The Sutra in 42 Sections
When I first was exposed to Buddhism, this was one of my favorite sutras because it's easy to understand and very practical. Later, the more I read, the more I began to discover its depth:
Section 26: What have you skin-bag full of filth come here for? Go away: I've got no use for you."
Section 28: "Be careful not to believe your own mind: your mind is not to be believed. Be careful not to get involved with sex: involvement with sex leads to disaster. After you have attained Arhatship, you can believe your own mind."
Section 42: "I look upon royalty and high positions as upon the dust that floats through a crack. I look upon treasures of gold and jade as upon broken tiles...I look upon the Unsurpassed Vehicle as upon a dream of gold and riches. I look upon the Buddha Way as upon flowers before my eyes. I look upon Dhyana Samadhi as upon the pillar of Mount Sumeru. I look upon Nirvana as upon being awake day and night..."
The Medicine Master Sutra
Shakyamuni Buddha taught the Medicine Master Buddha Dharma Door. Those who cultivate it can obtain rebirth to this Buddha’s own Pure land to the East or to Amitabha Buddha’s Pure Land to the West. Its distinctive feature is that it also helps living beings address problems that they are currently facing this lifetime. More specifically, this Medicine Master Buddha Dharma Door can eradicate disasters, increase our blessings, cure illnesses and lengthen life.
This wonderful Dharma Door can bring truly inconceivable benefits to all living beings of the nine realms, whether they possess inferior or superior roots. As Great Master Xuan Hua said, “Those who believe will be saved.”
The Bequeathed Teaching Sutra
The Bequeathed Teachings Sutra records the very last instructions of the Buddha to his disciples before he entered Nirvana. He spent 49 years of his life teaching and finally, before taking his leave, what did he want to stress?
Here the Buddha gives us the essentials for practicing his BuddhaDharma. This sutra is truly the Buddha's manual for cultivation.
The Earth Store Sutra
In a distant past lifetime, Earth Store Bodhisattva discovered that his mother fell to the hells after her death. But with help from the Buddhas, he was able to rescue her. While there he saw the incredible suffering of beings in the hells. Thus Earth Store Bodhisattva made great vows that until the hells are empty, he will not rest in the final Nirvana, but lifetime after lifetime he will cultivate as a Bodhisattva, saving those who are most difficult to save.
In this sutra explanation, Dharma Master YongHua discusses central Mahayana concepts, including the Buddha's teachings on what happens to us after we die.
The Buddha Speaks of Amitabha Sutra
The Buddha teaches his disciples about another Buddha, named Amitabha, who currently resides in a distant galaxy, known as The Western Bliss Pure Land. The Buddha taught that in our current age of spiritual degeneration, our best hope for enlightenment is to seek rebirth in Amitabha Buddha's land, where we will no longer have to experience suffering. Instead, we will be able to progress in our cultivation, until we ourselves attain Buddhahood.
Dharma Master YongHua gives a distinctly American interpretation of this seminal text of Pure Land Buddhism, which is the most widely practiced form of Buddhism in East Asia today. As with all of Master YongHua's sutra explanations, he teaches practical methods of cultivation that we can apply in our lives.