Flipping on the Switch in Our Mind
Talk Given by the Venerable Master Hsuan Hua, July 4, 1980
the light of your wisdom appears, just that is the Buddha's light shining
Buddha's light shines everywhere. The light of the Buddha's wisdom illumines
all living beings' minds, purging them of greed, hatred, and stupidity. That
light dispels the darkness and eradicates 84,000 bad habits and faults. We are
studying Buddhism because we want to get rid of greed, hatred, and stupidity,
and cast off our attachments.
haven't I seen the Buddha's light?" you ask.
studying the Buddha's teachings and opening our wisdom seeing the Buddha's
light? If you don't understand the teachings and studying them only makes you
more confused, it's because you haven't renounced your bad habits and faults.
You can't say that the Buddha's light doesn't shine everywhere. If you don't
develop your wisdom and keep clinging to your greed, hatred, and stupidity,
then even though the Buddha's light shines everywhere, it can't shine on you.
It neither shines nor doesn't shine; it shines without shining. When the light
of your wisdom appears, just that is the Buddha's light shining everywhere.
Before your own wisdom light has come forth, for you the Buddha's light
doesn't shine everywhere.
Buddha's light is like the electricity from the power company. The cables and
switches may be installed in the house, but if we don't switch on the lights,
the house will remain dark. Why? Because the power isn't connected. As soon as
we flip on the switch, the lights go on and the darkness is gone. Our mind can
be compared to a light switch. If we turn on the switch in our mind, the
Buddha's light will shine forth. If we can't flip the switch, then even though
the Buddha's light is there, it can't connect. This is a simple analogy, but
it conveys the principle. Everyone should quickly turn on the switch in his or
her mind and receive the guidance of the Buddha's wisdom light. That's what it
means to be illumined by the Buddha's pervasive light.