.

The Buddha's Education is not an es­cape from worldly problems; instead, dedicated stu­dents of the Teachings un­der­take the basic re­sponsibilities of re­stor­ing order to the world, overcoming the problems in society and helping the dis­tressed.  Through inner peace, we can at­tain world peace.

Only by seeing through the same eyes of understanding is it possible for us to be truly diligent in our cultivation and spreading of the Buddha's Teachings.  We reach towards happi­ness of the family, stability of the society, a re­spected nation, and a harmonious world apart from suf­ferings.  I hope the everlasting light of the Buddha's Teachings will penetrate to all corners of the world as soon as possible.”

Presented by
The Elder Teacher Chin Kung
October 1, 1993
Dallas, Texas
U.S.A.

 

Guidelines for Selection of Passages

        The way to world peace is through common viewpoint. To achieve common viewpoint, we plan to gather the spirit and ideas from dif­ferent types teach­ings by selecting passages from histori­cal volumous books of experience and wis­dom.  We hope those who are interested in participating in this task would abide by the following guide­lines:

1.  Select short, easily un­der-stood passages, in­stead of lengthy ones.
2.  Select needed and practi­cal teachings, and not fancy phi­losophies.
3. Select passages which would:
• benefit one's own moral conduct and cultiva­tion.
• bring happiness into the family.
• improve our job per­for-mance by relating to the past career experience of people from all walks of life.
• promote stability of the society.
• help the nation pros­per.
• help bring about world peace.
• close the gaps between dif­ferent races, beliefs, and lines of studies.
4.  After properly compiling and categorizing the pas­sages into one volume, we should trans­late them into different lan­guages for readership world­wide.  Our ideal goal is to in­troduce the ancients' wisdom to the world and promote harmony.
5. Select famous teachings from foreign literature.  If these could be distrib­uted world­wide, then we can establish common understanding, har­moni­ous living, and shared prosperity.  This would bring about a mutually supportive and happy world.


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