Chan Master Sheng Yen reminds us not to be discouraged that we haven’t attained enlightenment. After all, we’re only human.
After practicing buddhadharma for a while and listening to lectures about liberation and freedom, some people feel very frustrated if they have not gained realization. They forget that it takes a very long time to evolve from being an ordinary person to being a buddha.
Seeming Liberation and Progressive Liberation
The Chinese phrase “seeming liberation” refers to the liberation practices of ordinary people. It means using what we understand of the dharma to help us relieve vexation, and the more we practice, the more we can help ourselves. One example is the use of prayer beads. Why use prayer beads? We use them for counting with our hand when reciting the Buddha’s name. What is the use of counting when we recite the Buddha’s name? When our thoughts wander, as long as our fingers are moving, that reminds us that we were reciting the Buddha’s name. What is the use of reciting the Buddha’s name? Some recite the Buddha’s name to be reborn in the Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss, for disaster mitigation, or for peace of mind.