March 18, 1973, Sunday noon

On Obvious and Subtle Instructions to Disciples

Ven. Master Hua


Next week, it’s not known which day, I will be going to Brazil . However, the lecture series will go on as usual. Guo Ning can lecture in the evening; the other monastics can rotate in lecturing during the daytime. Save one evening for the lay people to take turns lecturing. Probably Saturday or Sunday evening would be best, since most of the lay people will have time on those evenings.

So, that’s how it will be: Guo Ning will lecture on the ŚëraÚgama Sutra in the evenings; the other monastic disciples can lecture during the day. Since many people have not heard the ŚëraÚgama Sutra, they can come and listen to it being explained. And Guo Ning can talk on Sunday at noon as well.

Whoever you are, you should listen to instructions given by Guo Ning and Guo Zhan. These two people should not fall asleep at the same time. If one person goes to sleep, the other person should stay awake. You should work things out among yourselves and take turns in sleeping. Watch over the monastery and do not lose track of it.

Although I am going to Brazil , I hope that I can come back soon, since I’m not through entertaining you young Americans. So I will come back quickly. Little Guo Fang [Editor’s note: a toddler at the time.] in particular is a lot of fun. If I try to say goodbye without giving her candy, she says, “No, No.” However, if I hand her a piece of candy, she willingly says, “Bye-bye!”

No matter what happens, work things out among yourselves; do not develop an attitude of dependence. Guo Ning is very bright. The other day he asked me about a principle in the ŚëraÚgama Sutra but I ignored him. All I would say in reply was, “You ask me when I am here, but whom will you ask when I am not around?” All of you must learn to stand on your own. However, do not put on special airs. Don’t claim, “Above in heaven and below, I alone am honored. Nobody can watch over me.” If people cannot watch over you, they will ignore you and not pay attention to you. That’s the way to deal with evil-natured monks: silently ignore them. Since there are two such evil-natured monks in our midst, you should show your disapproval of them by ignoring them.

Originally Guo Su made the decision to become a monk quite quickly, but he has become foolish and is now doing confused things. Yesterday, he ended the session prematurely. He started out all right, but did not bring the session to a complete close. He goofed off. Thereupon I told him, “A monk as lazy as you should quickly go off to rebirth. That would be the best, since you are of no use to the world.”


Editor’s Note:

A Send-off for Dhyāna Cultivator Heng Jing (“Tranquil”) [Guo Ning] as He Sets Out to Propagate the Dharma in Taiwan and Hong Kong.


In the great void the Proper Dharma ought to rise and flourish.

For the Teaching’s sake, do not fear suffering.

East and West are not beyond a single transformed source.

North and South do not transcend divisions of the sixth consciousness.

The mind, Buddhas, and living beings fundamentally are not different;

Yet the extent of awakening in all creatures may range from deep to shallow.

Use patience, apply vigor, develop prajnā pāramitā.

Precepts and samādhi must also be practiced with diligence.


Today the fields of science, technology, and communications have expanded, making great progress. Most people think that this is extraordinary; I consider it quite commonplace. These developments are but a portion of what is found in the Buddha’s teachings. It is unfortunate that people who do not know the full extent of those wonderful principles become fascinated with just one aspect.

Now you should do what is difficult to do; endure what is hard to endure. Base yourself on the heroic vigor that great vows inspire; forget yourself for the sake of the Dharma. Rescue the many beings with whom you have affinities. I urge you to be at peace and exhort you to remain tranquil! ]

Timely Teachings, pages 6 - 8.