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After they graduated from the Summer Shurangama Study and Cultivation Session, five Americans left the home-life.
I sent them to Hai Hui (Sea-like Assembly) Monastery in Taiwan to receive the precepts.
The Good and Wise Advisors in Taiwan told them,
"The present time is the Dharma-ending Age. No one cultivates anymore. You’re still eating one meal a day? You’ve been cheated by your teacher."
When my American disciples heard this, they thought, "Oh, so we’ve been cheated by our teacher. What should we do?"
The Good and Wise Advisors said, "Well, go ahead and eat. Drink wine and eat meat."
The five people started to have doubts about Buddhism. "Why did our teacher teach us to eat one meal a day, and now they tell us we should eat in the morning and evening as well? What’s going on? There must be something wrong here."
Their minds were swayed and they wanted to start eating more meals, but they had a meeting and decided to go back and make sure before they did that. They also told the Good and Wise Advisors in Taiwan that they slept sitting up. Some people in Taiwan told them, "You sleep sitting up? People did that when the Buddha was in the world. Now the Buddha isn’t around anymore, so why do you do it? It’s really a case of Americans being cheated by the Chinese."
What happened then? When they returned, they got mischievous.
They said, "In Taiwan, everyone eats three meals a day. We shouldn’t eat just one meal."
They acted naughty with me. They said more, but I don’t remember that much.
It took more than three months before their doubts were resolved.
At that time, some people in Taiwan would say,
"Dharma Master Hsuan Hua has taken some hippies as disciples in America.
There are many hippies hanging out in Golden Gate Park, and Dharma Master Hsuan Hua goes there to meditate.
When the hippies see him meditating, they’re curious and go up to talk to him.
Then Dharma Master Hsuan Hua tells them to go visit the temple.
They go to the temple and find that the life-style there is pretty similar to their hippie life-style, so they all leave the home-life."
There is another rumor in Taiwan: "You know what? Dharma Master Hsuan Hua takes drugs with the hippies in America. The hippies take LSD and marijuana. They can get high on just one capsule of LSD and feel as carefree as if they were in the Land of Ultimate Bliss. But Dharma Master Hsuan Hua can take more than ten capsules without being affected in the least. He doesn’t get high or feel as carefree as if he were in the Land of Ultimate Bliss. That’s why all those hippies admire him and left the home-life under him. Don’t believe in him."
You can talk back and forth, but whether they are hippies or not does not matter. He who works hard in cultivation is good. He who does not work hard in cultivation is not good. If he is not a hippie, but he does not cultivate, that’s not good. If he is a hippie and he cultivates, that’s just as good.
Therefore, in Buddhism, mere talking about cultivation doesn’t count. There must be real practice and real benefit. Don’t just say, "I have concentration. I have this samadhi or that samadhi." And another person also comes up with another kind of samadhi.
Now I will tell everyone about some lines that I thought of:
Paying lip service to samadhi,
They say, "I am right and you are wrong."
In time, their original appearance is revealed,
And they are covered with offenses.
This is saying that people just pay lip service to Buddhism and treat it as child’s play.
They talk carelessly without taking responsibility for cause and effect.
Who will fall into the Hell of Ripping Out Tongues? Precisely that kind of person.
When they get there, their tongues will be ripped out and they won’t be able to talk anymore.
In their minds they will think, "What a mess I’m in. If I knew this was going to happen, I wouldn’t have fooled around like that."