Greetings Venerable Master,
I came across your website while searching for the teachings of Venerable Master Xuan Hua, and I had the luck of finding the Q&A section.
I’d like to say in advance that I am sorry if I may sound rude or offensive. I do not consider myself to be a Buddhist but I greatly admire Buddhist teachings; they sound right in my heart. I also admire the resolve of left-home people to cultivate in order to help all living beings. I already learned a lot from the Q&As, but I have some questions I was hoping that you may clarify:
– How should one transfer blessings?
– How should one practice repentance?
– I have the sutra texts in my iPad. Whenever I am reading them I try to treat them according to some rules that I have found on the internet (put the texts on a high place, never read lying down, etc.), but when I am not reading the sutras, I treat the iPad as a normal object. Is this ok, or I should abide by the rules since the sutras are in the iPad even when I’m not reading them?
– I am studying acupuncture. I have read about on how a healer gets some of the debt of the patients in the article in your site. I enjoy helping people but the Buddhist solution of creating affinity with both sides seems the best. Is there anything I could to, such as transfer blessings to patients and to whoever is causing the illness, to improve my healing abilities?
– I practice Shaolin Kung Fu, Qi Gong and meditation every day, which I treasure even more since I learned that the Patriarch of these arts is the Venerable Bodhidharma. I also had the good fortune to find a genuine master. I find that these arts make me a better person. Is this an appropriate Dharma-door for cultivation, or is it preferable just to focus on Chan meditation and Pure land?
– I like to read about the Buddhist sutras, especially Master Xuan Hua’s comments. I also enjoy very much sharing what I learn, but I try hard to not create offenses by sharing my own false views and encourage people to read by their own instead of just trusting my word. Should I continue to do this, or is it better for me not to share my own views?
– I bought a Buddhist wrist mala when I was traveling in Malaysia.
Recently, I was cooking and burned my hand, which made me punch the wall in anger. I broke two beads on my bracelet, and I’m keeping the bracelet to remind me that anger can cause one to harm the things I appreciate. Is this OK?
Please forgive me for asking so many questions, and feel free to ignore some or all of them. Thank you [for] taking the time with your Q&A.
I apologize for the tardiness in replying to you. We went off-line for a month during our last Summer Chan Qi in June.
To transfer blessings is to give them specifically to designated recipients. Since you are not Buddhist, I will teach you a superior non-Buddhist format: At the end of the day, you can dedicate the blessings you have created from your acts of goodness to all living beings hoping that they will attain Ultimate Goodness.
In order to repent, I feel that the best way is the Buddhist approach. Why? Because the Buddhists repent in two aspects: 1. They publicly admit that they are wrong. 2. They resolve not to commit that karma or offense again. And finally they seek help in erasing their offenses (karmas). In other words, they find someone (a Buddhist monk) who can actually help erase their karmas.
In your case, I would recommend that you bow to Shakyamuni Buddha with sincerity. To show your sincerity you must bow for a long time: by that I mean bow continuously for half an hour a day. If you are sincere, the Buddha will erase your karmas. You can tell that your karmas have been erased because you will experience strange things like heavenly fragrance, bright lights shining upon you, visions of the Buddhas and so forth.
Your handling of the iPad is correct.
As to your acupuncture work, you create good deeds by helping others but you are meddling. In other words, you are upsetting a lot of beings responsible for your patients’ illnesses. It’s just life: there are always pros and cons. When you take Buddhism more seriously, we can teach you more effective ways to help both sides. I hope that you can find other approaches that are more suitable to your desire to remain independent.
If you have found a good master then stick with him. When you have found a real good monk who can truly teach you Chan and Pure Land, then you will naturally want to switch because you will get a lot more out of your Buddhist practice. For instance, I had a few Chan students who practiced yoga, Qi Gong, Tai Ji and so forth. After they started practicing Chan, they made so much more progress that they quickly dropped those other practices.
It is good to share goodness but it is not good to share goodness when you are not asked. That is not sharing: that is imposing your views on others.
No problem with your handling of the mala bracelet incident. However, there seems to be a problem with your temper. If I were your martial arts teacher, I would help you work on controlling your temper before resuming marital arts training. Without discipline, your temper might cause more harm!
Thank you for your questions.