When we take wisdom and pass it on, many people will understand the true characteristic of the world, and have wisdom, and become happy. After they have received the benefits, they too will take this wisdom of liberation and again pass it on. After we use the torch of wisdom to light the tinder in other people’s minds, then their minds also will become torches, and they will go on and light up the minds and spirits of more people.
After you have the mind of detachment, and you have found an enlightened teacher, you will then have the possibility of changing your mind and spirit. But whether or not the possibility can be brought to realization still depends on your own actions. You can start first by loving your own family members, and then take this love and propagate it bit by bit, and let it spread to more people, even including strangers. When you have within you an unselfish love for other people, you will spontaneously do all you can do to enable them to be blessed and happy. Then you will gradually learn how to contribute, and how to benefit living beings. Besides this, you can also do things according to Buddhist methods, like preparing fields of merit, and fostering the bodhi mind, and serving sentient beings.
What is meant by “fields of merit”? Fields of merit are your virtuous deeds and your meritorious virtues. The process of accumulating virtuous deeds and meritorious virtues is called preparing fields of merit. In general there are two methods of preparing fields of merit: one is offering support, and the second is giving charity. Giving charity includes giving wealth, giving the teaching, and giving fearlessness. Of course there is also action in the category of releasing living beings: releasing living beings also belongs to the category of giving charity, giving life.
What is called giving wealth is not only not taking other people’s wealth, but also taking one’s own food and clothing and property and jewels and money and so on, and giving it to other people. When you take your wealth to offer support to other people, this activity itself can create a kind of reactive force, and bring you great merit.
People who are unwilling to give charity are very ignorant. Their lives are filled with “me” and “mine” – my building, my car, my money, my woman… They basically cannot see anything else. They do not known that while they are busy enjoying pleasures and pursuing wealth, there are many families who are falling into extreme misery, who do not have enough to eat, and who are even losing their lives. When they have absolutely no feeling for the sufferings of other people, their existence has no meaning whatsoever. Thus it is said that people who are unwilling to give charity are not anything. They do not want to throw awayeven the three coins they are grasping in their hands, but in the end they will lose them. High-ranking people all through history in all countries – when they are approaching the end are they not just like the destitute people, and won’t they end up in coffins?
Moreover, experts think that the greatest secret in the world for making money is not to seek it, but is rather to give charity. According to what they say, when you have the intention to give charity, and you act on this, your mind merges into one with a certain very great force in the universe, like a little river flowing into a great ocean, and becomes like a part of the ocean, and thereby gets the help of this great force, so you can then achieve your aspiration, and get the corresponding reward for merit.
In an article called “The Greatest Secret in History for Earning Money” it says the following:
“If a person consistently serves the interests of other people, to the point that this sort of good behavior becomes an unconscious habit for him, then all the good power in the universe gathers behind him, and he succeeds in his work. This is because, other than giving charity, there is no other voice that can communicate as clearly to the universe your self-confidence, your abundance, and your love.”
“And when the universes hears this, even more beauty and goodness will be endowed to you – this is not done as a reward, but rather because you truly believe in your own abundance and love.”
“The time when you give charity is the time when you reap the harvest. When you donate goods, you will harvest goods. When you donate love, you will harvest love. When you donate money, you will harvest money.”
“All prosperous people will give charity, some say, but I feel it is not like this; rather, what should be said is that all people who give charity will become prosperous.”
Thus, giving charity is the greatest form of merit in the world, the greatest form of good conduct, and the greatest secret for earning money. It is like planting seeds in the ground: we must take the seeds and plan them in the fields, and only then can they flower and bear fruit.
In a certain country, there are many excellent enterprises and entrepreneurs, but no matter who hard they try, they do not succeed in staying rich for more than three generations.Later on entrepreneurs invited some scholars and experts to do some specialized research on how to escape the phenomenon of not being able to stay rich for more than three generations. The specialists did the research, and they reached some conclusions: First, it will be necessary to establish an excellent enterprise culture. Only a culture can carry on the tradition, and carry on your very excellent thing. Second: you must return to society the wealth you have gotten even faster than you earned it. Later on, when the entrepreneurs act this way, from then on this nation will have more enterprises that are famous for a hundred years or even several hundred years.
But giving wealth is not the most important thing. Among all forms of giving charity, the most important is giving the teaching, giving the Dharma. Giving the teaching means that when you have gotten to hear the worldly truth and the world-transcending truth from the buddhas, the enlightened teachers, or the scriptures, and you have benefitted from this, then you must take the truth you have come to know, and transmit it to others withno thought of reward.
Giving the teaching is also a kind of activity which benefits oneself and benefits others. Shakyamuni Buddha said that if you offer all the jewels filling all the worlds in the universe to support all the Tathagatas of the past, present, and future, the merit of this is not equal to transmitting the wisdom in the Diamond Sutra to one worldly person. This explains that “giving the teaching is superior to giving wealth.” The basic reason is that giving wealth can only resolve some of the recipient’s temporary needs, but giving the teaching can create the possibility of changing someone’s life, and can be passed along. Moreover, giving the teaching is more precious that giving wealth.
When we take wisdom and pass it on, many people will understand the true characteristic of the world, and have wisdom, and become happy. After they have received the benefits, they too will take this wisdom of liberation and again pass it on. After we use the torch of wisdom to light the tinder in other people’s mind, then their minds also will become torches, and they will go on and light up the minds and spirits of more people.
Thus, a person who genuinely gives the teaching must have the enlightened mind of benefitting sentient beings. The enlightened mind, the bodhi mind, is the pure mind that has no seeking. After you have the enlightened mind, you still have to express it by means of actions that benefit sentient beings. In the sutras they take all forms of good action and sum them up into ten categories:
1) Not only do you not kill living beings, you also must carry out good deeds to set them free. You must to everything in your power to respect and help all living things, and let themexercise their right to live and survive.
2) Not only do you not steal other people’s wealth, you must practice the virtue of giving charity.
3) You do not give free rein to your emotions, and you do not engage in illicit lust; rather you must purify your intent, and make energetic progress cultivating practice.
4) You do not lie to people or deceive them, and you must treat other people with genuine sincerity and honesty.
5) You do not talk about who is right and who is wrong, much less foment discord. On the contrary, you do all you can to reconcile the contradictions among other people.
6) You do not speak evil, or slander other people, and you must use a calm, gentle manner when you converse with people.
7) You do indulge in loose talk, and you do not flatter other people. You must be sincere and frank in your dealings with other people.
8) You are not greedy for emotional pleasures, and you do not indulge in emotional pleasures. You still must purify your intent, and make energetic progress cultivating practice.
9) You do not engage in outbursts of anger toward other people, or bear grudges against them. You still must treat other people with the mind of compassion and forbearance.
10) You do not give rise to biased, misguided, deviant views, and you do not cling to wrong as right. And you also must constantly focus on true faith and true perception.
The whole meaning of the Buddhist teaching is established around these ten kinds of virtuous action. These are in the category of a fundamental moral standard. Even more important, they can help you purify the defilements of the body, mouth, and mind, and enable you to keep away from evil environments. They offer cooperating causal conditions for your liberation. This is also the meaning of a code of conduct, of discipline. After you have gotten far away from evil, and you are going toward the path of goodness, and you are fully equipped with these ten forms of good conduct, then you will be equipped with the foundation for achieving the mind that has no seeking. But if you want to benefit living beings, you still have to generate a kind of dignified manner.
Dignity is similar to having confidence in your inherent enlightened nature; it is the genuine manifestation of your own inherent mind, and not some superficial false performance. True dignity is an attitude that is born in the pure mind after rigorously preserving discipline, an attitude that makes people feel respect and awe. It is the outpouring of the true mind. What it shows is a kind of deep faith in the truth, free of doubts, and a strong power to exert control over the body and mind. From the deep respect you feel towards this dignity, you can give rise to faith and yearning for the truth.
A thousand years ago, Milarepa practiced austerities for many years in the mountain valleys, and was too busy to be concerned with food and drink, too busy to be concerned with clothing and his outward appearance. He kept on practicing until he was emaciated, and his body turned green, and there were thick calluses all over his buttocks. But in the end he plucked the fruit of ultimate enlightenment, and only then did he begin to spread the teaching. This was the basic cause. Thus it is said, when you discard your set views and useless speculations, and enter into the inner minds of the people who genuinely cultivate practice, and experience their pure aspirations, and think back on all the efforts they made to seek faith, then you will genuinely be moved.