Thursday, December 23, 2004

Took Refuge in 2004

Thanksgiving day, 2004, I was flying to Taiwan for the first time in 21 years. Sister Young Lien has obtained the permission from our Master that I could take refuge with Him. I was told that taking refuge with our Master means that He will take care of my spirit as well as cleans out all my previous karma. Well, I truly would like that. Since our Master has not taken anyone into refuge in about 4 years, I will be the first one. These were my sentiments as I arrived into Taipei.

Next day morning, I was picked up by YL and drove to join our Master's Saturday seminar over at the Big Chan Center alone with about 2,000 other practitioners. It is required to wear a robe while visiting the Big Chan Center, so YL managed to borrow one for me.

Then I was told to stay in line withe guys on the right, and YL left me to stay in line with the gals. I was ushered to sit down about 30 yards away from the stage. I looked left and right, I knew no one. Since I had not visited Taiwan for 23 years, it was obvious that no one knows me either. I became less nervous.

"Oh well, let me just experience the Qi of this big hall", I said to myself. I have heard so much of its powerful energy. There was still about 30 minutes before the lecture starts, I figured that I might as well as experience it for a while.

As soon as I crossed my legs into an easy pose, a strong energy entered into my Root Chakra and quickly reach my Chan Chakra. In about two seconds, tears just came down my cheeks without stopping. I did not feel joyful nor sadness. I was consciously quite alert and not a bit emotional at all. I was not in mood for tears, but I could not stop the tears. For about 15 minutes, I could not control myself. Simultaneously I smelled strong Sandalwood incense. The funny thing was my nose is usually pretty bad that I usually didn't smell nothing, even when my wife burned some incense at our own house. And there was no one burning any incense anywhere in the Big Hall that I could see. I also found out later that our Master was not even in Taipei that day. He spoke from our GaoXiong Center in the south and just piped his speech through real time video to all centers.

Tuesday afternoon, time had come for YL and I to see our Master for the first time. He stood up to greet us and asked us to sit down first. He was not tall, but kind, considerate and humble. I immediately felt comfortable with him. He asked me of how was I initiated into this school. As soon as I started to reply, my tears started to come down again. Oh, man, I became a cry baby. Immediately, he said, "Okay, okay, let us just start the ceremony then." He was very accommodating.

I knelt down in front of him and he stood. While he was delivering all the blessings to me, I said to him silently, "Sorry Sir, I have heard that you are in charge of my spiritual well being now." Immediately I felt relieved.

Guess what, in no time, he said, "Here is your Dharma name, Jue Miao Jing Ming....." Wow, I started to cry again, because I have also heard that, in the last twenty years, there was perhaps only one or two person was ordained with a Dharma name at the time of taking refuge. This was a tremendous recognization and gift.

In our school, there is no written doctrine stating the qualification or process for obtaining an ordination. It is entirely up to our Chan Master. He would recognize the inner quality of the one who is to be ordained. I was totally shocked that I was recognized that I had some of these qualities.

He gave me a gold ring with a Swastika on it and told me not to take it off. I have seen that ring on the fingers of about 50 ordained teachers in our school.

No more than 5 minutes total. No robe, no head shaving, no stamping of document, no incense burning. Nothing, just a transmission from heart to heart.

Then, I teared my way out of His office.

It was November 30, 2004.

Tuesday, December 7, 2004

回到家門後

五年前,初次接觸了師父的“不立文字,教外別傳”。當下便知這是我尋求了四十年的歸宿。


“不立文字”斷了文字相之根,“教外別傳”截了法執之源。這簡單又現代之法,讓有緣之人,避免迴游道,即刻見性,印佛於心,是我在異域他鄉尋找四十年來,第一簡單扼要之法。


在韻文師姐積極鼓勵之後投稿,並蒙恩,發表了我的浪子心路歷程 -“歸途中的老孩子”於禪天下第十二期。當時真是喜憂參半。喜的是歸家有路,更憂的是,是否進得了家門。


四年後,在眾禪行菩薩與洋蓮師姐安排之下,終於在離台廿一年後,再度回到家門。此次際遇非凡,完全出乎我意料之外。師父的慈悲與寄望,己在眾師兄姊前表達無遺,在此不再重覆,唯有感恩於心,惕進於行。


雖然我入禪門,始於不究竟的西方哲學。但西方思想的簡單與直接,卻與印心佛法的科學化,現代化相似,與日常生活接近,易悟平常心,而放下我執。在此說明於後,與有緣人分享。


超越語言與文化的禪


Alan Watts 1915-1973)是英國的近代思想家。他說,“我如同尺寸或分秒”。也就是說,“我”只是一個衡量點,可大可小,不可觸摸,並不存在。“我識”始於父的衡量, 如小胖,乖寶。“我識”形成於親情朋友之比較,如小氣,美麗,高貴。“我識”立足於社會立足的需要,如成功,尊敬,失敗。


因此“我”最多只是個相對值,而非絕對值。以“我”為依據做為日常生活的基準只能繼續地與他人比較,繼續在社會的大染缸中沈,無自拔,暗無天日。


只要暫時延後評比他人,仔細聆聽與觀察他人行,自然領悟出眾生的貪嗔慢疑。自然參出眾生的無明與無奈。慈悲之心然而生。我識自然放下。


唯有放下我與他的比較與批判,才能跳出浮沈,與佛印心,接上法界的訊息,脫離世間價值觀的苦海。


Mu Soeng 是韓國佛學家。在他的英譯金剛經中提起,“為人一生所學習的智識,最多只是第二手或第三手。而大多數極可能是第千萬手。” 試想,我們的成長過程中,所有智識,無不從朋友,父母,師長,書本,新聞而來。可能沒有是第一手的。


如果我們的思及評判方式 ,都基於這些不一定正確的依據,我們如何知道我是對或錯?唯有放下一切思,靜心禪定,才能跳出世間的價值觀,暸解宇宙價值觀。


Dr. Wayne Dyer 是美國近代的思想家。 他說,“我們都是同一個宇宙之能量所創造的。當它創造了你與我之後,它不停地為這世界造花,造草,不曾休息,不問收獲。而你我都是被創造者。因此我們都應有繼續創造的能力。我們應該反省的是我們有繼續為這世界在努力嗎?還是我們常常批判,厭惡世事,因而原地踏步,不再創造?”


因此“我相”並非與生俱來,而是世間加的。如本來無“我”,應該就無“他”。“無我”又“無他”,則無從比較。平常生活之中,如不再比較評判,我執一除,你我他均無分別,貪嗔慢疑將無以據,無論美醜貴賤,一概接納,視世間諸事圴為圓滿,清自在,見性成佛則不遠矣。


如師父開示所云,禪包含世間萬法。國內,國外,各種語言與思,均不離禪宗之不二法則。尤其此次歸國八日之間,處處,時時,經歷佛之接引與安排,遠勝人間的精準與微妙。


恩承華明師兄與音蓮師姐之指示,一切法界自有安排,不需卻步,勇往直前。至今短短八日確己明證於心,佛菩薩的慈悲與証量。仔細回想起來,一生之中,無不受佛菩薩的安排,深感恩於心。


如能時時於“淨”中,處處皆“圓滿”,抬頭見“佛智”,低頭生“歡喜”,豈不快哉。

Monday, October 11, 2004

Initiation Into Chan

Summer of 2000, I began my journey into Chan.

I took refuge under Chan Master Wu Jue Miao Tian in November of 2004 and honored with a Dharma Name, Jue Miao Jing Ming, or JMJM for short.

I was told later by other disciples that I was the second person in twenty-three years to receive a Dharma name on the day of taking refuge. There were less than 100 practitioners were ordained with a Dharma name out of 70,000 practitioners.

I cried, because I realized that my 30 years of earthly experience was meant to train me for my ultimate mission.

No wonder, before the initiation, I felt a strong energy came through my Root Chakra when I first sat down at the mediation center in Taiwan as well as smelled strong sandlewood incense, while my nose usually could not even smell perfume. Most interestingly, there was no incense lit at the meditation center.