To be Accepted, first Accept Others
When differences arise in two people’s thoughts, opinions, habits, or personalities, each person arbitrarily decides that he is right and the other is wrong, even disgusting, thus denying everything about the other. That is a foolish and ridiculous approach, which can only make such a person retreat to an isolated island in a vast sea; hiding helplessly in a closed dark and damp corner of his own mind. Troubles are piling up every day, and the room for living is squeezed tighter and tighter.
One must understand that “there is no difference between the mind, the Buddha, and sentient beings,” and that no one is outside your mind or an outward projection of your mind. In other words, no one is not a part of you; to reject others is to reject yourself, and to hate and avoid others is to reject and hate yourself.
Our mind is as vast as the boundless void of space. But, because that space is full of “me”, and that “me” is occupying too much space, separating us from others, we must expand that space.
How powerless our minds would become if we were cut off from all living beings! The Avatamsaka Sutra reads: “All sentient beings are the roots of trees; all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are flowers and fruits.” Without the nutrients, the roots of the tree of life lose their vitality, the leaves turn yellow, the branches wither, and the tree bears no fruit. Hence, as the ego of the “false self” expands, so the “true self” shrinks.
Indeed, the “true self” would accept everything unconditionally without discrimination.
The vast space expands because it embraces everything such as winds, rains, fog, mists, sunlight and haze.
It embraces everything without selectivity, be it good people or evil ones, fragrant flowers or stinking feces.
If we, who are deeply rooted in sin, were not accepted by Amitabha Buddha without discrimination, would we have any other way out of the endless cycle of birth and death? We sentient beings have such wretched karma and afflictions that no other Buddhas would tolerate and accept us!
Shouldn’t people emulate the virtues of heaven and earth? Shouldn’t we accept, with the heart and mind of Amituofo, our brothers and sisters who are in trouble? Besides, how do we know bad events are not due to our incorrect views, unfounded attitudes, or highly subjective belief that we are always right and others wrong?
It is the unfailing law of cause and effect, and common sense, that people will accept you if you accept them first. Even though we mortals can not fully accept everything around us, at least we should have a basic understanding of which way is correct and which way is incorrect. Then we will not be wandering further and further in the wrong direction.
(Translated by the Pure Land School Translation Team; edited by Kevin Orro (Fozhu))
Faith in, and acceptance of, Amitabha’s deliverance
Single-minded recitation of Amitabha’s name
Aspiration to rebirth in Amitabha’s Pure Land
Comprehensive deliverance of all sentient beings