A Story of the Saints P2/3 Jan. 7 & Feb. 4, 1996 Hsihu, Formosa    
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Our world needs a Buddha who can do things and is more tactful. Okay,if we spiritual practitioners cannot do things as humbly and intelligently as Bao Shu Ya,we should be ashamed,because I see there have been many such good people in China. Not too many. Some. I said 『many』because I wish there were too many good people like this,so I am reminding you to remember.
To learn from afar is not as good as to learn from our own surroundings. A Chinese saint said, 『When any three people walk together,one of them will be our teacher." Maybe all three will be our teachers,as each one can teach us something different.
But,do you think,since Bao Shu Ya praised Guan Zhong so highly,that he admired everything about Guan Zhong?Not necessarily. Bao Shu Ya was a very magnanimous person. For the sake of the country,he could put aside everything. For example,later,Guan Zhong enjoyed worldly pleasures with the king day and night.
The king's palace was very extravagant and luxurious,and so was Guan Zhong's residence. Bao Shu Ya did not like this quality much. He often told Guan Zhong,『The King is already so extravagant,yet,as a prime minister,you do not advise him; instead,you join him in luxury. What do you mean by doing this?』
However,Guan Zhong thought the king had been moving around for a long time,and it had been grueling,so now that he had finally obtained the throne,of course,let him take a rest and enjoy a little. It didn't matter. It was not important. In fact,Bao Shu Ya didn't argue with him,but he didn't admire this quality. Maybe Bao Shu Ya was a more conservative person who led a simpler lifestyle. He wasn't as shrewd or cunning as Guan Zhong.
Because Bao Shu Ya was less skillful in this respect,Guan Zhong was the one who became the prime minister. Although Bao Shu Ya knew this,it's human nature to cling to something; otherwise,he would not be human. So he often gave Guan Zhong a hard time for his extravagance and for living a luxurious lifestyle.
Then,all the other officials started to be extravagant. But that was okay,it didn't matter,as long as they could take good care of the national affairs. There were many poor people who were leading difficult lives of privation. They couldn't handle any national affairs. They couldn't unite China to let everyone live in peace,so even though King Huan of Qi was a little extravagant,as long as he could manage things,what did it matter?He was the only extravagant one in all of China. It did not make much difference.
Even if he offered to the country all the possessions and wealth used for his luxurious lifestyle,the country would not be any more prosperous. Isn't it so?(Yes.) So it didn't matter. So you see,Guan Zhong and Bao Shu Ya were very good friends. There was still a little difference in their views. A little difference didn't matter.
So in this world,we should understand that there will be some differences and conflicts between friends; this doesn't matter. We should allow people to have their own opinions and their own beliefs.
Two friends should not be exactly the same. That will be too boring. This way,one person is enough. Why bother to have two?Isn't that a waste?Is it?There is not much use. It is enough that friends have a lot in common. Guan Zhong could distinguish clearly what was important and what wasn't,so even if the king was a little extravagant,he didn't attack him. He didn't give him a hard time. Actually,this king was very frank. When he saw Guan Zhong the first time,he discussed with Guan Zhong national affairs,military deployment and strategies,Guan Zhong answered all eloquently.
So the king didn't just take Bao Shu Ya's word for it. Later on,because he found out Guan Zhong was truly talented,he was then willing to give him the position of prime minister. The King also called him Father Zhong - a very respected father,very great,just like the king's real father. So,he admired Guan Zhong very much,and was also very frank with him. He told Guan Zhong,"I have a problem. I am fond of beautiful women. Is this harmful to the country?" Guan Zhong answered,"No,it's not. Being fond of women will not harm the country.
Not listening to the wise advice of the saintly and talented people is harmful to the country and the world." His statement is also correct. Because if the king was flawless,he would not need these capable people. If he could do everything,other people would have nothing to do. Then,if a person was too perfect,his temperament would be uptight. Understand what I mean?If a person is too uptight,he can't see things very clearly.
So Bao Shu Ya was not as astute as Guan Zhong. Do you see it?It's because Bao Shu Ya was too virtuous,too straightforward,too clean,too good,and too perfect. Guan Zhong was different. He knew what he should do to be perfect,but he didn't care to be perfect. He just did whatever he should do for the benefit of the people,instead of himself. He put aside the restricted formula for perfection. He let go of the rigid and very narrow way in order to better serve the country. That was the difference. Same with the king - if he had to handle the country's affairs 24 hours a day without even looking at women,touching delicious food and liquor or anything else,how long do you think he would last?
Three days at the most. He would die,or his mind would collapse. He would become abnormal and unbalanced. Understand?Then he would not be able to understand anything,because he was too focused on one thing. He couldn't see far. It's like when we go for an exam,isn't it?If we're going to take an exam tomorrow,we can't learn anything today. It is better to relax,isn't it?Usually when we take exams,as we all know,if the exam is tomorrow,the entire day before,we can't study.
Forget it. It's better this way. Only when the mind is relaxed can we think freely. When our mind is too uptight,can we figure out anything?We can't. So there is logic in meditation. It is because we are busy every day with our eyes,wisdom,and mind all focused in one place. Understand?Very narrow.
Then,we can't get the answers. It's like when you look at things too closely like this. Can you see clearly?Can you?(We can't!) You can't. So there has to be some distance,space,and time for us to be able to handle many things. We spiritual practitioners are the same as well. In the past,sometimes when you came here,some people set up tents out there. There weren't that many disciples before,they set up tents everywhere. I lived here and you lived there,then we set up tents. Then I was there drinking tea. Many people were there criticizing and wondering,『Strange,how could a Master drink tea and chat?』An enlightened Master should drink tea and chat.
A teacher can go out to play ball,football or golf,or drive around for fun - he has already graduated,he knows everything. Even if there is something that he doesn't know,it doesn't matter if he practices slowly. It's the students who need to take the exams. They need to do homework and work hard. The teacher can arrange his own time. Isn't it so?Why does he need to study the same material as you?Right?
The teacher has his own hard work to do. He may need to read books at night,and to prepare for tomorrow's assignments for the students or the lectures,but he doesn't need to study hard like the students. He knows how to plan his time. The students do not have such flexibility. But don't over do it. So sometimes when we have group meditation or a seven-day retreat,we have barbecues,don't we?Sometimes we have performances,dances and so on. Also,sometimes we have festivals when we dress up in beautiful clothing for fun.
Our spiritual practice is still just as good,right?Is there any difference?Whoever felt a difference raise your hand and show me. There was a difference - it became even better. Right?Did you make any progress?(Yes.) You may relax occasionally,as long as you come back to it. Isn't it so?It's the same with the cows and horses,not to mention humans. If you have them plow the field continuously 24 hours a day,can they do it?Can they?(No!) They can't. They will die.
Cows and horses are like this; machines are like this - cars,airplanes and anything else are all the same: they all need time for maintenance,rest and relaxation. There was a president of the United States,who,if there were national affairs that were too burdensome,he would go out to have fun. He would take a vacation for a day or time off for one or two days to have fun. He'd let go. In fact,he could handle things better over there. Understand?
Sometimes he could figure things out better somewhere else. Sometimes,when we have a problem,we keep thinking and pushing ourselves due to the pressure of time,and we need to get it done quickly,but we can't force ourselves to do it. Then later we say forget it and go to sleep or go watch television. But at that time,our subconscious mind doesn't watch the television - our soul,our wisdom,continues working.
So when it is the given time,it will slowly and unknowingly reveal to us how to handle this problem. Therefore,sometimes when we come back after we finish watching the television,we've figured things out. I am often like this. Most matters are resolved while I am in bed,not when I am here in this beautiful formal attire,and talking so much. At this time,I don't handle anything. When I'm not working,it's the time that I truly take care of things. At that time,I'm free. It's more quiet and tranquil. This is in regards to worldly affairs. For spiritual matters,I have to take care of them at all times. Wishing you happiness. Bye-bye. Come back again next time.
For you,I'll do anything,live anywhere,and meet anyone. Everyone is God. Okay. Good-bye. Come back again next time. I'll walk around for you to see. Go there. (How are you,Master?) (Master is so beautiful!) Beautiful high-heel shoes. You are here?How long?Oh,I see. Welcome to stay,no problem. Have I walked around everywhere?(Hallo,Master.) (Master is so beautiful.) You are beautiful. (Master is the beautiful one.) Okay. Everyone is beautiful. All are beautiful.
I am not much different from you. You will look beautiful when you put them on. Absolutely. If you wear good clothes,you'll become better,I tell you. You don't understand. You will become much better looking. You will become very beautiful very quickly. If you don't believe it,I will show you.
You are so tall. Being tall gives you a very grand look. Yes. You see those models,they are all very tall. No one picked me to be a model. Actually they did. When I wanted to become a model before,they told me that their children's department that carried children clothes still had openings. That was okay. Strange. I feel that I'm relatively smaller. But,this is how it is - small or big. Maybe you don't know how to wear clothes. Someday I will tell you. It's very simple.
I just wear like this. I wear a skirt at the bottom,jacket on top. Match a top in the middle. Right. How else would you wear it?A matching pair of shoes. Slender?Many people are slender. That's not what it is. I don't know what the difference is. Let's find out later,we'll find out why.
Most clothes that are designed by famous designers,and very special,are very expensive. That's the way it is. But we don't need to do that here. Reasonable is okay. Some fabrics are really expensive. It can't be helped. Some fabrics are not. It's less expensive if you buy them in Formosa (Taiwan). If it's imported and has better quality that cannot be found here,not even similar ones,then it will be expensive. It can't be helped. Also,if it's not available in that country nationwide and only available in a certain place,those fabrics are more expensive. Then you don't need to buy those expensive ones. This one probably is not expensive. This fabric is like the cotton for a quilt. A quilt. Very similar.
It's not a very expensive kind. Also,the color is similar to that one. The color is dark. How are you?Thank you. I am embarrassed. I think you are very beautiful,beautiful from inside out: eyes are bright,getting younger and younger. Okay. I can go now.
Did everyone come here to become a saint?(Yes.) Great. Then what?What happens after you attain sainthood?What then?(We want liberation.) Will a saint be in such a limited state of mind?Liberation,is that all?Where do you find liberation?Wherever you go,you're still in the universe.
Okay. Today,I am going to tell you a story of a saint. This story is about a person who didn't know that he was a saint.  There was a person named Long Shu. 『Shu』as in 『uncle,』 『Long』as in 『dragon,』in 『The Dragon Chronicles.』He went to see a doctor named Wen Zhi. I think Wen Zhi was born in the era of the Warring States. Does anyone know about him or recognize him?No?None of you were there during that time?All right. I wasn't there,either,so we can only guess because this book didn't mention in which era he was born nor in which era he practiced medicine. Okay. So Long Shu went to see Wen Zhi,a very famous doctor who could cure any illness. Someone said that he once cured King Wen of Chi State in the Spring and Autumn and Warring States Era.
King Wen suffered from an unknown disease,so Wen Zhi went to treat the king. He didn't prescribe any medicine,but only made him angry. Have you heard this story?(*No.) Still have no idea?It's a Chinese story. Here you go again,saying that I am telling you an unknown story. So,Wen Zhi made King Wen very angry. But after he had lashed out with rage,his illness was gone. This is great. You can find doctors here and ask them to make you angry,then you'll be healed. You won't need to take any medicine that is difficult to take. Chinese medicine is so difficult to take,right?
Every time you have to drink a cupful. Oh my God!After you take the medicine,you lose all your appetite. Strange!The Chinese like to have an abundance of everything - even medicine,they want to drink so much more. Okay,let's forget about which era Wen Zhi belonged to since we don't even know who he is. Why should we debate over something so troublesome?Let's just take a look at what happened between the two of them.
Long Shu went to visit Wen Zhi. He said,"Your medical skill is so wonderful that the whole world knows you. I'm suffering from a strange illness and have come to trouble you to treat me." Wen Zhi said,"Of course!But first let me know what is wrong with you. Tell me your symptoms." Long Shu then explained, 『I don't know the name,the root cause,of this illness or where it started. The situation is like this: I have been living in my village for a very long time,but now,more and more often,I find it very strange that I feel I am living in a strange place with no deep relationship with anyone.
For instance,when people in my village praised me,I didn't feel honored; when people from other villages insulted me,I didn't feel upset. Even when I received something precious,I didn't feel happy. I also didn't feel miserable when I lost something. I feel that life and death are pretty much the same. I could even die tomorrow. Moreover,I see no difference in being rich or poor; having money or not is the same.
The worst thing is that I see people as pigs. I also see myself as a pig,exactly like them.』He meant that he was also a pig. We don't know if he talked about a big pig or a small pig. Maybe there is some difference. 『I live in my house as if staying in a hotel. I live in my village as if living in a foreign country. It doesn't feel like my hometown. Apart from these strange habits and thoughts,I also have many shortcomings.
For instance,I look down upon status,fame,and positions in the palace and the government. I think they are very ordinary』- meaning he didn't take them seriously. 『I have no fear of any punishment. Life,death,goodness or evil do not touch my heart at all. Therefore,I cannot help my country,or be loyal to the king; I cannot follow the king,serve him and help the country; I cannot maintain close relationships with relatives and friends. I cannot manage my children or wife,』meaning to educate them, 『be with them,or think in the same ways as they do. It is very difficult,but not problematic.』
He meant that he could not manage his children and wife. 『I also cannot manage the subordinates,servants and maids in my household. I am perplexed!Do you know what type of illness is this?Can you try to cure me?" Wen Zhi the doctor then told Long Shu to turn around and stand in a brighter place under the sun for him to take a look.
He observed him with his wisdom eye. Maybe it was not the wisdom eye but the heavenly eye. Then he shouted out,"Oh!I saw it!" Long Shu asked him,"What did you see?" "I saw your heart," he said. Long Shu asked,"What about my heart?" He said,"Your heart is square and fair,broad and empty,very much like the heart of a saint!
The six apertures are open,only the last one remains blocked." Perhaps because this aperture was not opened,he didn't know what was wrong with himself. If the last hole had also been opened,he would be clear about his own illness. Long Shu then asked,"What kind of disease is this?" Wen Zhi explained, "In this era,people regard the wisdom of a saint as an illness.  Perhaps that is what you've got. If you are infected with this `saint's sickness,' my medical treatment will not help." Do you understand?Yes?(*Understand.)
Maybe I don't know what his illness was,but it is very good that you know. Do you really understand?Do you really know?How did you manage to understand?Perhaps you are exactly the same as him,right?Are you all saints,so you understand each other?Maybe this is the case.
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