Wisdom to Discern Between Good and Bad Deeds
Living Buddha Dechan Jueren, May 9, 2003
Dari Rulai Temple, Mt. Shasta, CA
You may not be able to discern between what is a good deed and what is a bad deed, but you do have good intentions and a good heart. When you help someone that you should not help, you are thinking that you mean well and you are really helping, but actually it is a bad thing to do, do you think you have any merit?
Let me give you a very simple example here: We all have this compassionate heart, we feel for others. Let's say that the U.S. government is now putting out an all-points bulletin on Saddam Hussein. Now if the U.S. government were to catch him, certainly they will want to sentence him to hell. Should you not feel compassion for him? Saddam Hussein is in what you would call a bad situation so shouldn't you feel compassion? Therefore you do have good intentions and a good heart, and you do feel for every being, even Saddam Hussein, and may want to do a good deed for him. You decide you will hide him in your house. Now if the U.S. government were to find out, guess what! You will be just like Saddam Hussein, they will want to sentence you to hell too.
Your intention is good, you do have a good heart to feel for everyone. In many situations, unenlightened people really don't know the difference between good or bad deeds.
Q: So what's the solution? You say many unenlightened people can't tell the solution, to do or not to do.
A: Do your dharma practice. You have to get to that clarity of mind to begin to have that intuition or understanding of reality.
Tomorrow come to class and learn the real dharma practice. I will teach you in addition to the medicine Buddha, how to purify food. You will need to do immediately and see if you can do this right. Once I teach this to you and you learn to do this correctly, then you can change and purify the food in three minutes. In the sense that you will purify all the impurities out of this food item.
Also this weekend for the next two days, in addition to purifying food you will learn to purify water and purify air. If you are able to do all these different dharma techniques, that's what really matters, that's for real. If you really want to attain to the dharma, then you really have to do your practice. If you don't really do it, you are never going to attain anything. In other words, it's very simple. If you are hungry, buy some food and eat it. If you are hungry, but first if you want to make all this intellectual conjecture and pursuit on this food item before you decide whether to eat it or not, you will die of hunger before you bite into it. Buddha dharma is very practical and very realistic. Eat it first, who cares what it is, at the least it will satisfy your hunger. If you don't do it, it's never going to happen for you. O.K. see you all tomorrow.
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