Books By Venerable Pingshi
Publication of books and treatise, unhindered knowledge of eloquence,
profound and wondrous wisdom, and extensive propagation of the True Dharma
Venerable Pingshi focuses on and dedicates himself entirely to the welfare and well-being of each and every Buddhist practitioner. He tirelessly writes and publishes books expounding on Buddhist treatises and sutras and gives Dharma lectures in person on a weekly basis. The full dedication and commitment of Venerable Pingshi to spreading the true essence of the Buddha Dharma through his timely book publications on Buddhist wisdom from his personal realization are truly inspirational for all followers. He consistently explicates the Ultimate Reality of the Buddha Dharma with his attainment of the Buddhist wisdom of the tathāgatagarbha. His teachings are far reaching and touch on a broad spectrum of Buddhist teachings, including Chan, prajñā, Pure Land, the Agama sutras, the implicit teachings of the Surangama Sutra, training in higher wisdom in Consciousness-Only, and precept observance. Venerable Pingshi has published more than a hundred books. All his profits from his publications are donated to the True Enlightenment Practitioners Association, thus enabling the association to dispense the Dharma and the activities related to it to the Buddhist devotees, including the gradual expansion of Buddhist centers to accommodate the ever-growing number of Buddhist followers globally. His donations are entirely for the future benefit and spiritual lineage of the Buddha Dharma, and he does not accept any donation for himself.
A Discourse on the Treatise on the Awakening of Faith in Mahāyāna
(Six-Volume Series in Traditional Chinese)
This book series, Treatise on the Awakening of Faith in Mahāyāna, provides a detailed explanation of the true meaning of the door of the mind of arising and cessation and the door of the mind that is reality-suchness. It aims to eliminate masters’ and practitioners’ misunderstandings since the past of the meaning of the door of the mind of arising and cessation stated in this treatise. Thus, the true meaning of this treatise, which has been misinterpreted and has thus become obscure, can be revealed. This will allow the reader to correctly grasp the principle of the Middle Way of the True Mind, the tathāgatagarbha, that which is neither permanent nor extinct. The exposition and augmentation of the right principles of the Mahāyāna Path to Buddhahood will thus be broadened and expanded. Beginners can also take advantage of the teachings in this correct treatise to develop true faith in the Mahāyāna principles. Henceforth, they can truly initiate the Bodhi mind, enter Mahāyāna practice, and cultivate the correct Bodhisattva Way life after life. This book series comprises six volumes in total, each with more than 300 pages, and is based on lectures by Venerable Pingshi.
A Discourse On the Śrīmālādevī Siṃhanāda Sūtra
(Six-Volume Series in Traditional Chinese)
The differences and similarities of the Three-Vehicle Bodhi, as mentioned in Śrīmālādevī Siṃhanāda Sūtra (Lion’s Roar of Queen Śrīmālā), are elaborately explained in this discourse, demonstrating that the wisdom of bodhisattvas’ realization of the tathāgatagarbha’s sign of reality is not shared by the Two Vehicles. The correlation between the elimination of ignorance in a single thought (moha) by the Two Vehicles and the elimination of beginningless ignorance (avidyā) by the Mahāyāna, including how the Mahāyāna encompasses the Two Vehicles, is also described in this discourse, enabling practitioners to comprehensively understand the Three-Vehicle Bodhi and thus balance expedient and ultimate teachings in their practices. As such, practitioners will no longer be clinging to biased views to refute the correct ones, and consequently denigrating the Great Vehicles. Only then can they truly cultivate the Path to Buddhahood.
Given that the tathāgatagarbha is the basis of the Three-Vehicle Bodhi, without the tathāgatagarbha mind entity and all the seeds contained and stored within it, there will be no sentient beings in the three realms or any phenomena in the world. Furthermore, there will be no supramundane dharma of the dependent arising without an intrinsic nature, which belongs to the Two-Vehicle Bodhi. This sūtra elaborates on the correct principle that the notions of beginningless ignorance and ignorance in a single thought both depend on the tathāgatagarbha to appear. Providing a comprehensive guidance of the relationship between the afflictive hindrances and the cognitive hindrances, this discourse by Venerable Pingshi, totaling six 300-page volumes, enables practitioners to gain insights into the subtle difference between the Two-Vehicle Bodhi and the Buddha Bodhi. By reading and reflecting on this discourse, practitioners can comprehend the superiority of Buddha Bodhi and know the direction and principle of practice in their Three-Vehicle path, thus being benefitted and guided by the True Dharma to swiftly advance toward the attainment of Buddhahood.
(Ten-Volume Series in Traditional Chinese)
The tenets in and wording of Cheng Weishi Lun (Treatise on the Demonstration of Consciousness-Only; CWSL) are extremely difficult and abstruse. They cannot be understood by academic scholars who interpret texts from ancient books. Commentary on Cheng Weishi Lun contains exhaustive explanations for the purpose of furthering the practice of Buddhist learners and post-enlightened practitioners alike in the Dharma-ending era. It is assumed that after reading this commentary in its entirety, the reader will more correctly understand the Buddha’s teachings. The wisdom attained by the reader in this current lifetime will then exceed his or her learning from the past ten eons. However, the reader must begin reading the book from volumes one and two and then proceed to read the rest of the volumes (ten volumes in total) sequentially to gain a correct understanding of its content thus avoiding previous cultivational efforts going into the drain and because learning the Buddha Dharma from this commentary requires understanding in sequential order.
Based on teachings on the Door to Understanding One-Hundred Dharmas, the Door to Understanding Thousand Dharmas, and the Door to Understanding Ten-Thousand Dharmas, CWSL covers the cultivational stage, starting from the Ten Faiths at the Causal Ground for ordinary people, up to all the stages of the Path of Accumulation, Preparation, Vision of Reality, Vision of Characteristics, Proficiency, noble Ten Grounds, and the Buddha Ground.
Although the original ancient Chinese text of the treatise is profound and challenging to understand, this commentary series explains the treatise’s content in an easy-to-understand manner so that contemporary readers can understand it. The commentary first literally translates the ancient language of each passage and then offers a detailed vernacular explanation of it, including citing the source of the evidence. In this way, all readers will have a thorough understanding of the treatise after reading this commentary. Those who will still be unable to comprehend the commentary books after their initial reading of them are advised to persevere in their sequential readings and contemplate them daily. By doing so, they will be able to understand this book’s content correctly and fully.
(English version available)
This book elucidates the correct principles about the Self and No Self from the perspective of the Buddha Bodhi Path. Buddhist learners will fully understand the secret meanings of the Buddha Dharma either through implicit or explicit teachings or through the principles of the middle way in the Buddha Dharma. They will thus not fall into the erroneous view of the theory of no-cause, which propounds the view of non-self and nihilistic emptiness embedded in the notion of “emptiness of all phenomena.” Buddhist learners will then gradually enter and embrace the true essence of the Buddhist principles. The Buddhist disciples of all the four assemblies will thus be able to withdraw from their attachments to inaccurate teachings even from well-known masters. By aligning themselves with the correct principles about the Self and No Self and thus attaining direct comprehension of the perfect harmony between the principles and phenomena from the aspect of the Three-Vehicle Buddha Dharma, practitioners will be able to nurture the causes and conditions necessary to progress toward the Mahayana path of vision. After attaining awakening to the True Mind, practitioners will comprehend the true meaning of the following lines: “Within No Self there is a Self and within the Self there is No Self. In nirvana, there is a true consciousness, and the Self and No Self both vanish therein.”
A Discourse on The Great Drum Sutra
(Six-Volume Series in Traditional Chinese)
The Great Drum Sutra expounds the great Dharma; those who hear it will relinquish their five skandhas lives but will, in turn, resurrect the wisdom life of their dharma bodies. The Tathāgata classified the Buddha Dharma into two categories: the notions of dharma and non-dharma. The dharma encompasses all non-dharma to accomplish the correct principles of Buddhist teachings. All those who hear and accurately understand the Dharma teachings in accordance with their principles will enter the correct Buddha Dharma and directly witness that all non-dharma also comes from the dharma. This will allow practitioners to bring forth the realization that dharma and non-dharma are neither identical nor different, and attain awakening to the ultimate reality pertaining to prajñā, becoming a bodhisattva who has realized the True Mind.
A Discourse on The Buddha Treasury Sutra
(Twenty-One Volume Series in Traditional Chinese)
This sutra explains why the Buddha Bodhi is so difficult to realize—the accumulated false views of countless eons in the past have resulted in karmic obstructions that make it impossible to seek realization in this life. With the ultimate reality of all dharmas as its basis, this sutra provides a detailed explanation of the core essence of all Buddhas and the Dharmas, followed by the chapters “Mindfulness of Buddha,” “Mindfulness of the Dharma,” and “Mindfulness of Sangha,” in which the four assemblies are expected to uphold the pure precepts, thereby transforming the nature of their minds. In addition, illustrations with examples from the “Passage to the Past” chapter teach the four assemblies that they must extirpate false views and turn to correct ones. Finally, through the elucidations in the chapters “Understanding of Precepts” and “The Instructions of Entrustment," it is anticipated that in the Dharma-ending era, the four assemblies will be able to purify their views and personally realize the Bodhi.
Explaining the Realization and the Contents of the Four Kinds of Nirvana
(Two-Volume Series in Traditional Chinese)
Buddhism has long been infiltrated by erroneous, non-Buddhist views consisting of eternalism and nihilism. To help the four assemblies of Buddhist disciples truly realize nirvana and revive Buddhism, the most pressing task today is to teach these disciples to relinquish such erroneous views so that they would not fall into the concept of permanent existence of the five aggregates (skandhas) and the eighteen elements (dhātu) and would obtain the wisdom required to later attain the Three-Vehicle Bodhi. Toward this end, it is crucial to elucidate the various meanings of nirvana so that the four assemblies of Buddhist disciples can acquire a correct understanding of it by listening to the teachings on it that are in accord with reality, attain true wisdom after contemplating such teachings, and abandon the erroneous teachings on it. Based on this, the Buddhist disciples’ cause of practice and the true realization of the Three-Vehicle Bodhi will be conceivable. This was my initial reason for writing this book.
The English version of preface for this book is available for free download!
A Discourse on The Lotus Sutra
(Twenty-Five Volume Series in Traditional Chinese)
This book series, A Discourse on the Lotus Sutra, implicitly explicates the meaning of the diamond-like mind, the tathagatagarbha; depicts the sublime vastness and profoundness of the buddhas’ worlds of the ten directions and three existences; conveys the extensiveness of the hidden essence of the wisdom of prajna; describes the specific attributes of the Buddhas’ worlds of the ten directions (what the buddhas’ worlds look like); and perfectly and conclusively subsumes all the teachings during the Tathagata’s time period once and for all. As such, the Lotus Sutra is also known as the perfect teaching. Most importantly, the implicitly taught secret meaning－the unsurpassed wondrous dharma of prajna－is known only to the enlightened ones. Thus, the Tathagatha calls this sutra the king of all sutras. Unfortunately, many Buddhists have unavoidably misconstrued the meaning of the sutras since ancient times. This lecture series aims to provide a source of inspiration for those who are interested in seeking the Truth and to enable this wondrous dharma to be disseminated for a very long time in this world.
- This book series is not meant for those who lack decent prajna views and who have insufficient power of wisdom and insufficient roots of meritorious virtue (kuśalamūla) so that they would not induce undesirable karmic retribution in their future lifetimes due to the unwholesome deed of slandering the wondrous dharma and saints or sages after unreadily reading this book series.
- Please note that the reader must start reading this book series from its very first page and proceed to read the rest of the book series in sequential order instead of randomly browsing through it.
- It is advisable to start reading the book series from Volume 1. Please refrain from first viewing specifically Volume 16 onwards; finish reading the previous volumes before proceeding to these volumes due to the Dharma-coherence principles.
(English version available)
This book establishes numerous expedients, from beginner-level practices to more sophisticated ones, to facilitate the cultivation and practice of the wondrous Dharma door of Signless Buddha-Mindfulness. The book will assist practitioners of Buddha-Mindfulness who have been practicing it for 20–30 years to no avail attain the state of an undisturbed one-pointed mental focus in a relatively short period of time, and to continue to enjoy such benefit for a lifetime. This book has gone through 39 printings, with over 780,000 distributed copies.
(English version available)
This book is a concise summary of the contents of the Dharma door of Buddha-Mindfulness. It enumerates various expedients to help practitioners learn the proper steps of practicing Buddha-Mindfulness, progressing from an orientation toward sign-dependent mindfulness to signless mindfulness, and then finally to actually realizing the Buddha-Mindfulness samadhi.
Mastering the School Tenets of the Diamond Sutra
(Nine-Volume Series, in Traditional Chinese)
This book series elucidates the true principle and underlying essence of the Diamond Sutra. The contents of the books totally differ from the direct and literal interpretations of various schools from the past to the present, which merely paraphrase the sutra texts. This series essentially points to the Mahayana path of vision’s direction, principle, and method. Mastering the essences elucidated in this book will assist Buddhist practitioners attain enlightenment and see the path, and will facilitate their practice of the inner-gate (more profound) teachings of the six paramitas specifically for the post-awakening stage. One’s chances of achieving Buddhahood are next to zero if one has not personally realized the prajñā of the Ultimate Reality.
The Contemplation of No-Self in Mahayana Buddhism –
A Special Exposition before and after Enlightenment
(In Traditional Chinese)
This book explains the no-self of Mahayana Buddhism in terms of the requirements for attaining enlightenment and the sequential stages of practice after attaining enlightenment. Insightful explanations of the differences and similarities between the realization of the Two Vehicles’ Path to Liberation and the realization of the Great Vehicle’s Path to Buddhahood are also provided. The sequential post-awakening cultivation stages for achieving Buddhahood are clearly stated. The book also preaches the various states of direct comprehension that should be personally realized in the bodhisattvaʼs course of practice for each Ground (bhūmi), and the path toward Buddhahood is clearly illustrated.
A Discourse on the Vimalakīrti Sutra
(Six-Volume Series in Traditional Chinese; Three-Volume Series in Simplified Chinese)
In these books, Venerable Pingshi extensively elaborates on the Vimalakīrti Sūtra and narrates the state of the wondrous wisdom of the non-duality specific to the Buddha Dharma of the Great Vehicle. The Vimalakīrti Sūtra elucidates the unsurpassed and wondrous meaning of the Mahayana principles expounded and manifested by Vimalakīrti Nirdeśa, a Virtual Enlightenment bodhisattva who displayed ill during the time of the Buddha. This sutra has been the literature of choice and the “magic mirror” (reflective mirror of false enlightenment) of the Chan School. Although the wording of the sutra seems simple and concise, the extent of the meaning is immense. Those who practice and cultivate prajna or seek to attain awakening to the True Mind should apply the true meaning of this sutra when examining themselves. This will enable them to avoid committing the karma of grievous false speech concerning enlightenment due to ignorance. In addition, by employing the true meaning of this sutra, one can correctly adjust the direction and method of one’s Chan contemplation and thus attain true enlightenment.
Stages in Cultivating Buddha-Mindfulness Samadhi
(In Traditional Chinese)
Practitioners cultivating the Buddha Dharma should know its various stages and sequences and their proper realignment. This will enable one to employ skillful and expeditious means of attaining the Dharma. The author is compassionate with Buddhist practitioners who wish to realize the Ultimate Reality, and advises them on the principles of shifting and realigning themselves in the search for knowledge about the Ultimate Truth. Employing skillful means, the book teaches practitioners to shift from the practice of the sign-dependent Buddha-Mindfulness to the signless Buddha-Mindfulness. Building on the successful attainment of the ability to practice the signless Buddha-Mindfulness, one will then proceed to enter the practice of Buddha-Mindfulness in the Ultimate Reality.
Perfect Harmony Between Chan and Pure Land
(In Traditional Chinese)
This book elaborates on what patriarchs of the Pure Land School and the Chan School never revealed nor explained: the perfect harmony on Chan and Pure Land practices. This book reveals a short cut to attaining Buddhahood, taking into account the notion of both self-power and other-power at the same time to elaborate on an easy and expediting path from the Pure Land practice as well as an easy and expediting path from the sacred teachings of the Buddha. It enables an enormous number of practitioners from the Pure Land School to alleviate the shortcoming of their slow progress as well as the painful difficulty of attaining realization. At the same time, practitioners drawing from the sacred teachings of the Buddha in the Chan School can employ the same expedited path practiced by those from the Pure Land School and attain Buddhahood in the same accelerated manner.
An Introduction to the Agama Sutra
(In Simplified Chinese)
This book focuses on the connotations of attaining enlightenment. How sound hearers and solitary realizers should practice the Path to Liberation is extensively explained. Venerable Pingshi further faithfully unveils the true doctrines of the sound-hearer Bodhi underlined in the four Agamas, highlighting the principles that are too implicit to be correctly and fully comprehended by Buddhist learners. By following these expositions, the contemporary and future Buddhist learners on the Path to Liberation will be able to distance themselves from their own speculative noumenon, thus attaining the first fruition by truly eliminating their self-view and even attaining the fourth fruition of liberation.
Chan: Before and After Enlightenment
(Two-Volume Series in Traditional Chinese; One Volume in Simplified Chinese)
These books will enable Buddhist learners to strengthen their faith and obtain an accurate understanding of how to practice their faith as they go on the path toward awakening. The sequential practice methods and how to attain enlightenment in the Chan School are discussed in detail. At the same time, these books point out and clarify the subtle mistaken or misleading notions about Chan contemplation, thus helping Buddhist learners recognize the unsound teachings of some masters and further enabling them to attain enlightenment or to realize their True Minds and see their own Buddha nature. Practitioners can then progress toward the stage of the First Ground (first bhūmi) to become a true son of the Buddha through post-awakening cultivations.
The Secret Meanings of the Heart Sutra
(One Volume In Traditional Chinese)
Mastery of School Tenets in the Heart Sutra, (In Simplified Chinese)
This book explains the secret meanings of the Heart Sutra. It also expounds on the relationships between the Heart Sutra and the Path to Liberation, the Path to Buddhahood, and the Gong‘an cases from the Chan patriarchs. The real meaning of the Three-Vehicle Bodhi is also clearly explained in plain and simple language so that learners can get a glimpse of the profundity of the true Buddhist Dharma.
A Discourse on the Śūraṅgama Sutra
(Fifteen-Volume Series in Traditional Chinese)
This is an unparalleled exposition series by Venerable Pingshi published after his 20-year propagation of the tathagatagarbha True Dharma. For the first time, it explains the profound Śūraṅgama Sutra in detail and in plain language. The compassionate Venerable Pingshi earnestly and clearly elucidates the abstruse and hidden meaning of this sutra on the basis of the Tathagata and the Buddha-nature explicated in it, which has been difficult to comprehend since ancient times and confirms that this sutra was indeed proclaimed and taught by the Buddha himself. It also directly reveals the various kinds of demonic harassment and the deviant paths that one might encounter during one’s cultivation of the Path to Buddhahood. Its exquisite and wondrous exposition not only makes the few proponents of the erroneous theory of the six sense-consciousnesses who had slandered this sutra, claiming that it is a fake one, unable to refute it but also exposes the faults and flaws of the demonic tricks in this Dharma-ending age so that they now have nowhere to hide! The complete set comprises 15 volumes.