True Listening

True listening [to the Dharma] does not rest
in how much you have listened to your Master [teacher]
but in how well you have listened.

Even if you have listened well,
you would benefit only
if you can apply properly what you have heard
to the circumstances you come across.

— Master Kuang-Ch’in


  • Sometimes it is really difficult to apply what we have heard to the circumstances we come across. But if we don’t try, we will never have a chance to improve ourselves. If we try, at least we have a chance. We don’t know how many chances we have in this life. But we don’t want to take the chance of suffering after death. The efforts required to practice what we have heard is nothing compared to the suffering after death if (due to karmic effect) we were to go to hell or be reborn to go through suffering in life again.

  • The concept of the one vlcihee (ekayana) which encompasses all of the many Buddhist practices is probably the most important teaching of the Tendai school in which I practice. For this reason, Tendai practitioners participate in virtually all practices, including Pure Land, esoteric practice, Shikan meditation and just about anything else you can think of. The Lotus Sutra is at the heart of Tendai.I agree with your observation on this world being the Pure Land. I often reflect on what characteristics the Pure Land would have and find them present in the here and now. We are so fortunate to be born as humans, to live in a world where the Dharma is not only present but also thriving. Most of us have the luxury of being able to meet our basic needs for food, shelter and security and still have plenty of time left over to study and listen to the Dharma. If there are hindrances, most can be minimized or eliminated if we will just take the steps to do so.

Please Be Mindful Of Your Speech, Namo Amituofo!

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