Today I’m issuing an order to those of you who have taken refuge with me. It’s an order to donate! I’m soliciting donations from you. Someone is saying, “Teacher, in all these years you’ve never asked for donations from us. Now you must be asking for a big donation!”
That’s right! I don’t want small donations. What use are they? Even three million or five million aren’t of much use. Money is nothing but paper bills. Even if you gave me gold or silver, I wouldn’t be able to eat it or take it along when I die. These things are all useless.
What donation am I soliciting from you then? I’m asking for your bad temper, your ignorance, your afflictions, and your anger. Hand them all over to me! I’m a “hot pepper” of a teacher, and I can never have enough of these things. If you give them to me, I’ll put them in the furnace of ignorance and smelt them with the fire of ignorance. I’ll smelt them into pure gold and diamonds, and then we’ll all become Buddhas together! You have to give them up even if you can’t bear to. If you want to be a true disciple, you’ve got to give me all of your bad temper, ignorance, afflictions, jealousy, and obstructiveness.
I’m a garbage collector. Why don’t we dump all that stuff into the trash? Then, let’s go one step further to purify the world. Let’s dispel the violence and calamities, and transform afflictions into auspiciousness. This is what I wanted to talk to you about today. I’m not joking. It may sound like a joke to you, but what I’ve said is completely true.
I do want to solicit this donation from all of you. Those who can give it are my true disciples, and those who cannot aren’t my disciples. We should give what we don’t want to give, yield what we cannot bear to yield, and endure what we find unendurable. Understand? This is fixed. Don’t be sloppy and casual. No one is allowed to be jealous or obstructive of others. We should all help one another to cultivate. This is what I want to tell you today. If I say too much, I’m afraid it will be too “hot and spicy” and you won’t be able to breathe. I’ve given you enough spice for today!
A talk given on December 25, 1980