Without the experience of enlightenment, how can aspirants in the Mahayana tradition, meaning bodhisattvas, rise to the seemingly impossible task of helping all sentient beings to become enlightened? How can practitioners on the bodhisattva path truly help others attain enlightenment when they themselves have not done so?
Building upon the foundation of keeping the five precepts, we can broaden and deepen our practice of vinaya by going further to perform the ten good deeds: renouncing killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying, divisive speech, harsh language, frivolous talk, craving, aversion, and deviant views.
In many sutras the Buddha teaches lay practitioners to treat their parents, children, spouses, and colleagues with understanding and compassion. These sutras teach that each person has many roles in society and that each role dictates specific responsibilities and duties.
To transform our minds, we must understand the intimate relationship between the environment and the mind.
With a truly non-discriminating mind, there are no vexations. With the mind of intuition, vexation can still arise from the subconscious. A mind of intuition can be cultivated and strengthened with meditation. It is not enlightenment, but it is a good state of mind.
As long as you are a Buddha, the world you see is a Pure Land, for when seen through the Buddha's eye of wisdom and compassion, every place in the world is a Pure Land.
We have talked about the concept of a Pure Land on Earth, but how shall we accomplish it? The method we use we call the Three Practices, which consist of precepts (morality), meditation (concentration), and wisdom.
If the mind does not discriminate, All dharmas are of one suchness. The essence of one suchness is profound; Unmoving, conditioned things are forgotten.