Keeping the Precepts Is Genuine Purity

(Given at a Precepts Ceremony, T’ongdo-sa Monastery, September, 1981)

The Precepts are so fundamentally and eternally pure and spotless that you could not fully transmit their greatness if you painted them across the endless sky. They are so perfect that if the entire universe crumbled into powder, these supreme Precepts would remain indestructible.

You should all be totally content, since there is no difference whatsoever between the virtuous in paradise and those suffering ceaselessly in hell. How mysterious and marvelous that everything is absolutely equal, evenly tranquil, and blindingly brilliant!

The Buddhas of the universe could spend the rest of eternity trying to explain this, but to no avail. It is only through the great psychological death and rebirth of enlightenment that you can see this for yourself. And then you will suddenly awaken to see red flowers brilliantly blooming from steel trees and tremendous fire pouring out of mountains of ice. Even the Buddha and the Zen predecessors flee from such a sight, while insects and microbes sing praise of this transcendental landscape.

Life, death and enlightenment are but dreams in a dream. The spotlessness of temples and the filth of the mundane world are but false flowers of the eyes. There is only the free-flowing peace of the One Great Way, and we are always bursting with exuberance that shoots up through the skies.

Take care of yourselves, and make courageous progress. Open up Wisdom’s Eye, and confirm for yourself the supremacy of the Precepts.

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