少讲话，好好用功才是。 What we should do is speak as little as possible and work hard at our practice.
“It’s hard! It’s hard! It’s hard! It’s like spreading ten catties of sesame seed on a tree.” These are layman Mr. Pang’s words. He felt that cultivation wasn’t easy: either your legs hurt, or your back aches, or various other ailments interfere with your practice. It’s not easy to attain a state of oneness. You have to work very hard just to make a little progress, and if you relax even slightly, you lose the results of the hard work you put in. Therefore, he said, “It’s hard! It’s hard! It’s hard! It’s like spreading ten catties of sesame seed on a tree.” Ten catties is not a small amount, and placing that many tiny seeds on a tree so that they don’t fall off is no easy task.
”He had a relative who heard his comment and said, “If it’s that hard, then we can’t cultivate, can we?”However, Mrs. Pang said, “It’s easy! It’s easy! It’s easy! Every blade of grass carries the intent of the one who came from the West.” It’s very easy. All the mountains, rivers, land, flowers, plants, and trees reveal the great meaning of the Patriarch’s arrival from the West*. So, it’s all very simple; what difficulty is there?* refers to Patriarch Bodhidharma, the 28th Indian Patriarch who went to China in the 6th century and became the first Chinese Patriarch.
Then the daughter of the family said, “It’s not hard, and it’s not easy. I eat when I’m hungry, and sleep when I’m tired.” The three of them said different things, but the basic principle is the same: Don’t get defiled, and do a good job of cultivating.
Mr. Pang, Mrs. Pang, and their daughter were of the same family, but they each had their own views. Now people from many different places have come for the session, and you each have your own ideas and views. However, what we should do is speak as little as possible and work hard at our practice.
A talk given on January 1, 1984