Afterword On ‘Practices With Ten Great Obstacles’《十大碍行》跋


[1. Eight Sufferings As Teachers]: Of Buddhas, Patriarchs, noble and virtuous ones, there are yet to be with those who did not practise with opposing situations as great furnaces and hearths. In the Buddha’s teachings on the Four Noble Truths, the truth of suffering is positioned first. Also called are the Eight Sufferings [of birth (生), ageing (老), sickness (病), death (死), separation from the beloved (爱别离), meeting the hated (怨憎会), not attaining the sought (求不得) and blazing of the Five Aggregates (of forms, feelings, perceptions, mental formations and consciousness) (五蕴炽盛)] as our eight teachers.


[2. That Not Forged Is Not Refined]: If slightly with sentiments of retaining liking of the favourable, and with hating of the opposing, this in the end, is with summer grass [in winter] together rotting only. How then are we able to be like pine and cypress trees, towering and graceful within frost and snow? Beautiful fine jade that is not polished does not become exquisite, hard gold that is not forged by fire does not become refined, bells that are not struck do not toll, and knives that are not sharpened do not become sharp. How can there be a naturally born Maitreya Bodhisattva, or a naturally arising Śākyamuni Buddha?


[3. Encountering Opposition Like Obtaining Treasures]: Desiring to be as noble and virtuous ones, Buddhas and Patriarchs, we must receive harsh scoldings, to be as if drinking ambrosia, when encountering unexpected, harsh and unreasonable opposition, to be as if obtaining the most valuable treasures. Then is this named to, ‘as usual, when with misfortune and difficulties, still do what should be done within misfortune and difficulties,’ then can we within this defiled land plant Pure Land’s causes, then are we like lotus flowers arising from the mud, to transcend this defiled land, to ascend Pure Land to be non-retrogressible [in progress to Buddhahood].


[4. With That Not According With Wishes Becoming That According With Wishes]: If without [major opposing] matters, then driving mindfulness of Buddha to seek birth in his Pure Land, once there is encounter of what does not accord with our wishes, always with regret and indignation sighing then, we fear that Samādhi will not be accomplished, with birth in the Western Pure Land yet to be guaranteed. We need to, within these ten great obstacles (https://thedailyenlightenment.com/2020/04/summary-of-practices-with-ten-great-obstacles) practise, one by one using them for self-examination.


[5. Only Increase The Mind With Mindfulness Of Buddha]: If, when within sickness, and when with difficulties, and even when being hindered, only increase the [sincere] mind with mindfulness of Buddha, understanding suffering with contemplation of its emptiness, not blaming and not resenting anyone, so that our lotus buds can by the day [be nourished to] grow, into what is called the Treasure King Of Samādhis [which is the Concentration From Mindfulness Of Amitābha Buddha (i.e. Āmítuófó)].

Treatise Of The Spirit Peak Tradition
Pure Land Tradition’s 9th Patriarch Great Master Ǒuyì

Related Teaching:

《十大碍行》/《十不求行》(跋)(Afterword On) Practices With Ten Great Obstacles Or Ten Kinds Of Non-Seeking

Please Be Mindful Of Your Speech, Namo Amituofo!

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