Therefore, we must educate our Buddhist friends, when karmic conditions ripen, the fruit of karma will certainly take effect. When the karmic conditions of your prayer to the Buddha ripen today, your karmic result will come into being; If the karmic conditions of your prayer have not ripened, you won’t have your prayer answered no matter how hard you pray. Thus, Bodhisattvas often say that when conditions are ripe, success will arrive. If you pray every day, will the Bodhisattvas not know about it? This is very important to know that how many meritorious and virtuous deeds you have performed, and how sincere you are when you pray. Why do we have worries? It is because karmic conditions have not arisen, so of course you will be worried. You have prayed to have a certain wish fulfilled. Your prayer is not answered because the conditions have not matured, so you suffer and you feel miserable.
That’s why I tell you to take Buddhas as your role model, to learn to be both compassionate and wise. What does it mean to be both compassionate and wise? Be greatly merciful and compassionate, have pity for all sentient beings, and help others. While helping others, you need to help sentient beings fulfil their wishes at the same time – Use your wisdom to help sentient beings fulfil their wishes. More often than not, many of you find someone pitiful, but you are unable to think of ways to help them. This shows you have only compassion but not wisdom; If you have sympathy towards others, and you have the wisdom to resolve their problems, then you have both compassion and wisdom. Tell me, Those who have wisdom, how are they not able to save others? Think about it, for those who have wisdom, how could they be foolish and deluded?
We must know how to purify our mind, we must purify our thoughts. How do we become purer and purer? Firstly, we need to practise calming and contemplation. That means our mind must always be free of hindrances. Just like a room in a house, if you don’t fill the room up with things，it will be spacious. You will feel comfortable when you enter the room; Just like a large living room in a house, many people fill their living rooms full, there is no room to sit anywhere. If you fill your mind with worldly concerns, such as fame, wealth, fortune and benefits, and it is filled to the brim. How can you stop your thoughts from arising? How can you stop observing what is going on in the world?
Calming and contemplation is practising Zen. What is practising Zen? That is to contemplate everything in human life and understand it with an awakened mind: “Why did someone do such a thing?” “Why do you like this person so much?” “Why do you dislike that person?” All this requires the practice of Zen. It is to contemplate. So people may ask “How to contemplate?” Meditative concentration — the sort of reflection that emerges, not by visualisation, but by practising meditation. What is Zen? It is a kind of natural, awakened state of mind, that allows you to experience the existence of a certain matter, and its impact on you, as well as the perception that arises in your heart. This is what it is meant by practising Zen.
More often than not we pray to Bodhisattvas every day: “Bodhisattva, please bless and protect me”. But in reality, we have so many distracted, wandering thoughts. We have so many mental disturbances. Every day, our minds contain all sort of things except the Buddha. “What to eat and what to wear?” “What should I do to be better?” and so on and so forth? Every day, we exist in a mass of distracted thoughts，which causing us to lose a lot of wisdom. Very soon frustration will be on our heels. It is said that eight or nine out of ten people are faced with frustration. Everyone experiences many frustrations, unhappiness and miseries.
How to control our frustrations? How to practise self-control? Bodhisattvas tell us to treat it with patience. Those with forbearance will slowly overcome their frustrations. Many people are able to patiently endure unhappiness and continue to laugh and smile. Even when their husbands pick fights with them, they can still put on a smiling face. They know that it is temporary, and it will soon be over. Patience is the remedy, so she will patiently endure it. When you are happy, when happy times arrive, treat it with equanimity. The best approach is to treat it with equanimity. So, don’t go overboard when you are happy, don’t be excessively sad either.