20110618 five vehicles and heart sutra
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20110618 five vehicles and heart sutra

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buddhism, heart sutra, meditation, five vehicles

buddhism, heart sutra, meditation, five vehicles

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  • The Five Vehicles are defined to help us cross over the ocean of suffering.
  • Therevada: Four Noble Truths & Meditation to attain ArahatHinayana:Mahayana: 6 perfections: the perfection of giving, ethics, patience, joyous effort, concentration and wisdom. The Fourth Noble Truth shows the Way leading to the Cessation of Dukka or suffering.This is also known as the ‘Middle Path’ because it avoids both extremes: one extreme being the search for happiness through pleasures of the senses, which is ‘low, common, not beneficial and way of the ordinary people’ and the other being forms of asceticism, which is ‘painful, unworthy and not beneficial.Having himself tried both extremes and having found them to be useless, the Buddha discovered through personal experience the Middle Path, ‘which gives vision and knowledge, which leads to Calm, Insight, Enlightenment, Nirvana. This Middle Path is generally referred to as the Noble Eightfold Path because it is composed of eight factors: Right view, Right Intention, Right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration.This discussion of the Noble Eightfold Path brings us to the second major aspect of the Buddha’s teaching, the Path of Practice.
  • Because suffering originates from craving, the purpose of treading the Buddhist path is to eliminate craving. This is not a forceful, ascetic regimen of repression and self-affliction, but a wholesome, hygienic training that gradually transforms one’s conduct, mental attitudes, and understanding – in short, the subjective quality of one’s entire life. The Noble Eightfold Path is sometimes divided into three basic divisions, as follows:Wisdom"Wisdom" (Prajñā / Paññā), sometimes translated as "discernment" or understanding at its preparatory role, provides the sense of direction with its conceptual understanding of reality. It is designed to awaken the faculty of penetrative understanding to see things as they really are. At a later stage, when the mind has been refined by training in moral discipline and concentration, and with the gradual arising of right knowledge, it will arrive at a superior right view and right intention.Morality or Ethical Conduct - For the mind to be unified in concentration, it is necessary to refrain from unwholesome deeds of body and speech to prevent the faculties of bodily action and speech from becoming tools of the defilements. Ethical conduct (Śīla / Sīla) is used primarily to facilitate mental purification.Meditation or Samādhi: mental discipline or concentrationSamadhi is literally translated as "concentration", it is achieved through training in the higher consciousness, which brings the calm and collectedness needed to develop true wisdom by direct experience by observing Right Effort, Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration.
  • Factor 1 of the path is Right View, which can also be translated as right perspective, right outlook or right understanding.The Buddha places this factor at the head of the path because in order to take up the practice of the Dhamma we must begin with a clear conceptual understanding of where we stand and where we are heading.This is like traveling from one city to another. If you want to drive from A to B, you must know the general direction of B and the roads that lead you to B. If you simply get in the car and drive in any direction you want, it is doubtful you will reach your destination. Far more likely, you will just get lost.Thus we begin the great journey towards enlightenment with right view. Right View has two levels, both of which are critical to following Buddha’s path to its end. The first is to understand the law of karma and its fruits. This means recognizing that we are responsible for our intentional actions, that good and bad deeds bring forth consequences that correspond to the ethical nature of those deeds, that our life does not end with death but continues on in other forms in which we reap the fruits of our good and bad deeds. The higher type of right view is understanding the four noble truths themselves. Understanding suffering, its origin, its cessation and the way leading to cessation, which is the Eightfold Path which will need to be developed.
  • Right view naturally leads to Factor 2 of the path, Right Intention or right purpose.When we understand our existence in correct perspective our understanding modifies our volitional life, and we undergo a change in our purpose and motivation. The Buddha mentions three types of motivation that constitute right intention:The intention of renunciation, the wish to become free from sensuality and selfish desireThe intention of benevolence, the kindly wish for other beings to be well and happy The intention of harmlessness, the compassionate wish that other beings be free from pain and suffering on any living creature.These two factors, Right View and Right Intention are the forerunners of the training or practice, for they give direction to all the other factors to follow. The next three factors 3,4,5, go together as a set because they are all concerned with or ethical behaviouror morality, with correct behaviour.
  • Factor 3 is Right Speech and that means…When one abstains from these forms of wrong and harmful speech one naturally has to speak the truth, has to use words that are friendly and benevolent, pleasant and gentle, meaningful and useful.One should not speak carelessly, speech should be at the right time and place. If one cannot say something useful, one should keep ‘noble silence’
  • Factor 4 is Right Action that aims at promoting moral, honorable and peaceful conduct.It admonishes us that we should abstain from taking a life or killing, from stealing and dishonest dealings, from illegitimate sexual conduct.
  • Factor 5 is Right Livelihood, which the Buddha explains as earning ones’ living by a righteous and honest occupation, one that does not bring harm or affliction to others. The Buddha specifically mentions five trades that lay disciple should avoid:Business in weapons: trading in all kinds of weapons and instruments for killing.Business in human beings: slave trading, prostitution or the buying and selling of children or adults.Business in meat: "meat" refers to the bodies of beings after they are killed. This includes breeding animals for slaughter.Business in intoxicants: manufacturing or selling intoxicating drinks or addictive drugs.Business in poison: producing or trading in any kind of toxic product designed to kill.
  • Next comes Mental Discipline in meditation, in which are included three other factors of the Eightfold Path, (Factors No 6,7,8 on the list) No 6 is Right Effort - In this factor, the practitioners should make a persisting effort to abandon all the wrong and harmful thoughts, words, and deeds. The practitioner should instead be persisting in giving rise to what would be good and useful to themselves and others in their thoughts, words, and deeds, without a thought for the difficulty or weariness involved.
  • Right mindfulness , "also translated as "right memory", "right awareness" or "right attention. Here, practitioners should constantly keep their minds alert to phenomena that affect the body and mind. They should be mindful and deliberate, making sure not to act or speak due to inattention or forgetfulness.Right mindfulness is cultivated through a practice called "the four foundations of mindfulness" the mindful contemplation of four objective spheres: the body, feelings, states of mind, and phenomena .Mindfulness is presence of mind, attentiveness or awareness. Yet the kind of awareness involved in mindfulness differs profoundly from the kind of awareness at work in our usual mode of consciousness. All consciousness involves awareness in the sense of a knowing or experiencing of an object. But with the practice of mindfulness awareness is applied at a special pitch. The mind is deliberately kept at the level of bare attention, a detached observation of what is happening within us and around us in the present moment. In the practice of right mindfulness the mind is trained to remain in the present, open, quiet, and alert, contemplating the present event. All judgments and interpretations have to be suspended, or if they occur, just registered and dropped. The task is simply to note whatever comes up just as it is occurring, riding the changes of events in the way a surfer rides the waves on the sea. The whole process is a way of coming back into the present, of standing in the here and now without slipping away, without getting swept away by the tides of distracting thoughts.
  • In closing, one may see that it is a way of life to be followed, practised and developed by each individual. It is self-discipline in body, word and mind, self development and self-purification. It has nothing to do with belief, prayer, worship or ceremony. It is a Path leading to the realization of Ultimate Reality, to complete freedom, happiness and peace of mind through moral, spiritual and intellectual perfection.This teaching includes not only a path of spiritual development for monks and nuns, but also a code of noble ideals to inspire and guide men and women living in the world. It includes as well a comprehensive program of social ethics with wide applications to family life, interpersonal relations, economics and politics.Buddhist tradition says that the Buddha’s teaching is designed to fulfil three types of good: the good pertaining to the present life, the good of future life, and the ultimate good. The first is welfare and happiness here and now, the second is a happy rebirth and the third is Nibbana, complete release from the round of rebirths.


  • 1. Buddhist Association of Canada
    Cham Shan Temple
    加拿大佛教會 湛山精舍 禪修學佛入門
    Introduction to
    Buddhism and Meditation
  • 2. Buddhist Association of Canada
    Cham Shan Temple
    ná mó fó tuó
    南 無 佛 陀
    Namo Buddha
    ná mó dá mó
    南 無 達 摩
    Namo Dharma
    ná mó sēng qié
    南 無 僧 伽
    Namo Sangha
  • 3. námóbōrĕhuìshàngfópúsà(3 times)
    南無般若會上佛菩薩 (三稱)
    Blessed be the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas in the Prajna Assembly.
    PrajnaparamitaHrdaya Sutra (Heart Sutra)
  • 4. guānzìzàipúsàxíngshēnbōrĕbōluómìduōshí
    觀自在菩薩 行深般若波羅密多時
    The Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara: When coursing in the deep Prajna Paramita, one perceives the five skandhas are sunyata;
  • 5. sè jí shì kōng kōng jí shì sè shòu xiăng xíng shí yì fù rú shì
    色即是空 空即是色 受想行識 亦復如是
    Form is sunyata, and sunyata is form; the same is true for feelings, perceptions, volitions and consciousness.
    shĕ lì zĭ shì zhū fă kōng xiàng bù shēng bù miè bù gòu bù jìng
    舍利子 是諸法空相 不生不滅 不垢不淨
    Sariputra, the characteristics of sunyata of all dharmas are non-arising, non-ceasing, non-defiled, non-pure,
  • 6. bù zēng bù jiăn shì gù kōng zhōng wú sè wú shòu xiăng xíng shí
    不增不減 是故空中無色 無受想行識
    non-increasing, non-decreasing. Therefore, in sunyata there are no forms, no feelings, perceptions, volitions or consciousness.
  • 7. wú yăn ĕr bí shé shēn yì wú sè shēng xiāng wèi chù fă
    wú yăn jiè năi zhì wú yì shí jiè
    無眼耳鼻舌身意 無色聲香味觸法
    無眼界 乃至無意識界
    No eye, ear, nose, tongue, body or mind; no form, sound, smell, taste, touch or mind object; no realm of the eye, until we come to no realm of consciousness.
  • 8. wú wú míng yì wú wú míng jìn năi zhì wú lăo sĭ yì wú lăo sĭ jìn
    無無明 亦無無明盡
    乃至無老死 亦無老死盡
    No ignorance and also no ending of ignorance, until we come to no old age and death and no ending of old age and death.
  • 9. wú kŭ jí miè dào wú zhì yì wú dé yĭ wú suŏ dé gù
    無苦集滅道 無智亦無得 以無所得故
    Also, there is no truth of suffering, of the cause of suffering, of the cessation of suffering nor of the Path. There is no wisdom, and there is no attainment whatsoever.
  • 10. pú tí sà duō yī bō rĕ bō luó mì duō gù xīn wú guà ài
    菩提薩埵 依般若波羅密多故 心無罣礙
    Because there is nothing to be attained, the Bodhisattva relying on Prajna Paramita has no obstruction in the mind.
    wú guà ài gù wú yŏu kŏng bù yuăn lí diān dăo mèng xiăng jiū jìng niè pán
    無罣礙故 無有恐怖 遠離顛倒夢想 究竟涅槃
    Because there is no obstruction, one has no fear and passes far beyond all confused imagination and reaches ultimate nirvana.
  • 11. sān shì zhū fó yī bō rĕ bō luó mì duō gù dé ā nòu duō luó sān miăo sān pú tí
    三世諸佛 依般若波羅密多故 得阿耨多羅三藐三菩提
    The Buddhas of the past, present and future, by relying on Prajna Paramita, have attained anuttara samyak sambodhi.
  • 12. gù zhī bō rĕ bō luó mì duō shì dà shén zhòu
    shì dà míng zhòu shì wú shàng zhòu
    故知般若波羅密多 是大神咒 是大明咒 是無上咒
    Therefore, the Prajna Paramita is the great spiritual mantra, the great illuminating mantra, the unsurpassed mantra,
  • 13. shì wú dĕng dĕng zhòu néng chú yī qiè kŭ zhēn shí bù xū
    是無等等咒 能除一切苦 真實不虛
    the unequal equal mantra which can truly protect one from all suffering without fail.
    gù shuō bō rĕ bō luó mì duō zhòu jí shuō zhòu yuē
    故說般若波羅密多咒 即說咒曰
    Therefore he chanted the mantra of Prajna Paramita, saying:
  • 14. jié dì jié dì bō luó jié dì bō luó sēng jié dì pú tí sà pó hē
    揭諦揭諦 波羅揭諦 波羅僧揭諦 菩提薩婆訶 (三稱)
    Gate gate pāragate pārasamgate bodhi svāhā (3 times)
    ▽ ││ ○ ││ ○ ││ ○│ ◎ ││
    mó hē bō rĕ bō luó mì duō
    摩訶般若波羅密多 (三稱)
    Maha Prajñāpāramitā (3 times)
    ○ ││ ◎ ││ ○ ││ ○│ ○ ││ ○
  • 15. Buddhist Practice and Cultivation in Four Lines
    1 Take refuge in the Three Treasures of the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha.
    2 Earnestly cultivate the Three Perfections of Morality, Calmness, and Wisdom.
    3 Shed the Three Poisons of Greed, Anger and Delusion.
    4 Purify the Three Karmas of Action, Speech and Thought.
  • 16. 六道十界– The 10 Realms
  • 17. The Five Vehicles(Yanas) of Buddhism
    The term vehicle denotes a route than one can take on the path to enlightenment. Although the Way may seem distinct the Vehicles comprise a menu of options that travelers may use to complete their journey across the lifescape. Over time four main lineages or branches of Buddhism evolved to satisfy the sensibilities of the mixed multitudes who became attracted to the teachings of Buddha.
    The routes that these lineages took as they branched out spreading Buddhism globally characterizes some distinct expressions of Buddhism that exists today.
    May this presentation help you and others navigate along the Way to enlightenment.
    HinayanaSmaller Vehicle
    MahayanaGreat Vehicle
    TantrayanaDiamond Vehicle
    560 BCE
    100 CE
    100 BCE – 100 CE
    600 CE
    North India, Tibet, Bhutan, Mongolia, Nepal, China, Korea, Japan.
    North India, China, Tibet, Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Japan. Also, in China the Ch'an tradition evolved, which was introduced into Japan, and there developed into Zen
    Shri Lanka, Thailand, Shri Lanka
    Shri Lanka, Thailand, Burma, Cambodia, Laos
  • 19. Five VehiclesThree Vehicles
    1). Human
    Purify Mind & Blissful Culture
    2). Deva
    Celestial Being Doctrines
    3). Sravaka (Small)
    Personal Liberation/Salvation 1+2). Liberated
    4). Praetyka Buddha (Middle)Hinayana
    Personal Liberation/Salvation
    5). Bodhisattva (Great) 3). BodhisattvaTranscendental GuideMahayana
  • 20. Purify & Blissful
    1. Humanity Vehicle
    • The main objectives of this vehicle are to purify the human mind and to promote a blissful culture for humanity, so that one may realize a happy and blissful existence, and live in a wholesome state in this world. Confucianism is an example of this kind of vehicle.
  • Heaven & Hell
    2. Deva Vehicle
    • All god-based religions belong to this deva/heaven vehicle. After death, one goes to heavens or hells, to the kingdom of one’s choice or the result of one’s karma. All Christian, Hindu, Muslim and any/all god-based religions belong to variations of this vehicle.
  • Personal Liberation
    3. Sravaka Vehicle (Small)
    • Those who cultivate for the sake of personal liberation and aspiration for personal salvation. The highest level of attainment for cultivators of Small Vehicle Buddhism is the Arahat. This also refers to those who have heard the words of the Buddha and set forth with wisdom, not blind faith or beliefs. Existential questioning is a good example. All beliefs and dogmas are challenged, questioned, researched and meditated upon until one comes to a realization of liberation.
  • Personal Liberation
    4. Pratyeka Vehicle (Medium)
    • The awakening to co-operative causes (dependent originations) vehicle without hearing the words of the Buddha. Instead of hearing the Buddha’s words, people who choose this vehicle enhance their lives over mundane living by observing/studying origins of life/the universe, cause and effect and teach others about these theories. Great scientists like Professor Steven Hawking are a good example because he became the world’s top physicist exploring the origin of the universe unhampered by his physical handicap.
  • Transcendental Guide
    5. Bodhisattva Vehicle (Great)
    • The doctrines of the Bodhisattva Vehicle are for the salvation and enlightenment of one’s self as well as for other sentient beings. The best example of this in modern times was Mother Teresa who was a Christian but sacrificed herself for the benefit of non-Christians.
  • Realization
    6. One Vehicle
    • The Five Vehicles are merely expedient means; their purpose is to direct people toward Ekayana, the Buddhahood or One Vehicle, the ultimate, complete and perfect enlightenment. One should not differentiate people on the basis of their religious beliefs but simply recognizes the vehicles they have chosen because all beings are on spiritual journeys one way or another.
    8. Navigation
    The Five Vehicles can be seen as stages of development that the Buddha expounded at different times during his life’s pilgrimage. The perspectives gained by the five can help foster tolerance amidst the range of Buddhist expressions and to support each Aspirants’ sensibilities, temperament, as their conditions may change over time.
  • 21. Realization
    7. Towards Buddhahood
    • Above all, the ultimate, perfect and complete truth of Buddha is One Buddha Vehicle. In Buddhism, the Five Vehicle are established to facilitate the human beings to understand the reality of Buddhahood. As revealed in the Lotus Sutra, the teaching of One Buddha Vehicle is unconceivable and beyond words.
  • A little wisdom is like a small lamp in the dark; as the wisdom develops the lamp glows and eventually it is like daylight and everything is crystal clear.
    The Buddha claimed that the Awakening he rediscovered is accessible to anyone willing to put forth the effort and commitment required to pursue the Noble Eightfold Path to its end. It is up to each of us individually to put that claim to the test.
  • 22. Basic Terms
    10 Chinese schools
    Life story of the Buddha
    Buddhist History in India
    Buddhist History in China
  • 23. The Ten Schools of Chinese Buddhism:
    1. Reality School or Kosa School or Abhidharma School.2. Satysiddhi School or Cheng-se School. 3. Three Sastra School or San-lun School.4. The Lotus School or T'ien-t'ai School 
    5. The Garland School or Hua-yen School or Avatamsaka School. 6. Intuitive School or Ch'an School or Dhyana School.7. Discipline School or Lu School or Vinaya School. 8. Esoteric School or Mi School or Mantra School.9. Dharmalaksana School or Wei-Shi School or Fa-siang School.10. Pure-land School or Sukhavati School or Ching-t'u School.
  • 24. The following topics are for the upcoming Saturday Meditation Class:
    June 18 to the end of August - Heart Sutra by Ven. Shengguang Shi (1st hour)
    June 18 – Five Vehichles by Moshay Allen (2nd Hour)
    June 25 - Pure Land School by Jimmy Li
    July 2 - Esoteric School by Edward Malek
    July 9 - Chan School by Kitty Cheung
    July 16 - Satysiddhi School by Waifun Lai
  • 25. Questions and Comments 討論
    Shengguang Shi 釋聖光
    Tom Cheung 張相棠
    Kam Cheung 張仁勤
    Dennis Yap 葉普智