Avoid frequent rises and falls in mood. In other words, you need to exercise control over your mind without any fluctuating rise and fall in your mood. When you are happy, your sense of happiness rises. You are in a joyous mood; When you are unhappy, there is a fall in your mood. When you have no energy, your mood is low. When one is full of yin energy, or full of negative energy, they will show no interest in anything. They are always low in spirits in anything they do, and they are not interested in anything they think. People say, “You seem low today. Come on, I’ll take you out for a walk”. ”No mood”. “Regarding the matter, forget it, don’t want to think about it anymore”. “I’m not in the mood, I don’t feel like going out”. “I don’t want to go out”. This means you experience rise and fall in your emotions. The Heart Sutra tells us “Neither increasing nor decreasing. In reality it refers to our lives, when good things happen, don’t let your emotions rise; When bad things happen, alas, I’m in low spirits the whole day! As if this whole world, brings you nothing but trouble. Hence why philosophers in the past said: “Stand up and you can’t see a single ant, squat down and ants are everywhere”. There is no rise nor fall in our true mind, neither increasing nor decreasing. It actually refers to Buddhists who have embarked on the path — this means you have gained a little realisation of the truth. Hence when people in ancient times talked about whether you were awakened or not, they weren’t actually saying you were awakened, they were saying you have found the path. You have entered the path. Entering the path means you have just gained some realisation. Attaining the path means you have already attained enlightenment. Therefore, the inspiration and guidance that Dharma gives to people is very, very important.

We must learn to be tolerant of each other’s mistakes. No matter what wrongdoings others have done, you must be tolerant towards them. Because they were not you, your mindset is not representative of theirs, nor are your actions representative of theirs. If you are unable to tolerate others, it means your mind is intolerant. It’s because many things that people do, are not considered satisfactory to you. Things fail to go as smoothly as you have expected, but you must understand that all the people and matters in this world are not there for your benefit. They are not meant for you. They exist either to settle an old score or repay your kindness. Those who have grudges seek revenge. They come to this world to attend to what they are supposed to do.

They are not to be owned or used by you. In this world, there is nothing you can use forever or possess forever. If you have this kind of thought, the Bodhisattva’s wisdom, you will gradually understand that desires in this world will never give you complete satisfaction. Do you think there is anything in this world which can give you contentment? Even if you are contented, and say, “Today, I am contented”.  But the next day you are discontented again. “I am satisfied with this matter, but I am not satisfied with that matter”. Hence people are forever trapped in insatiable desires. They live in suffering. I will tell you why you cannot be satisfied. Many people ask, “Why can’t I be contented?”   It’s all because of your desires. If your desires are insatiable, how can you be contented? Then where do desires come from? Desires are like viruses which have the ability to proliferate.  Since desires lead to more desires, they have the ability to proliferate. For example, you already have a car, and you are quite happy with it. As soon as you see someone else driving a better car, your desire arises immediately — Desires have the ability to grow.  So you bought yourself a new car of the same model.  But when you see another car, you think that car is better, your desire arises again. Why do many marriages break up? Because their desires are not fulfilled. When they see this one, they think that one is better, after seeing that one, they think this one is better; When they look at this house, they think that one is better,many people purchase houses this way. “I like the structure of this house”. “I like the structure of the rooms in that house”. “I like the interior, I don’t like the exterior”. Some say, “I like the exterior of their house, it’s very stylish. But the house seems particularly small once you walk in”.  The same thing goes when you stay in a hotel. Some rooms are very large, but the hotel entrance is particularly unattractive, and you feel embarrassed about it. When your guests offer to send you back to the hotel, not wanting them to see the small hotel you’re staying, you would turn down the offer. If your rooms upstairs are very large, you don’t have to bother how unattractive the entrance is, you would say, “Come, come with me. Come, come to my room”. Let people have a look at your hotel room. It’s especially spacious. Actually this is also a kind of desire. Because people are always occupied with their desires which are growing stronger. Desires are addictive, just like people who become addicted to food. Some people do things they like and become addicted. For example, when we were young, there was this pupil in a class. When the teacher came in, he would say out loud, “Please rise!” The class would all stand up. Then, all the children would say, “Good morning teacher”.  The teacher would say, “Good morning class, please sit down”.  That pupil thought that saying “Please rise” was a great honour to him, that makes him feel proud of himself. It becomes his desire and he’s got addicted. If you tell him to let someone else do the job, he would become upset.  If everyone gets the chance, he would be unhappy too. Let me tell you, according to Buddhist scriptures, the objects of illusion are empty and unreal by nature. Things that are impermanent are referred to as objects of illusion. When you force yourself to distinguish them or even cling to them, you force yourself to distinguish or cling to something which is illusory by nature. Due to the discriminatory mind, “You see, I am different from other classmates”. “Look, I’m the class leader”.  What is he attached to? This is my position, it is for me to announce it. Actually, it only comprises three words, “Please stand up”. In some classrooms there are only two words, “Stand up”.

BHFF 13: Let our thoughts neither increase nor decrease (3/3)