October 23, 1972 | Monday evening

On Study Habits

Ven. Master Hsuan Hua  


Will someone explain the words “upon initially realizing Proper Enlightenment”?

[Editor’s note: The Master asked his disciples to explain a passage of the Flower Adornment Sutra. Their explanations can be found on pages 62-65 of Chapter One, Part One]

Many people had something to say. Who gave the best explanation? Whose explanation is the most correct? Whose explanation is most helpful in our quest to realize Proper Enlightenment? Whose explanation is in accord with enlightened truth?  

In any case, everyone lectured better than I could have done.

People who are reading the text should place it on a table rather than on their lap. First of all, it’s not respectful to put the sutra on your lap; it’s disrespectful to the Triple Jewel. We have tables here, so you can put your sutra text a on a table when you are reading it. It looks bad if you put the sutra on your lap and hunch over to read it. It’s also easy for you to fall asleep, and it’s disrespectful to the Dharma. Before we had enough tables, you had no choice, but now that we have tables, we should place the sutras on them. Today I called on the people who were hunched over to lecture first.

Timely Teachings, page 302.