August 15, 1973 | Wednesday evening

On Karmic Hindrances

Ven. Master Hua  


Some of you do nothing all day. Instead of listening to the sutras, hearing the Dharma, or learning languages, you meet with the Duke of Zhou in your dreams. Thatís a Chinese expression. When you say, ďIíve just had a meeting with the Duke of Zhou,Ē it means you were dreaming (*). 

You do not cultivate vigorously. When people suggest we bow the repentance, you are the first to oppose it. Actually your karmic obstacles are opposing it. It may not be the case that you yourself are opposing it, but your karmic obstacles prevent you from cultivating. They donít want you to bow the repentance, recite the Buddhaís name, or cultivate in any way at all. Therefore, when people suggest a method of cultivation, you get angry. ďWhy do that?Ē you say. Since you donít want to do anything, go right ahead and do nothing. Thatís wonderful.  

Actually, monastics must be sure to do everything in a genuine way. We cannot ďhang up a sheepís head but sell dog meat.Ē We cannot claim that we cultivate, but not actually do it. That would not be true practice. And if you lack true practice, you will not be able to realize the highest enlightenment.  

Wise teachers! All of you have higher wisdom than I. I am just a fool. If you want to listen to my Dharma, go right ahead. If you donít want to listen to it, then donít listen. I wonít force others to listen to my Dharma. Why? Itís only to be feared that what I speak is not the Dharma. If it is the Dharma, even if people do not listen to it, ghosts and spirits will listen. And even if ghosts and spirits do not listen to it, gods, dragon, and the rest of the eightfold division and Bodhisattvas of the ten directions, will listen to it. Itís no big deal if a handful of you refuse to listen.


Timely Teachings, pages 196 - 197



Duke of Zhou is also known as the 'God of Dreams'. It comes from a saying of Confucius: 'I no longer dream of the Duke of Zhou' (meaning: I do not have a dream about the Duke of Zhou's good governance). According to the folk legend, if an important thing is going to happen to someone, the Duke of Zhou will let the person know through dream. Hence the Chinese expression 'Dreaming of Zhou Gong' or 'Seeing Zhou Gong' (i.e. Mr. Zhou, 周公) which means sleeping/dozing. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duke_of_Zhou