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Volume 4  No 4

The Voice of Bliss

Cultivation is actually a very simple matter

It is said that a foolish person cultivates only his body, while a wise person cultivates his mind. In the same way as the source of the spring affects the quality of the water that flows from it, the mind dictates the quality of the actions that the body performs. Cultivating the mind is an important first step, but maintaining non-arising of the mind is the ultimate

The stages in cultivation can be summarised as follows:

To cultivate our actions is not as good as to cultivate the body,
To cultivate the body is not as good as to cultivate the mind,
To cultivate the mind is not as good as not having arising of the mind.

All our actions, whether good or bad, are created our body. Therefore, to have the right conduct, we need to observe the correct etiquette of the body. However, it is the mind that dictates the actions of the body. A pure mind will thus translate into ethical actions. But, to cultivate the mind is also very troublesome, so we might as well not have the arising of the mind. People who have realised the state of non-arising of the mind, will be able to realise 'the impermanence of the arising mind' and able to practise the Bodhisattva path without any attachments.

Buddhist practitioners who cultivate by reciting the name of Amitabha Buddha and arrived at the Western Pure Land when they die, will be able to experience 'Flower blossom, see the Buddha and realise non-arising'. The 'Flower blossom' here refers to the blossom of the flower of wisdom, meaning the unfolding of their wisdom. With wisdom, they are able to 'See the Buddha', meaning seeing their own Buddha-nature. They then 'Realise non-arising', referring to realising the principle of non-arising and non-cessation. When we diligently practise Jen Chen Buddhism, we all can realise this non-arising right here in this Saha world

Cultivation is really a very simple matter - by maintaining the non-arising of the mind. We just need to disciple our mind so that it does not wonder about continuously with one thought after another. If we find this to be difficult initially, we can begin by cultivating the mind, body, and conduct, or simpler still by reciting the Buddha's name.


Copyright 2002.Jen Chen Buddhism Centre