Ten Rules for the Practice of Spiritual Perfection


Rule 1: Practice Patience, Resignation and Diligence

To practice patience and resignation means to open one’s heart and to let all others have priority. To practice diligence means to spend wisely and work diligently with courage.


Rule 2: Abandon resolutely the seven passions and the six desires*


Don’t harbor agitation and worries about family matters. Only if we resolutely abandon the seven passions and the six desires, will we be able to truly rescue ourselves as well as our ancestors. If we see only one side and abandon the other one, we will practice forever without making any progress. We must direct our thoughts toward the Buddha-Heart, the immense Heart of God, and dedicate ourselves to serve humanity, the Great Family. Then we will always be happy and ready to disperse any sorrow that threatens to plunge us downward, caused by impure energy in our internal organs and viscera.


* Literal translation of the Vietnamese expression :”That Tinh Luc Duc”

The seven passions are joy, anger, love (romance), hatred, sadness, worldly pleasures, and fear. The six desires are for wealth, beauty, fame, eating, sleep, and lust.


Rule 3: Forgive and Love


We should be generous and forgive with love and compassion anyone who has hurt us. Why? Because our soul is immortal like theirs, we see that we are all brothers and sisters, we realize that we must be fair to each other and forgive and love each other. We have also made mistakes many times, and we have also hoped that others would forgive us. The same holds true for those who have made mistakes. Wouldn’t they also hope that we would forgive them? We should forgive and return love in a constructive manner.


Rule 4: Nurture a spirit of total service

We must perform every work with complete dedication; keep researching until the goal is reached, because the knowledge of our soul is infinite. It doesn’t stay at one place; it is in constant evolution. Thus, we must work infinitely. We currently live in this profane body, and we are working without taking any rest. In social life, this takes the form of thoughts of greed, anger, fear, joy, sadness, hate, and lust, which constantly appear in our consciousness. In spiritual life, we are now awakened and see our true origin clearly. We always aim our thoughts at the spiritual path to return to our true origin and are never idle. We are going through a development cycle to elevate ourselves and to return to our serene nature from heaven. At birth, we were serene, but then we plunged into turmoils of this world, like a person who fell into a ditch. We must be calm in order to slowly crawl out of this trench. It is more difficult to climb back to the top than to fall to the bottom. One only needs a single jump to reach the bottom. The return is more tedious. How can we prove it? As a child or a youth, we only brought the “VOID” with us. Now we are full of agitation, we fight and argue over every single matter, and only become more and more agitated.  Thus, we must resolutely return to our nature at birth which is VOID and PURENESS. Let always be happy and use our  compassionate energy to harmonize with everyone. On this earth, there is no child who is not loved and cherished by someone. We must return to this childhood’s nature in the hope of saving ourselves and generating a good influence on the people who will follow us.


Rule 5: Practice charity and altruism

We practice assiduously to concentrate and strengthen our spiritual energy. With the serenity achieved, we spread the words of Truth to everyone, so that they can also see the spiritual path clearly. This means to practice charity and altruism. When our body encounters problems, we must take care of it wholeheartedly within our inherent abilities.


Rule 6: Treat everyone with sincerity and courtesy

We always treat our fellow practitioners and our fellow human beings with a sincere heart. There is no need to lie, to hide, or to make up stories. We must speak sincere words with a quiet mind, then we will behave in accord with God’s will and true courtesy.

Rule 7: Live a frugal life to save humanity and not to enjoy earthly pleasures


We realize that this body is created by the supra-nature. We live on this earth within the law of birth, aging, death and sorrow. So we come here to lead a frugal life, and not to enjoy earthly pleasures. If we can really enjoy, then we don’t have to leave this body. However, one day, we must abandon this body to go. By what means do we go? We go with our soul. Thus, today, we must practice the dharma so that our soul can reach higher levels. Our body is just temporary, but it gives us the opportunity to save humanity. We don’t live here to enjoy. Pure enjoyment will lead to self-destruction.

Rule 8: Keep a serene heart in all circumstances

We should always keep a serene heart and a quiet mind in whatever situation we are facing. All agitation will eventually return to emptiness. Everything will be back in place. We should just keep thinking this way, and eventually, the matter will be resolved. You all see how rains, winds, and storms create danger and chaos, then everything comes back to normal. These major events guide our consciousness and help to develop our spiritual awareness.


Rule 9: Forget the self  and invoke constantly the mantra Nam Mô A Di Đà Phật

We should remember to invoke constantly the mantra Nam Mô A Di Đà Phật so that the three spheres (high, middle, and inferior) can become ONE, and our consciousness of harmony can expand more and more within serenity and compassion. This is the principle of Nam Mô A Di Đà Phật which harmonizes with the five elements  - metal, wood, water, fire, and earth -  of the whole universe.


Rule 10: Blend with suffering in the hope of awakening the spiritual consciousness

We must accept the present suffering with joy. Missing comfortable means is suffering, but if we gladly accept it, there is no more need. To accept suffering with joy is to assert the will to awaken our consciousness. Everyday, we understand better the principle: Leading a simple or complicated life is the same on this earth. Only a spiritual practitioner can understand this and become awakened. He sees that life is temporary. Life is a permanent school with all sorts of trials. We come here to learn, then we must go, no one can live forever on this earth.

To become a Bodhisattva through the practice of spiritual perfection, we must keep in mind these ten rules and practice them every day, hour, minute, and second. Then, in the future, we will become a precious gift for humanity. For the time being, O My Friends, you are practicing here, but in the future, you will go many places and influence many people with your practice. If you do not practice, you won’t get any results.


I sincerely thank you for your attention.


Lương Sĩ Hằng

April 21, 1986

Source: www.vovi.org