English | Vietnamese

70.1 On Attention and Comportment during Sutra Lectures

Ven. Master Hsuan Hua

August 14, 1973, Tuesday evening.  

 

Avoid daydreaming as you listen to the sutras. Stay alert. Do not doze off. Sit up straight and be very respectful. Do not be lazy or sleepy. For every degree of respect you muster, you will derive a corresponding degree of benefit. If you are ten percent respectful, you will obtain ten percent benefit. If you are a hundred percent, a thousand percent, or ten thousand percent respectful, you will obtain a hundred, a thousand, or ten thousand percent benefit. When you listen to the sutras, you should act as if the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are right before you. The Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are observing you as you listen to the sutras. If you are lazy, you are missing an opportunity right in front of you. When the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas see how lazy and insincere you are, they will pay no attention to you and let you do as you wish.  

Therefore, you must be extremely reverent as you listen to the sutras. If you are reverent to the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha, to all of the Three Jewels, you will benefit from listening to the sutras. The same applies to when you read or recite the sutras and when you investigate the Buddhadharma. You should also be very respectful and sit upright. Donít lean to the left or right. Donít hunch over or lean back. If you are inattentive and look lightly upon the Buddhadharma, you will derive no benefit from it. Now that I have told you this, you must be especially mindful.

 

(Timely Teachings, page 311)