Tuesday, February 8, 2011

功德的實修與實證

最近各地道場所提到的大都是護持道場的一些需要,有的是人力,有的是資源,有的是心力。

在此順便提一下我個人,在功德方面的『實修與實證』。

佛經上提到過各種各樣的功德,及功德的重要。但是如何實修實證呢?

師父所教導我們的,卻是不能『求』功德。功德只是『菩薩行』的結果,而非『菩薩行』的起因。

『修行』,就是『修自己』,聽說過『行自己』嗎?反過來說,有『菩薩行』。卻沒有『菩薩修』。

『修』是在『人界』的行為,『行』卻是在『菩薩界』的行為。當我們的修為,清淨到了某一層次,我們的『我』自然就少了些,覺他心自然就敏銳了些, 菩薩心自然就比較顯現,自然就比較慈悲,法喜,覺他。也就是說我們的靈性就自然的提升了些。因此離相也更遠了些,業力也比較不容易干擾到了。

漸漸的離人界,越來越遠,離菩薩越來越近。這是『心與靈』的境界。

在能量與相應方面更是如此,有些同修說,『啊喲,越是與人接近,越不舒服』。事實上那是需要恭喜的。能感受到他人的『不舒服』,就表示已經清淨到 了某一個層次了,接到某些的『不乾淨』,承擔了他人的一些『不舒適』。『不舒適』就是業力的干擾。

當我們承擔的越多,我們的能量就會越強,我們能覺他的能力也越敏銳,智慧也越來越相印得到,覺行的圓滿也就越有可能。

師父是說過的,『成為佛,也就是覺者,不外乎,自覺,覺他,覺行圓滿。』

所以說,『功德』,也就是承擔他人,成就他人的能力。能夠成就他人,才能成就自己。功德越大,佛越大。所以 師父一再強調,『莊嚴眾生,攝取眾生,莊嚴佛國,攝取佛國。』

簡單的說,『入了污泥,才有蓮花』,否則只是在原地打轉而已。

覺行的每一步,都是可以實修實證的。試試看。很有意思哦。

Scholarly approach

As a scientist or a scholar, the training is to remain absolutely objective, be an observer and never contaminate the fact in front of us with our own interpretation or subjective filtering. This is well respected and understood.

As a Chan practitioner, however, the training is just the opposite. What the teacher, Buddha, or Jesus said, or even what we see, hear, smell, feel or touch are irrelevant. Words are meant to wake us up from within and let us by-pass our mind, and directly experience the "Truth" without being attached to all "forms of dharma".

In other words, whatever considered "sacred or true" in the eyes of scientist or scholar are considered "impermanent or non-absolute" in the eyes of Chan practitioner. Sutra stated very clearly, "when we transcend from form to formless, to truth, then we witness." In other words, Truth is not form.

In essence, Chan practice is fundamentally a spiritual practice. It can be presented with logic, can be experimented with visual feedback, can be communicate with words. But these are for the convenience of other practitioners and not the Chan practice itself. Yet Chan does include all these logic, description and senses without discrimination or separation.

In short, Chan is the comprehensive nickname for the universe, which includes all the phenomena of the universe as well as the energy and its laws --- the planets and atoms, humans and their civilization, the
physical forms and all the energies inside and outside of each.

If we pick and choose any portion of the universe, or Chan, our witness will be incomplete and partial. For our practice to be complete, absolute and wholesome, we must embrace every facets of the universe
without discrimination, judgment, preference, logic or suspicion at every instance in our daily life.

Xin-Xin-Ming warned us, "...It is like heaven and earth apart...."

Jesus said...

Jesus said, "I am he who exists from the Undivided, I was given some of the things of my Father. Therefore I say that if one is whole, he will be filled with light, but if one is fragmented, he will be filled with darkness."

Jesus said, "When you make the two into One, and the inside like the outside and the outside like the inside, and the above like the below, and the male and the female one and the same, then will you enter the Kingdom."

Jesus said, "The Kingdom is spread out on the earth, but people do not see it."

Jesus said, "I am the Light above the All. I am the All. From me did the All come forth, to me does the All attain. Split the wood and I am there, lift up the stone and you will find me there."

Jesus said, "If those who lead you say to you that the Kingdom is in the sky, then the birds will get there before you. If they say it is in the sea, then the fish will get there before you. Rather the Kingdom is both inside you and outside you."

-the Gospel of Thomas
(This Gospel has been thrown out by Constantine)

The detection and transferring of karma

My Teacher always tells us, "You practice and you shall witness. Everything can be witnessed. If you are not able to witness, don't worry. Just continue to practice. But never let your ego dictate your journey."

With this stated, I like to share my witness about the detection and transferring of "physical karma". If you wish, I could also share with you my witness about "mental karma" in future post.

Usually after three years of daily Chan meditation, practitioners are able to integrate most of the chi from various energy points into one. At this stage, the whole body is quite clean and energetic. Instead of
many small, disconnected parts, the body is being integrated into one bigger, stronger and more sentitive system.

At that time, majority of the practitioners will be able to "feel discomfort" at the identical region of the body of the discomfort of others. Most of the time, when there are beginners, the discomfort is more frequent. With most seasoned practitioners in attendance, there are less such experience. This is the first stage, or detection stage.

As the chi-conduit becomes wider, the practitioner can still feel discomfort of others, but as he is feeling it, the discomfort in other is being reduced or sometimes eliminated. This is the transfer stage.

When the chi-conduit gets wider and wider, the practitioner will not feel anything until occasionally some stronger karma hits. At this stage the practitioner is already capable of delivering some level of healing, or elimination of karma.

There are about twenty some cases I have personally experienced. Many are detailed in my blog posted below. Just not tagged for easy search.

These are naturally phenomena occurring following the laws of nature to most of our dedicated practitioners. Please do not assume that I find any of these extraordinary. And also there is no need to afraid of it, because it will occur naturally beyond our control. All of us are able to witness it. There are already quite a few in California. Yes, we all can.

Thank you for your attention,
JMJM

Is Chan Buddhist?

Good Day To All,

My Teacher would say, "the Order of Chan is Buddhist, but the witness of Chan is not."

Chan is just a nickname for the entire universe, including the visible and the invisible, the energy and its form, the perpetual and the transient, the big and the small, as well as all of its nature. It is always in a state of dynamic balance, always evolving, as well as integrating.

Shakyamuni, Confucious, Lao Tze and many other sages all witnessed the truth of the universe, or Chan, and began their teaching.

All schools of teaching are about the same truth, because all are part of universe and contains the same nature of the universe. This is also the nature of man and of all beings big and small.

Awaken to the universal truth is just the beginning. My Teacher often remind us, "True practice begins after awakening."

We practice to be totally, completely, wholesomely, physically, mentally and spiritually one with the entire universe, without exception, preference or selection. Such that we could live in sync with our original abilities to harmonize, to balance, to evolve and to integrate.

This is what I was taught and have witnessed.

Reincarnation & Karma

Good Morning To All,

Thank you for your invitation to comment on this subject matter.

Perhaps I need to mention first what is emphasized over and over in our school is "we practice and experience directly." It also means, "not to object but detach from description of experiences we are unable to witness ourselves until we could."

Culturally speaking, reincarnation is deeply embedded in the daily lives of Chinese as a moral principle. I grew up with such reminders from my grandma frequently. There is very little need to explain it
scientifically, or morally, or use it as teaching tool. It is a very powerful concept enabling people to cope with the "unreasonable" sufferings at particular moments in life.

As a witness on the other hand, we do have many practitioners able to witness the spiritual situations of distance relatives or past generations of other practitioners in our lineage. (i.e. I sense your
last name is adopted. I sense your uncle died from suicide. etc.) These are actually cases expressed and verified with accuracy.

In the US, we teach reincarnation only to those who are able to connect in the formless domain without any mental discrimination, and those who already witnessed the influence of karma in present day lives.

We do, however teach about karma in the US, because it is not hard to be directly experienced. Yes, karma has been overly misinterpreted for a long time. Let me define what does karma mean in our teaching. Karma
is just the cause of an action. If we are ill, the cause of the illness is karma. If we got into an accident, the cause of the accident is karma....

After two to three years of dedicated practice, our practitioners are able to detect and process karma from other practitioners naturally. It is an ability we all were born with and can be easily witnessed.

Chan is just a nickname for the entire universe, including the visible and the invisible, the perpetual and the transient, the discovered and the undiscovered, the understood and the misunderstood. After we stripped it all away and dug into the bottom, there is the same life-energy maintains the planets as well as the atoms and our cells. And it is this life-energy supported all the transient phenomena following the law of cause and effect.

As mentioned by SoDaiho Sensei, what really matters is our awakening to Buddha Nature, which in the teaching of Chan could also mean the nature of the universe, or nature of Chan, or nature of human. They are
nothing but a set of characteristics, such as ever evolving, ever balancing, ever integrating, ever harmonious, ever interdependent, etc.. In short, the universe is just a steady state of being maintained through dynamic energy constantly in tune and readjustment following these universal characteristics.

Everything else is but a journey, as different as the sutra for Buddha and the bible for Jesus.

Sorry, it is a kind of long. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Chan & Tao

Hello Deborah,

Thank you for your question. Perhaps you noticed that I usually just say what Chan is, and avoided to compare Chan with Zen.

Though some of my posts are being labeled as illusory, I had not done so on the contrary, because Chan taught me that Chan includes everything, including Zen. Chan is all. If I had not heard of a Zen post, then I should learn about it. That's why I join this forum six or seven years ago -- to learn.

The Tao influence in Chan is quite evident. If we read the Xin-Xin-Ming by the third patriarch, it almost sounded like Tao-Te-Jing. However, the Tao influence to Chan is more so in the practice - the sitting and the motion chan. Sitting is the Ying and Motion Chan is the Yang.

Tao is really not dualistic in the Chan sense. Tao merely laid out the path from TaiChi to the rest of the manifestation of all the forms, through Ying-Yang, the two to the four to the Eight, etc. It just illustrated the continuous division of the One. That's all.

Now back to what is Chan. Chan is really just a nick name for our universe. Academically, a comprehensive term for everything, those we know and we don't know, visible and invisible, permanent and impermanent, static and dynamic, etc. etc.

While most of the teachings tried to rationalize the form, Chan's focus is on the formless, or simply the life's energy and its wisdom, because everything is manifested by this energy and the wisdom. It is the dharma and the ultimate truth.

The only way to get to it, is to sync to it by first rejuvenating our physical body to be a baby, then open up our heart like a baby. Because, baby state is our closest state to our birth, and to our creator, the universe.

Somehow, the most important part of the practice, cultivating our chi, is not quite evident in Zen, which is the most natural and effortless way to sync up to the universal wisdom.

JM

On 1/5/2011 5:55 PM, Deborah Mingins wrote:

To Jue Miao Jing Ming- It seems you feel there is not much difference between Chan and Zen, whereas in my humble experience they are quite different. Zen is obsessed with the moment and staying in it whereas Chan is a gentler just being. One thing I cannot understand with Chan, considering it's having been so influenced by Taoism, is how it doesn't believe in duality, where Taoism definitely does. I would appreciate your thoughts on these things, as you have made alot of sense to me, and have had accurate information and good suggestions...taomtnsage1@yahoo.com



禪與空

『禪』是宇宙的簡稱,也是統稱。『禪』包括了宇宙的一切 - 看得見的,看不見的,短暫的,永恆的,靜止的,恆動的,大至星球,小至細沙,等等。。也就是所謂的『禪是一,一即一切』。

而我們這些人呢,雖然也是『禪』的一部分,但是大都只注意到了宇宙的一小部分,大都只注意到了眼前的,看得到的與短暫的,而忽略了永恆的,與看不 到的,而且是最重要的 -- 宇宙的生命能量與智慧。

事實上,宇宙的一切都是和諧的,成長的,對等的,平衡的,相依的,連貫的,進化的,有整合性的。這些都是大自然的原則與法則,也就是禪的真理,禪 的特性。也是宇宙的主導。

釋迦摩尼,耶穌,孔子,老子,參透了『禪』的真理,就開始教導大家如何去生活得更好,因為他們發現大部分的人都不了解這些道理,而活得很辛苦。後 人為了尊敬他們而把他們的教導組織化,而成了今天的佛教,基督教,儒教,道教。而禪的特性,也就被稱為法性,佛性,道,天主性。

這些教導原始的教義,無非是希望大家都能夠參到這些真理,而能夠與這些聖人一樣活得灑脫,自在,而並不希望大家來祭拜,來告訴,來求神跡。

我們只要好好打坐,放下我們的執著與操越我們的習性,每一個人都可以活得瀟灑自在的。因為我們本是『禪』的一份子,這些特性,或神通,我們本來就 有。

『四大皆空。。』是佛教的說法,說的是『地水火風』這四大,我們色身的假合,本是『空性』,本是短暫的,不必去執著。如蔣保熙所說,把握當下,好 好生活,一切隨緣,不要去緬懷過去,也不要去憧憬將來,才能生活在智慧裡,滿足於每一個當下,每分每秒都快樂與自在。

Mindfulness pt 2


Happy New Year Ed,
Propose another word in place of "mindfulness" is a very challenging task. Let me explain.

In the practice and dealing with everyday life, we say "Be aware but not attached to", "focus but not focusing", "observe but not observing", are some of the terms we use while we translate from our Chinese text to English. In other words, "sync to the universal wisdom at every moment, and not be attached to the meaning of the phenomena." is the phrase we need to represent with a single word.

The most common general terms as a verb in the practice, we use are "be aware", "sense", "feel", etc. i.e. "sense our breathing", "feel the chakra". They are usually terms applying also to emotions, feelings as well as our general overall well being, physical and spiritual. We can not separate our "true feeling" from our body or mind.

We are very careful not to consistently use the same word. Especially the practice to "notice" the conditions of our body, mind and spirit, could require different verb for a similar function. Chan teaching requires flexibility.

The purpose of Chan wordings are nothing but to wake up the practitioner, and not to set a path or a rule to follow. After 5,000 words, Diamond Sutra said only one thing, "Whatever you think it is, it is not. It just is."

Perhaps a lot of times, I am guilty in becoming lazy and just say, "Shut up, Sit down and Stop thinking."

LOL.

Re: [Zen] Re: Mindfulness pt 2

Thank you JDB. Indeed we also teach "emptiness of mind".

Somehow the western Zen is stuck on the label of "mind" and would not let go. There is even a seminar about the small mind and big mind. Though all journeys lead to the same place.

"Mind" is too close to "thinking". It can be easily misunderstood and misinterpreted.

We teach "empty your mind", "enhance your heart". And we continue to say "because heart is where we could unify our body, mind and spirit."

Somehow, unify our body to the same physical structure as the universe is not emphasized in western Zen. Most of the reading that I have encountered with focuses mainly on the mind and its awareness, not on the body and little on the spirit. Though we constantly talked about body, mind and spirit, but in essence, they are one and inseparable. Just like the universe.

In our school, awareness does not reside in the mind. Awareness is a function of our spirit, which reside in our heart. "Heart" is not the organic heart, but our "total well being", our "center" or "ONE". Awareness enhancement helps us to be awakened to the Absolute Awareness of the universe.

This brings this post to another question. What does Zen say about our spirit? Our spiritual levels, our spiritual being, spiritual karma, the sixth, seventh and eighth consciousness?

After several years with this forum, I have read little about these. In other words, to be enlightened, we need to surpass karmic hindrance of body, mind and spirit. We need to work on all three.

Otherwise, we are just imagining and hoping.

On this New Year Day, I hope this post is not too objectionable to ALL.

Happy New Year and thank you for your patience and understanding for all the years.

JMJM
Head Teacher

Liberation IV

My teacher has taught me, "To detach from all forms, you shall reach liberation from all sufferings."

What exactly is ALL forms?

One of the most important one to be detached from is the Form of Practice.

Especially seasoned practitioners often fall into a certain pattern, a certain logic, a certain expectation, a certain role, a certain ceremony, a certain assumption, a certain schedule, a certain scope, a certain habit...

Well?

Like waves in the ocean, we are shaped by elements over our head, under our feet as well as impulses within, in addition to generations of invisible of karma.

Are we selective in our practice?

Are we following our path or is our path being formulated by our Form of Practice?

Detach from the Form of Practice is the key to liberation.

Living in the past moments

Almost all of us, including myself, often travels away from the present moment.  Sometimes backward and sometimes forward.  It is normal, whether our mind is a beginners' mind or an  expert mind.  "Beginner" or "expert" are just labels.  Mind still behave like a mind.

What we propose is to divert our "attention" away from our thoughts, to follow our breath, and not "counting the breath".(counting is thinking)  Then next step is to "focus" on one of our ten major chakras, etc. etc.  We have a practice, enabling us to continuously divert our mind away from our thoughts for at least year and half, and simultaneously staying longer in the present moment.

Often even when we are truly committed to "focus" or "attend" to this technique of practice, we still stray away, especially at the beginning.  That's okay.  Just bring our attention back to whatever we were focusing on.

"Attention" or "focus" to our chakra and energy channel serves two purposes. 
  • First it enhances our energy, meaning improving our health. 
  • Second, it enhances our "awareness". 
"Attention" or "focus" are both functions of our "awareness".  This kind of awareness taught in our lineage utilizes our physiological "sense and feel" to our energy points and energy channels is more than just a mental focus.  It is a total and whole body focus.  This is where it differs from majority of other school.

It is not only effective in improving our health, it also can quickly enhance our "total awareness".  "Total awareness" is also call Shen 『神』 or Inner God in Chinese medicine.  Please visit our other web site.  (http://www.chanliving.org).  Religious people call that Inner being, or Spiritual being, or God within.

So that we could maintain our selves in the state of Sambodhi for longer periods and be less affected by our mind.

BTW, science has also shown to us recently, that there is more messages sent to our brain from our body, then the other way around.  Therefore Total Awareness is the way to enlightenment and not mental awareness. 

Let me know if you have more questions.
JM

Liberation IV

Good Morning to Everyone on Christmas Day, Yes, it is easy to talk about Liberation. It is not hard to understand liberation. Yet how do we exactly attain this state of being and maintain it 24/7?

I was taught, Liberation is the fourth state after Discipline, Sambodhi, Wisdom. My Teacher teaches Purification instead of Discipline. He emphasizes, when we are pure then we are automatically disciplined.

Being a hippie from Berkeley, I always hated to be disciplined. At the beginning, the idea of Purification suits my ego perfectly. After a few years, I realized that Discipline is really Detoxification.

First we need to detox all the poisons in our body, mind and spirit. If our body is not well, we could not stay in Sambodhi without interruption to maintain constant awareness.

If our mind is not pure, or letting our habitual thinking, even from "authorities" such as wikipedia, our parents, our teachers, occupying us, then all we got is just knowledge and not wisdom, which is simply the laws of nature manifesting every moment of our lives. Wisdom is not archived anywhere, only embedded in real time, unfolds through thousands generations of cause and effect. That's why be in the present moment, or Sambodhi, is so important.

Being in the present moment is more than a mental state as some of us were taught. Being in the present moment is a total, complete, wholesome participation of our body, mind and spirit. If our body or
spirit is separated from this participation, than we could only be partially in sync.

Detoxification of our body begins by transforming our physical being into an energy being, then we could be connected to the collective wisdom of every cell in our body.

Chan is not a rationalization of our mind. Being the life's energy and wisdom of the universe, Chan exists in every being. Chan is smaller than the atoms and bigger than the planets. Chan practice is a complete, whole being, physical, mental and spiritual experience.

Chan is One and ALL.