All of you have come from ten thousand miles away to the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas. This is Kuan Yin Bodhisattva's Way-place. Kuan Yin Bodhisattva immigrated from Putala (P'u T'ou), Mountain to open this Way-place and start Buddhism in the west. Not only did Kuan Yin Bodhisattva immigrate to America, but all the Patriarchs from East and West and from the Four Holy Mountains of China also immigrated to America. This is just an analogy because the Bodhisattva doesn't immigrate; he dwells everywhere. The Dharma body doesn't dwell anywhere, and yet pervades all places. Not only has Kuan Yin Bodhisattva come to the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, but also Manjushri Bodhisattva, Earth Store Bodhisattva, and Universal Worthy Bodhisattva have come here too. All of you know that Kuan Yin Bodhisattva, Manjushri Bodhisattva, Earth Store Bodhisattva, and Universal Worthy Bodhisattva are the four great Bodhisattvas of the Four Holy Mountains in China. And now these four have come to America along with all the Buddhas and the Eight-fold Division of dragons and spirits.
All of you have come from ten thousand miles away to this Sagely City. It is by the compassionate vows of Kuan Yin Bodhisattva that you have come here. So after arriving here you should be very reverent, as though you were face to face with the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, and you shouldn't be lax. Kuan Yin Bodhisattva has opened up the frontier and established Buddhism in the West. It's a very difficult task. Even though we say that Kuan Yin Bodhisattva has many response bodies, nonetheless, he has to work hard here. Kuan Yin started from 1976, lg77, 1g78, lg7g, 1980, 1981, 1982--six years already.
Three years ago we opened the light on Kuan Yin's Way-place and more and more people arrived to bow to, and worship Kuan Yin Bodhisattva. Before we opened the light at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, he was busy day and night, until the year of 1g79, when we opened the light. And now, in the fall of 1982, we have completed the Mountain Gate, and the Hall of Ten Thousand Buddhas; the Long-Life Hall and the Rebirth Hall are almost done. And a new Five-Contemplations Vegetarian Dining Hall that can seat 2000 has also been completed. Now it's time to start buijding the Jeweled Hall of Great Heroes. The width of this hall from east to west, including the sidewalks, will measure to 300 feet. If you don't include the sidewalks, it will measure 270 feet. From north to south it will measure 200 feet. To our knowledge, this is probably the largest Great Jeweled Hall of Heroes anywhere. Why do we want to build such a big Jeweled
Hall of Great Heroes? It's because America is a huge country and everything here should be big and up to universal standards. If we begin building the hall now, we can finish in three years. Also in the works is the Avatamsaka Way-place--maybe that will take five or six years to finish, be-cause it will be massive. When all of you go back to your homes, you should continue to bring forth sincere minds and after three years, you can come back again and attend the opening ceremonies for the Jeweled Hall of Great Heroes. Perhaps we can finish the Jeweled Pagoda, too.
It can also be said that all the great Buddhas and Bodhisattvas emit light which shines on this great Way-place of the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas. Are you aware that the air at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas is different from the air outside the City? It's extremely pure and fresh and rejuvenating. So when you come here to the City, don't bring your habitual energy and bad habits along. Every day you should act as if you were face to face with the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. You can't laugh and joke around and gossip. If you act thatway, there's no value in coming here. And then it will be as the saying goes,
Under the auspicious mountain, there's no way-place.
So don't do any muddled talking, laughing, and giggling, as if you were going to the movies or theater. No matter who you are, you should follow the rules of the City. If you can maintain the rules and the precepts, then you can gain purity. The light of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas will shine upon you and all your wishes will be fulfilled, and any disasters coming to you will be averted. Otherwise, if you don't have a mind of sincerity, there are places all over theworldthat have places for giggling and carrying on that you can go to. You don't have to come all the way here. If you don't bring forth utmost sincerity, then it's just a waste of your time and money.
You should bring forth a mind of repentance, bow to the Buddhas, and take cultivation as your main job. If you come to bow to the Buddhas and still can't cast away your habitual energies and faults, how dumb you are! You should also cast out the mind of greed and contention. Whatever you do, don't contend with anyone. Also, don't be greedy. When you are greedy, you are being unfair. When you have a mind of contention, you use it to exert force, and to oppress the weak. Those who study the Buddhadharma don't contend with anyone, but cultivate patience instead. What do the Buddhas like to see in their disciples? They like to see disciples who have a mind of great sacrifice, who are truly able to renounce themselves and benefit others. Who can really do the great work of the Buddhas while remaining in the sea of suffering? Who can propagate the Buddhadharma within the Saha World? If you want to propagate the Buddhadharma, then you absolutely have to be proper in everything you do. As it is said,
When a person is proper, he doesn''t have to give people orders and they will follow him of their own accord.
But, if a person is not proper,then even if he force people, they will not comply.
Be a good example, not a bad one. Make yourselves good mo-dels for everyone to follow. If you are proper, then you don't need to order people around. They will still practice after you and follow you. You won't need to use all kinds of tricky methods to oppress people so that they follow you. If you are not proper yourself but still greedy and contentious, selfish, and self-benefitting, then you cannot teach others notto be greedy, not to be contentious, not to be selfish, and not to be self-benefitting. In that case, it won't work. So, if a person is not proper, even if he orders others around, they won't obey. Then no matter what he tries to teac~ people to do, they won't listen to him.
I will tell you something. While at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, I don't mind anyone else's business or try to control anyone else. Whatever people like to do, they can go ahead and do it. People bring forth the mind to protect the Way-place spontaneously, and do their jobs and perform services for the Way-place. I don't control a single on~ of them. So you see, all the cultivators at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas cultivate vigorously from day to night, and most of them eat only one meal a day. They also have to do a lot of Buddha affairs. For the sake of the Buddhadharma, they forget their bodies, and offer up their souls.
So, before opening the light, we had people who used saws to trim the trees, and some of them hurt their fingers, but very fortunately, they didn't cut any of their fingers off. This is a response from Kuan Yin Bodhisattva. Also, someone sprained his leg, but again, very fortunately, it didn't get broken. That is just another response from Kuan Yin Bodhisattva. There weren t any serious accidents. His leg didn't get broken. Another worker on the outside was doing the same job.He too hurt his legs and even after two months rest, he may not recover. At this big Way-place we have so many projects going on, but none of us get hurt. This just shows that Kuan Yin Bodhisattva protects us at all times.
Also, on the 22nd and 23rd, two people from San Francisco were coming to the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas. About twenty miles from here, their car got into an accident. It crashed. But the two people in the car didn't get scratched. That's another example of the response of Kuan Yin Bodhisattva. These kinds of responses happen every day at the City. They are all inconceivable. They are limitless and it cannot be spoken to exhaustion. It's too much.
You have all arrived at the mountain of jewels. You shouldn't go back home empty-handed. You should bring forth a sincere mind to worship the Buddhas. No matter where you are, whether in the Dorm or in the Guest Hall, in your daily affairs, all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas and Sages are watching you. They say, "Take a look at him. What's he doing? Has he come here with a sincere mind? What are the reasons for his coming here? Does he bring forth a mind of greed? Does he come here and bow to the Buddhas in hopes of getting rich? Does he expect to win the sweepstakes when he leaves? Does he have thoughts like that or not?"
All the Sages, the Buddhas, and Bodhisattvas are testing you. You don't want to think whatever you do, say, or think is not known to them. The Buddhas and Bodhisattvas know about whatever you think in your mind. So if you have come here because of your sickness, you have to bring forth a sincere mind and bow to the Buddhas. Then, naturally, your sickness will be eradicated. In the past, lots of people have come here to bow to Kuan Yin Bodhisattva, and although they had very serious cases of cancer, they got well. I don't remember off-hand how many people came here with that kind of sickness, but they all got well. So if you have a sincere mind, there will be a response. Otherwise, there won't be any response. You can't blame the Bodhisattvas for not protecting you. It's because you don't have a true mind. You can't say, "I have come from so far away and spent so much money, how can you say I don't have a sincere mind?" Yes. You used a lot of money to get here, and that indicates a certain amount of sincerity. But once you get here, if you are sloppy, then it will be of no use at all.
So all of you, bring forth your most sincere, reverent and respectful minds and bow to the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas. I will tell you that I don't know how to cure people's sicknesses. I just borrow the power of Kuan Yin Bodhisattva. Kuan Yin Bodhisattva gives me the authority and says whatever sickness you have, when you come here, you will get well. The only stipulation is that you bring forth a sincere and true mind.
In Hong Kong, at the Western Bliss Gardens, there was a mother who brought her five year old child who couldn't walk. Everywhere he went, his mother had to carry him. Then his mother heard someone say that I knew how to cure illnesses. So she came to see me and I told her, "I don't know how to cure people's sicknesses. Instead, you should bow sincerely to the Buddhas. If you are sincere in your bowing to the Buddhas, then your chi~d's sickness will get better." On Ma An Shan, there are 300 steps leading up to the temple, and she bowed everyday from the bottom to the top, one bow for every step; not just once every three steps.
She bowed almost a half year and the child got well--he recovered. He didn't know the reason why he recovered. I didn't pass out any kind of medicine. That woman just bowed with her child from the bottom of the mountain to the top of the mountain and then the child got well. What's the reason behind this? It was because of her sincerity and so she had this kind of response. So if you come and bow to Kuan Yin Bodhisattva, those who have anger become happy; and the dead ones come back to life. If you say this is false and not true, you should know that all the Buddhas don't tell lies. All of you should deeply understand this. If you don't get a response, it just shows that you don't have enough sincerity. This is because when you are outside, you are cheating people all of the time, and then when you come here, you try to use the same mind to try to cheat the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. But you can't cheat the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas at all. Someone's thinking, "I don't like what the Abbot is saying. It upsets me a lot." Then don't listen!