Feelings are Like a Padlock
- From TBN, issue 440 and 467
- By Living Buddha Lian Sheng, Sheng-Yen Lu
- Translated and Edited by True Buddha Foundation Translation
in retreat is the best way to escape from one's feelings. But the
reality is that when you miss the past so much and the memories
stay in your thoughts for so long, it becomes almost impossible
to breathe. And as time passes, this feeling of breathlessness becomes
even stronger. Perhaps much of this is attributable to my vow to
deliver sentient beings in each life I live!
I wish very, very much-
[That] when I am alive, I can stay together with my disciples.
[That] when I die, I can be buried together with them.
[That] even when we are far apart in this world, we can accompany
each other [in spirit.]
[That] we can be together in the Maha Twin Lotus Ponds
Sometimes during my solitude, I find myself in a state of mental
loneliness, where I have only the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas to speak
to, and where my chanting of Buddha's name and mantras becomes one
of my sources of leisure, one of my pastimes. It may sound odd,
but this is a fact.
My feelings have weighed heavily upon me, so much so that my memories
of the past are now only half of what they once were . I have become
a wandering lonely bird in the sky, trapped in a net of feelings,
unable to fly any higher.
I know as well of many,
many people who are afraid of being alone, who prefer to stay with
their [painful] feelings to avoid the loneliness, to escape from
the loneliness and helplessness of being alone.
For these people, every one is unconscious and, moreover, unconscious
without even knowing it, locked within their feelings without even
In my lifetime, I may have the True Buddha within, but my heart
is heavily weighed down by the feelings from my memories of the
past, always present in my mind, quietly existing in a rhythmic
pulse. They are like a padlock which holds me firmly in captivity.
The highly achieved, highly respected cultivator with great wisdom
Attachment to love brings suffering when later separated.
When there is gathering, there must be parting.
There is never a party that does not come to an end, when all must
All feelings, in the long run, eventually become empty. A cultivator
should not be trapped within feelings, and must learn to be reasonable,
must learn to be truly calm, must learn to be purified, must learn
to be without self. How can [one who is] without self have feelings?
It is all right when love comes.
It is all right when love goes.
[We] should have ability and wisdom, to never be locked by our feelings
easily. Great is the wisdom of the Buddha! [It] keeps us from losing
our direction, providing us with refreshing new space and freedom.
Never be locked by the padlock of feelings.